View Full Version : Casting in the winter?

November 6, 2009, 05:20 PM
I do all my casting outdoors over a propane turkey fryer using a ladle. Will I be able to cast when it gets very cold out or will the mold cool off too quick?

November 6, 2009, 05:49 PM
I'm not sure I casted the same way last winter but in my parts on the cold days I can still be in a short sleeve shirt.

I would think that if you lived somewhere really cold, around or below freezing it could be a problem.

November 6, 2009, 06:41 PM
I think casting in the winter works better because you should be wearing a fair amount of clothing anyway to protect against lead spash. I guess it kinda depends on HOW cold it gets in your area, but 30-40 degree weather didn't bother me much. I also did the casting with a electric pot in my garage and used a box fan for ventilation out the back door with my front garage door partially open.

Worked for me.
- Ivan.

November 6, 2009, 06:46 PM
Once I get an electric pot and can move indoors that will be different, but for now I'm stuck on the back patio and we get snow here in the winter.

Now there's a thought, instead of water quenching, I can drop them in the snow! LOL.

November 6, 2009, 07:27 PM
I have to cast this winter. I am way behind. I bet I don't even have 10K bullets left total.

November 6, 2009, 08:24 PM
No it's not a problem. If you find the mold cooling off too quick all you have to to is slightly increase the temperature of the melt.

Except for my feet freezing after two hours of casting, I like casting in the winter. The mold doesn't overheat as much and I can wear a bunch of clothing for protection without roasting.

November 6, 2009, 08:31 PM
I plan on casting in my basement this winter...right under the exhaust fan leading outside the house. I may try to make a makeshift hood to suck out the fluxing smoke.

November 6, 2009, 08:34 PM
I will also be castin some Im sure... my ammo shop stays open...never closed.

November 6, 2009, 08:56 PM
ICH, do you try to keep the flux smoke lit to reduce it? I've seen that when it burns, there is less smoke.

November 6, 2009, 09:50 PM
you can. i stir with a DRY stick and that fluxes the alloy good enough. There is minumum smoke with a stick.

November 7, 2009, 01:18 AM
I think the cold would get to you before it gets to the mold, I cast in the winter in an unheated shop. I use an electric pot, (RCBS). I dont have a problem with the casting until I get too cold.

December 11, 2009, 08:07 AM
I've got my 10 pound Lee pot up and running now. I did my first casting session with it yesterday. I was very happy with how it made my operation run. I knocked out 270 good bullets in about an hour and a half. It was very cold too. I live in central PA and the air temp was 21 deg with a wind chill of
7. I may do another batch later this afternoon. I'm working outdoors still. I really don't have an indoor place to do this. My only complaint with the Lee pot is that I am seeing a bit more rejects than with the ladle pouring. I fluxed the lead while I was making my ingots and fluxed it again after melting the ingots in the Lee pot but I still see a bunch of black flecks in the finished bullet.

December 11, 2009, 07:47 PM
When you flux your pot be sure to scrape the sides of the pot really well. You'd be surprised how much junk can build up on the sides.

December 11, 2009, 08:11 PM
I'm going to have to give that wood stick a try. My Lee ladle that I used to stir the lead in the pot doesn't do a good job of scraping the sides.

December 12, 2009, 02:20 AM
Ummmmmmmmm, try casting out there!


It's either inside or out there, which do you think I do?!:mad: Little choice in the matter. I DO smelt outside, but NOT when it's that cold!

December 12, 2009, 07:31 AM
Forget casting. If it looked like that here I would be hunting! :D

January 16, 2010, 01:12 AM
I thought I'd cast enough to get me through the winter. I was wrong. So I went out to cast some after dinner. It started out at 25degrees and was about 15 went I quit. My hands got too cold. Ended up tonight with 17.5# of usable 200gr swc's. That will get me started. Thinking I'm going to hit it again after lunch.

January 16, 2010, 04:29 AM
I've been itching to fire up the smelter and make some more ingots but it's been so cold, I can't get enough pressure out of my propane bottle to make any heat. :( Yesterday, it got up to 44 deg here they tell me. I don't know since I drove 616 miles yesterday and didn't get to enjoy it. Have to work today too. :(

63 days till spring!!!

January 16, 2010, 02:57 PM
Wow, I smelted last weekend when it was 20 degrees out and had no trouble. Used a bit more propane than I would have if it were summer of course. Ingots take up less space than WW though so now I have room in the garage.

January 16, 2010, 07:04 PM
I cast in my house. I hate the cold. 15 degrees!! :eek: You are nuts!!! :D

January 16, 2010, 09:04 PM
Nuts? No. Necessary. My wife won't let me bring the lead pot in the house & I'm out of bullets & I want to load some.

January 16, 2010, 10:12 PM
Yeah, guess you gotta do what ya gotta do. I would just buy factory rounds and when you wife sees how much money you are spending she will let you bring the pot in the house. See how that works?! :D

January 16, 2010, 11:24 PM
Seeing the kind of mess I make outdoors, I wouldn't want to cast inside my house even if the wife let me. :D