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Old December 11, 2012, 08:02 PM   #12
Mike / Tx
Senior Member
Join Date: April 8, 2000
Posts: 1,898
If you want to go for it and do so with a little extra input o $$ but get a fast turnaround on your investment, you might look into the following.

Lee 4-20 Production pot around $60

Lee 6 CAV TL452-200-SW around $35'ish

Single burner hot plate from wally world, discount store or garage sale, $20 max.

This one I HIGHLY suggest picking up from the get go,
NOE Bullet Molds Lead Pot Thermometer

You will also want to orund up a face shield, some leather gloves, a fan or two, a ladle, spoon, and go to the Dollar Store and pick up some of the square cake pans to dump your bullets into.

This might sound like a bit more than your looking to spend. It can be, but the pot, mold, and thermometer are pretty much the biggest cost. DOn't let the 6 cavity mold intimidate you either. THey are just as easy to cast with as the two cavity ones, you just add another cavity about every 4th or so pours until your pouring all 6 of them. The bigest issue with them is cutting the sprue off after it gets too hard. This can break the sprue plate handle. I usually cut just afte the last sprue solidifies.

Anyway, that 6 cavity mold, coupled with the 4-20 pot will keep you in plenty of bullets. The hardest thing about it is keeping the alloy up to temp but not too hot. I usually run the alloy for my 6 cavity molds between 650 and 700. This gives me very consistent weights and sizes. If you start out pouring at 630 and let the pot get the alloy up to say 750, the hotter they are when you pour the smaller and lighter they will be. If your watching the thermometer you can add in a few sprues, or another ingot or two, or simply cut the control back. The knob isn't really a thermostat, it's more or less a rheostat that you can use to get things up and running, but after that your going to be twisting and turning or adding in a little at a time to keep it constant.

If you want to use the Lee pot and go first class, read up and build yourself one of these,
Project - PID on Lee Pro 4 20 furnace

That is the Cat's meow in temp control. You set it to where you want to pour, and get everything else ready while it takes over and heats everything up. It will usually maintain the molten alloy within about a 10-15 degree range once it settles in. The nice thing is, it will do this all the way to the bottom of the pot.

So there ya have it, I guess I got a bit carried away, but like I mentioned above, you have been warned.

Seriously though, you can get by with as little as the propane stove and a garage sale pot and spoon. But if you want to get just a bit more refined those items listed above will do you right.
Mike / TX
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