Author Topic: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.  (Read 890 times)

Offline Clark B

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Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« on: August 22, 2019, 06:55:51 AM »
I've got at least 200lbs of lead in large bars and 25lb plates sitting in my garage. I don't really want to try chopping them into smaller chunks to fit my 10lb pot. I'm thinking about buying a cheap imported dutch oven at Academy to melt it into small ingots. What do you more experienced smelters recommend. Is the best method just to buy a large ladle to transfer the lead into my ingot molds or is there a valve of some sort I could buy that would work as a bottom/side pour?
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Offline davec2

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 07:57:31 AM »
Use a torch and just run lead off the bar into a ladle or smaller mold.  Or let it drip into a tub of water....makes odd shaped small blobs that can easily be remelted.  If you have a torch with enough heat output, it is easy to do.
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Offline Gordy

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 02:43:19 PM »
I cut an old 20lb propane tank in half (use the bottom half) , use it for my melting pot. I set it on a propane burner used for a turkey deep fryer. Works like a champ, I even throw in a little beeswax when I am melting the lead for flux to clean the lead with, after the beeswax is melted stir in with the lead, then just skim the impurities off the top. Dip the lead out with an old ladle and pour into a mini muffin pan that can be bought at the dollar stores. Get the ones with no Teflon coating. The mini muffins are the perfect size for your 10lb. pot. That's my 2 cents worth.
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Offline snapper

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 02:50:46 PM »
I use a reciprocating saw to cut 25 lb bars down to shape.   For me, I cant see any reason to melt larger bars into smaller bars.   Why handle it twice?  I know my pot holds 20 lbs. 

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Offline wattlebuster

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 03:27:48 PM »
Saws easy with a sawz all as we call em here in Dixie. Just cut em into small chunks
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Offline Scota4570

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 05:17:05 PM »
When you saw them up use some lube so the blade does not bind or fill the teeth with lead.  I use a bandsaw, because it is handy.  I run a bead of oil in the intended cut path.  No need to flood it.  Cut them up any size you want to feed the pot.  No need to cast ingots. 

Offline Hungry Horse

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2019, 10:14:52 PM »
I melt or shear lead instead of sawing it. Sawing lead spreads lead dust, and particles everywhere. If you think it doesn’t matter, check out what a toxic cleanup cost, done to state or federal standards.

  Hungry Horse

Offline Scota4570

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #7 on: August 24, 2019, 02:28:54 AM »
I see lead shavings, not dust.  Sweep and vacuum after. 

Torching lead will heat the thin pealing oxide layers red hot and vaporize the lead, very very bad. 

I only wish I had a suitable shear,

For everyone to consider, vibratory brass cleaning with dry media creates a cloud of lead from the primer ash.  It is impossible to clean up.     

Online Kevin Houlihan

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #8 on: August 24, 2019, 04:58:51 PM »
I wear a mask and cut it up with a  sawzall and melt it in a 5 qt Dutch oven. My Dutch oven holds about 80 lbs of melted lead.
Kevin

Offline hanshi

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2019, 09:33:23 PM »
I used to have one of those old cast iron cooking pots that held well over 20 lbs of lead.  I'd set it atop a surplus LP gas stove, melt it and dip it into smaller 1-2 lb  molds.  All I have now is an LP gas camp stove which should still do the trick with smaller amounts.
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Offline HAWKEN

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2019, 08:05:05 PM »
I cut the lead into strips using an old axe and a 3lb lag hammer.  Then I melt the strips in my 10lb pot...….robin
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Offline Waksupi

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2019, 12:11:17 AM »
Make a channel in the ground, with a lead out and smaller troughs on whatever the lower side is. Build a fire over the trough, set the lead on top of the firewood before lighting and let the lead flow down the channel to fill the smaller troughs. Block them off as they fill. You end up with dirty lead that will need to be remelted and cleaned before putting it in your pot, but you will have manageable sized pieces to deal with. Cheap, and low-tech.

Offline Clark B

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2019, 07:03:40 PM »
Thanks for all the ideas gentlemen. I haven't made a move yet on buying the cheap iron pot. Might give the chopping idea a try first.
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Offline Daryl

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2019, 08:26:29 PM »
Taylor and I used a huge ladle, likley held over 20 pounds, set on a stack of bricks, tiger torch on a 20 pound propane bottle for heat.
We melted and poured into Lyman ingots, over 300 pounds of lead sheeting in just a couple hours.
Daryl

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Offline Dphariss

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Re: Melting large lead bars and plates into ingots.
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2019, 04:25:40 AM »
Try a large cast iron skillet and a propane came stove or similar heat source.
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