Adding metal to the pot during casting

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John Bly
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by John Bly » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:49 pm

I use a Lee 20 lb dipper pot and I like to cast at 800 deg. I put sprues back in the pot as I cast. I always throw 5 or more back in the pot when starting to get the mold up to temp. I can tell if conditions are right by the time it takes for the sprue to set up. I generally cast 90 to 100 at a setting. I cast 20 and add a preheated ingot to the pot, cast one or two throwbacks then continue casting. I only use the thermometer to check my lead temp if I suspect it is not right. I recently had some wildly varying temps and light weight bullets. I contacted Lee and they sent me a new thermostat free of charge. I installed it and what a difference it made. I just weighed about 350 bullets and most were within 1 gr with many within .5 gr. I had 12 light weight rejects.
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Woody
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by Woody » Mon Jan 18, 2021 7:58 pm

No PID, No fluxing, No weighing of bullets. Sprues and bad bullets go into the melt. Start casting at 800 degrees on my Lyman thermometer. I get my lead from the scap yard. Keep it simple. I did rebuild both of my Lee pots this past year. One needed a new heating element and the other a new thermostat.

Woody
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bruce m
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by bruce m » Mon Jan 18, 2021 9:47 pm

rdnck wrote:
Mon Jan 18, 2021 3:45 pm
But we did have one guy from Creedmoor venture out west in the person of Milton Farrow, no less. He nearly got his ass killed by a buffalo. His guide saved him.
obviously milton farrow returned his sprues to the pot while casting.
bruce.
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DeadEye
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by DeadEye » Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:24 pm

While we don't know that Bruce for your edification we know this.
W. Milton Farrow.jpg
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bruce m
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by bruce m » Mon Jan 18, 2021 11:12 pm

deadeye,
i am very aware of farrow and others of the era.
right up to major hinman at the end of the era.
it is possibly one of the most interesting eras in history, shooting and other things included.
i just wondered if bill might have been insinuating that farrow might have forgotten and returned sprues causing the buffalo to nearly kill him.
maybe farrow took his scheutzen rifle by mistake?
i have seen a picture of farrows reloading kit, and noted a breech seater in it.
bruce.
ventum est amicus meus

Glen Ring
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by Glen Ring » Tue Jan 19, 2021 10:07 am

labop
I hate to admit, I have no idea what a PID is.
I learn something from just about every post on here and I've seen things on your post that have made me think..and that's good.

I am lucky if I have everything I need to cast bullets. I try to get the mixture correct of tin to lead and then I just start casting. I have a cheap, lee 10 pound pot and Lyman molds, but I have to admit I LOVE CASTING BULLETS !!

My little shooting shak (named after MLV.s ) is 100 yards into the woods and I cast on the front porch of it. I have actually had casting sessions interrupted by a bobcat, a deer and a rattlesnake.

I love your article and the responses are educational, but after showing Jeanne the pic of the sheet you posted, I have asked her to whack me if she sees me taking those kinds of notes...and she has ENTHUSIASTICALLY agreed to do that!!

Your article is great...and probably something I should think more about when casting.
There are those that talk, and those that act. Make a choice.

labop
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by labop » Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:47 pm

Glen
A PID controller continuously calculates an error value as the difference between a desired setpoint and the measured pot temperature and applies heat on a tighter tolerance than the older pot heat controls. I like the PID because you can have a thermocouple measuring temperature in the pot rather than control coming from a device in the jacket of the melter. If you have a pot and set a standard control at 800F you may get sufficient control in temperature to get good bullets but the temperature maybe 25F or more above or below that set point. Using a dial type bi-metal thermometer may help but they are inherently less accurate than a thermocouple. I've cast bullets using about everything including a campfire over the past 50 plus years and just like to know where my melt temperature is.

On the subject of tossing metal back in the pot, I like to think I'm saving a little energy by putting hot metal back in the pot. I don't see this as a contributor to dross.

labop

Glen Ring
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by Glen Ring » Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:14 pm

I'm afrid my casting techniques are a lot like woody's. Scrap lead with a Lee pot.
There are those that talk, and those that act. Make a choice.

bruce m
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by bruce m » Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:14 pm

with regards scum forming on top of the mix.
it seems that whatever you do scum forms during the session.
it also seems that the more stuff going into the pot, the more scum forms.
sprues and bullets come under this heading.
another cause is the overflow from the sprue plate as you finish pouring.
this can be minimized by developing a technique of piling alloy on the sprue plate in such a way that none runs over back into the pot,
you have to get enough on there to keep the sprue plate hot, and an even heat, in order to get good base fillout and even bullet wts.
it is amazing how this can minimize scum.
but you still get some due to the ladle going in and out.
the trouble with scum is that if you accidentally introduce some into the mould you could have a bullet with centre of mass not on the axis of the bullet. - a flier.
if you flux the mix all the scum dissolves back into the mix.
there are questions re what the scum is made of, some wondering if it could be tin rich, and some suspect it could be alloy as per the mix.
i am not prepared to surmise, but in order to be sure, at the end of casting i flux vigorously at the same time as returning sprues and bullets.
preheating the mould minimizes the ammount of bullets to return.
i use no pid, but have a thermometer in the mix all the time, and find that when adding bullets the temp alters.
with a pid possibly the energy input compensates automatically sufficiently to cater for this
bruce.
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mdeland
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by mdeland » Fri Jan 29, 2021 9:52 pm

Has anyone ever tried fluxing with saw dust and leaving the ash on top the melt? This helps reduce the scum which is caused by contact with air. The ladle doesn't care as the oxides and ash are always floating on top and will not be in the cast nor does the spigot on bottom pour models.

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Don McDowell
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by Don McDowell » Fri Jan 29, 2021 10:40 pm

Saw dust does work pretty good. It's really good when rendering down chilled shotgun shot and getting the graphite out.
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bruce m
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by bruce m » Sat Jan 30, 2021 12:58 am

i tried sawdust ans well as some chemical stuff from brownells.
both would work well in a bottom pour pot, but who wants to do that?
bruce.
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mdeland
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Re: Adding metal to the pot during casting

Post by mdeland » Sat Jan 30, 2021 3:23 pm

I like to save my walnut dust from stock work as it smells really good when it burns off plus it works as good as any commercial stuff I have ever tried but the best part is it is FREEEEE! This is particularly important to some one who is tighter than Dick's hat band when it comes to spending hard earned dollars. :lol:

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