Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Topical Discussions include anything pertaining to Gunsmithing.

Moderators: Harold_V, JackF, GeorgeGaskill

rbertalotto
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:38 am
Location: Dartmouth, MA

Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by rbertalotto » Sat Mar 28, 2015 3:49 pm

Snowing here AGAIN in Southeastern Massachusetts so I hit the shop and built something I've wanted to build for years. A Double Lead Pot "Distillery......
Pictures and verbiage are on my web site

http://www.rvbprecision.com

Image

Hope you like it!

magic9r
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Sheffield, England

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by magic9r » Sun Apr 12, 2015 3:48 pm

So the difference in "head" can compress liquid lead?

rbertalotto
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:38 am
Location: Dartmouth, MA

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by rbertalotto » Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:55 pm

Won't compress it. But can change the flow/pour rate which in my experience has improved consistency greatly.

magic9r
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Sheffield, England

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by magic9r » Sun Apr 12, 2015 5:38 pm

I like the PID idea, having added one to my heat-treat furnace I'm considering one for the Lee pot.
The pre-heat pot for melting whilst casting is excellent too, there was me thinking I had no use for the spare Lee pot!
Currently I only cast 128gn for .357, I'm almost at the point where I start weighing the individual results ;-)
- Nick

Harold_V
Posts: 17769
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by Harold_V » Sun Apr 12, 2015 7:56 pm

interesting comments, Nick, as I was under the impression that hand guns in the UK were not permitted. Am I not informed properly?

I was never pleased with the results I achieved with one of those melting furnaces, so I resorted to melting by other means, using a dipper made for pouring bullets. The quality seemed higher, although that may be due to poor technique on my part in using the melting furnace. I'd gladly accept comments in that regard, if anyone has anything to offer.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

magic9r
Posts: 296
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2006 6:30 pm
Location: Sheffield, England

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by magic9r » Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:45 am

Harold,
The UK Law changes were a half competent attempt at pandering to a limited section of public opinion by divisive politicians, the massive reduction in legally held handguns has had no effect on the illegal use of handguns brought in from Europe (it's actually gone up significantly) and merely served to damage UK shooting sports and businesses. Competent application of existing regulations would have foreseeably prevented the incident leading to the changes.
There is no "Handgun Ban", handguns were generally moved to the "Section Five" category where specific Home Office approval is required for individual ownership, with exceptions for despatch weapons for deer hunters.
Not long after the changes some smart cookie looked at the legislation and realised that UK firearms law defines anything with a barrel of 12" or more and an overall length of 24" or more as "Section One", effectively a rifle. This allows for legal UK ownership of revolvers of any calibre and semi-auto pistols in .22LR, provided the barrel is 12" and it has a rod sticking out of the back making the length up to 24".
The recent development of "Lever Release" mechanisms has seen the re-introduction of self-loading (but not semi-auto as a lever must be actuated to complete the cycle) rifles in centre-fire calibres with the possibility of a similar mechanism in handguns.

Back on the subject of cast bullets I'm getting results which look and shoot as well as bought, I pan lube but remove the bullets from the lube without chilling using a cylindrical punch about 3" long, just keep cutting out bullets like cookies and once the tube is full they pop out of the top right into your hand. Once I've sized them and popped them in a box they are visually indistinguishable from bought,
Regards,
Nick

Harold_V
Posts: 17769
Joined: Fri Dec 20, 2002 11:02 pm
Location: Onalaska, WA USA

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by Harold_V » Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:47 am

Thanks for the enlightenment, Nick. It appears I was not informed well in regards to hand guns in the UK.

I have been away from hand loading for what seems an eternity, although I still possess all of my equipment. I cast 158 grain semi-wadcutters for my 38's and .357" handguns, so when I get back in the swing of things, I'm going to try that bottom pour furnace yet again, to see if technique was a part of my dissatisfaction. If so, considerable time could be saved. I appreciate your comments in that regard.

Harold
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

User avatar
steamin10
Posts: 6712
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:52 pm
Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by steamin10 » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:07 am

I used an electric pot but once, casting round ball for black powder. It left laps and shuts in the surface, probably b/c of a cold mold. Since then, I garnered a Plumbers pot, about half the size of a bowling ball, and it beats the heat problems right off. It sits atop a 20 lb LP bottle. I used a shaped ladle with a long handle that sits in the pot, as I monkey with open/close mold operations. I use Lee molds and handles, twin pocket. I made a broken sledge hammer handle into a whacker for cutting the sprues. It is drilled into the working end and cast with a few oz of lead, about 10 inches long, and is quite effective at cutting the sprues with a small whack. All the molds and casting junk reside in a handled tool box for ease of storing all the supplies together. Made balls and bullets of different sizes, are stored in plastic zip bags, or glad type storage containers, with magic marker ID.

I use reclaimed lead sheet, or virgin ingot for all the round ball, (soft) and add 20% wheel weights to any patched ball or bullet, for my rifles. (hard).

I never buy sombody elses cast ingot like Ebay sales, as they may have other stuff in there. The Plumbers house has all the lead I need, and occasional sheet salvage is pure and soft, so no worries.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

redneckalbertan
Posts: 1275
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:39 am
Location: South Central Alberta

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by redneckalbertan » Wed Apr 15, 2015 1:07 pm

steamin10 wrote:I use reclaimed lead sheet, or virgin ingot for all the round ball, (soft) and add 20% wheel weights to any patched ball or bullet, for my rifles. (hard).
You cant find lead wheel weights up here anymore, and, from what I hear down there as well. Everything here is either zinc or iron.

User avatar
steamin10
Posts: 6712
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:52 pm
Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by steamin10 » Thu Apr 16, 2015 9:03 am

I can get wheel weights, by the bucket. I have some sitting around now, they are an alloy similar to linotype metal and have zinc and other metals in them, and are quite a bit harder than pure lead. The lead-linotype kind of mix is good for small detail parts, if you cut a mold of aluminum and make two halves to pour like fishing sinkers. I like them for patched mini ball type bullets in black powder, although they make little real difference.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

redneckalbertan
Posts: 1275
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:39 am
Location: South Central Alberta

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by redneckalbertan » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:36 pm

steamin10 wrote:...and have zinc and other metals in them, and are quite a bit harder than pure lead. The lead-linotype kind of mix is good for small detail parts...
To the best of my knowledge there is no zinc in the older lead wheel weights. Antimony and tin are the alloying elements. From what I have read and heard from talking to people zinc has a negative effect on the surface tension of the molton alloy and does not allow it to flow nicely and as a result fine details and sharp corners are the causalities. As well the zinc has an affinity for either antimony or tin, I can't remember which now, and when the alloy is contaminated with zinc it is not readily separated. I talked with a chemistry teacher and his response was it could be done chemically, but not readily with easily obtainable chemicals. I have heard of one gentleman in southern BC casting bullets with zinc or zinc contaminated lead. Zinc, hardening the alloy much like antimony and tin are used for but less expensive. He reported having good luck by taking a vibrating Palm sander turning it upside down, fastening it to his bench and resting his molds on the sander while pouring. I've never tried it but... Who knows, one day maybe.

User avatar
steamin10
Posts: 6712
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2003 11:52 pm
Location: NW Indiana. Close to Lake Michigan S. tip

Re: Lead Pot Distillery...It's all about the Head!

Post by steamin10 » Sat Apr 18, 2015 10:24 am

Um, I would temper the advice from those that were heard from, like most curbside experts, that dont know a pencil from a tree limb. I would encourage you to look up 'diecast' alloys and see they are majorly zinc, and are used in closed mold part production. Some are very intricate, like carburetor bodies, that have fairly tight tolerances.

In permanent mold casting, hot shrinkage can be controlled not only by pouring temperature, but the freeze temperature of the metal, and that can be additions of alloys in small amounts that keep crystallization to minimum, increase fluidity, hardness, and stable dimensions on larger pieces involving thin/thick sections, by tailoring the metals and the molds for results.

My argument with 'if it melts it casts', type backyarders, is consistency. By selecting my scrap with due diligence, I can expect similar performance, unless I change something, or an error is made. What is followed is my idea of attainable quality, for reasonable effort. Of course one can buy bullets in whatever shape is in fashion, but what fun is that.

I dont try to poo-poo others ideas, when it works for them. What is thought to be easy and the reasoning for the trail, are the decisions of the builder, where all roads lead to town. So it is my curiosity, that keeps me from stagnant thinking to solve such problems. I applaud the different trails.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

Post Reply