Casting Setups

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Griz44Mag

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There are a lot of topics here about casting, and a lot of questions asked.
I thought it might be an eye candy run to see what others casting setups look like.
Here's mine.
A sheet of steel plate floats above the tabletop to provide a lead drip\splatter\easy to cleanup surface for the work. The hot plate prewarms and keeps the molds at just the right temp to cut way down on early rejects from a too-cold mold. A nice soft dropping bed to catch the spawn of balls and give them a chance to cool. The piece of open square tubing makes a nice heat sink too draw heat from a mold getting a bit too warm. The layers of red shop rags make the collection of each batch a snap. I keep a nozzle cleaner on the deck and when adding lead to the pot and waiting for it to come up to temp, I will ream the nozzle and wipe the deck off.
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Stumpkiller

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I start with a melt like Kansas Jake ^^ for the old crud lead in a cast iron plumber's lead pot. Then after I flux and skim I cast ingots to be used in my Lee 10 lb electric.
 

Kansas Jake

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I also cast ingots using a muffin pan. I keep my soft lead separate from range lead and mark each ingot with a set of cheap metal stamps to identify i.e. Range or soft.
 

Ames

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2 sawhorses outside, a sheet of wonderboard on top. A damp towel to drop them on and sort the culls.
I overthink everything else in my life to date. K.I.S.S. works best when casting for me. I can feel my blood pressure dropping when I do it.
 

Eterry

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Kansas Jake, I started with a Coleman stove, a small cast iron skillet, a wooden dowel to cut the sprue and a hand made left hand dipper. That white gas would heat up a skillet in a hurry.
Now I use a Lee electric 10lb pot, had a drip-a-matic but gave it away.
 

longcruise

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I use an old dedicated Coleman stove. I used to use white gas but switched to a propane converter that uses 1# throwaway tanks except I refill them and use them over and over. I use a Lyman dipper and a Lyman cast iron pot. Another cast pot is used for cleaning up for ingots. It has a handle and a pour lip. Just pour into the cast iron muffin pan and then dump the dross. Welders gloves are worn for protection. I don't have a system for heating molds other than dipping the corners like Lee suggests. I depend on casting pace and rythm to keep mold temp consistent. Balls are dropped onto four layers of 100% cotton towel. Sprues land on the wood Bench top between the pot and the towel.

The propane system makes temperature control much easier than the fuel system and temperature is maintained with the help of a laser temperature sensor.

No picture. Never have taken one and my equipment is stored between sessions.
 

Kansas Jake

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Just a quick note for guys using white gas in a coleman. I have used plain old gasoline since leaded gas went the way of the dodo bird. It works just fine. A word on gasoline, don't use gas with ethanol in it. It will tend to gum stuff up. You may have to buy premium without ethanol, but a few gallons for the mower and other gas powered tools is not a big expense.
 

Sidney Smith

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I have a Lee production pot, and double cavity mold, for when I need to make a quantity of ammo fast for range sessions. Many times though, I will simply go out back, make a small campfire in the fire pit, and when the fire burns down to hot coals, I use my bag mold and home made ladle to crank out a small amount of balls. I prefer the latter simply from the historical aspect of it.

I've even made balls by just heating small amounts of lead in our indoor fireplace. I don't do this often, but when its nasty outside I sometimes will just to occupy my time. The lead fumes go right up and out the chimney so no issues. Five or six balls and I've got enough to hunt with.
 

brewer12345

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Sidney, how do the bag molds work? You have a pot you melt the lead in, or something else?

I cast for cartridge firearms, so casting for muzzleloaders was an easy thing to pick up. I do it outside to keep the fumes out of the house. My setup is pretty simple (use a Lee 20 pound bottom pour pot), but I also have a cheap hot plate to preheat my molds. Since I have to wait for a day where the weather is right and the kids are not around, I usually go in for lengthy casting sessions. My last casting day netted about 700 .490 balls, 250 .530 balls, and about 125 maxi balls (plus 600 odd 45 ACP bullets). That many balls will last me a good while, so if I don't get around to another session this winter, no biggie.
 

Cowboy

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Sidney, how do the bag molds work? You have a pot you melt the lead in, or something else?

I cast for cartridge firearms, so casting for muzzleloaders was an easy thing to pick up. I do it outside to keep the fumes out of the house. My setup is pretty simple (use a Lee 20 pound bottom pour pot), but I also have a cheap hot plate to preheat my molds. Since I have to wait for a day where the weather is right and the kids are not around, I usually go in for lengthy casting sessions. My last casting day netted about 700 .490 balls, 250 .530 balls, and about 125 maxi balls (plus 600 odd 45 ACP bullets). That many balls will last me a good while, so if I don't get around to another session this winter, no biggie.
I know that you’ve directed your question to Sidney, but I’ll chime in in reference to using bag molds.

I pour a couple of lines of melted lead on my casting table back home. I peel off and bend to appropriate size to bring along with my ladle and bag mold.

My ladle does not have a handle. I use a green limb or stick about a foot long that I cut to fit the ladle.

Bend off the desired amount of lead from your stash that you now have on hand and place in your ladle to be melted.

Place the ladle on your prearranged rock set aside in your campfire coals. Also place bag mold on the rock as well. After lead is melted , the bag mold should be up to temp as well.

You can now start casting!

Lastly, I either use a piece of leather to grip the bag mold handles or wear a leather glove.

Excellent source of satisfaction when your engaged in good conversation with your dear friends as the bottle is being passed around at the end of the day!

Respectfully, Cowboy
 
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