Casting 101?



Author Topic: Casting 101?  (Read 1589 times))

Offline Bob Pratl

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #20 on: February 11, 2019, 05:38:02 AM »
I have been going back and forth on which melting pot to get.  I wanted one of the two that comes with the PID controller.  Either the RCBS Pro Melt 2 or the Lyman Mag 25.  I have finally decided on going with the analog controlled Lee Pro 4 20lb instead.  The PIDs are priced at ~$260 and the Pro 4 at ~$77.
My plan is to build my own PID controller for the Lee pot.  I can build one for ~ $50 or less in a nice compact package with fused inputs and outputs.  It will utilize a solid state relay to control power to the Lee pot.  I'll use a K-type probe for monitoring the melt.   I am a retired electronics tech and the build seems very simple and inexpensive now that I have looked at all of the pieces needed.
My thinking beyond saving ~$130 (which will buy some lead or a nice NOE 4 cavity mold) is that if the pot or the PID controller goes bad, I can more cheaply replace/repair either one instead of a $260 built-in one.  I can also use the separate DIY PID controller for other stuff too, like melting down wheel weights at a controlled temp to sort out zinc weights which melt at a higher temp than lead.  Anyways, just my thoughts.
Keith, you made a good choice by building your own PID and using the LEE 20 pounder. All you need is a PID controller, probe and a SSR (solid state relay) which will cost you way less than $100.00 for the components. Over the years I have built 4 of them for various projects and I believe that it is necessary for good casting. There is a lot of DIY information on Cast boolets site. I ended using a old gutted out PC power supply case with fan and switches to install the components in.
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Offline triggertreat

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #21 on: February 11, 2019, 12:20:09 PM »

Thanks Bob!  I happened to have signed up on the cast boolit site just yesterday.  I'll have to look for the PID build section.


I also discovered on that site that I could order some lead from TheCaptain much cheaper than from Rotometals.  Just wondering if that would be a go way to go for consistent boolits.  It is reclaimed WW lead ingots.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

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Offline KnifeMaker

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #22 on: February 11, 2019, 12:59:59 PM »
Trig, W-W may be much harder than what you want. Have you checked with a recycling metal scrap yard? I find a LOT of both pure lead,and indoor range lead fro PD's that are pure in jackets. The Jackets simply float to th4e surface.


I've Been paying around a buck a pound or less.


I do add a tiny bit of Tin for  crisp fill out.  ;)


Mike
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Offline KnifeMaker

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #23 on: February 11, 2019, 01:00:56 PM »
Oh ,and  a "very smart move" in joining CastBoolits .com.


Many life times of experience there. ;) 8)


I rarely post there. I keep my eyes open, mouth shut and do my best to learn and absorb what I can use from them.


My handle there is LongRangeAir.


Their AG section is kinda pitiful. Mostly rank amature springer shooter that don't' seem to have a clue about anything for high power ag's. LOL


Mike



« Last Edit: February 11, 2019, 01:04:14 PM by KnifeMaker »
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Offline triggertreat

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #24 on: February 11, 2019, 01:22:51 PM »
Trig, W-W may be much harder than what you want. Have you checked with a recycling metal scrap yard? I find a LOT of both pure lead,and indoor range lead fro PD's that are pure in jackets. The Jackets simply float to th4e surface.


I've Been paying around a buck a pound or less.


I do add a tiny bit of Tin for  crisp fill out.  ;)


Mike



I haven't done any local lead searches just yet.  I am hoping my local range will let me bring a screen box and shovel to dig through the dirt berms for lead.  Maybe I'll have some luck there, especially after I become an RSO volunteer there.  I'd feel better about working with range lead than wheel weights.  Just no experience casting yet to know which way to turn.  I do want precision boolits.  It could be that lead is lead and that's the bottom line.  I lack experience, but have been learning a lot by reading post from you pros.


I really like the Rotometals lead that is already ready to go, and I can select 2% tin, and in the easy to work nuggets. Just am a frugal shopper wanting to save where I can being retired.
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Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline KnifeMaker

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #25 on: February 11, 2019, 01:42:51 PM »
Trig, I don't know what kind of range it is, however, it may very well be full of Antimony. Bad choice for the AG's. Same issues as with wheel weights, but eve nor so. A few people have used my private range, an I find bullets that are hard a rocks. You don't want such thing is you melt.


Many scrap yards have pure in the forum of vent tubes from homes and commercial buildings. It is super source  to find, pure, and low cost. Much of it has tar, or silicone sealer on it, but comes off in the cleaning in the smelting poot. Don't put any lead into you casting pot before cleaning it. ;)
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Offline triggertreat

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #26 on: February 11, 2019, 01:57:08 PM »
Trig, I don't know what kind of range it is, however, it may very well be full of Antimony. Bad choice for the AG's. Same issues as with wheel weights, but eve nor so. A few people have used my private range, an I find bullets that are hard a rocks. You don't want such thing is you melt.


Many scrap yards have pure in the forum of vent tubes from homes and commercial buildings. It is super source  to find, pure, and low cost. Much of it has tar, or silicone sealer on it, but comes off in the cleaning in the smelting poot. Don't put any lead into you casting pot before cleaning it. ;)



That's good to know!  So I need to focus more on pure lead.  I do know that soft lead creates less fouling in the barrel verses hard leads from shooting my tight .22 MMHF barrel.  These boolits starting out that I'm wanting to make are for my .357 Slayer, and will be pushed at 900 FPS and above for the most part. I'll have to take a trip to our local scrapyard and see what I can find.  It is a very large facility.  They should have a lead section.


The PB range I go to has an 18 lane rifle range and a pistol range.  There is every kind of gun being shot there.  I would assume a lot of FM jackets.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline KnifeMaker

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #27 on: February 11, 2019, 04:02:44 PM »
Heck, just look up the number and give the scrap yard a call! ;)
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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #28 on: February 11, 2019, 06:43:36 PM »
TT

If you are going to buy lead at a scrapper yard,
you might want to get a set of these pencils for testing the hardness, see info here,
 
https://www.gatewaytoairguns.org/GTA/index.php?topic=149581.0

That way you know you are getting soft lead etc.

HtH's,

Tia,
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Offline Bob Pratl

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #29 on: February 11, 2019, 08:59:53 PM »
Keith I think that you should stick with Rotometals because recycled wheel weights are great for powder Burners but a little too hard for Pellets/slugs and you will never know what percentage is tin. I own a automobile repair shop so I have a large supply of old wheel weights. Right now 70-80% of clip-on wheel weights are discarded due to being Zinc, pot metal or Iron, so a small percentage is a lead alloy. 90% of the stick on weights are 98-100% lead and that is what I have been using for casting pellets and Black Powder balls. I do add 1% Tin by weight that I get from melting down Thrift Shop Pewter to aid in fill out. If you order 1% Tin and 99% Lead from Rotometals that what you will receive, guaranteed.
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Offline triggertreat

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #30 on: February 11, 2019, 09:46:26 PM »
Thanks Bob, I just placed an order for 40:1 from Rotometals after reading through Don's lead hardness test thread (thanks Don).  I am wanting the least fuss for the most consistent boolits.  With quality lead and a PID controlled pot,  I should be well on my way.  I didn't buy the Slayer to run trash lead through it.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline Wayne52

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2019, 02:55:38 AM »
Personally I use only pure lead but I'm using it only for .25 and .22 caliber pellets and slugs.
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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2019, 03:04:29 AM »
Personally I use only pure lead but I'm using it only for .25 and .22 caliber pellets and slugs.



As far as lead fouling, I'll be using lube, so I should be OK there I'm thinking.  As far as hardness on game, I'm thinking a little better skull penetration.  I can always change the ratio by adding in pure lead if 40:1 is to hard.  I don't plan on quenching them either.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline KnifeMaker

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #33 on: February 12, 2019, 11:57:39 AM »
You wont' find 40-1 to hard. It will only help the lead not to explode on impact. Especially in HP bullets. It is still very soft. ;)


If you can find roof flashing and exhaust stack lead at the yard, it is pure. And easy to tell, as it is very bendable with not effort. Just a simple fingernail test is all you need once you have done it enough to know what to look for and how it feels when pure. The Rotometals will give you a base to know what to look for. it is all I used at first. But I shoot so much, it became almost too expensive. I go thru 200 to 400 cast bullets a day, weather permitting. It just comes with experience.  ;) ;)


Yep, wheel weights are a real gamble. Not only do they have far too much antimony in them, many have zinc. Zink can ruin your entire melt. GRRRRR!!!  Stick on however, is good stuff! 8)  But they are now starting to show up with other things in them, and man, it can be a pita!!!


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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #34 on: February 12, 2019, 01:06:45 PM »
I want to add that in my research, I got the impression that one needs at least 1-2% tin for better fill out.  I didn't go 99.9% lead because of that.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline Wayne52

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #35 on: February 12, 2019, 02:03:40 PM »
I'm very fortunate not to have arthritis like many folks my age do, pouring with a ladle would probably be a problem if I did. 
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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2019, 04:17:01 PM »

The last thing I have to decide on is which mold to start out with for use in the .357 Slayer.  I have the lead and everything else on the way except the mold(s).  I'll be going with the NOE sizing equipment.

I like the price of the Lee molds, but don't see any that really grab me.  The NOE molds are plentiful, but hard to decide on which one for deer and hogs.  Any input will be appreciated.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline K.O.

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2019, 04:44:57 PM »
well twist rate and fpe is going to tell you what rounds are right... that and seeing what has worked for other Slayer owners...
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Offline triggertreat

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #38 on: February 12, 2019, 04:52:22 PM »
well twist rate and fpe is going to tell you what rounds are right... that and seeing what has worked for other Slayer owners...



1:26 in twist, 275 FPE average with 142gr.  I have tried a few from Carl, but am wanting to get more input from Slayer owners.
  • TN
Great are you Lord.  It's your breath in our lungs, so I'll follow and praise you only.

22 Marauder Unregulated. Tuned using JSB 18.13gr:
30 Shots @ 31.02 FPE Avg., 1.36% ES, 1.58 FPE/CI
JSAR MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.  MMHF barrel
UTG compact SWAT 4-16x44 IR SFP
25 Marauder Regulated. Tuned using JSB MKIIs:
24 Shots @ 55.94 FPE Avg., 1.96% ES, 1.49 FPE/CI
JSAR SS Valve, MDS Hammer, TSS and LW Air Tube mods.
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x50 IR FFP
357 Slayer Unregulated. Tuned using NSA 142gr:
4 shots @ 275.60 FPE Avg., 2.33% ES, 1.23 FPE/CI
Falcon Menace 5.5-25x56 FFP
DonnyFL Emperor LDC

Air Venturi 4500 psi compressor
Stickman fill assembly
60 min & 30 min 4500 psi CF tanks

Click here to download a Free Spreadsheet App (New Rev 05 ver. 11-16-18)

Offline Back_Roads

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Re: Casting 101?
« Reply #39 on: February 14, 2019, 10:28:55 AM »
 Are you getting good accuracy with the bullets listed ? If so stick with something similar, unless you hear reports of super bullets that is  ;D
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