What bottom pour casting furnaces are fellow bullet casters using?? I would love a RCBS pro melt…but 1k …sounds a lot, but worth it, I bet.
I have a 5 pound Lee bottom pure, it’s the only one I’ve used so can’t compare it, but I’m happy with it
+1 on @bentaz, but Lee drips and you need to keep an eye on the temperature and tension the valve screw.
Given how much I cast, I’m very happy with mine, if it was a much more common thing for me, I’d look for something that drips less (unless they all do, but I don’t know because Lee furnace does it for my use case).
I’m considering putting a PID controller on my Lee Pro 4 20 lb. But I’m a cast addict, so something with a temp control might be on the cards…
Going to make one?
Not sure yet…there are heaps of plans, electrical diagrams, and component lists of parts required. I just need to sift through all the info on the castboolits site. It would be more cost effective, the new RCBS, and Lyman units, are around the 1k mark…but the US 115v models are cheaper…
I’d be keen to see diy pid controller write up here… My next geekout project will be replicating @sungazer and his annealing machine though. Was thinking of pid, but I’d get a lot more out of the annealing rig
As the frequency should not be a factor one of these or similar https://www.jaycar.com.au/0-260vac-variable-laboratory-autotransfomer-variac-500va/p/MP3080 may do the trick. I don’t know if the extra cost would be economical (ie how much cheaper the US version is).
I use the Lee Pro 4 20 lb one.
I don’t have any problems with keeping the temperature at the correct mark as I bought a Lyman digital thermometer and that makes life easy.
Which Lyman digital thermometer is that?
“This is a video, sorry not sure how to link it…”
There you go mate…
For future reference, just cut and paste the stuff you see in the search bar (https:// blah,blah,blah…).
This is the one…
Complete link here, starting at Pt 1
Whole thing 64 minutes+
I have the 20lb Lee coupled with a PID that a mate in Tassie built. The PID makes a huge difference to consistency, it will hold +/- 2 *C. That equates to a +/- 0.3 grains or less in 410 grain, .40 calibre bullets, even better for smaller bullets. The Lee requires a bit of tuning to get consistency and I never use it for “raw” casting. By that I mean that I make my alloy ingots up using a gas burner and large pot to melt down any salvaged lead/ range lead that I use. I only use that for my lever-guns, my black-powder rifles are spoiled and get pure foundry lead and tin.
I also have a Lyman Big Dipper that I use the PID in, that, when ladle pouring, gives that consistency, or better, in up to 550 grain .45 calibre bullets. I can’t get bullets that size to the consistency I want out of a bottom pour.
Having said that, I have since changed to a Lyman Easy-melt with built in PID. Once calibrated, ( it was 40 degrees cooler than the DRO displayed ), it gives me very consistent bullets for my large calibre, black powder rifles. ( Ladle poured of coarse )
When preparing to travel to Bisley last year for the World Championships, I cast 200, 530 grain, .45 calibre bullets for my Gibbs long range muzzle-loader. From # 1 to #200, the weight range was only 0.5 grains with over 130 at the exact weight. ( 530 grain “Creedmoor” from a custom Buffalo Arms mold )
Can you leave it in the lead, for the entire casting session? Or do you dip it, in and out?
I have done both.
I used to leave it in all the time until I found the sweet spot on the Lee dial, now I just put it in and check the temp every now and then.
That will keep you busy for awhile.
There’s a hole in my bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa!