Do any of you folks use a hot plate for melting their lead. I have been using the electric kitchen stove and I figured a hot plate would be a similar heat source. I have a great heavy fabricated stainless lead pot and ladle and I have been getting fine outcomes , but I would like to move the operation out of the kitchen. I have considered buying a LEE electric lead pons , but I can"t begin to afford it any time soon. Thanks in advance for any advice.Mike
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Join Date Mar 2005Location St Lawrence Valley, NYPosts 12,925
I use a Walmart $8.00 hotplate. Mine is 900 watts IIRC. Another guy here bought one at Walmart and it turned out to only be only 6-700 watts and wouldn"t work for him. If you can find one that"s at least 850-900 watts it should work. I"ve used mine with a 10 lb Lyman cast pot and my favorite- a 12 cup stainless steel measuring cup that holds 25+ pounds. It will hold within 10-15 degrees with 3/4 full pot. Being a confirmed ladle man I see no reason to change.

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I bought a cheap hot plate from big lots for $10.00. I then bought a small pot from a thrift store for $2.00. I can get the temp up to 725 degrees, and about 25 lbs of lead in the pot.
This is all I have ever used to smelt my lead. I did bypass the temp control though. It has worked very good for me. I have melted a whole lot of lead in this pot. Burner and pot was purchased from Walmart.
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+1 to all of the above. Hot plates work very well. My only comment would be that if you"re using the hot plate for ladle casting, get two. Use the second plate for preheating your moulds and ingots. Preheating the moulds gets you up to speed much faster than without. Preheated ingots drives the moisture out, and gets the melt back up to temp faster.
Get one with open coils. I have two hotplates; the 700W open-coil will get hot enough to smelt "heavy black sand" and dross back into lead metal (add a little motor oil, and cook it with the lid on for about 45 minutes.) The 1000W hotplate with the cast iron element barely gets hot enough to melt lead at all.In case you"re wondering, I get a lot of range scrap and it"s badly oxidized. When I melt it down, I save the ash and dross, then when I get enuf I smelt it to keep the lead out of the landfill. Six to 8 pounds of slag yields about 3 pounds of good lead.
Ah! Good point Bob. My HP is the open coil type. I have a closed coil fancy job that doesn"t get hot enough to do much.
i have a hot plate 750 w it"s just to melt the scrape command ,i must heat the top with a propane torch ,i use it only to make lingots ,to cast i use a rcbs pro melt regards
Huh, never dreamed a hot plate would work! I have a 2-burner stashed in my garage that I"ve held onto for who-knows-how-many-years. Never could come up with a use for it, but couldn"t bear to throw it out. Now I may have a use for it!Wish I still had the dumpster-found cast iron dutch oven that I"d dragged around for 20 years, then finally tossed out in a fit of garage cleaning. Sure would make a good melting pot now.
forgive my ignorance of hot plates, when you say open coiled, I am picturing the same thing as an electric stove. Is this correct? I am just starting getting my things together to cast and want to keep my ww and scraps out of my smelter, but on a budget. Very interested in using a hot plate to cast ignots, just not very familiar with them.
forgive my ignorance of hot plates, when you say open coiled, I am picturing the same thing as an electric stove. Is this correct?
Yep. Walgreens has them for under $10.00. There"s a ton of discussion in forums on this topic. Just do a search for "Hot plates".
Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful. - Albert SchweitzerYeah, I love cast iron cookware.Life is too short. Live yours to the fullest.
thank you very much. I am coming up on my weekend in 24 hours and want to be jet set for getting my WWs in order for casting next week.
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Headed to the welding shop down the street for gloves and an apron, wife donated a cast iron skillet for me and then over to wally world for a hot plate and some perifen wax, a skimming spoon and a pouring spotop top . I have not been this excited about my reloading process in ages.

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