There are a number of activities and hobbies that require individuals to learn the art of melting lead at home. Those who make their own ammunition or manufacture fishing weights are common examples of crafts that require one to work with lead. Fortunately, lead is a very soft metal with a low melting temperature. This makes it easy for just about anyone to melt lead, as long as you have some basic tools and equipment.
Place the raw material into a cup that will hold the metal as it is changed from a solid to a liquid. This cup is referred to as a crucible. Crucibles are made of special metal alloys that can be subjected to much higher temperatures than the lead that is melted inside them. Simply place a quantity of lead into the crucible, which is then placed in a furnace, and you will quickly have a cup of molten lead that can be poured into moulds.
Lead melts at 327 degrees Celsius, which is relatively low for metal. This low melting point means that it is very easy to melt lead with just about any heat source. The most common are with a direct flame or by melting in a furnace.
Melting with a direct flame typically involves a propane torch. The torch attachment screws onto the top of a hand-held propane bottle, which are commonly found in any store that sells camping supplies. The torch produces a high pressure flame with immense heat. Pointing the flame directly into the crucible will slowly melt all of the lead inside.
Using a furnace is an easier method, because the induction heat furnaces can be efficiently heated to thousands of degrees in heat. Simply place the crucible inside the furnace, and remove it a short time later to retrieve the molten lead. Some furnaces are equipped with a tilt and pour mechanism that holds the crucible in place and allows you to tilt the entire furnace for pouring the lead into moulds.
Molds are used to shape the lead as it cools from it’s molten state. These moulds are usually made of material that is not easily combustible, even under high temperatures. Clay is an excellent material to use when making moulds for your lead. Once the lead has been melted, pour it into the mould and allow it to cool. As it cools, it will harden and retain the shape of the mould.
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