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Almost a Pouring Disaster
04-27-2014, 02:38 AM,
#31
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
I know this is an older thread but yesterday I took a cold ladle and dipped it into a hot pot full of lead and this very thing happened to me, the lead blew up and probably blew 3 oz. of lead all over the bench and me, there was no moisture involved, I was using a little palmer hot pot which gets the lead alot hotter than a lee, far as I can tell.
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04-27-2014, 04:11 AM,
#32
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
First time I saw this thread.

You were very lucky. I have 30+ years in Foundry management Aluminum through steel and water still scares the *(*& out of me. There are a lot of other things that with other metals can cause a magnified version of what you experienced. Aluminum is not too reactive, Zinc OTOH is like a rocket Ferrous metals Iron Steel etc create so much pressure it is more like a bomb going off. My first experience was an overheated furnace due to a defective cooling line. The cooling line filled the pit below the furnace with 4-6 inches of water. The furnace then failed and burned thru its lining dumping ~180 tons of 3400 degree iron on top of the water The result was an explosion heard for several blocks. The metal poked holes thru the roof 60 feet above. ignited several small fires throughout the department 300 - 500 feet away poked holes in a concrete block wall surrounding the pit and in general looked like a bomb had gone off.

Yes we were prepared and everyone knew what to do so no injuries just a very expensive machine failure, (I was a rookie and did what my boss said to do.) For me, it was a valuable lesson. You can watch videos, read books etc, but cannot appreciate the violent nature of molten metal and its reaction with trapped water. Yes, I know lead melting does not have the heat, but trapped water turns to steam at 212 degrees, at 500 degrees the resulting steam pressure is 700 psi and at 550 degrees is 1000 psi pressure so the reaction becomes quite impressive and the hotter it is, the more extreme the reaction.

I always wear safety goggles and a hat and boots with my pant legs over the boot tops. Most of the year, I wear a welders jacket mostly because my basement is cold not damp because a dehumidifier runs year round. I only charge my pot with ingots that I have cast and properly stored I also have a hanging shield between myself and the pot (spark curtain from top of dust collector to basically the top of the pot) I can access the pot and if something ever happens it will be contained by the spark curtain. For me it was an easy way to improve vapor containment and provide a measure of protection in the event of a reaction in the pot.

Proper precautions can save lots of pain and make clean up much easier if something happens. Yes, wear your glasses/goggle, I suggest some head covering and arm covering. In warm weather I use a pair of cotton boot socks with the toe cut out for basic forearm protection.. stay away from any meltable fabric. Shoes are mandatory and I prefer slip on ankle boots that fit inside my pant legs. Shirt is untucked and over my belt. Think sage and you will stay safe and as Mr Murphy says. "If it can happen.... IT WILL!"
Wishing all, Tight Lines and Bent wriggling rods!
KDog!
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04-29-2014, 11:37 PM,
#33
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
Just getting into pouring and been collecting lead here and there, thanks for the lesson Jim and thankful you weren't hurt worse. Be safe.
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04-30-2014, 09:51 AM,
#34
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
I'm getting a bucket of lead today that'll be delivered in the back of a pickup. With 3-5" of rain today, I'll be putting the lead out on newpaper for a few days even before I think of melting it. May even do small batches & heat it up in a toaster over I use for baking powder paint.

Or may just wait until a few hot days in summer before even considering melting it down into muffin ingots.

As kdog said, water + molten metal = disaster
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04-30-2014, 04:47 PM,
#35
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
(04-30-2014, 09:51 AM)hookup Wrote: I'm getting a bucket of lead today that'll be delivered in the back of a pickup. With 3-5" of rain today, I'll be putting the lead out on newpaper for a few days even before I think of melting it. May even do small batches & heat it up in a toaster over I use for baking powder paint.

Or may just wait until a few hot days in summer before even considering melting it down into muffin ingots.

As kdog said, water + molten metal = disaster

I would melt it down outside and make my own ingots, If there is entrapped water, toaster oven may take 24 hours to get it out. It is a good idea to air dry it asap just for cleanliness.
Wishing all, Tight Lines and Bent wriggling rods!
KDog!
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04-30-2014, 05:39 PM,
#36
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
I melt everything outside, but thanx for the air dry asap tip.
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05-11-2016, 03:05 PM,
#37
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
Yikes Man! I'm new to this. Nice to see how dangerous it can get! LOL!
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05-11-2016, 06:40 PM,
#38
RE: Almost a Pouring Disaster
redear - glad you're okay, you've had enough excitement with the tornado tearing you up.

My cast iron pot for melting lead down has a lid on it, and even a little bit of moisture will rattle the whole pot. Be careful all!!
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