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Thread: good thing I had a face visor, heavy gloves and my old Carhartt jacket.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    Default good thing I had a face visor, heavy gloves and my old Carhartt jacket.

    I was melting some more wire shielding tonight but the smoke was worrying the wife, ( she is usually not around when I do this sort of thing.
    So I moved outside on the dog porch...
    When everything was nice and hot I had a lead explosion. Molten lead flying for 5 feet in all directions. I have NEVER had that happen before.
    Either something like a live round got into the chunks of lead tubing. OR... a piece of ice was blown off the over-hanging tree and landed in the pot.
    Either way, it is a very good thing I had a face visor, heavy gloves and my old Carhartt jacket.
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    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    Yup that would leave a mark someplace . . . not likely on the face because the moisture in the skin gives a steam buffer to it as long as it’s moving along the skin. But if it hits the eyes or if it went down the neck of clothing it will come to rest someplace and not be one bit of fun!! I have burn scars all over me from blacksmithing for years, I can shuck a shirt or pants prety dang fast for a fat guy! You know how most people see something falling and catch it? Well I don’t do that anymore, working around lots of hot stuff brakes you of things like that.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    That would have left a mark.Glad you are OK
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Is that what it means to save face?

    Bet u were a Boy Scout.

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    You had a visit from the tinsel fairy. She is a nasty one indeed. Normally that doesn't happen unless you are adding something to the melted lead that is wet. However if a chunk of ice fell into the pot, it could push itself under the surface and bingo, lead tinsel everywhere. Good thing you were protected. I have been visited twice. It is not fun .

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    ...a face visor, heavy gloves and my old Carhartt jacket.
    Not many guys use face visors, but your pic should sell a bunch of them. Much lead as I cast, I'm going to be first in line to buy.

    Thanks for the nudge.... And coming out unscathed from a bad situation.

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    Yeicks! Thank goodness you had your PPE’s on. That wouldhave sucked. I was melting down some range scrap this summer and in that pile,there were some live 22lr rounds. Well I missed one. That sucker popped about twofeet from my face. A couple pieces of lead shot out and luckily nothing hit me.Thankful the lead had not started melting yet. I was this close to have abigger mess in my shorts then on the floor. I don’t pickup 22’s anymore.

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    Good lesson for us all!

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    I have also had this happen.
    In my case it was an old halibut sinker made with a barrel swivel instead of an eyelet.
    One small drop of water must have been in that swivel.
    Now only clean fluxed ingots go into a hot pot.
    Everything else starts from a cold pot so the moisture cooks off before the lead gets molten.
    Thank god for PPE.
    Glad your ok.

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    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I just looked at the Carhartt jeans I was wearing last night.....

    The pot was at foot level and I was just walking back outside on the porch when it went off. I was about 5 feet away.
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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    I hate when that happens! Many years ago I started smelting lead on a little Colman duel fuel stove... one day I decided to use a larger than normal cast iron pot and loaded it up with about 30 or 40 pounds of wheel weight; fired off my little stove (filled with gasoline) and started heating it up. Unfortunately the larger pot ended up reflecting enough heat back down onto the stove to melt the plastic and o-ring on the pressure pump, thereby releasing a large pressurized cloud of gasoline vapor that instantly turned into a huge fireball. But it got worse... as the stove went supernova, its structural integrity was lost and the weight of the now molten lead was more than it could support, which caused the entire pot full of lead to tip over and dump onto the wooden bench that I was using as my casting bench... and then run off the side to land amongst the dry grass and leaves.... right next to the house.. Naturally I had not bothered to place a fire extinguisher close by, and in a panicked effort to prevent the house from catching fire, decided that the garden hose was the best option left... enter the tinsel fairy! Flaming gasoline, molten lead, burning wood, grass and leaves.. I saved the house, but it wasn’t pretty!

    Glad you didn’t get hurt!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I just looked at the Carhartt jeans I was wearing last night.....

    The pot was at foot level and I was just walking back outside on the porch when it went off. I was about 5 feet away.
    To quote "Stripes": Chicks in New York will pay top dollar for those...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I hate when that happens! Many years ago I started smelting lead on a little Colman duel fuel stove... one day I decided to use a larger than normal cast iron pot and loaded it up with about 30 or 40 pounds of wheel weight; fired off my little stove (filled with gasoline) and started heating it up. Unfortunately the larger pot ended up reflecting enough heat back down onto the stove to melt the plastic and o-ring on the pressure pump, thereby releasing a large pressurized cloud of gasoline vapor that instantly turned into a huge fireball. But it got worse... as the stove went supernova, its structural integrity was lost and the weight of the now molten lead was more than it could support, which caused the entire pot full of lead to tip over and dump onto the wooden bench that I was using as my casting bench... and then run off the side to land amongst the dry grass and leaves.... right next to the house.. Naturally I had not bothered to place a fire extinguisher close by, and in a panicked effort to prevent the house from catching fire, decided that the garden hose was the best option left... enter the tinsel fairy! Flaming gasoline, molten lead, burning wood, grass and leaves.. I saved the house, but it wasn’t pretty!

    Glad you didn’t get hurt!
    Oh my side hearts and eyes are leaking! Sounds like half of my stories.
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    Wow thanks for sharing a real life reminder!


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    Default thanks fp

    Quote Originally Posted by limon32 View Post
    Wow thanks for sharing a real life reminder!
    Yes, much thanks Float Pilot. Its easy to forget how easily a pot of lead can explode.

    You know how at times the chronologically-mature among us wax nostalgic about the good ole days with no laws - either man made or natural - really existed, and men were men and such...

    For fun we used to bust open used/dead/any-really light switches to get the ball o mercury out, to play with it. We'd collect it and play on hard surfaces and our hands, separating and recollecting it again. Yeah no one ever died of mercury, and leaded paint hadn't been worried about yet.

    We'd melt car weights - any garage would happily let you cart theirs away for free of course many times per months. We poured a number of different projectiles mostly for cannons but some for black powder rifles too. Largest cannonball we made was 3#. Mine was a more moderate 20 oz roundball (2" smooth bore). I remember once I even collected (poured, and hadn't yet shot) over 200 of those alone.

    Never did we once wear any protective clothing while melting/pouring lead. Its a wonder none of us ever got seriously hurt. As it is I do have one buddy that had a blow up once. He was a few feet away and luckily was looking the other direction. I wasn't there at the time but best I could draw out of the one(s) responsible is that somebody knocked over a cold beverage, some of which landed in the molten lead. Dumb how many ways, let me count...

    Anyway thanks for the reminder Float Pilot, and for the visual aid.+1. Its easy to forget what can happen, and with molten lead there is never ever any warning before bad things happen - by the time you realized there was a problem its already over and time to pay the piper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alangaq View Post
    I hate when that happens! Many years ago I started smelting lead on a little Colman duel fuel stove... one day I decided to use a larger than normal cast iron pot and loaded it up with about 30 or 40 pounds of wheel weight; fired off my little stove (filled with gasoline) and started heating it up. Unfortunately the larger pot ended up reflecting enough heat back down onto the stove to melt the plastic and o-ring on the pressure pump, thereby releasing a large pressurized cloud of gasoline vapor that instantly turned into a huge fireball. But it got worse... as the stove went supernova, its structural integrity was lost and the weight of the now molten lead was more than it could support, which caused the entire pot full of lead to tip over and dump onto the wooden bench that I was using as my casting bench... and then run off the side to land amongst the dry grass and leaves.... right next to the house.. Naturally I had not bothered to place a fire extinguisher close by, and in a panicked effort to prevent the house from catching fire, decided that the garden hose was the best option left... enter the tinsel fairy! Flaming gasoline, molten lead, burning wood, grass and leaves.. I saved the house, but it wasn’t pretty!

    Glad you didn’t get hurt!
    You've told that story before, and it's ALWAYS EXCITING. And,,, Instructional.

    As is, Float Pilot's experience.

    It's been bout 15 years since I've done any casting.

    From all the reports I've read on this very forum, I've become convinced that casting bullets is NOT something a Shakey Old Man, like me, should be doin.

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  17. #17

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    I have had two experiences with lead that are a little different than these but thought I would share them. I had a fish cooker melting lead in my driveway in a big cast iron pot. I spilled some lead in the driveway and not wanting to waste it I picked up a clump of gravels that was glued together with lead and placed them in the pot. I planed to let the lead melt then dip out the gravel. In a few minutes the lead melted as planned but my surprise was when the gravel floated on top of the lead. I had never thought of gravel floating and it sure looked funny but they floated very well.

    The other time I was pouring jigs with a electric lead pot. The wind started getting up like a storm was coming my way. My mold held 4 hooks at a time and I only liked 7 hooks pouring all I had planed to pour that day. I was under a shed and decided to finish them and go in the house. I stuck the mold under the pot and reached for the handle to pour the lead and a blue blaze rolled off the pot and knocked the daylights out of me. A few seconds later I heard thunder a couple miles or so from me that had run the line and bit me. The lead pot was a bottom pour and was sitting on a steel table and I think most of the charge went to ground through the table. I jerked the cord out of the plug and run in the house. I had not heard any thunder before this happened. After the storm passed I went back to the shed and found my mold laying in the front yard with other tools that was on the table scattered all over the place. I was not meaning to high jack your thread and was glad you did not get hurt.

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    Hit by lightning.... not a risk one normally associates with casting! Yikes!
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Member akgun&ammo's Avatar
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    My intro to lead explosions was a box of range collected projectiles given to me as scrap lead...

    seems the guy (good friend then- he's since passed on to the great bass lake in the sky) picked them up on a MILITARY range and there was tracers and afew incenderary rounds..

    ended up with scars on left hand, and burned through my sneaker on left foot....

    had bits of lead on ceiling, walls, reloading bench, and destroyed the shirt I was wearing..

    Now, I always look at each and every piece of lead that goes in the pot- hot or COLD

    Glad you didn't get hurt

    Chris

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