Troubles with Ladles

  • Last Post 14 February 2010
Bongo Boy posted this 12 February 2010

I have what I think is a Rowell bottom-pouring ladle. Nothing special or unusual about it and it has a cast ladle cup.

So, after several thousand bullets I've finally figured out how sweet life is when you can get a nice thin stream of lead to drop right into that sprue hole. Casting is fast, the fills are complete, and I can minimize the amount of lead on top of the sprue. This helps me control mold temp a little bit, too, and reduces splash when the sprue drops in my pot. Life is good.

The problem is that the bottom of the ladle cup gets wetted with lead, and that tends to pull the lead back from the spout when I pour. This makes for more of a 'sheet' of lead in the pour stream--a thick stream that won't drop into the sprue hole, but rather tends to cover the entire sprue 'funnel' area. Even with a hot mold, this leads to poor cavity fills, and general mess on top of the sprue plate.

My solution is to wipe the bottom of the ladle cup with my leather glove prior to dipping in the pot. But this has to be done about every two pours, and is time consuming. I have to set the mold down first, lead gets all over everything, etc.

Do (or did) you have this problem and if so what's a good solution? I'm thinking of modifying the ladle with a short section of tube for a spout, but I'm not convinced that will solve the problem of the pour stream wanting to cling to the outside/bottom of the cup.

Maybe coating the bottom of the ladle with mold lube or Permatex Anti Seize? Duh!

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CB posted this 12 February 2010

Since i have a propane fired stove out in the garage, I flux with candle wax and when I do I light the molten wax on top of the lead and use the ensuing smoke to coat the ladle and I am good until the next fluxing.

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Fred Sinclair posted this 12 February 2010

Try coating the ladle with Midways Drop Out. Works for me.

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RicinYakima posted this 12 February 2010

Another trick is to to polish the outside surface of the spout and ladle with a dremel type tool. A smooth mirror finish stops most of the sticking, also works on the inside if it matters to you. Very little crud sticks to a shiney surface. Then I use Fred's trick of spraying with a graphite spray. HTH, Ric

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Bongo Boy posted this 12 February 2010

Okay, great ideas. I'm looking for that die grinder right now...

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mrbill2 posted this 13 February 2010

Frankford Arsenal mold release.


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Bongo Boy posted this 13 February 2010

I polished the exterior of the ladle cup last night and applied the only high-temp lube I have right now--the Permatex Anti-Seize. Worked beautifully. Can't wait to get some Frankford Arsenal mold release in the shop; I've heard nothing but great things about it. Thanks fellas. It was nice casting 300 bullets with almost no Failure to Fills.

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ubetcha posted this 13 February 2010

I'm sorry.I misunderstood the title to your post. I thought it said “trouble with ladies” I think most of us do or did have that problem at one time

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jppr26 posted this 13 February 2010

it almos sounds like some dross on the top to me when i dip the ladle after every time i give it a thump on the desk and get all the gunk out that builds up. I am working outside, and have a metal desk to work on

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CB posted this 14 February 2010

I use an old candle to smoke my ladle.


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hunterspistol posted this 14 February 2010

 Yes, you'll need to reskim the melt. When you get dross inside your ladle, it slows things down a lot.  Because you're dipping from the top, it's more sensitive to dross on the surface of the lead. 

    Which ladies?


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