RCBS "clog-a-matic"?

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  • Last Post 10 June 2011
largecaliberman posted this 23 May 2011

After almost 15 years of using the lee production lead smelter I finally broke down and decided to buy the RCBS Pro Melter. :)After I got it out of the box I decided to do some melting for afternoon.  I dumpped out some  range scrap lead (in ingot form) which in the past with the Lee melter casted beautifully--- after the lead alloy got melted and after fluxing the melt,  I  cranked it up to about 725° and about 15 minutes into the melting session the nozzle  was not putting out enough lead instead, the alloy came up dripping  decided to open up by  adjusting screw  little bit and the melt was still was coming out  dripping.  The next thing I did was to heat up a stainless steel welding rod about 1/8  inch in diameter,  heated up until it was red-hot with my propane torch and at the same time prodded  the nozzle so that whatever was clogging it would jar loose.     Then it was casting as usual again and about 10 min. into the session it started clogging again as previous.  Now on the Lee production mold I never had this problem before but on my new and out of the box  RCBS Pro melter this seems to be a problem it seems like every one or 200 bullets that I cast I have to clear up the nozzle spout.

My question is----is it my melter or is it the type all alloy that I am using?  Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.:dude:

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linoww posted this 23 May 2011

Mine is 25 years old and hasn't had a problem.is the pot new or used?If it is used the heating element could be messed up the bottom of the pot.My Lyman did this to me 10 years back and was sovled with a new element.

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CB posted this 24 May 2011

Try turning up the heat closer to 800 and see what happens. Sounds to me like you are having a heat swing issue where the temp varies a bit too much, gets too cool and solidifies. The stuff you get out of the nozzle, is it lead or dross? Do you keep the top of the pot (lead) covered with flux or kitty litter?

Are you adding ingots as you cast?? If so are you keeping an eye on the temp with a lead thermometer??

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RicinYakima posted this 24 May 2011

The numbers on the mechanical temperture control are not calibrated. What you would think is “700” degrees, could be anything from 550 to 650 degrees. Jeff is right, I think, on this problem; just turn up the heat unless you have an accurate thermometer. Ric

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beagle posted this 24 May 2011

When i've had this problem in the past I fire up the propane torch and heat the discharge spout and that has cleared it up.beagle

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largecaliberman posted this 24 May 2011

linoww wrote: Mine is 25 years old and hasn't had a problem.is the pot new or used?If it is used the heating element could be messed up the bottom of the pot.My Lyman did this to me 10 years back and was sovled with a new element.

Linoww:

Yes it is a brand-new pot as a matter of fact I purchased it online and I was indeed able to get a $50 rebate from RCBS.:dude:

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largecaliberman posted this 24 May 2011

Jeff Bowles wrote: Try turning up the heat closer to 800 and see what happens. Sounds to me like you are having a heat swing issue where the temp varies a bit too much, gets too cool and solidifies. The stuff you get out of the nozzle, is it lead or dross? Do you keep the top of the pot (lead) covered with flux or kitty litter?

Are you adding ingots as you cast?? If so are you keeping an eye on the temp with a lead thermometer?? I use a cast that the round 750°, the stuff that comes out of the nozzle is lead and I keep my melt covered with flux.  I have noticed that if I was to add one ingot there is a slight drop of around 10° using my gas activated thermometer.  Below is a picture of my set up:

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largecaliberman posted this 24 May 2011

beagle wrote: When i've had this problem in the past I fire up the propane torch and heat the discharge spout and that has cleared it up.beagle

Yes I also do the same heating up an old welding rod then stick it up the nozzle until the plunger raises up.  This seems to work perfectly but it's a little bit annoying due to the fact that I paid $350 less a course the $50 rebate from the company.:dude:

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Fred_Dwyer posted this 25 May 2011

Would zinc in the alloy cause this? The cooler spout causing the zinc to solidify prematurely?

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Duane Mellenbruch posted this 25 May 2011

I do not think that Zinc or copper in the melt will cause this unless the concentration is a little too much. Most likely it is the “cold” nozzle. I have had several Lee 10 pound pots that worked perfectly but keep in mind the nozzle is at the front, and closer to the heating element. The Lee 20 pounder has the nozzle closer to the middle of the bottom of the pot. This is about the coolest part of the pot and I have to run the temp higher. Perhaps this is the same with your pot. If the nozzle is located in the middle of the crucible, it is furthest from the heating elememt. Adjust the setting until you get a good flow, then adjust your tempo to avoid overheating your mold if you have that issue. Good luck. Duane

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largecaliberman posted this 25 May 2011

Fred_Dwyer wrote: Would zinc in the alloy cause this? The cooler spout causing the zinc to solidify prematurely? Fred:

God forbid its the dreaded zinc.  :(

:dude:

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largecaliberman posted this 25 May 2011

Jeff Bowles wrote: Try turning up the heat closer to 800 and see what happens. Sounds to me like you are having a heat swing issue where the temp varies a bit too much, gets too cool and solidifies. The stuff you get out of the nozzle, is it lead or dross? Do you keep the top of the pot (lead) covered with flux or kitty litter?

Are you adding ingots as you cast?? If so are you keeping an eye on the temp with a lead thermometer??

Jeff:

I have also made a cover for the melt.  What I found is the melter will operate more effeciently.  The “on” and “off” cycle seems to be longer between off/on and the clogging is now down to a minimum.  The cover also acts as an extra space to pre-heat the ingots.  THANKS FOR THE IDEA.

 

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klw posted this 28 May 2011

I've been using these from before the time that RCBS was selling them. They were originally designed and sold by a company called Ohio Thermal. I've owned four. All have worked perfectly. Whenever mine don't flow well, which isn't very often, I've got a paperclip the I've straightened out to an L-shape. I just poke that up the drain and all is well.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 10 June 2011

I used a Lyman Mag 20 for 10+ years and ALWAYS had minimal flow. THEN I started fluxing with borax (20 Mule team) and found that the ajustable gizmo worked and that I could get full flow. Learned then that the height, rate of flow and temperature were all controlable. Try it - it's cheap.

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