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Tim Kelly

Lee production pot?

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I have a Lee production pot which I use for my jig making. It drips pretty much constantly. Does anyone know a way of cleaning it so that it doesn't drip anymore?

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It will always drip most of the time. However you can clean the pot and maybe make the situation better. The reason I say better, is because every Lee IV pot I had, each of them leaked at some time or other. What I do is start the pot up, so the lead is fluid. Empty all the lead, and unplug the pot. Un-assemble the plunger, and let it cool then take some steel wool, and clean off the entire plunger. While the pot is still warm to hot, put on a pair of leather gloves, and steel wool all the sides of the pot on the inside. When it comes to the spout, steel wool that carefully, so you don't damage it as it is brass. Once done, empty all steel wool traces, and it should be better, as the plunger will seat better in the hole.

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Thanks. I suspected that would be the answer. Any tips for keeping it cleaner in the future? It worked well for the first few months, but I suppose the impurities in the lead accumulate over time. I use 100 year old lead water pipe most of the time and that can have quite a lot of limescale and paint on it, which I skim off regularly.

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I rarely clean my pot. When I pour which is at least 2 to 3 times a week, I just scrape down the sides on the inside all the way to the bottom with a spoon. Then I mix the bottom of the pot with a spoon, and many times all the crud will float up to the top. Then I just spoon it off. I will regularly put wax in the pot and light the flame. This cleans all the lead crust on top. Once the flame is gone, I spoon out all the garbage on top and my lead is clean on top.

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Yeah, I have a similar regime. I expect there's just a bit of rubbish caught on the orifice where the rod seats, so I think draining and scrubbing must be in my future. I'm a bit tempted to remove the rod and plug the bottom and just use the pot to melt and a ladle to pour.

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Cadman has the best advice on this topic.  All of my Lee pots have clogged and recently I have just given up and started using a ladle. 

 

Allen 

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Tim, I have nowhere close to the experience or expertise of cadman, but when my pot starts to drip I pick up the large bladed screwdriver shown on the left in the photo and turn the plunger rod a few degrees left and right a few times to "resettle" it.

 

I have to mention though, that I've been using bismuth/tin alloy from Rotometals since Massachusetts has prohibited the use of lead. 

 

I don't know if you care to go to the expense of buying pure lead, but that would certainly help - along with adjusting the rod occasionally.

 

Melters%20and%20Molds_zpssjtaley4.jpg

 

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Oh nevermind...I thought this was a pot commercial    :embarassed2:

 

 

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Twisting the rod sounds like a good idea. I have a piece of wire I poke up the spout when it clogs, but twisting the rod might well unseat the bit of rubbish that's causing the drip. Thank you.

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Using good lead will keep it from happening a little longer and it will also make it easier to clean. Last month marked a year that I've had my RCBS pro melt, it is expensive but so far not a single drip and I use it pretty hard. I have 2 Lee bottom pour pots that I now use as back ups and even when new I'd get maybe 6 to 8 months out of them before they would eventually drip but that is with good lead that I buy from Rotometals, I had to send a pot back when I used wheel weights and most were newer so I ended up with 10lbs of unusable lead and my pot needed a new line due to zinc contamination. Clean your pot as described by Cadman and reseat the plunger and it will slow the drip but it will still drip a little.

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Just tried twisting the stopper rod and it worked, at least temporarily. Great suggestion, thank you. Don't know why it hadn't occurred to me to do it before! I think a deep clean is on the cards though as I need to poke a wire up the spout or twist the rod pretty regularly. 

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11 hours ago, Will Wetline said:

Tim, I have nowhere close to the experience or expertise of cadman, but when my pot starts to drip I pick up the large bladed screwdriver shown on the left in the photo and turn the plunger rod a few degrees left and right a few times to "resettle" it.

 

I have to mention though, that I've been using bismuth/tin alloy from Rotometals since Massachusetts has prohibited the use of lead. 

 

I don't know if you care to go to the expense of buying pure lead, but that would certainly help - along with adjusting the rod occasionally.

 

Melters%20and%20Molds_zpssjtaley4.jpg

 

Now here is someone that reads and listens.  Frankford Arsenal's "Dropout" is the best product for easier pours.

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Another thing I do when I empty/clean out my pot is take a drill bit the same size as the spout hole and ream out the spout,making sure you go at the same angle as spout.Very rarely the pot will drip afterwards if it does I just twist the rod back and forth a couple of times.

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