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Old 08-06-2007, 03:30 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2001
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Question Lee vs Lyman Furnace

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I am planning the purchase of an electric melter or furnace for bullet casting. I am looking at the Lyman MagDipper and the Lee Magnum Melter. Both are advertised as having 20# capacity. The Lyman is 800amp vs 700 for the Lee; not sure how much difference that makes in the real world. The Lyman appears to be slightly larger in diameter, but not by a lot; again, I don't know how much difference that makes. The biggest difference I can see is price; Lyman=$199, Lee=$46. Can someone tell me why I should spend $150 more for the Lyman? Will I be just as happy with the Lee? What am I missing here?

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Old 08-06-2007, 03:43 PM
faucettb's Avatar
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I simply can't think of any reason. I've been pouring cast bullets out of Lee's pot for 20 years or so and have great results.

Bob from Idaho
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:52 PM
bsn bsn is offline
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Thats watts not amps, my Lee is about 20 years old and still going strong, I think I paid under $30.00 for it.
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Old 08-06-2007, 03:58 PM
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Location: Georgia
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My Lee pot is fairly new but I have no complaints so far. It holds 16-17 pounds of wheel weights. Maybe pure lead filled to the very brim would push it close to 20. Anyways, it holds plenty.
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:50 PM
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Best that I can offer. .
Before I started casting my own bullets, I consulted an old friend with experience. He started with a Lee bottom pour pot. He made sinkers and jigs for his own use as a fisherman. He got really good at it, and started to sell his products (the paint jobs where fantastic. He would put a pupil in the jig eye. It was art!). He did cast some wonderful cast projectiles for a black powder rifle for me with that furnace.

He tired of the Lee after some time. Bought a RCBS and loved it! I do not know what his issue with the Lee was?

I told him that I wanted to start casting “cheap”. He recommended the Lee to me over ladle casting with a pot. I took his advice and am doing good work with my own “home cast bullets”.

I have not worked with anything other than Lee personally. I “suspect” that Lyman and RCBS make some pretty serious gear!

You “mostly” get what you pay for?


Last edited by Cheezywan; 08-06-2007 at 05:53 PM.
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Old 08-07-2007, 11:58 AM
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Normandie
Posts: 8
I've been using a Lee Pot for the last 15 years and it's still going but not strong! I would buy a Lyman when I replace this old gal, like the stable base the Lyman has and the good build quality. The Lee works well, but the build quality is a little poor IMHO. The Lyman pot ain't cheap but they are a very well built piece of casting gear.....spoil yourself!
[font=Arial Narrow]"God is on the side, not of the big battallions but of the best shots"[/font]
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Old 08-07-2007, 12:51 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: South Central Arizona
Posts: 4,655
Bought my Lyman bottom pour Mag 20 for $132 used on eBay. The unit I got looked like it was used one time. This is a heavy duty serious furnace built mostly from steel. I have been casting with it for the last three years and expect it to last for a long time. The higher wattage melts the alloy quickly and the 20 lb. capacity keeps the bullets coming out of the moulds. Yes, the unit costs more than the Lee so I would expect it to outperform it. When, and if, it doesn't I will let you all know. 'Til then, I am one happy caster.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:08 PM
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Location: Rural south central Wis.
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I have Lee 10#, Lee 20# and RCBS 20# pots. The only issue I can see, other than maybe not controlling the temp of the melt to close tolerances is that the Lee has a tendency to drip. I usually clean the pour spout out each time the alloy comes up to melt temp and have few problems with drips. I use a small Allen wrench and a small pair of vise grip pliers. Emery
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