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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been spending free time on weekends casting a supply of bullets for winter. Today was nice and warm. Very little wind. Perfect for casting at the picnic table.
I got the pot up to temperature and was about to flux and skim. BZZZZZZZTT! Sounds like the element crapped.

Toast always lands buttered side down and the grease gun always runs dry when your under the car.:mad:

Oh well.

Cheezywan
 

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I have used two of these pots for many years - these days I use them to make ingots - without any serious difficulty.
I have heard the noise you describe. When hearing it I generally also had a developing problem of low pot temperature. Have you noticed having to set the rheostat up higher to achieve the same heat?
Periodically I find I have to pull the cover apart and pull the wires from the rheostat and push the wire on and off the bayonet fitting several times to clean corrosion from the connector. You cannot see it but it is causing high resistance.
You might try taking the top off and working the wire connector on and of the bayonet connector a few times to see if it puts life back in your pot.
Years ago, Veral Smith told me he wired the Lee pots direct for high heat. I was confused by this as when the Lee pot is clean it will heat the lead mix hot enough to dome the melt and cause pretty colors to float along the surface of the melt.
If you have a volt ohmmeter you might read the resistance across the plug in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Mine is about five years old William. It has cast alot of bullets and sinkers in that time. The last use was for pure lead for a muzzle-loader with the control at maximum.

Time before that was for zinc contaminated lead fishing sinkers.

I got the lid off to see the "how" of the wiring and check for suspect connections. I looks like new in there.

I have a DVM and know how to use it. Purdy sure from the sound, that the heater element "let go" though.

To answer your question "more" directly, No I did not notice that I needed to adjust the control to maintain temperature. It worked fine right up until failure. Is good that I was there to witness it first hand.

Cheezywan

Edit: Reflecting some, I remember hearing the thermostat turning off and on more frequiently than normal just prior to BZZZZZZTT!
 

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The Troll Whisperer (Moderator)
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Slim - Could we talk you into lowering the size of your fonts for the board? Thanks!
 

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Small screen, how does this look?
If you still have the lid off pull the wires and see how the rheostat reads out. To me the rheostat always seemed to be the weak link.
I’ll check the resistance through the power lead with the rheostat set on full heat to see what mine reads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Your post made me go get the DVM William.

A "quick check" shows near 1 ohm accross the heating coil. Good!

"Eyeball" of the contacts shows arcing. Intermittent readings there.

Good call on your part! I will check further as time permits. Time for main meal right now.

Thanks much.

Cheezywan
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Further inspection showed a burned trace from the point contact to the wire contact( It sure made a lot of noise for such a small strip).

I found a similar control from an old milk room heater that would have worked. It had other problems though.

There was a time when the local hardware store would likely have had a substitute.

I guess I may have to order one. Couple of places to check yet though.

Thank you very much for directing me right to the problem William.

Cheezywan
 

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Pleased to have helped a little.
I live in a small town but we have one good electrical supply house. You may have one. All of our good hardware stores went under when the Cashaway came in and then it failed. Lowes and the Orange box came in next but they don’t carry specialty stuff. If I am looking for well parts I rely on the internet and the brown truck.
 

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Yep, I'm not a big fan of Lee products in general. Their carbide dies are good (but Dillons are better). Other than that if it has the Lee label I'm not buying it.

When I first got in to casting I started with a Lee pot. I had spout troubles right out of the box, similar to what scores of other Lee users will describe -- leaky! So the Lee pot sits on the shelf and I replaced it with a used Saeco. The Saeco is OLD, very old, but works like a charm. I love it to pieces.

My advice is to look online for a used bottom pour pot from another company -- Lyman, RCBS, Magma, or Saeco come to mind. There may be others, too. Basically, anything but Lee.

So many Lee pots have heating elements that burn out, they sell replacements as a standard part. That's not a good track record, if you ask me. It seems like, from your posts above, that isn't the problem with this one, but it will be!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm perfectly satisfied with my Lee pot. This is the first time it has caused me grief at all!

I know what the problem is now(thanks to William), and can make it run again.

I would like to own a Lyman or RCBS furnace. Can't justify the price for what I do though!

I'm a cheapskate.

Cheezywan
 
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