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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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laser thermometer

I do not know about the using one on lead, but I use one in cooking (another hobby of mine) all the time. It works well for any liquid if you stir the liquid then take the surface temperature. Without stirring I suspect you will get a slightly lower temperature, but I can attest that they work as advertised. You would just have to make sure that the range of the device was high enough to cover melted lead. My cooking laser thermometer does not range that high.
Moosie
 

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These thermometers are infrared thermometers (the laser is just a pointer for aiming them) that are usually calibrated to a fairly high emissivity level. That means they are most accurate when the object you are measuring is flat black. More expensive ones (and maybe by now this feature is spreading to lower price units? I don't know?) have adjustable emissivity so you can set them from a table to be accurate reading off shiny metal, which usually emits infrared poorly. Anyway, be prepared to need to have a conventional thermometer in place to check your reading against. Once you know how accurately the thermometer reads the lead surface, you can use whatever number it gives and make the conversion.

A more useful application than pot melt temperature is mold block temperature. You just cast until your bullets start to come out well, then measure the block temperature with the thermometer just before a good pour to see what that best temperature is? Then you just use the thermometer to check that the blocks are either heated up to or cooled back down to that same temperature for the next good pour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The info for the Non-Contact Laser Thermometer.

  • Professional quality, German infrared technology at an excellent value
  • Temperature range: -4°F/-20°C to 968°F/520°C
  • Distance to spot accuracy: 8 to 1
  • Single circuit chip design prevents jamming
  • Celsius/Fahrenheit LCD display with backlighting
  • Accuracy: +3°F/+2°C or 2% of reading
  • Nonslip cushioned grip

I do not think I would ever need to go up to 968°F for casting lead.

Maybe it would read better taking a reading off the blackened outside of the pot.

Michael Grace
 

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What unclenick related is the core problem inheritant with infrared thermometers. Used to use them when doing HVAC work until I notice the wide variation in temperatures. Thats when I begin to compare there reading with direct contact thermometers. Bright shinny copper would give one reading while dull tarnished copper would register a different temperature. When your setting superheat and supercooling on 35 Ton A/C units a few degrees off means difference between an operating unit and one that's trashed.

The tip on taking readings from the mold blocks is valid as the shinny molten surface will give a false reading.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I picked it up today, will try it out in a week or 2, right in the middle of moving a bunch of stuff so no time right now.

I will post back how it works for me.


Michael Grace
 
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