My 'NEW' Indoor Casting & Cigar Smoking Station

Patriot

NES Member
Rating - 100%
141   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
4,784
Likes
205
Location
Norfolk County, Massachusetts
I've been putting together a casting station to do my casting indoors and
completed it today. I tested it with a great big Montecristo Churchill to
check it out for venting performance. It works fabulous!

I've got about $30 dollars into it. $20 for the various pieces of venting duct
purchased at the Depot and another $10 for a connector for the fan I used.
All other pieces I scrounged from various places.

The shroud is a Compaq computer case that was discarded at my dump and I
had all the various hardware to put it together. I used to work at a Computer
Typesetting company and a friend had some industrial fans that he had left
over that push around 130 CFM so I got one of those. A drill and my metal
cutting blade on my portable sabre saw did the cutting. Works great (at least
with the cigar). [smile]

(The ashes to the left of the Lyman Mag20 are from my cigar...)

Venting Shroud
 
Last edited:

Patriot

NES Member
Rating - 100%
141   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
4,784
Likes
205
Location
Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Nice, I may steal some of your ideas. My concern with any venting setup is the loss of heat , it looks like this is much more efficient than a fan and open window...thanks for posting.

Yeah, I was concerned with that also. The outdoor vent is a standard dryer vent with a
flap which helps. I am going to build a metal box (from scrap) and put some insulation in
it along with some stick on magnet material so that I can cover the fan when not in use.
The steel shroud will work fine with the magnets. The short vent pipe run also helps. I have
about 3-4 ft of vent pipe from the back of the shroud all the way to the outside. For the
time being I will cover the fan with a fabric bag with a tie.

On the back of the shroud I have a 5" to 4" reducer which completely encloses the fan
area as my fan is slightly larger than four inches. I sealed the edges where the reducer
mates to the back of the shroud with some caulking for a nice tight seal. The opening
where the fan is mounted clears the entire fan blade so not to have any back pressure.

I used metal tape and clamps on each of the mating connections to make sure there are
no leaks as well.

ETA: The shroud is around 8" at the top and I spread it out to around 16" at the bottom.
I left it about 2" above the casting pot so I can still get my molds on the heating plate.
 
Last edited:

Fixxah

NES Member
Rating - 100%
41   0   0
Joined
May 1, 2008
Messages
30,707
Likes
10,613
Location
Outskirts of Tiot.
Nice setup Richard. My only suggestion would be to tape EVERY joint because with fan location the vent is under pressure and will push fumes through the cracks for you to enjoy breathing. As for the cigar, try to keep leaded fingers from contact.
 
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Joined
Jul 16, 2008
Messages
1,802
Likes
91
Location
Middlesex County, MA
Do you have both the dryer and the "fume hood" going into the same pipes? Is there any concern about lead being pulled into the dryer?

Other than that, sweet setup, and for a great price, too
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Jan 18, 2008
Messages
262
Likes
10
Location
Bridgeton, RI
I went a similar route, I used a dryer kit to go through the sill and ran 4" smoke pipe to a 12 x 18 HVAC return register. It is forced out with a 'fan in a can' wired to a switch on the wall that also energizes the outlet my furnace is pluged into. That way I can't run the furnace without the fan on. I also notice very little heat loss.
 

Patriot

NES Member
Rating - 100%
141   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
4,784
Likes
205
Location
Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Nice setup Richard. My only suggestion would be to tape EVERY joint because with fan location the vent is under pressure and will push fumes through the cracks for you to enjoy breathing. As for the cigar, try to keep leaded fingers from contact.

Every joint from the outlet side of the fan is taped and clamped and I sealed the mating area
around the 5" to 4" reducer with silicon caulking as well..
 
Last edited:
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
422
Likes
11
Location
Shooting at the big range in the sky
Gads I'm dead! I have been casting for 55+ years, tons of wheel weights, roof sheathing etc. set off the smoke alarms just today. My wife is ready to leave, but I plod on with no vent. Patriot and Fixxah actually spent a few hours polluting their lungs over my furnace. I guess that my future is grim but I will stumble on doing my thing the old fashion way.
How did we survive before all the precaut
ions came along telling us we would die. I used to play with mercury, chewed lead bullets, shot bullseye competition at clubs with no ventillation, I should not have lived into the 70's.
Woe is me!
 

Patriot

NES Member
Rating - 100%
141   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
4,784
Likes
205
Location
Norfolk County, Massachusetts
Gads I'm dead! I have been casting for 55+ years, tons of wheel weights, roof sheathing etc. set off the smoke alarms just today. My wife is ready to leave, but I plod on with no vent. Patriot and Fixxah actually spent a few hours polluting their lungs over my furnace. I guess that my future is grim but I will stumble on doing my thing the old fashion way.
How did we survive before all the precaut
ions came along telling us we would die. I used to play with mercury, chewed lead bullets, shot bullseye competition at clubs with no ventillation, I should not have lived into the 70's.
Woe is me!

LOL! I hear you. I didn't build it for me, but for the other family members. I've clamped
enough lead fishing weights in my teeth (as a child) to set the EPA on their arse, not to
mention the other (now classified as toxic) industrial chemicals I used for various purposes
during the course of my life.
 
Last edited:
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
1,918
Likes
161
Location
Saugus, MA
Gads I'm dead! I have been casting for 55+ years, tons of wheel weights, roof sheathing etc. set off the smoke alarms just today. My wife is ready to leave, but I plod on with no vent. Patriot and Fixxah actually spent a few hours polluting their lungs over my furnace. I guess that my future is grim but I will stumble on doing my thing the old fashion way.
How did we survive before all the precaut
ions came along telling us we would die. I used to play with mercury, chewed lead bullets, shot bullseye competition at clubs with no ventillation, I should not have lived into the 70's.
Woe is me!
easy answer.

to make lead airborne, you have to get it hot enough to vaporize it. (to legitmately turn lead into an inhalable vapor, its gotta be up near 1700 degrees)

even @ full tilt, ive never been able to get my Lee pot to maintain much about 825 (it'll peak around 850 when the leads getting low, but thats about it)

personally, i wouldnt bother with a vented hood of any sort...although it WOULD be convenient for the cigar [smile]
 

Patriot

NES Member
Rating - 100%
141   0   0
Joined
Apr 1, 2005
Messages
4,784
Likes
205
Location
Norfolk County, Massachusetts
I think the lead is not as much of an issue as some of the other stuff in the alloy. I spent the cash for the vent setup so I may as well use it.

John,

I fired up my pot without the vent and I got no end of grief about the 'stink' so if it does
nothing more than keep the complaints down, I will consider it a huge success. [smile]
 
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
1,918
Likes
161
Location
Saugus, MA
John,

I fired up my pot without the vent and I got no end of grief about the 'stink' so if it does
nothing more than keep the complaints down, I will consider it a huge success. [smile]

hehe...i keep my loading room pretty well sealed up. i share space with the boiler, and an air handler (i cut my own feed in, but no return plenum, so the "stink" doesnt make it back into the rest of the house).

works out well. the air handler and the fact that im 80% underground keep me fairly cool in the summer, and the boiler running keeps me warm all winter...which oughta work out well, since ive got a WHOLE lot of work to do down there (just ordered my Giraud trimmer...should be here 2nd or 3rd week in january), and im about halfway through sizing/decapping ~ 4k pieces of LC brass (about 3200ish are 1x fired, and need to be de-crimped too. oh boy)

smoking is absolutely verboten in the house though :(
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
897
Likes
43
Location
Where there once was a man in the mountain
I don't cast (yet), but it seems obvious to me that if you can smell it, you're breathing something in. If it smells like lead, then it must be lead fumes.

I'd take it's safe and use the vent you made. If others in the house are smelling it, it's probably not good.
 
Last edited:
Rating - 100%
29   0   0
Joined
Oct 8, 2006
Messages
1,918
Likes
161
Location
Saugus, MA
...what does lead smell like?


what i typically end up smelling is lube. (toss in a few rejected/sized/lubed boolits, and the lube in the grooves melts off)

lube = caranuba wax / parrafin wax / and similiar. nothing toxic.

as i posted above, an electric casting furnace is INCAPABLE of getting lead hot enough to vaporize it into breathable material.

fluxes can smoke (if you're using candlewax / sawdust / etc). thats about it. dont post misinformation if you arent familiar with the process.
 
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Dec 10, 2006
Messages
422
Likes
11
Location
Shooting at the big range in the sky
Your greatest lead hazard is in firing the round. All primers but the new NT head stamp ones use either lead azide or lead styphanate, that vaporizes on firing. Our club had an extensive test done on the entire club house. The only area of lead concentration was 10-12 feet in front of the firing line. The only way you ingest lead when casting is through eating, drinking, or smoking withought washing your hands first.
I agree that the smell of melting used wheel weights can be bad but that is from the highway crap they collected and the occasional rubber valve that sneaks into the melt. Arsenic is a very minor incidental found on occasion.
 
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Messages
897
Likes
43
Location
Where there once was a man in the mountain
It's my opinion that doing this indoors without good ventilation is not a good idea.

As I stated earlier

but it seems obvious to me

If you want to tell people that it's safe to do this indoors without good ventilation, feel free. But there is no need to tell me that I'm posting misinformation because I stated my opinion on the matter. [rolleyes]

I didn't state that my opinion is fact, nor the only way to do this.

You stated that lead needs to be at 1700 degrees to release fumes.

This document states that lead releases fumes at 900F:
http://www.oem.msu.edu/userfiles/file/ABLES/LEAD HAZARDS FROM CASTING BULLETS-c07-10-09.pdf


If a lead melting pot can't reach 900F, then one could assume that you may be safe, but what if you have no ventilation and the thermostat control fails and it starts to overheat? How many have a thermometer that is accurate to 900F so they can check to see how close they are to 900F? Even if don't reach 900F, there still could be lead dusts involved that strong ventilation can help to minimize.

Lyman also offers several warnings when casting lead:
http://www.lymanproducts.com/lyman/bullet-casting/pdf/LyC_BC_BMG.pdf

WARNING: Melting lead and casting lead objects will expose you and others in the area to lead, which is known to cause birth defects, other reproductive harm and cancer.
REDUCING EXPOSURE: Lead contamination in the air, in dust, and on your skin is invisible. Keep children and pregnant women away during use and until cleanup is complete.
Risk can be reduced - but not eliminated - with strong ventilation;

Disclaimer, I'm no expert, just stating my opinion. [wink]

IMHO it's up to each individual person to decide how cautious they want to be when making choices that could affect the health of their family and themselves.

If you want to tell people that there is no need for ventilation when casting lead indoors, you are welcome to do that. You won't find me telling you not to post misinformation. [smile] But it appears that there are other sources besides me that don't think it's a good idea.

Cheers! [cheers]
 
Top Bottom