Letter Re: Melting Lead for the Meltdown

I wasn’t going to say anything about some of the lead info on your site, but this last one warning of perspiration making lead explode was too much.
Yes, molten lead is very hot and it holds many many calories.  It will burn skin like crazy.  But for water to be a problem it has to go under the surface and do it quickly.  If it can make it under the surface before it turns to steam then when it does turn to steam it does so with some violence.  This can push lead out of the pot.  But the water has to go under the surface.  Dropping a drop of sweat onto the surface of the molten lead with make the sweat turn to steam right there on the surface.  No problem.  Six or seven hundred degree lead will vaporize water so fast that it isn’t all that easy to get it under the surface.  But when you do, well, the technical term for that is a “Visit from the Tinsel Fairy”.
One way that it is easy to get water under the surface fast enough to cause an explosion is to drop some lead that has ice on it into the molten lead.  That  would do it.
I have piled wheel weights that were covered with ice into an empty smelting pot and turned the heat on.  As the lead heats, and well before any melts all the ice turns to water and then steam and evaporates safely away.
If one wants to learn all about casting then go here:http://castboolits.gunloads.com/index.php  This site is clearing away the old wives tales that have been stuck to casting since forever.  Like fluxing with a piece of wax/bullet lube.  Wrong way to do it and now we know it. – Cat