2014 – a flipping year


Our lead needed to be melted. Initally we tought of making a big fire under a kettle. There is still no snow in Estonia, still no minus degrees, still no water freezing, still not so cold in the apartments, so we would have had plenty of firewood to use. Doug Jackson of svseeker.com smelted his lead with a wood furnace, all 4 tons of it, or more. But that would have meant moving the lead from the garage to the source of timbre and then back again. Plus, it was not very certain how we would put the kettle into the fire, how to keep heat losses minimal and how to pour the lead. We sought a simpler solution. YouTube came to aid us in our confusion and an idea was formed in the mist: use a powerful electric stove. So one good day Uku brought the steel pot and Joosep brought the stove. Two material sacrifices from our everyday lives. One of the heating elements of the stove was fried (dead, no conduction), the other, a 1,5 kW one, worked. We calculated that it would take at least 15 hours to melt the lead. A doomsday figure, but we had to try. Luckily, our shop has good ventilation, so we turned the stove on, put the pot on it, some lead into the pot, a heavy steel lid on the pot and started waiting. Soon, maybe 30 minutes later, the lid was steaming. All the epoxy and whatnot-gunk was burning off the lead. And behold – a little bit of it was even melting (melting point of lead is around 350 deg C).

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