Ventilation

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Augois posted this 28 September 2007

How are y'all ventilating your casting areas? I cast in my basement, and do it in front of an open window with a fan drawing the fumes outside. Don't dare cast when there is a threat of rain.

Just wondering what other wonderful ideas y'all have come up with.

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lankenman posted this 30 September 2007

I do my casting in the attached garage.  I prefer to do this when it is raining as there are so many other things to do when weather is good.   My method consists of proping the garage door up about 6” (for cross ventilation), opening the garage window but shielding the area with cardboard, leaving only a square hole about 1 1/2 foot square open at the bottom corner of the window.   A 15” dia. household fan is placed in this opening to remove smoke, etc. from casting.  This exhaust fan is about 3 1/2 feet below the ceiling.  The casting pot is on a workbench below the window about 3 feet to the left of the fan.  This has worked OK even in cool weather.  However, if you enter the garage the next day, a strong odour of casting remains so it seems that ventilation could be improved. 

My next trial involves placing a forced-air furnace fan on a stand at the upper corner of the window.  Window shielding is altered to accomodate this and all else remains the same.  The furnace fan has a square wooden tunnel extension placed on the fan outlet to reach to the outside of the garage.  The opportunity to try this arrangement hasn't occurred but it should give a much improved flow of air (more cfm from the fan)and better removal of smoke, etc. as it draws air across the ceiling area.

If you are trying to move air out of an area, you have to have at least an equal sized opening somewhere else to get good cross ventilation.

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CB posted this 30 September 2007

If you think the smell from the cast is objectionable then i suggest you proceed with your next trial.

I have a old stove hood that I have rigged a 900 cfm fan to at the window via a piece of plywood and a rough crafted wooden box to house the fan motor & blade. It works fairly well, but I still get a degree of casting odor the next day which I fix by casting again and burning one of my wifes scented candles. As long as I am getting quality bullets I can put up with the smell.

Speaking of smells, if you think casting odor stinks, you should try making bullet lube! Now that really leaves an odor behind.

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454PB posted this 30 September 2007

How about sprinkling your way out of the area with Hoppes #9?

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lankenman posted this 02 October 2007

Funny, funny, funny. 

Casting with clean lead alloy doesn't create many odours.  However, sometimes I use hardwood sawdust or ground charcoal briquettes as a flux (cleaning agent) or sometimes pulled and lubed bullets, sometimes melt wheelweights complete with debris attached.  I haven't gotten around to melting the reclaimed indoor range lead with backboard and rubber belting included nor to the tar contaminated roofers lead but but there is still time. 

Ask my wife if casting stinks.  When I was young and didn't know any better, I used to melt lead and homemade lube on the kitchen stove and do my casting there - ah those were the days.  (After 37 years, I'm still happily married to the same forgiving woman.)

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CB posted this 02 October 2007

I used to cast in my basement with the rangehood setup, but when I fluxed the wife raised hell.

Now, I do it in a detached garage with the door up and the people door open.

Processing wheelweights is done in a large cast iron pot in the backyard.  I still have to dodge the wind.........:?

LeeG

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delmarskid1 posted this 09 October 2007

I made an exhaust fan with a furnace blower. I needed to get creative and cover the sides with plywood and add some duct pipe but it's worked great for years. I can clean wheel weights in the basement and not get a smell upstairs.

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vmwilson posted this 29 November 2007

I built a small hood that hangs over my pots and installed a bathroom vent fan in the top of it.  Seems to suck out any smoke from fluxing just fine.  If melting scrap lead I open the shop door and turn on a big exhaust fan built into the wall.  It'll suck your hat off your head I believe.  I'm lucky enough to have a small building that's pretty much just used for casting and shooting which I can do out the front door.  Range isn't fancy but I've got 25, 100 and 200 yard berms for backstops.

 

Mike

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Dale53 posted this 02 December 2007

I do my casting at a dedicated casting station in my utility outbuilding. When the building was being constructed, I had a squirrel cage furnace fan installed in an overhead, built in “hood". It works TOO good as it sucks all of the heat and cooling (depending on summer or winter) air out of the shop.

So, I bought an inline fan for 4” dryer vent pipe and am running it through the wall directly from the top of the RCBS Casting Pot. It fastens onto the pot at right angles and just sucks all of the smoke and fumes off the pot. The volume is such that it doesn't take all of the heat or cooling out of the shop. The components cost about $50.00 from Lowes. I supply the labor.

Dale53

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delmarskid1 posted this 02 December 2007

This makes me remember and laugh. I made up a similar arangement years ago. I was casting on a camp stove then. One day during a long session I heard this god-awful noise from the fan. When I looked up in it the heat from the stove had melted the plastic vanes in the fan and they'd wrapped around the motor. :?

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Dale53 posted this 02 December 2007

delmarskid1; Using the vent pipe at right angles to the pot limits the amount of heat that is taken through the vent pipe. It just sits on top of the pot, secured by one of the pot top bolts,and “s**ks” the fumes from the pot. It has the advantage of allowing the heat to rise into the room (to a certain extent). I know of commercial bullet casting operations in use for some time that have a separate vent pipe running off of each auto casting pot without a problem.

Dale53

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Pigpen posted this 10 February 2008

Not sure you can see it too well but I got a fan that blows out in my room.

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delmarskid1 posted this 10 February 2008

Hey! Is that one of those Marlin Camp 45's? I WANT ONE!

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Pigpen posted this 11 February 2008

Camp Gun but in 9mm. It's been a great little gun. I didn't like the red dot so I took it off.

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delmarskid1 posted this 11 February 2008

That kindof looks like a radiator shroud on the fan. Am I close? I also apreciate the label on the outlet box.

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zap posted this 12 February 2008

I use the plastic clipies to hang pieces of cardboard to keep the smoke from the stirring/fuxing stick from escaping

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CWME posted this 22 December 2008

I use the range hood like ZAP has pictured here. I Opted for the 7” diam duct instead of the 3 1/4X10 that he is using. Mine vents striaght up into the rafters of my shop. Eventually I will climb up there and vent it out of the roof.

The draft created from the heat going out the pipe is enough to pull all the smoke out without the fan even on! I need to install something to block the pipe for when it is not in use now... I might need the fan in the summer but for now it works great without it on.

$99 for the hood and 7$ for the ducting at HD. The hood has a max 190 CFM Rating.

 

I used to use a 4” forced hot air duct  with a 6X14?? “hood” of sorts and a “booster” fan but it didn't work all that great. The Range hood is the way to go!!

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klw posted this 26 December 2008

I never paid any attention to ventilation until my blood lead level went up.  I was having that check once every couple of years and one day I had an elevated blood lead level.  I stopped all my casting, securely boxed up all my lead and waited several months to see if it would drop.  It went up.

To make a long story short I tracked the problem to a gun I was shooting.  Stopped shooting it and the lead level dropped like a brick.

Now I have a fan right behind my furnace blowing the fumes out an open window.  That gets cold in the winter but it works.  My lead level has stayed down.  And I don't shoot that one gun anymore.

 

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CB posted this 26 December 2008

What brand caliber and type of gun are we talking about here?

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klw posted this 26 December 2008

A very nice condition, early Mauser Model 1891. Really beautiful gun.

The problem was that if you loaded it up so that the breech sealed properly the accuracy was absolutely horrible. If you downloaded it to where the accuracy was good the breech didn't seal. Lots of obvious blowback on the brass and you could literally feel the crude hitting you in the face.

By the time I got good accuracy I was shooting a REALLY mild load so the blowback didn't bother me any. And I never thought that it could raise my blood lead levels but it could.

This is such a nice rifle I'd like to work with it again BUT I don't want a rise in my blood lead levels so I probably will not.

Maybe I'll go back to jacketed bullets.

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CB posted this 26 December 2008

klw,

Thanks for the info on 'ventilation' when it has to do with the chamber. I too have shot mild loads that didn't seal the neck. Good advice to some others who may be shooting such loads. I had such a load in my 308win using H322.

Have you tried annealing the necks? I don't know what caliber your Mauser is, but I'd think IMR4198 would be a good choice for a powder to seal the chamber.  In the 30-06 it seems 21grs is a good choice. I'd think 18-19gr starting weight will work in the 7mm, 7.65mm, and the 8mm going up gradually from there. Water dropped wheel weights or a 50/50 mix of WW/Linotype should hold up to the 4198 velocity.

Hope you give your Mauser another chance. If you have 2nd thoughts, you could bring one of those little battery powdered desk fans with you to the range. If you shoot off the bench you can have the fan blowing in a direction to blow any gas venting away from your face..............Dan

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klw posted this 26 December 2008

It never occurred to me that shooting that gun would be any health risk. But I gave up bullet casting for I think three months. Avoided any lead exposure and my blood lead level still went up significantly. So I started looking for another reason. Took me a while to think about that rifle.

BUT once I stopped shooting it my blood lead level dropped like a brick. It had to be that gun.

I would like to try it again BUT I don't want another elevated blood level. It was right at the point where it could have gotten ugly. A value 30 or less you can piss away, literally. Much over 30 and you are going to need chemical treatment. That does not sound like fun.

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CWME posted this 26 December 2008

Thanks for the heads up on that!!! Your Post should be moved to where everyone can see it.

I have been shooting my 8mm Mauser with IMR 4198 loads that don't seal the bore and give a good amount of blow back. I ran into the same issue, the heavier charges sealed the bore but shot poorly.

Thanks again for posting that...

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AzShooter posted this 26 December 2008

I cast in the garage with the door open about 12 inches. I then turn on two fans to push out the lead fumes. Also to help keep me cool in the summer. Casting at 115 degrees takes a little out of me but it's better than paying prices for others to cast for me.

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klw posted this 26 December 2008

AzShooter wrote: I cast in the garage with the door open about 12 inches. I then turn on two fans to push out the lead fumes. Also to help keep me cool in the summer. Casting at 115 degrees takes a little out of me but it's better than paying prices for others to cast for me. Me too now but in Flagstaff with two feet of snow on the ground this gets COLD!  Two businesses in town yesterday had their roofs fall in under the weight of the snow and ice.  Yesterday we got a rain/snow storm.  That weighed more than anything I've seen in years.

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snuffy posted this 08 January 2009

I cast in my loading room, which is a spare bedroom. I take no special precautions for ventilation. If I do any casting in the summer when I can have widows open, I open both corner windows so any wind can blow through. Most of my casting is done in winter, in Wisconsin that means no vents, or it costs buccu bucks to heat. So there's no venting in the winter.

I had my blood levels done a year ago, it was 5.0, no concern. I just had another test monday, we'll see what that says.

I don't mind the smell of the smoke produced by fluxing. It does not contain any lead, so I ignore it. As for lead fumes, they're minimal at normal casting temps. Few lead pots can raise the temp above 1200 degrees, where lead begins to fume a lot. Under that temp, there are fumes, but what there are is a thin layer directly on top of the lead. Because it's heavy, it stays nailed to the molten surface. If the surface of the lead is very near the top of the pot, it can spill out, but it is very difficult to become airborne.

Normal precautions of not eating, smoking or drinking while casting prevent ingestion of lead. Then a thorough washing of the hands afterward gets rid of the rest.

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CWME posted this 13 January 2009

My wife would have my head on a platter if I tried to cast in the house.

She washes the door handle after I come in from the shop even. If I am not heading for the sink to wash my hands after coming in the door she tells me to go wash my hands. 

Can't imagine fluxing in the house....

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snuffy posted this 13 January 2009

CWME wrote: My wife would have my head on a platter if I tried to cast in the house.

She washes the door handle after I come in from the shop even. If I am not heading for the sink to wash my hands after coming in the door she tells me to go wash my hands. 

Can't imagine fluxing in the house.... Which is precisely why I stay single!;) No criticism of anybody that has to keep peace in a marriage, but having been married, I know how it goes.

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CWME posted this 13 January 2009

I have only been married for three years, five months, eight days, and 57 min so I can still remember the days when I was single. Not that I am counting or anything....> 

Life was a lot simpler back then... I had a lot more $ than I do now too...

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max503 posted this 16 June 2019

Don't they call these zombie threads?

I've been wondering about lead exposure.  A couple years ago I got tested.  It was OK, but it wasn't low, either.  Anymore, I try to cast outside.  That precludes me from having a dedicated casting station but I can set-up and tear down this one in no time.

 

In the winter I set it up in the garage with the door open.

What about handling lead?  After casting I wash my hands with Goop.  But does it get on your clothes from the fumes?  

HERE'S MY MAIN QUESTION:  Other than your hands - does lead leave invisible deposits from the fumes and smoke?  Are your clothes contaminated after a casting session?  Is the area AROUND your work place contaminated?  I try to be careful.

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BigMan54 posted this 17 June 2019

I cast on a covered patio on our picnic table, Have a 1/4" plywood clamped to table, cut with 1" overhang. Put another full sheet under the table and where I sit to cast. Have a 16" fan oscillating to blow the fumes out away from me and the house. 

My leads levels are low and stable.

I cast in one set of clothes. Overalls, shirt, socks, hat . Leave hanging in the garage, wash after 3-4 casting sessions. Fresh rubber gloves every time. Wipe off hat, shoes with clean rag soaked in acetone. Don't ask why the acetone, It's what my Dad used.  

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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Hoppy posted this 17 June 2019

I've tried cross-ventilating with fans, with natural breezes, and even with wishful thinking (which was about as effective as the others--they didn't work very well. The best solution is to install a vented (with a two-speed fan) range hood above the casting location. You can pick these up at any home improvement store for a reasonable price--then you need to invest in some pipe or tubing of suitable diameter to lead the fumes outside. This works very well. It can also be helpful to extend the "skirt" of the hood downward (so it can contain a greater volume of fumes when fluxing) with duct tape--or with a strip of aluminum sheet attached with pop rivets if you're ambitious.

Forget all the stuff about breezes, the fan in the window, and even casting outside (which works only about 50% of the time). Use these methods and you'll still get sick headaches. Do your health a favor and install a vent hood!

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John Alexander posted this 17 June 2019

I think Snuffy has it about right ten years ago and lead hasn't changed any since them. Hi offered some facts about what it actually takes takes to contaminate the air with lead (not fumes from flux).

Lead can be a serious problem if ingested but normal casting isn't likely to be dangerous if eating and smoking is avoided and hand washing afterwards.  We should learn what is, and what isn't, dangerous in dealing with lead. Facts, and reasonable caution not irrational fear, works for  handling lead, handling firearms, and most other things as well.

John

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Dale53 posted this 17 June 2019

When my system failed after several years of use, instead of replacing it as originally designed, I bought a brand new range two speed vent hood on Craig's List for very few dollars, and installed it. It exhausts everything outdoors through a set of louvers that open when the vent runs and closes when it stops. High speed when fluxing and low speed when casting. It works beautifully and does NOT exhaust all of the heat (electric wall heater) or cold (wall mounted window air conditioner) in my 20x12 Utility Shed. My casting station is set up ready to go at all times. From a dead start I can be casting bullets in thirty minutes. That is a HUGE matter - sudden impulse to cast leads to almost instant results, year 'round.

FWIW

Dale53

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 18 June 2019

I cast on 3rd floor.  Have a dormer with a roof window.  Natural ventilation - open the window an inch or three and it all flows out.  It is a bit of a problem casting when it's raining.

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Coydog posted this 5 weeks ago

I do my casting in the attic .I got a bathroom exhaust fan and made a wood hood with my brother and use the chimney that can not be use anymore and pipe it to that. with a light also for the booth. You only smell when I use ground corn cobs to flux  . It dose not matter the time of year for me. Otherwise I do my smelting outside in the summer time. I use wood to do the smelting. 

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