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Views since 15 March 2011

This is a rotary furnace I designed and built to separate lead and bullet jackets from fired bullets recovered from shooting ranges.

Previously, we would heat bullets in a big furnace until the lead melted.
Using a small frying pan with 1/8" holes drilled to make it a seive,
we would dip up some bullets and swish and shake to let the liquid lead fall back into the pot. The jackets were then set aside.
This method was labor intensive and time consuming allowing only about six ammo cans of bullets to be processed in a day.

Here is the furnace in operation.
The perforated barrel is about 12" in diameter and rotates at about 12 rpm.
There are two pipe burners inside that soak the bullets with fire as they tumble.
A one degree slope moves the material toward the discharge end.
As the lead melts it drips into a heated catch pan below.

The bullet jackets, empty of lead, fall out the discharge end into a large ammo can.

The heated catch pan has a bottom tap valve and liquid lead is directed into large or small ingot molds below.
Here a full mold is being removed.

A filled mold cools and another is put into position.

The feed stock is bullets removed from shooting range backstops.

A metal scoop is used to meter the feed stock.

About a cup of bullets goes down the chute every 15 seconds.

Cooled ingots are stacked for sale or later use.
Ingots average about 30 pounds each.

The furnace enjoyed several test sessions.
Rotation speed, slope, heat and throughput were all variables that were adjusted for best results.
Some additional improvements were added and bare metal was painted.
This is the final configuration.

The proud papa, his self!

Three major sections can be man lifted.
Here you see the drip pan being set on the base.

The "tunnel", motor and control in position on the base.

Admiring our work? Or catching our breath?

All tied down and ready to travel.
Copyright 2011 Ray-Vin.Com all rights reserved. Photos by Jill Knerr.