Decades ago I started out in the printing industry remelting used Ludlow and Linotype type and pouring it into pigs to be reused.
Any idea where I could get my hands on one of these smelters along with some Ludlow pig molds? It was very large and gas fired. - Thanks

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Unless you plan to smelt lots of lead all the time you might be better off getting a small pot like what plumbers used way back, a simple thing that hitched to a propane tank like you use on your gas grill. For the small shop or the hobby printer the old smelting furnaces would be overkill. Myself I set type 2 or 3 days a week and find it is easier to simple throw the old slugs back into the pot rather than use pigs. Years ago i picked up a 1 ton furnace, had it for 5 years and only smelted twice with it, it took up more room than i wanted and mostly sat idle.

One of my mates aquired an old crucible taken off a caster for this job !

Throwing old slugs, with ink, kerosene and solvents on them into your typesetting machine pot can be hazardous to your pot, plunger and mouthpiece, sometimes freezing your plunger in the well. This will also affect the printing quality of the slugs.

i’ve been throwing slugs in my ludlow pot since the mid 1970’s, if you clean the pot faithfully i don’t see a problem, most of the old ink and stuff will float to the top.

If anyone happens across another one, please do let me know- we’re after one as well. We’ve about 2/3 tonne of metal now, and remelting it in batches of 30kg is exhausting…

There’s a lot of good advice on remelting & cleaning in Theo Rehak’s ‘Practical Typecasting’, and a couple of other books too.

Look around for a Hammond Easy Kaster (their trademark). They hold around 300 lbs and can be set up for filling ingots. Of course you’ll also need at least 6 Margach molds (if you have a metal feeder), or spend forever waiting for the metal to solidify before getting it out of the mold. You would also need flux in quantity and toning metal (to make up for burnt tin and other metallic dross. NA Graphics can supply or source these items.

If your really lucky, you may find a set of flip over water cooled molds—but they are better suited to a larger smelter (1000 lbs or better). I suspect that gas fired smelters are more efficient in larger sizes.

Good questions and excellent answers from all hands. As I perhaps mentioned in an earlier post, I have acquired a “late model (circa 1957)” Model 5 Linotype which was quite operational when set up in my shop last summer. Dave Seat (I’m sure most of you know about this traveling wizard of linecaster mechanics) tweaked it last fall and I am really enjoying running it. Having said that, and repeating what I wrote earlier about having a great deal to learn/relearn about Linotype, I find great interest in this string about remelt. I have several hundred pounds of type metal ingots handy, but within a relatively short time I’m going to need to start remelt and casting “new” ingots. I acquired molds and ladles sufficient for the purpose, but had not yet decided on what kind of vessel would be most appropriate. DickG and MfromM—-I find your comments most useful at this point, but thanks to you other folks, too. It’s all good stuff. By the way, as far as I know I have the only operational Linotype in Tucson and there may only be a couple of others in the whole state of Arizona.