Lead can be melted with direct application of a propane torch. That does tend to oxidize the lead, so you do get more slag. Solder is a mixture of lead and tin. These will oxidize at different rates under the torch flame. That could change the mixture ratio of the solder. Maybe not a big deal, but could be. If you can get at the underside of the pot, suggest you apply the torch there.

Sid Wood
Tri-gear KR-2 N6242
Mechanicsville, MD, USA

Speaking of melting lead, I have been trying to figure out for the past
few days how to deal with my solder pot that just crapped out that I use
for mass soldering of circuit boards.  It is a big 2,000 Watt electric
pot that is regulated at 250 degrees C.  I have a new solder pot on the
way, but am trying to figure out the best way to melt out the 75 pounds
of solder in the old pot and put it in the new one.  At today's prices
for bar solder it is $1,500 worth of solder.  It takes about an hour to
melt when the pot is working so I am not sure if I can effectively just
remove the pot from the whole machine and heat on the stove or heat it
with a torch.  Withe any luck the heating element on the new pot is the
same as the old one and I can just transfer it to the old pot.  Can't
buy just the heating element.

Brian Kraut

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