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Docs Gal, Just a cobwebed memory on my part but I seem to remember this being used by a plumber years ago to melt lead used in sealing an old cast iron pipe repair. I'm positive it's a heater, just not sure if what I saw it used for was it's original purpose.

Howard Dennis

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest simplyconnected

Every house used "Bell & Spigot" joints for drains. Yes, you have a heater, and every plumber had one going all day long.

They would stack the pipes, pack jute "rope" at the bottom of the bell using a thin chisel, then pour lead over the top. Lead shrinks, so they use the chisel again to expand the lead tightly against the sides. This takes quite a bit of lead to finish. (Far more than rifle rounds.) That's why you have so many bars of lead with the heater.

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We have been in the plumbing business since 1895 and have used many of these burners. We called them fire pots. I still have a couple of them. The propane lead pots made the white gas ones obsolite. You packed the bell with oakum that was hemp rope that had been creosoted and poured the lead on that, we then pounded down the lead with an inside and outside iron to tighted the joint. Horizontel joints had to be poured with a pouring rope to hold the lead in. The largest joint that I made was a 36 inch watermain. It took three of us several hours to complete the joint but it didn't leak with 85 psi.

You should sell the fire pot and lead to someone that shoots black powder or makes lead fishing weights. It is a great tool for melting lead.

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