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This doodad is basically just a big propane burner, used to preheat the ladle prior to tapping the cupola.
That keeps the iron hotter, longer, giving more time to pour and I think reducing slag as well.
The ladle is just a five-gallon galvanized steel pail, in a custom-fit cradle, and lined with two or three inches
of refractory- a mortarlike material designed to resist high temperatures.
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