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New mold prep? Newbie
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Hi all, I met some of you at the shooters site and now I've just got my first mold in. It's a LEE C309-170F. I also got sizer dies, gaschecks, Javelina lube and a LEE ingot mold. I'm off to find some wheelweights. Is there anything I need to do to my mold before using? I'm ready to cast a pile and shoot a pound of powder! I also ordered a bunch of different molds in .358, .430, .452, .457, but this is the first one to come in. I ordered the 457-340f for my 45-70BFR, I'm thinking I'll have to lap it out to .459 to fit my .458 bore. First things first though. How do I get this mold going?
TIA
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Speaking with what must be very limited experience, I can advise you to make sure that when lubing the "V" guides on the mould blocks, make sure that you use the tiniest amount of lube. As the aluminum molds tend to like HEAT, the hydrocarbons from the lube just get everywhere. Same goes for the sprue plate. I actually find that Midway drop out spray on the guides prevents damage just as much as a bullet lube. Of course others may post differing opinions, with better ideas. I'd like to hear if anyone has something better to add.
Here's another stupid thing I've done. When casting HOT for those Lee molds, the frosting on the projectiles is fairly severe. This seems to make no difference to accuracy, but I was feeling self concious about it. I tried tumbling the projectiles in corn media, in a vibratory case cleaner. After about an hour the projectiles had a uniform flat, dark gray look to them. Sort of like moly coating. They weighed and measured the same as prior to the shake up, with no roundind of lube grooves or bases. No difference in accuracy, but they looked better, and looks have got to count for something, right?
 
Posts: 40 | Location: Pacific North West U.S.A. | Registered: 27 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Lee reccomends smoking the cavities with a match. Seems to work as well as spray-on products. A butane lighter can also be used. "Color" completely the top of the mould and the bottom of the sprue plate with a No. 2 pencil to prevent lead streaks and galling. Welcome to casting, curmudgeon
 
Posts: 99 | Location: Livermore, CA, USA | Registered: 22 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Cheeky, Interesting solution to improving the appearance of your frosted bullets. I've agreed wth Lyman's and you on this one for 30-odd years and don't worry about frosting. Frosting, to me, means that everything is well warmed up and I'm not making "raisins". Regards, curmudgeon
 
Posts: 99 | Location: Livermore, CA, USA | Registered: 22 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Cool thanks, I didn't order any spray prep, so I'll try the match and pencil bit. I have the lead pot heating up as we speak. I picked up a 5gal bucket of wheel weights today for $15. Is this a good price? I got talking with the guy at LesScwab about reloading and shooting. I told him I'd bring some boolits in when I got some made for him to try. Maybe he gave me a deal on the WW I think there is around 100# in that bucket. Well I'm off to the garage. Maybe I can get some loaded and go shooting tomorow. [Big Grin]
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Well I went through about 40# of wheelweights tonight. I was surprised that the first boolit out of the LEE mold was almost useable, it was fully formed with only some wrinkles on it. They dropped at 177gn and .310". I smoked the mold with an Acentalyne torch, and the bullets were dropping out pretty good, but I had way too much soot in the mold and all of the noses had a dimple in them. I cleaned that out and smoked with a butane lighter. I had problems with the bullets dropping out and had to smack the mold with my sprueplate wacking stick, is there a name for this stick? When the mold got really hot, they started dropping out on there own, but that was at the end of the pot. I think I may have smacked the mold too much getting the bullets out, as the molds now have some slop on the handles. What else do I need to do to get the bullets to drop out without ruining my mold any further. I'm glad it's an inexpensive Lee I'm learning on. My son and I worked in shifts and now have a pile of cast bullets and a stack of ingots. Now It's time for some load devlopement. My 14yo son is hooked now, He wants to stay home tommorow and cast bullets instead of go rabbit hunting.
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Dear Lar 45,
I believe the correct term to use for your spueplate wacking stick is the "Sprueplate-wacking stick". You'll agree that the hyphen makes all the difference, as the stick is used for sprueplate wacking. So it's correct to hyphenate the words.
A better idea than actually belting your molds up would be to rap the bolt holding the mold handles together. Like wise hitting the steel of the mold handle should also be successful, and I might add, far less expensive than attacking the molds. I've found that wrapping a few layers of duct tape ( much better evidence that highly advanced aliens once visited earth and left some of their technology than those Raelians can dream up), around a bit of 12 inch X 2 inch alder, or oak or whatever hard wood you can find, sort of gives you the iron fist in a velvet glove effect. When the duct tape falls to bits, every 1000 projectiles or so, just re-wrap. Good as new!
 
Posts: 40 | Location: Pacific North West U.S.A. | Registered: 27 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Lar45, It IS the sprueplate-whacking stick NOT the moldblock-whacking stick! It is however acceptable to tap the mold handle hingepin with same stick however to encourage boolit fall. Smoking molds, all I use is a kitchen match. The boolit hang up you're experiencing is prob'ly from burrs along the edge of the cavity. I generally try to hone them out using a boolit from the same cavity, drill into the center, using a screw in the hole, chuck it in a battery operated drill (for slow speed), put a little bore paste or other FINE abrasive on the boolit and spin'er. Just a little 'cause you're dealing with aluminum here and we're not trying to enlarge the hold, just smooth'er up. Clean it all up and start that break in all over again. Ain't it fun? Regards, Woody

[ 01-01-2003, 04:35: Message edited by: woody1 ]
 
Posts: 98 | Location: S.E. Oregon too close to PRK | Registered: 28 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Thanks, I'll check for burs. I've been out rabbit hunting with my brother-inlaw. We got 7 big SnowShoes yesterday. I've gone through about a half bucket of WW. Time to hit up the other shops. I can't wait until my other caliber molds come in. I think I want the nose of these 30 cal bullets to be larger to fit the lands better. Can I just put lapping compound on the nose and spin it? I tightened up the slope in the handle grooves by dimpleing it in with a center punch. I'll try to take better care of my toys from now on. Woody, what was the mold of the boolits you sent me?
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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There were some slightly raised ridges along the outline of the bullet so I took a small buffing wheel in my dremel and some red rouge and polished the edges. The bullets pop out with a small whack on the center bolt now. Thanks.
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Lar45, those boolits I sent you were Lyman or Ideal 311291 before I used the Beagle Mold Enhancement on the mold. As for lapping your mold to make it larger, I'd darn sure opt for the Beagle method first, It's reversible. Regards, Woody
 
Posts: 98 | Location: S.E. Oregon too close to PRK | Registered: 28 August 2002Reply With Quote
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Okay, I'll bite. What's the Beagle meathod? Or where can I read about it?
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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Speaking of sprueplate whackers..when I started casting back in 1960, I need such a gizmo. I went to the tool department of the local Sears store and bought a 16" heavy duty hammer handle. I hold it by the small end (hammer head end) and whack with the thick end. After almost 43 years, it is still whacking away. I used it this afternoon. I am now 60, so I guess the same one will see me to the end of my road. Talk about getting my money's worth! Take care and keep em in the X-Ring.
 
Posts: 263 | Location: Corpus Christi, Texas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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lar45, Check out the problem mould thread down the page a ways. Beagle method described there. Regards, Woody
 
Posts: 98 | Location: S.E. Oregon too close to PRK | Registered: 28 August 2002Reply With Quote
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The poor man's source of sprue cutter whacking sticks: oak pallets. Many pallets, or at least the 2x4 parts, are made of oak. One good oak pallet has furnished a lifetime supply of whacking sticks, lead pot handles, and dipper handles. Some of the 1x4s made replacement steps for a friend's van ladder. Most warehouses will call you blessed if you take a broken pallet off their hands. Regards, curmudgeon
 
Posts: 99 | Location: Livermore, CA, USA | Registered: 22 December 2002Reply With Quote
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The beagle method looks simple and reversible. I'll try it. My whacking stick is an apple limb salvaged from the smoker wood bin. I picked up another bucket of WW yesterday, I couldn't help it, cleaned and melted them all down into ingots. I now have a heap of ingots ready to go, atleast 200#. I kept my Lee ingot mold in constant production, it now has stress cracks all along it, probably from the continued heat and cool. I'm hooked, now I just have to read all the back posts on shooters.....
 
Posts: 2924 | Location: Arkansas | Registered: 23 December 2002Reply With Quote
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