New press and dies. Should I prep them?


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Katitmail
May 30, 2013, 11:54 PM
Received new Lee Classic Turret and dies today. Unpacked and realized that there is no mounting hardware.

Going to get some 5/16 bolts tomorrow. Also I need to decide how to mount press.

Questions I have is here:

1. Dies. Lee dies covered in oil. Powder through expansion part is all wet and there is some crud inside. Should I put all dies into gas and clean them to be completely dry? (minus o-rings of course). Those are carbide pistol dies. Or should I just wipe them and clead powder-through thingy to be oil-free?

2. Press. I was going to take it apart and deburr, clean and reassemble. I'm pretty mechanical but I noticed it is all assembled with pins. Should I drive them out with mallet or just keep it as is?

3. Mounting. I have piece of my countertop about 2" thick. I was going to cut a piece out of it and make it a platform for press. So my press would mount to this piece and then I will clamp or mount this to my bench. Is that valid? Does it make sense to notch this piece so press have some "surface" around instead of hanging "out" ?

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ColtPythonElite
May 30, 2013, 11:58 PM
Rinse dies off with brake cleaner.

ArtP
May 31, 2013, 12:01 AM
My press hangs "out" and I find that an attribute.

I'm not OCD, so no comment on deburring parts. But if that's your thing, I'll not discourage you or encourage you, unless there's something glaring.

I'd wipe the dies down, inside and out, very well. Take them apart too and see how they work. I wouldn't subject them to solvent. The trouble with too much oil is causing cases to dent as liquid cannot compress. A thorough wipe down, with a very thin film left, is fine. But be sure to give the dies a fine coat of oil when you're done with them. They will rust if put away rough. There's a reason they were stored and shipped with a lot of grease.

Hey... The most important thing... CONGRATULATIONS and good luck sleeping tonight. :)

BBQJOE
May 31, 2013, 12:11 AM
I have one press, and a bench at two locations.
I cut a notch for one but not for the other. Both are pretty thick and rather sturdy.
I see no appreciable difference in performance one way or another.

Fire_Moose
May 31, 2013, 12:52 AM
If you get yer press pulled apart post how. I couldn't get the ram to Come out.

Sent from my CZ85 Combat

KansasSasquatch
May 31, 2013, 01:03 AM
The oil that most die manufacturers put on the dies at the factory is meant to prevent rust while they're being shipped and sitting on a shelf somewhere. It's not generally a good lubricant and often times is somewhat tacky. Powder tends to stick to it also. Hornady One Shot Gun Cleaner and Dry Lube (One Shot Case Lube is not the same and is arguably the worst purpose made case lube) is an excellent product for cleaning dies. Just disassemble the dies and hose everything down with it (best done outside or in a garage with the door open) and wipe them down. When you're done with a reloading session take each die one by one and put them in a clean rag, give them a quick spray and wipe them off avoiding contact with your skin, and place them in the die box. It will help avoid getting surface rust on them as finger oils will jump start the rusting process. You're in St Louis, I know Cabela's and Bass Pro here always have One Shot Dry Lube, I'm sure your local stores will too.

I can't tell you anything about disassembling your press but as far as mounting goes there's plenty of options. I prefer to mount mine so there's absolutely no movement of the bench or the press (other than what's supposed to move). My bench is made of 2x4's with a 2" thick solid core door as the top. Should be plenty but overkill isn't usually a bad thing so I put a 1/8" steel plate on top of that. I use the biggest bolts possible, they go through the press, the plate, and the bench top and get a washer, lock washer, and a nut. What is your bench made out of? If it's a fairly thin piece of plywood or the like, the 2" piece of counter top may be useful. If you have a good strong bench though you could consider mounting your press permanently if it's not going to hurt you by taking up the space. I know plenty of people use C-clamps to mount presses but that's just not an option that I would like.

ArchAngelCD
May 31, 2013, 01:31 AM
I used a little Hoppes #9 to clean off the dies inside and out. I figured the Hoppes would slightly lubricate the dies too.

I would not take that press apart because of the pins just to take it apart. You know the old saying, if it ain't broke don't fix it. I used a little dry lube on the moving and pivot points and called it good. My turret press has been working very well for over 8 years now so I'm guessing what I did worked.

Mohave-Tec
May 31, 2013, 08:09 AM
Dies: clean. relube. wipe off excess.

Press: Same as above. Do not disassemble.

Mount: As solid and level as possible.

Turrets: lightly sand any burrs on contact surfaces with very fine emery cloth. Spring contact surfaces with silicone dry lube.

oneounceload
May 31, 2013, 08:23 AM
Non-chlorinated brake cleaner form wally world - about $2/can will get anything and everything off those dies. Wipe down after as needed.

Personally, unless you see something glaringly wrong (in which case I would call Lee), I would not take the press completely apart. Degrease/clean RTFM on the application of any grease/oil in certain points, bolt it down and start reloading

the count
May 31, 2013, 08:47 AM
Some die makers use non oil for rust proofing the dies and recommend you to take them apart and thoroughly clean before first use. I use Hornady cleaner and dry lube spray.

joecil
May 31, 2013, 09:02 AM
As for mounting I use the Lee Bench Plates as they are easy to quickly change from one press to another and will work with other brands of presses and equipment.

Walkalong
May 31, 2013, 09:48 AM
Always clean new dies. Get the oil/grease and junk it attracts out before using them. Clean and oil/grease press. So easy, and so many benefits.

Rule3
May 31, 2013, 09:53 AM
Never use GAS to clean anything. Use the break cleaner as mentioned. No reason to take the press apart.

When you take the dies apart remember which way the inserts go (do them one at a time) There is no reason to take apart the resizing die/deprimer) Just spray it out.

Just mount it to the edge of the bench. Holes must align exactly or you will have problems inserting bolts. (any press) This may help.

http://leeprecision.com/cgi-data/instruct/TMPCTP.pdf

stubbicatt
May 31, 2013, 10:48 AM
Use a water based solvent that will leave the expander and sizer die clean and dry. The seater die? I'd say it isn't as important to get it free of packing preservative, but I would clean it out while I'm at it.

I don't know what I'd do about the press, but just use it. I've been using my CCTP for gotta be nearly 10 years now, and as long as I keep a little motor oil on the ram and pivot pins, it works like a champ.

1KPerDay
May 31, 2013, 12:06 PM
What I did:

1. Wipe off dies inside and out with CLP, wipe clean, reassemble
2. lube ram of press with a little grease
3. lube turret with a little grease
4. lube Auto-index rod with some CLP (don't need to do this but mine works smoother this way)
5. clean primer ram and slot VERY WELL (it can stick/hang up otherwise). Sometimes I use a little CLP on the sides of the primer ram between cleanings, if it starts to stick.
6. Load a crapload of ammo :)

1KPerDay
May 31, 2013, 12:08 PM
Oh, check the linkage bolts and the bolt securing the handle once in a while... mine worked loose once but hasn't since I torqued them back down.

Certaindeaf
May 31, 2013, 12:13 PM
.3. Mounting. I have piece of my countertop about 2" thick. I was going to cut a piece out of it and make it a platform for press. So my press would mount to this piece and then I will clamp or mount this to my bench. Is that valid? Does it make sense to notch this piece so press have some "surface" around instead of hanging "out" ?
Congratulations!

That's what I do.. I don't really like drilling holes in my benches etc. if at all possible.

Dies want to be protected but you're right, you don't want them getting all fouled and or not being protected where needed.

A lot of guys will take them apart and degrease them with at least a rag and such and then perhaps wax the entire thing/parts. Then consider what moving parts actually need a little oil/lubrication upon them.. keeping in mind how the powder will fall/drop etc.

Certaindeaf
May 31, 2013, 12:21 PM
Oh, and don't take the press apart.. just oil/lube moving parts in place.. the oil will get/go to where it needs to be.

gamestalker
May 31, 2013, 05:32 PM
After removing the O- rings I rinse them, wipe them off with acetone for a bone dry result. Acetone will dry with zero residue almost instantly.

GS

gamestalker
May 31, 2013, 05:36 PM
Doesn't brake cleaner contain denatured alcohol? If so you don't want to use it inside, or get it on your skin, very toxic stuff. I've used brake cleaner a number of times for various projects, but I stopped using it because it was so expensive and it doesn't go very far at all.

GS

Katitmail
May 31, 2013, 06:01 PM
Ok... Took apart depriming/sizing die. Threads on female part damaged and it seems like it was cross-threaded.

Does anybody know threads size so I can try and rethread them?

Certaindeaf
May 31, 2013, 06:21 PM
Call them and get a new one.. they'll send you one or more for free. that sucks

joecil
May 31, 2013, 07:16 PM
It isn't unusual to cross thread the bolt but odds are it didn't hurt the die as it is much harder than the bolt. I did it the first time I took one apart and they sent a new bolt and went in fine once I took it slow.

Rule3
May 31, 2013, 07:25 PM
Ok... Took apart depriming/sizing die. Threads on female part damaged and it seems like it was cross-threaded.

Does anybody know threads size so I can try and rethread them?

Please see post #13:uhoh:

Call or e mail LEE CS. You will probably have to sent it back to them and they will repair or send you a new one.

edfardos
May 31, 2013, 07:28 PM
ptfe on orings/rubber. Motor oil on hinge pins. Isopropyl alcohol rag down powder tube (assuming Lee tube is metallic). Maybe a thin clean rag thru the dies.

my rcbc pro was a squeek-trap when I first got it (used).

load until it falls apart, which will be never!

edfardos

Mohave-Tec
May 31, 2013, 08:45 PM
Ok... Took apart depriming/sizing die. Threads on female part damaged and it seems like it was cross-threaded.

Does anybody know threads size so I can try and rethread them?
They'll put a new one in the mail 10 minutes after you get off the phone. I don't know what it is about reloading tool company's but customer service is --deleted for all of them.

GT1
June 1, 2013, 03:16 AM
Wally world electronics cleaner that is synthetic safe(plastic and rubber o rings, etc.). Then I spray them down with Rem drilube.

Katitmail
June 1, 2013, 06:35 PM
I found proper tap and dies and fixed threads. Seems like it is working good. Cleaned dies, already installed 3 first dies and adjusted.

I promise I will get some pictures :)

Questions:

1. Is hand-tight with rubber o-rings OK for dies or should I use wrench on them?

2. Powder-through die "sticks". Takes some grunt to release from it. I afraid it might spill powder. Do you guys lubricate expender piece or do something about it? I didn't adjust it too low, just enough to put bullet in comfortably.

3. I work on 45ACP setup. OAL max calls for one figure, factory RN FMJ (Blazer) almost to the MAX. Factory hollow point like 2mm lower. I bought plated hollow point bullets. How do I know what OAL should be? Should I try max and see how it feeds?

P.S. Like LCT so far. All logical and simple. Wasn't indexing properly (overindexing) - fixed per manual :)

Katitmail
June 2, 2013, 01:50 AM
I have welded 1/4 iron frame with legs bolted to floor. Frame bolted to studs. I have 1 1/4 butcher block glued into frame and screwed from underneath.

I made rectangular board from same countertop material and bolted press to it. Then I bolted it to bench. This way I will mount second press in the same spot if needed. Feels solid, there is no movement..

Walkalong
June 2, 2013, 08:42 AM
Very nice workmanship. I like it. Not only sturdy, but good looking as well.

Mohave-Tec
June 2, 2013, 09:33 AM
Now that's a bench. Might I suggest you calk or otherwise seal the seam between the bench top and frame so powder and spent primer dust won't accumulate there?
I love to see a well thought out work place. I too use changeable components.

Katitmail
June 2, 2013, 11:43 AM
I'm not sure how to seal seam. Caulk will eventually get dirty and as you can tell I like it to be nice looking :) Bench is _very_ sturdy, there is no movement at all.

There is no seam on a front edge, board goes tight with angle.

Now you see why red doesn't match? :)

Can anyone comment on those questions I asked on top? First 2 questions is what I'm still not sure about..

KansasSasquatch
June 2, 2013, 02:18 PM
I normally tighten with a wrench but just a little past hand tight. No sense in cranking them down gorilla tight.

As far as the expander goes, is your brass new or "perfectly clean?" Either of those can create a little friction. The expander plug could also have an imperfection. I'd disassemble the die and make sure it's smooth. If it's not, some ultra fine auto sandpaper and a little wet sanding can go a long way, then finish it up with some 0000 steel wool. You don't want to change the shape of it, just smooth it out. Most people don't lube pistol brass but I like to lightly lube about every 10th case, it makes it a little smoother. But I don't lube dies.

If you want to seal the back of your bench, just get some 1/4 round pine trim and attach it to the bench with it pressed up against the wall. Stain it to match the bench.

Rule3
June 2, 2013, 03:34 PM
I'm not sure how to seal seam. Caulk will eventually get dirty and as you can tell I like it to be nice looking :) Bench is _very_ sturdy, there is no movement at all.

There is no seam on a front edge, board goes tight with angle.

Now you see why red doesn't match? :)

Can anyone comment on those questions I asked on top? First 2 questions is what I'm still not sure about..

Nice looking Bench.:)If you seal or caulk with 100% Pure clear silicone it will not get dirty.

I tighten my dies a little with a adjustable wrench to seal the o ring. They will not come loose as some folks claim.

The expander die with the powder measure is supposed to be tight and "hang up" or jerk when you load with it. It is designed that way to shake out the powder. In the book and instructions.;)

Katitmail
June 2, 2013, 04:07 PM
Rule 3 - thanks, it makes sense. Seems like it is working fine and nothing really spills. Also I see some powder on bench. Not sure where it comes from..

I have another issue with powder system. When ram is UP and case sized/deprimed I dump new primer into the seat. If I move ramp down primer most likely not going to be centered, I crushed primer a little. I learned that it works if I push case back into holder when it goes down. Seems like it becomes non-centered after exiting deprime die. Does it make sense? Is it normal? What can be done to fix it?

Another question I have is auto-index. I removed for now because I just learn operation. But I wonder if it's OK to manually turn turret "Back" when index rod installed? I want to switch to more "progressive" but I'm sure I will have errors and will need to go back.

Rule3
June 2, 2013, 04:57 PM
Not sure if I fully understand your question?

Are you using the Auto Prime or putting the primers in one at a time by hand?

When you push the press arm up (lowers the ram) it should bring the case down and the primer arm will push the primer into the primer pocket.

You can turn the turret with the turret rod in it BUT be sure you raise the press arm up a little so it is not on the Screw" part of the index rod. You will feel if any tension. This is how folks break the index ratchet thingy.:)

For now just leave the turret arm out and turn it by hand anyway you want. It is now just a single stage. Once you get used to it put the arm back in and it is a turret press again.

These may help:

http://leeprecision.net/support/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/497/0/turret-press-help-videos

RustyFN
June 2, 2013, 05:36 PM
1. Is hand-tight with rubber o-rings OK for dies or should I use wrench on them?

Hand tight is fine. If you use a wrench just snug them up don't tighten them down too tight.

2. Powder-through die "sticks". Takes some grunt to release from it. I afraid it might spill powder. Do you guys lubricate expender piece or do something about it? I didn't adjust it too low, just enough to put bullet in comfortably.

That is normal.If you want it to be smoother you can polish the expander a little.

Another question I have is auto-index. I removed for now because I just learn operation. But I wonder if it's OK to manually turn turret "Back" when index rod installed? I want to switch to more "progressive" but I'm sure I will have errors and will need to go back.

Yes you can turn the turret with the auto indexing rod installed but you need to raise the ram a little first to disengage the ratchet to keep from stripping it out.

Katitmail
June 2, 2013, 07:01 PM
Not sure if I fully understand your question?

Are you using the Auto Prime or putting the primers in one at a time by hand?

When you push the press arm up (lowers the ram) it should bring the case down and the primer arm will push the primer into the primer pocket.

It's auto-prime, but I have no problem with auto-prime. When I auto-prime ram is at top point in resizing die.

When I lower ram out of resizing die (primer ready to go in priming arm) - case is not in proper position in a case holder. It's just slightly off center which doesn't affect any operations but it does affect priming on a downstroke. If I push case into shell holder with a finger - priming operation works smoothly.

Rule3
June 2, 2013, 08:02 PM
So you are saying the case is moving (front to back) in the shell holder? I have had some shell holders that were too tight and sent them back to LEE with some brass and they sent me a different one that fit better. I have also had ones that were too loose and the there was a lot of slop. You can of course have the shell holder opening (slot) skewed to the left. It does not have to be straight front to back.

When you put an empty case in the shell holder (should be #2 for 45) does it move around a lot or is it a fairly firm fit?

I am only guessing here, as it is hard to tell without actually seeing what it is doing. Only other thing is make sure the turret is aligned correctly.

Katitmail
June 2, 2013, 08:37 PM
Correct. Shell holder #2. Case little lose and it seems like it slides out a tiny bit just enough to present problem.

I made another little batch with holder slot turned more to the left and seems like it worked! I guess I'm learning but now it starts to work better

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