Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by BSA1, Jan 29, 2013.
The Lee Molds have an instruction sheet in the box.
Remove any lube from the mold cavities with "any solvent"...I use rubbing alcohol on a Q-Tip.
They recommend using "bullet lube" on the pins and hinges, "Alox Beeswax Mix Bullet Lube", NOT Lee Liquid Alox which would gum things up terribly. I use a scant dab of gun grease on the pins, gun oil on the hinges.
They recommend smoking the cavities with a match, not a candle. I'm lazy and use the Frankfort Arsenal brand aerosol graphite spray, but careful it is easy to over do it. Then you are back to swabbing the cavities with alcohol on a Q-Tip.
Then get the mold up to the right temperature; lay it over the pot for a few minutes, and/or immerse the tip of the mold into the molten lead for a few seconds.
If the mold has more than one cavity, just fill one cavity on the few few cycles to get the mold blocks up the last few degrees. On a six-cavity mold, I will fill the first two cavities for a few cycles, then 3, then 4, you get the idea. I just dump all the first few castings into a shallow cake pan for recycling into the pot until the whole mold comes up to temperature. I know the mold is at the right temperature when I can open the sprue cutter easily. The lead hardens very quickly in a cold mold and makes the sprue difficult to cut. If you fill all 6 cavities in a cold mold, you will have a helluva time getting the sprue plate open!
The only difference in technique we have is I keep the first bunch of castings in a separate pile and once the mold heats up I start dropping them in a diferent pile on the towel. After the session is over I sort the balls for quality. The really horrible ones go into the remelt pile. I generally have only 1 or 2 of those. They have to look REALLY bad to qualify. The rest are graded A, B, or C. Cs having wrinkles that would be an embarassment to loan but as long as they will fit snug enough to not migrate under recoil I'll shoot them in monthly matches or plinking sessions. Same for grade Bs that have minor flaws. The grade As are what I would gladly present as my typical castings. Also, I have recently began rotary (Thumbler's) tumbling them for about 20 min which pounds out the minor defects and easily turns a B into an A looking ball. The sprues on the LEE balls all but disappear. I use under ball lube wads and over ball automotive grease. Shooting a grade C ball at a steel target 10 feet away is gonna make just as loud of a ring as a grade A so why make extra work for yourself? Shoot them skuzzy things!
For many years I used to return as much as 70% of my bullets/balls to the pot, saving only the best; then I saw a Mythbusters show where they were trying to get a bullet to shoot in a curve, they took huge gouges out of 9mm bullets and were still getting straight ling groups. I started experimenting with my cast offs and found that groups opened up on higher velocity rounds, but only after 30 to 50 yds., and no noticeable difference on any of my B/p rounds out to 100yds. I get as lot more rounds to the casting session now and use weight to determine competition rounds, just for that extra edge.
In my case, every once in a while I take the blocks apart and clean them usually with a 99% alcohol solution, but any quickly evaporative cleaner away from flame I thinking would work as well or better. Clean toothbrush and air.
Proper lube on moving parts with lucas gun oil for me and beeswax on the sprue. Several of my sprues have scored due to carelessness on my part, but so far hasn't proven critical.
I received a graphite solution from one mold maker that you brushed on and that was the easiest ever solution... pun yes.. early morning here... but I do also use a butane lighter.
As for heating up the mold, I've tried them all, and just wind up casting and recycling for the first few bullets works for me... of course my highest capacity mold is two...
Take your time is what I was advised let the mold adjust itself after pouring and then open the sprue keeping a good grip on the handles.... my methods and I'm stickin to it...
Dip a corner of the mold into the molten lead in the pot for a minute or two.
Once you start casting the mold will retain the necessary heat.
20-30 seconds max!
A buddy of mine also has molds from Ballisticast and Mountain Molds. Very nice molds.
I also have an old TC mold for the .45 Maxi Ball.
I cast my own. BUTTT thats a hell of a good price. Almost makes me want to write out a check instead of taking out the casting pot
Link no longer valid.
You might find him by asking the question here... http://thedwbs.com/
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