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Making felt wads.

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Texas Moon, Mar 13, 2010.

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  1. Texas Moon

    Texas Moon Member

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    Finally received all the supplies to start making felt wads.
    Instead of the hammer punch I ordered the die that fits on a reloading press.
    http://www.buffaloarms.com/browse.cfm/2,245.html
    Felt came from Durofelt.
    Simple as falling off a log.
    Took me about 30 minutes to punch out about 200 wads.
    Set up the double boiler, melted the lube, tossed in the wads.
    DONE!
    Of course the proof is in the shooting. Hopefully I can get out to the range late next week.
     
  2. azyogi

    azyogi Member

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    What lube sre you going to be using? What caliber/gauge are you shooting?
     
  3. BullRunBear

    BullRunBear Member

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    Texas Moon,

    I think you'll be pleased with the result. I use a hammer punch on an old piece of cutting board and use the Gatofeo recipe for a lube. That Durofelt is great stuff and the lady who runs the business is a sweetheart. The whole process works and save a LOT of dough. Since I seldom load the cyliders full, the wads take up space so I don't have to deal with fillers. I also insert one over the powder when I load 45 Colt BP cartridges for my Vaquero.

    Jeff
     
  4. Texas Moon

    Texas Moon Member

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    Using Gatofeo's recipe in the stickie from the top of the page.
    Added some olive oil in the recipe to make it softer to use in cold temps.

    Caliber is .45 - using this in a Walker revolver.
     
  5. azyogi

    azyogi Member

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    Looking for punch/press to make wads and over cards for 20 gauge anybody doing this?
     
  6. arcticap

    arcticap Member

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    There's an outfit in Maine that makes some beautiful looking leather punches. The sets are somewhat expensive but if you scroll a little less than 1/2 way down the linked page you'll see that they sell Individual Round Arch Punches
    From 3/16" up to 4" in diameter
    starting at $12.
    They will also make custom size punches.

    http://www.brettunsvillage.com/leather/tools/tools.html
     
  7. Texas Moon

    Texas Moon Member

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    I forgot to mention one thing about this wad punch.

    It only allows material up to about 1/8" thick to be processed.
     
  8. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

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    Seems like a lot of folks like to use these punches from Harbor Freight to punch out their felt. Its not as nice as your $65 press punch but at $6 I'm more likely to go with the Harbor Freight solution and punch 'em out a bit slower. I guess the 3/8 punch is used to punch the 36 caliber wads and the 7/16 punch is for the 45 caliber.
     
  9. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

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    ClemBert stole the words right outa my mouth. I would only add that it is quite efficient to chuck the hole punches into a drill press and using the slowest rotating speed they punch out quickly over a wooden block. If you have the drill press set to a higher speed the wads will get flung farther as they emerge from the punch cutout. I took a Dremel and ground smoother a short step in the channel where the wads accumulate so they work their way up easier but i still have to start & stop the press regularly to dig out the wads every 10 or 12 punch strokes lest they get flung. Then I dump the whole pile into melted 50/50 beeswax and lard or straight deer tallow.
     
  10. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    +1 for the horrible freight punches. It's a slow process but about as inexpensive as you can find.
     
  11. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    I just use narrow strips of Paper Towel...dip the strips in molten lube, let dry/harden by laying out on Typing Paper.


    These hold plenty of Lube, and are only about .040 thick...cut out easy with a Gasket Punch.

    I don't see how Felt presents any advantage, other than people imagine it to be absorbant, which of course it is, but, so is Paper Towel.

    Hotter Molten Lube, faster dip = thinner Grease Wads...also...more like .030 I'd expect.

    It does not take a lot of Lube for a C&B Revolver to be happy..!

    Lube wise, I have been using unpurified Bee's Wax, Olive Oil, and, a dab of Paste Wax...proportions so that a cooled mass is just soft enough to dent by pressing a finger tip.

    Have not yet seen how these sit in 128 degree edge of town Summer temps...Lol...but, if cooler climes, or so far of the last Autumn and Winter, they do not sweat or impart any migration to surrounding-touching items.
     
  12. wittzo

    wittzo Member

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    oyeboten: The hard felt wads hold the lube, but they also physically scrape the bore clean when they pass through the barrel upon firing in a cap and ball. If you use them in a regular muzzleloader, they scrape the fouling twice: from the previous shots so they mix with the fresh powder, so the next shot consumes a lot of it and upon firing. Of course, it deposits a layer of lube as it passes through, too, which helps keep the barrel cleaner.

    After I fired one shot with a lubed felt wad that was .75" across in my .69 Springfield, it scraped stuff off the bore that my poor efforts of cleaning had done. Someone says lubed felt wads make your rifle self-cleaning, that's almost true.

    The felt wads have to be larger than bore size for them to do this. 7/16" is a hair too small for .44 cap and ball revolvers, but spot on for .44-40. While the lube is hot and runny, I squeeze the wads out with a pair of bamboo toaster tweezers to get the excess lube out to make them easier to load. The excess lube expands the wad and makes them harder to load.
     
  13. Hellgate

    Hellgate Member

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    The 7/16" hole punch may be "technically" a little small but I have found that when I push them into the chambers they seem to fit snugly, especially in cold weather. I believe the lube ends up cooking off as the gun is fired and softens the fouling. The bores on all my 44s stay pretty clean through a whole day's shooting during a match. I found that when I made wads out of the Circle Fly 45cal fiber cushion wads (lube soaked and split into two 1/4" thick wads [messy]) the barrel was swabbed much better than with the 1/8" felt wads. Also when I used cream of wheat for a filler the bores were pretty well scrubbed clean.
     
  14. wittzo

    wittzo Member

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    Duro-Felt sells 1/4" hard felt, but I usually load two wads when I use them, like a lot recommend; one dry wad against the powder and one lubed wad behind the ball. It should act like one thick wad when it's fired.

    I don't think I lubed the 7/16" wads when I tried them. I'm going to have to do some testing. :)
     
  15. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Member

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    Good tip on the paper towels, I'm going to make a batch of those up and see if they work for me. I have been using just straight grease cookies, the paper towel should keep them together and easier to handle, plus you can make them thinner. My 1/8 inch thick cookies can leave a lot of grease behind after a few cylinders.
     
  16. ClemBert

    ClemBert Member

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    I went ahead and took my dremel tool and opened up the 7/16th punch from 0.437 up to 0.453. I just used the cylindrical grinding stone that most people get with their dremel sets and opened up the entire channel. Now it's nice and shiney all the way to the ejection slot and burr free.
     
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