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New press and dies. Should I prep them?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Katitmail, May 30, 2013.

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  1. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    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" ?
     
  2. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    Rinse dies off with brake cleaner.
     
  3. ArtP

    ArtP Member

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    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. :)
     
  4. BBQJOE

    BBQJOE Member

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    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.
     
  5. Fire_Moose

    Fire_Moose Member

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    If you get yer press pulled apart post how. I couldn't get the ram to Come out.

    Sent from my CZ85 Combat
     
  6. KansasSasquatch

    KansasSasquatch Member

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    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.
     
  7. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    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.
     
  8. Mohave-Tec

    Mohave-Tec Member

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    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.
     
  9. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    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
     
  10. the count

    the count Member

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    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.
     
  11. joecil

    joecil Member

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    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.
     
  12. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    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.
     
  13. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2013
  14. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    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.
     
  15. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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 :)
     
  16. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    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.
     
  17. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    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.
     
  18. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    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.
     
  19. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    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
     
  20. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

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    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
     
  21. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    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?
     
  22. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf member

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    Call them and get a new one.. they'll send you one or more for free. that sucks
     
  23. joecil

    joecil Member

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    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.
     
  24. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    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.
     
  25. edfardos

    edfardos Member

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    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
     
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