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What clever little things have you "invented or discovered" that you can share?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by James THR, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. brucelytle

    brucelytle Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    Read a bunch of these, did a search on the thread and couldn't find this one for Lee Load Master presses.
    I just got mine last week, I went through all the tips I've seen, put a dab of grease here and there... and I found a couple of other "rough" spots. One was the slider on the case feeder. Lee say's it's nickle plated, Well, yeah, but it's rough plated! A little polishing with #000 steel wool, followed with a dab of LP oil makes it slide easy and still push Mag Rifle or .223 cases just fine. After taking care of that little drag, it showed me another spot of roughness in the cycle. The indexer is pushed in by the press lever, the lever is made of cast aluminum, rough, unfinished cast aluminum. Take some 220 grit sandpaper and polish up the spot on the lever where it contacts the indexing pin. For an even finer surface, make it shiny with some 400 or 600 grit. A little (very little) dab of grease at that spot doesn't hurt either.
    I saw a video on You Tube the other day, a fellow had placed what looked like either a VERY bright LED, or laser underneath his powder feed station. The narration was in Dutch (I think) so I didn't understand, until he put a case that was missing a primer, LED shined up through the empty primer hole to let you know you missed one.
  2. trixter

    trixter Member

    Mar 1, 2011
    Where E. Pine St. crosses I-5, OREGON
    Thank you for the information. Always good to know more about the Loadmaster.
  3. brucelytle

    brucelytle Member

    Feb 25, 2012
    An added note (I've been up all night working on this one). The indexing rod has the "flipper" attached to it. The flipper's end is squared off, this does not make good contact with the polished handle (maybe 1/8" square) if you look at the surface that contacts the handle, just as the handle contacts it, from the top you can see the angle that it is off, from the right side you can see the contact area (not much!). From the right side view, draw a line from the top of the surface contacting the handle, to the bottom (tapered) edge, remove the nylon that sticks out past the line. I used a belt sander to do it. Just flatten that surface, this will come very close to matching the angle of the handle when it comes in contact with the flipper. As the handle is pushed further up, the flipper and index rod pivots in towards the frame.Tapering the same surface (looking from the top) to assist in that pivot, helps a lot also.
    Put a dab `o grease on the contact surface, and give it a whirl! You'll be amazed, I can flip the handle up with a finger, from all the way down, it will go up, index, and stop in the up position. Can ya do that with a Dillon? (Just asking!)
    This little mod, increases the bearing surface, decreasing the amount of pressure to actuate, alleviates "some" of the upward movement of the index rod, (contouring the handle properly would eliminate any upward thrust on the index rod) and aids in the pivoting of the rod.
  4. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

    Oct 19, 2010
    East TN
    Hornady L-N-L Powder Measure Drop Tubes

    After having trouble purchasing additional powder dies for my Hornady L-N-L progressive press due to out of stock status as well as getting some inspiration from forum member Walkalong, I decided to make drop tubes (aka funnels) for my press so that I do not need separately adjusted powder dies for each cartridge.

    The attached photo shows the drop tubes. From left to right is 45 Colt, 44 Special, 40 S&W, 38 Special, 38 Super, 357 Sig, 38/45 Clerke, 380 ACP and 30 Carbine.

    The 38 Special drop tube is a Hornady part. This tube is used as the pattern for the rest and the powder die is adjusted for the 38 Special case.

    The length of the drop tube is adjusted to account for the difference in length of the cases from 38 Special. Cases longer than 38 Special are shorter and cases shorter than 38 Special are longer.

    I do not use the powder drop to expand the case mouth, that is done at another time. So, the bottom section of the drop tubes are cut square and the case pushes up on the step. A flare to expand the case mouth could be machined in the tube to expand the case mouth.

    Also, I machined mine out of bronze, in part for ease of machining. For case mouth expanding drop tubes, steel would probably have a longer life.

    With these powder drop tubes I only need one powder drop die. I have about $35 in material.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 5, 2012
  5. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

    Jan 16, 2009
    Western Ks
    Darn! Wish I'd known about this before I bought 6 or 7 dies.
  6. FrankAl

    FrankAl Member

    Oct 18, 2011
    Shell block / holders

    I make my own shell block/ holders with a hole large enough for the head and a smaller hole inside the larger one to fit the neck . That way I can reverse the shell top to bottom or bottom to top in the same hole with each step and thus stop what I am doing on any step of reloading and come back to the next shell even days later if needed and never double fill or forget which shell I had already done and I do not need two blocks to avoid double fills or redoing what I have already done on a given shell.I find this causes less clutter that 2 blocks cause and I actually find it easier to do it this way than with 2 blocks with less chance for error.
  7. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    Very nice work there cfullgraf.
    Sure beats adjusting the LNL powder measure linkage all the time. Plus expanding with regular expanders, you know the amount of expansion stays the same all the time, and, of course, it would also do so if you machined those inserts to expand as well. A much better set up IMHO.
  8. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    May 25, 2011
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    cfullgaf, very good work, those will keep the powder dispenser from damaging/rolling the mouth in.
    AK Dano likes this.
  9. gamestalker

    gamestalker member

    Sep 10, 2008
    SW Arizona
    Way back when I started reloading, I discovered that if I lightly ream and chamfer my pistol brass, that belling the mouths is not necessary. Whats more, I never have to be concerned about neck tension when I'm seating bullets for an auto loading application. Another advantage is that the bullets almost always get started square to the mouth.

    I doubt this method will work for those that load non jacketed bullets though.
  10. danbowkley

    danbowkley Member

    Dec 4, 2011
    Based in Belleview, FL USA (but probably on the op
    Loaded round counter

    So I got bored the other day and went to Skycraft, an industrial surplus store down in Orlando. They had these little mechanical counters for $3.50 and I got one just for gits and shiggles. Then I got an inspiration: stick it on a case-activated powder drop. Now you've got a running count of how many rounds you've loaded in a session. Sweet!

    All I did was machine off a ledge on the Lee auto disk measure so the counter sits up against the barrel part of things, and glue the counter right on with model airplane glue. Let it set up overnight and then added the little rod that comes down from the counter shaft and gets whacked by the disk (micrometer thingamabob in my case) and hey presto.

    th_IMG_20120314_153525.jpg th_IMG_20120315_015449.jpg th_IMG_20120315_015454.jpg th_IMG_20120315_015504.jpg th_IMG_20120315_015516.jpg th_IMG_20120315_015528.jpg
  11. 3006mv

    3006mv Member

    Dec 19, 2005
    so cal
    ^ that counter is cool.
    I had a friend aluminum tig weld a "handle" 90 degrees to the wheel/drum of a chinese copy (SmartReloader) of the Lee Perfect Powder Measure b/c they expect you to turn it w/ that wheel which is very uncomfortable if not impossible to do. I also added some longer screws to the mount of my Lee PPM to extend it out so I could reach and drop powder in cases in my case tray. I can now reach the third row and just rotate it around the corners to fill more. 2 ss screws w/ 3 nuts each. brought the stand to the store to find out what size screw fit the threads for it.
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2012
  12. gathert

    gathert Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Clemson, SC, Good old USA
    I've got the same powder thrower and was trying to think of a good way to make a stand off to get to the middle rows of standard bullet holders. Looks like a pretty solid idea.
  13. joneb

    joneb Member

    Aug 18, 2005
    Here are some homemade inertia pullers, I use use them often when adjusting seating depths.
    reloading 001.jpg

    reloading 002.jpg
  14. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    I read a post that said that if you were rolling your cases on a pad with case lube on it, you could use regular un-dyed dish soap. Why can't you use dyed dish soap?

    I make my own loading blocks, but I use a 3x4 and a 2x4 for the same set. I drill holes deep enough in the 3x block to put the whole case in, except the neck (.30-'06), and use a step drill to drill holes into the 2x at the same spacing so they will fit the bullet profile, and so I can stack the 2x on top of the 3x and hold the loaded rounds in it. After I get the holes drilled, I glue quarter inch plywood to the outside of the 3x, the bottom gets the same dimensions as the 3x block, and the sides get the same length, but enough height to hold the 2x in place, and cover the sides of the 2x as well as the 3x blocks. then I glue a piece of plywood to the top of this box and I have a combination loading block and cartridge box. Just make sure that you drill the holes in the right spots. Use different dimensions to get boxes for different cartridges.
  15. edistoriverrat

    edistoriverrat Member

    Feb 19, 2012
    Here is a Tick solution guaranteed to work. Get a can of Turpentine, mineral spirts, or paint thinner. Turpentine is best, but they all work just as good. Put some in a spray bottle. Tuck your pants in your boots if possible, and spray a mist from your boots up around your waist, heavier around the boot tops and the belt area where ticks can enter. If you spray your bare skin it can burn some so be careful. When I remember to spray I have never had a tick. Have used this method for 30 years or longer.
    An older man told me about it, and he said he would fill a tablespoon with sugar, then pour turpentine on it and swallow it. I tried it once with him and it does work, you sweat turpentine out the pores in your body, but it is so nasty you taste it for 3 days after. Never again for me.
    Try the spray, it will work.
  16. JLDickmon

    JLDickmon Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    Comstock, MI
    how does that work as far as static electricity build-up?
  17. Clark

    Clark Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Where I5 meets the rain forest
    For the thumbler tumbler I had trouble with the 1/4-20 wing nuts and washers:
    1) They fell on the floor.
    2) They hurt my fingers.

    1) So I glued the washers to the lid.
    2) So I put a magnet on the lid to hang onto the wing nuts.
    3) So I de burred the wing nuts, but the wing nuts were stamped sheet metal and I could not get a large edge radius. So I bough some solid wing nuts and de burred them.
    1/4-20 Wing Nut Cold Forged Type A Zinc
  18. OldLincoln

    OldLincoln Member

    Dec 2, 2010
    1. I bought walnut media at a pet store scoring 25lbs for under $10. I put it into 1 gal ziplock freezer bags and those back into the 25lb bag for storage. No spills and no wilting of product.

    2. I discovered a use for our empty peanut jars from Costco. I have a few and track reloading progress via the checklist. The back side shows volume in hundreds (9mm & 45):


  19. Hogpauls

    Hogpauls Member

    Apr 8, 2010
    Boise, ID
    I haven't invented or discovered these but my spin on some homemade goodies. I made some loading blocks for .44 mag and had some wood left over. From the left over wood I made a loading block/box for my speedloaders. I only have 4 speedloaders and with the block/box it gives me the perfect amount of rounds of .44 mag to shoot at the range once the loaded speedloaders are emptied.


  20. Josh45

    Josh45 Member

    Jan 22, 2011

    That's a nice little toy you have there for the speedloaders. You make them or bought that one? If you know where I can get some, Please let me know on here or thru a PM. I would be interested in finding out how much one would run me for a .38/.357
  21. kingmt

    kingmt Member

    Nov 17, 2009
    I put gas or fuel oil on my boots when berry pickin. No Chigers ether.
  22. jk2008

    jk2008 Member

    Nov 13, 2008
    Colorado Plains
    When I was a kid we dusted our shoes, socks, and pant-legs with powdered sulfur to keep the chiggers off when we went huckleberry picking. Seemed to work well.
  23. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

    Dec 25, 2009
    Northern KY
    This is hardly revolutionary, but if you own several of the Lee one or two cavity bullet molds they kinda look alike in the bottom of a storage drawer. I write the caliber and weight on the handles with a Sharpie, then spritz them with some clear spray lacquer once they have dried for a couple of days.

    I also tie them together with twist ties so they don't bang around and damage the soft aluminum. Rubber bands would be better,but they don't seem to last long when exposed to air.

  24. Skinnedknuckles

    Skinnedknuckles Member

    Jul 3, 2011
    39 pages in one sitting

    I'll offer a couple of tips for all the ones I read today.

    Bullets of the same shape but different weights are hard to tell apart in reference cartridges used for seating die set up. I used a hand engraver to permanently mark the weight and manufacturer of the bullet. I also save my reference cartridges in a pastic tray from a commercial box of cartridges (I only load .38/,357 and 9mm so they fit the same block).

    The adjusting screw in the Lee Adjustable Charge Bar does have some play. To get the best repeatability, always back out the screw (larger size) and then screw it in to the desired setting. You will get a slightly different charge if you adjust from a smaller setting the desired setting.
  25. ssmith1187

    ssmith1187 Member

    Dec 14, 2011
    While not earth shattering, a little trick that I have used makes returning to the bench a bit easier. Perhaps you were measuring O.A.L. or resizing your brass or checking for neck concentricity, whatever the task might be, and something called you away from your duties. By placing a straw/coffee stirrer in the case that needs to be touched next (or the last one you touched, that’s up to you), if offers an quick visual index on where you left off.


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