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Thread: Boolit Casting, new experience begins

  1. #31
    Graduate BWest's Avatar
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    I own two Lyman molds, and they work great, but I have 8 Lee molds, which I consider to be the best value.

    My method of using the Lee molds:

    prep:

    1.Take a lighter and burn off whatever packing grease or whatever is currently in the mold, you can also use alchohol or brake cleaner but I've just used a lighter on my last couple molds and it's done fine.

    2. Smoke the mold, you can use a candle, let the flame touch every surface of the mold and blacken it, both the inside cavity and flat surfaces around the cavity. I typically use a piece of lighter wood, since the flame is bigger and it will blacken the whole mold very fast.

    3. oil joints, take some 3 in 1 or whatever (5w30, rem oil...) and oil the joint on the handles. Then open the sprue plate and oil the hinge screw, and move it back and forth a bunch to make sure it is loose enough to move freely. If I can, I'll even take a phillips screwdriver and try and loosen the screw a quarter turn, though the gorillas at Lee tighten them really well so I haven't always been able to. I consider the sprue plate to be the weak part of Lee's design, as the molds heat up they get hard to open, and on one of my molds I've even gouged the top of the mold because the sprue plate was too tight. I also lightly oil the bottom surface of the sprue plate, so it lubricates it moving across the top of the mold surface, I think it helps some.

    Use:

    Lee molds cast shitty bullets until they heat up, then they cast good ones. Being aluminum, they heat up pretty fast, but also cool fast, so you should cast as fast as you safely can to get repeatable quality pours and drops.

    Before using them, I will stage the molds by leaning them against the pot to preheat. I've always leaned them sprue plate facing up, I don't know if the other way would make a difference. Then, once I'm ready to cast I will cast several bullets and drop them directly back into the molten lead (from pretty close to avoid splashing), Lee molds tend to take several castings before they really heat up enough to drop good looking bullets. (that being said, slightly ugly bullets don't matter all that much in my opinion, in most cases)

    after filling however many cavities, I will pour a little lead on to the plate, this gives a large enough piece to pull any lead that gets stuck in the holes in the sprue plate free.

    I don't use a mold mallet unless I absolutely can't open the sprue by hand. I feel this prolongs the life of the mold (cause you aren't beating on it), and is more time efficient. I just wear thick leather gloves and push the sprue open with the palm of my hand, then if it is hot enough the cutoff excess lead should just fall off, then I just open the mold and shake it to get the bullets to fall out onto a wet towel.

  2. #32
    Graduate BWest's Avatar
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    Also I highly suggest getting the Lyman (or maybe other brands have them too) ball dipper with the nipple that mates up directly to the holes in the sprue plate, much easier than a ladle like Lee has.

  3. #33
    Graduate BWest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BWest View Post
    Also I highly suggest getting the Lyman (or maybe other brands have them too) ball dipper with the nipple that mates up directly to the holes in the sprue plate, much easier than a ladle like Lee has.
    I forgot, you have a bottom pour don't you mapper, probably even easier than the ball dipper

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