View Full Version : newbie help/ how to get started
07-20-2007, 04:44 AM
I am totally green at this. I am interested in learning how to cast and getting myself a basic set up for it. By nature I am one with a techie kind of brain and one who can do a very good job self teaching as long as I have a good, accurate & technical manual to use (could be online stuff) for the job.
Can you guys tell me where to find what I want? Is the Lyman guide a good place to start, or are there better texts? Perhaps I am blind, but surfing this site, I don't see a "primer" anywhere on how to get started (probably I am not keying in the right search phrases). I am mostly interested in classic revolver bullets, like Keiths.
Also, do Lee/Lyman/RCBS have casting catalogs that list by number each of their stock moulds with bullet type and weights? I see you guys just rattling off mould numbers and have no reference to know what you are exactly discussing. I know often the diameter is the first 3 digits and can figure out what caliber those are for but thats all.
Lastly, I am maybe interested in purchasing some used equipment from those of you who have upgraded to bigger pots, have extras of stuff I'll need, etc.
Note, I am not inexperienced at reloading/handloading. Thanks in advance for your help and guidance. This looks like a really good forum, looks well run and very informative.
07-20-2007, 05:23 AM
Get the latest Lyman manual. Read the thing twice, then find an experianced caster in your area and convince them to let you sit in on a casting session. Your time will be well spent. Old yankee saying "make haste slowly!", learn then do, not like a lot of us who did it trial and error in the learning process. Also get a Midsouth, Midway, & GRAF catalog, and start dreaming about what you want. You can occaisionally get a good deal on ebay, but that is a buyer beware proposition.
07-20-2007, 05:53 AM
First Let me welcome you to the Board and to casting it can get you quite involved or you could be one of the few people that just keep it simple.
At any rate its a fun hobbie that will have you looking in parking lots for wheel weights. If that doesn't make sence it will later.
Here is a link for a CD of very informative information.
These are not free but worth every penny, and tons of information on Hows,Whys,
and what ifs.
07-20-2007, 07:23 AM
Geoff40 it can be as simple as using a colman stove to heat your lead with or a lot more sophisticated as using a magma mark 6 bullet maker and there are a lot of others to choose from inbetween I would not recommend buying off ebay ask here and you can usually get what you need here :castmine: 44Woody
07-20-2007, 07:43 AM
Welcome to the board. Starting out need not be too complicated or expensive. The coleman stove has served many as they began and for some still does. My advice, buy the best equipment you can afford. The old adage of "you only buy quality once" is the general idea. Lyman's Cast Bullet manuals are good reads, but don't always tell you what to do to correct a problem when things don't go as the book says it should. The membership here and these posts are invaluable as a resourse.
I would start out with a good bottom pour electric pot and Lyman or RCBS production moulds. Custom moulds will come along later without doubt.
Here is a listing of most Lyman Moulds (http://www.castpics.net/RandD/Lyman_moulds/Lyman_moulds.htm) that you will encounter and here is one for RCBS (https://shop.rcbs.com/WebConnect/,DanaInfo=shop.rcbs.com+MainServlet?storeId=webcon nect&catalogId=webconnect&langId=en_US&screenlabel=index&action=CategoryDisplay&categoryId=C12J059&route=C12J059&tabNumber=0&beginIndex=0)
07-21-2007, 09:11 PM
geoff40,Welcome to the forum.
You can find some of the stuff you need to start at salvation army.
Do not use a alum. pot, use a steel one.
and keep your eyes out at yard sales.
07-22-2007, 07:39 AM
Welcome!! A over view.....
First off keep in mind a soild 1 gallon chunk of lead is 100 LBs, so beefy stuff is good.
You need a cast iron/ steel pot to melt bulk scrap in and a burner to melt it(turkey frier/ camp stove ...etc.
Then you will need a flux(waxs,sawdust,Etc) And a ingot mold RCBS , Lyman, cupcake pan ,we use everything. And a bigger ladle of some type to fill the ingot molds.
Then you need a way to fill the boolit molds, a ladle or a bottom pour pot.
I dont like lee as a rule but their bottom pour pots are not bad for the money.
Now you need a mold and handles. a hammer handle to open the blocks, and a towel to drop them on.
Now to lube/size them.
Lots of options....pan lubing with out sizing, Lee liquid allox tumble lube , Johnsons paste wax tumble lube.
A lube /sizer with dies and top punches. or still yet a lee push through sizer isnt bad either.
Now your cooking!
You can start out for $20 or $10.000 and anywhere in between.
LBT has a book, Lyman has books,RCBS used to have a book (try e bay), but this sight has all that info +++.
Ask questions and we will be glad to help. Just keep in mind that cast boolit makers learn a lot through trial and error a lot and that makes US some of the most opinionated SOBs in the world! LOL!....Buck
07-22-2007, 02:32 PM
I am in the technical fields as well (Chemist/labtech/auto mechanic) so I understand the desire for documentation.
There has been a lot of good information here, that has been sent your way. Just a couple of things to add to it. Get a lead casting thermometer. It can be a lifesaver, whether smelting, alloting, or casting. Second, either get or make a hardness tester, or the procedure for running the brinnel hardness test. It requires a small amount of pure lead, but lots of us can send you some if you can not find some locally.
Knowing what you are doing is important. Oh, and get a good dial indicator, and a micrometer also, if possible.
who may yet get kicked out of the Republik of Kalifornia for owning too many firearms
07-22-2007, 02:39 PM
Welcome to this site, not anything I can add to whats has been posted in response to your thread, all good sound advice, welcome again!
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