View Full Version : My Star is ozing

11-13-2007, 01:13 AM
My star is leaking lube between the die and the body. I am doing a single groove Saeco 69 bullet, (like a plain based H&G 68), 45 acp boolit. I'm also using Lar's BAC lube.

I am using the middle row of holes with the others plugged. It also gives me 3 lines of lube on the nose every 8 or 10 boolits, which I assume is from the lube holes.

Any ideas?



Lloyd Smale
11-13-2007, 06:56 AM
if your using heat it could be to hot. You could also be using to much pressure on your screw.

11-13-2007, 09:38 AM

as Lloyd said, it is a combination of too much heat and/or pressure. Reduce the pressure and the streaks on the boolit nose should disappear. The other leak will probably seal itself also.

I only increase pressure every 50 or so boolits when using a star. It doesn't need to happen often with the spring setup they use. It's much different than a RCBS/Lyman where you need to increase pressure every couple boolits.


11-13-2007, 11:32 AM
Too much pressure. Be patient when you increase the pressure - it takes a little time for the semi-solid lube to show the effects of increasing the pressure.

11-15-2007, 01:22 PM
How old is the O-ring in the sizer body? Assuming you have a newer version of the Star.

Morgan Astorbilt
11-15-2007, 02:40 PM
Not to steal the thread, but it seemed like the proper one.
I just received the Star sizer I won on eBay, and it's in worse shape than I expected. It's an older model without O-rings, and was shipped with the die removed. The bottom of the die chamber in the base is gouged up pretty bad, looks like a screw was dug into the aluminum, there are gouges that look like screw threads. Someone probably messed it up pounding out the die from the bottom. I'm expecting it to leak if I try to use it. Will Magma be able to cut a seat for an O-ring? If not, or too expensive, anybody have any ideas as to something to seal it with if it leaks(it will). I'll see if I can send it back, shoulda bought a new one:(:(:(

11-15-2007, 04:08 PM
Morgan, don't give up on that sizer just yet. You may be able to fill in the gouged places with something like JB weld, and then polish them smooth. This of course assumes that there are only some gouges, and that the whole surface area has not been wallered out. My dies don't use O-rings, I use soft lube, and I have no leaks. The above posts are right on--go easy on the lube pressure, and don't use too much heat.
BTW, as others have said, don't use the screw to hold the die in place, it isn't necessary. That is probably what happened to yours in the first place-the screw was holding the die, so someone reached for the hammer and screwdriver. Ouch...

Morgan Astorbilt
11-15-2007, 07:04 PM
Thanks, I spent the last few hours cleaning up the sizer. Mounted it on a piece of board and clamped it in a vise. Put in the .452 die, and after heating up the sizer to get the lube to flow(50-50 Alox, not hard lube) I sized a dozen or so bullets, base first, without any leakage. Somebody upthere must be looking out for me. The sizer was sold "As Is" so I would be stuck with it.
I called Magma to see about a new base, which is priced in their parts list at $36.(factory install only). She informed me that the cost to install it would be about what a new sizer would cost. I thanked her and hung up. Now that it isn't leaking, none of the alternatives I thought up, are relevent, but this is what I thought I'd try:

1- Silicone sealer.

2- Cutting an O-ring seat (By hand with my Foredom tool, using one of the dies I don't need to guide the cutter.

3- The best- Bring the aluminum heating plate I'll be using, forward under the front of the sizer, and bore a hole concentric with the die, larger than the bullet, but smaller than the die. This would give me a seat for an O ring or other seal, which would sit under the die.

All opinions are welcome.

BTW, The shop was 60f., and the 50-50 Alox-Beeswax won't go through the sizer unless I heat it. While I was lubing the bullets, it stopped entering the lube groove, and I had to re-heat it. It seems harder than the lube I mixed myself years ago. It's sold by Gar Fola Smiths' Supplies, Wayne NJ. Anybody familiar with it?

11-16-2007, 11:57 PM
Morgan i dont know how to say this. But im both happy and sad about your sizer. First i hope you get it fixed and working correctly. I will be watching the outcome of this.

Second im so glad i did not bid on that sizer. I was looking at that thing on ebay. i was going to bid very high on it to guarantee that it was mine.

11-19-2007, 02:01 AM
See if you have an address and phone number on the lube package. I have some OLD lube from GAR for Reloaders, West Patterson, NJ 973-754-1114 and read on another forum that they were no longer in business. Probably the same people. Please post the info you have.

I used it in a Lyman and then a Star for years. Good stuff and cheap---24 sticks for $26 in a catalog postmarked 2002. I still have a little of their casting flux--also good stuff. They discounted Lyman, Saeco and Redding besides the lubes.

I've got a Midway heater under the Star, set at the lowest setting for LARS's half and half just to get it flowing a little better now that it's getting cooler. It makes the Star work even better. I did the same with GAR 50/50.

:castmine: :Fire:

11-19-2007, 02:24 AM
Morgan: Only the new Stars have the o-ring. My old ones don't have it and the tolerances seem a little tighter when I put in the dies compared to my new one. For what it's worth, I don't use the o-ring in the new one anymore, it just makes it more difficult to change dies, which I do many times a week. It oozes just a bit after a month or so but it is no big deal, just wipe it off.

11-20-2007, 11:59 AM
The biggest issues using Stars with Hard lube is the balance between temperature and pressure. It drives me nuts from time to time. I run into the same issues. If its too hot you get the blobs and lines, but you can also get that from too much pressure. The first thing I usually do when I have that problem is turn down the heat. You can crank up the pressure easier with lower temps than to try reducing pressure if the lube is too warm. Different hard lubes will soften/melt at different temperatures too. Sometimes i'll shut down and walk away. it's the only thing keeping me from smashing it all with a hammer. ;-)

11-21-2007, 12:27 PM
Check the depth of your top punch the lube grooves should be in line with the holes at the bottom of the stroke also make sure all of the other holes are completely sealed with shot

Morgan Astorbilt
12-01-2007, 09:09 AM
Does the new Star use an O-ring at the top of the die as well as the bottom? I just got a new Magma sizer in like new condition with a Lyman heater, and it's leaking lube out of the top around the die. The die is very easy to remove, I can push it up easily with my finger, when it's heated. I an in the process of setting it up for 160gr. .452 bullets, and followed their instructions by laying the bullet next to the die and measuring. I had to use the bottom row of holes, but when I did this, the top punch couldn't be set low enough to reach the bullet, the threads hitting the die. I changed to the next set of holes, but am having problems with leakage. Worked 'till 2:30 in the morning. Got to leave now for a Cowboy Action Match, will get back to it this afternoon.

12-01-2007, 11:00 AM
I have a STAR sizer/luber that I have had for years. I used NRA Alox/Beeswax for years with excellent results without heating (climate controlled basement shop). Then I used Emmert's Home mix with excellent results (works with both black and smokeless and does not require heat). Most recently, I have started using Lar's Carnauba Red. As advertised, it requires a bit of heat. I have the Lyman non-adjustable heater that the luber mounts on. I use a reostat to control the heat. I use the least amount of heat necessary. My "rheostat" is the Dremel speed regulator for the Dremel Tool. It works great allowing fine tuning of the heat required (in this case, just "warm").



12-01-2007, 12:43 PM
Morgan, that die does sound too loose. My dies are a really snug fit--the lifting tool is definitely needed for removal. Maybe you do need an O-ring on that one.It also sounds like you need to make a longer punch for you short bullet--or modify an existing one.
I have a Lyman heater mounted under my Star sizer, and I control the heat with a plug-in lamp dimmer I got at Lowe's. Like Dale's, while in use mine stays on the lowest setting, as I use the old NRA formula soft lube. Too much heat and things can get messy pretty quick.

Morgan Astorbilt
12-01-2007, 06:24 PM
Thanks, I called Lyman and they said the heater is only 20w. Instead of a wall switch type dimmer, I'll probably try a table lamp dimmer that comes with a cord that has a rotary dimmer control, and a slide on/off switch so the setting can be maintained. If that doesn't work, I've probably got an old ceramic rheostat, the kind you slide a clamping tap along the nichrome wire to get the resistance needed. This way, I can also run a bypass to give full voltage until the sizer heats up. This seems to take forever with the Lyman unit.

If I remember, the die is relieved right below the top flange. Not a real o-ring seat (too wide), but it might take one. Otherwise I might wrap it with waxed nylon thread and press fit it in. I only intend to run .452 bullets through it, so removal won't be a problem.