View Full Version : Old HARD lube removal

09-29-2005, 10:47 PM
I was scrounging tonight at a junk shop ,AKA an old gun shop .
I found 14 used lyman sizing dies in a box .
They are caked with some kind of old Hard black lube .
Most are so caked I can't read the size .
And the lube is almost like tar , it will not chip off easily
The owner has know idea how or when he got them .
But a $10 bill made them mine

What is the best way of removing the old lube ?
I was thinking a hair dryer to heat the lube , but didn't want to mess up the O ring

A guy at the shop said boiling water

For $10 I can't have gone wrong .
I could read a .455 on one


09-29-2005, 10:52 PM
soak them in Eds Red for a few days it will all come clean . If no eds red use gas or diesel, .... Dean

09-29-2005, 11:14 PM
The guy at the shop had it right. Put them in an old pot and bring 'em to a boil. The old lube will melt out and float away.

crazy mark
09-30-2005, 12:52 AM
Mineral spirits will work also. A lot safer than gasoline.....

09-30-2005, 02:02 AM
If it were me having that problem I'd be careful about the o rings on the dies. Some o rings swell up or get damaged by the various solvents. i'd try putting them in very hot water to loosen up the old bullet lube. Sounds like the old lyman ideal bullet lube they used to sell some years ago. But you should be able to get replacement o rings from lyman. Frank

09-30-2005, 07:22 AM
O-rings are so cheap I wouldnt worry about them, but hot soapy water ought to soften the stuff up, I'd try as hot as I can get from the tap first, run them under it to warm them and then let them soak, my tap water is pretty durn hot.


09-30-2005, 08:39 AM
johnch, After you get the ancient lube out of the dies, check for a stepped interior. The old Lyman dies (pre-1970?) with the step were brutal to boolits.
If the dies are old style, they are still good for boring or lapping out to a larger size.

09-30-2005, 09:31 AM
I have yet to find a lube of any kind that won't flow nicely when subjected to hot tap water. SWMBO can object to the odors produced by Javelina Lube during this process, so choose times discreetly for such operations.

09-30-2005, 11:01 AM
Most any hardware store carries O rings, for about a nickle each.

09-30-2005, 11:16 AM
I don't advise soaking the O-rings in this, remove them first, but MEK is a solvent for paraffin. We used it on the unit I worked at for the Sunoco Oil Refinery.


09-30-2005, 07:23 PM
If you use the hot water method (my choice, too) it might be better to make that hot SOAPY water. There's an equation I remember from algebra, or was it plumbing, class. "grease+hair+drain=$$$". None of us want to look bad in SWMBO's kitchen.

09-30-2005, 07:47 PM
Thanks for the ideas I just started a OLD pan full of water on the stove

I will dump it on some weeds .