View Full Version : Need repaired "Ideal .45 Colt's" hand tool

Sixgun Slinger
01-12-2009, 05:35 AM
Hello fellow leadheads. New to the board and this is my first post, so I figure what better way to get started than to ask for a bit of help from you fellers.:drinks:

After searching for many moons for an Ideal .45 Colt's reloading hand tong tool I finally found one about a year back in excellent cond. (for being 100 + years old that is).:coffee: However, before I ever got to cast a boolit or load a round with it I found myself with a cracked mold half. The mold cavity itself is not broke, but rather where it attaches to the head of the tong handle.

To make a long story short I had a buddy (had being the operative word) in the shop and he started messing with it and the sprue plate was spun around backward while he was trying out seating a bullet into a case. The end result was him jamming the sprue plate into the stop pin and when he applied pressure (about the time I blurted out STOP)! You guessed it....the half of the mold body attached to the sprue plate cracked and seperated at the base. Not broke off completely, but still hanging on by a thin strip at the bottom.

Can anyone tell me where I can get this repaired and done properly and if so what a repair like this would cost?:confused:

Thanks in advance.

01-12-2009, 06:03 AM
10 to 1 it is made of cast iron and brazing would be one solution.

01-12-2009, 06:33 AM
Check here.


If anyone would know where to get a tong tool repaiered I would bet Rick would.

We have more than a few folks on site who are knowledgeable about tong tools, one of them will be along soon with additional advice.

01-12-2009, 11:00 AM
First welcome aboard!

Plus one on Rick at the 310 shop being your source for a repair, if possible.

Now you know why reloading tools are guarded, and hoarded, by guys who don't seem real keen on loaning them out!

Lot's of stories can be told. Best one I know: took a machine shop class for a couple semesters at the local college. One time a guy came in to learn to run a lathe. He and his "bud's" bought everything in a group ( not a bad idea in itself) and swap tools molds and machine back and forth.

The punch line? He brought in a mold one day, don't rmember the number on it, a dc Lyman 38 wadcutter mold. Wasn't a square corner on the poor thing! Plate was bent, cavities were peened in!

All the uglyness we've seen or heard about was present in this one mold! Seems the "group" members couldn't figure out two things: 1. why the boolits didn't fall out any more and why the couldn't hit anything with it when they did get boolts out of it!

He headed off to the surface grinder and I didn't say squat. By days end he was gonna make 50 grain wadcutters!

Sixgun Slinger
01-12-2009, 12:39 PM
Thanks StrawHat & HeavyMetal for reccomending Rick at the 310 shop. I just got off the phone with him and he had a great solution to my dilema and was a pleasure to speak with as well. He had already seen my post early this morning and upon telling him who I was he was very polite and went out of his way to help me out.

Thanks Rick and the Cast Boolits crew!:drinks: You are all a bunch of real helpful folks and I am sorry I did not sign up sooner.:oops:

01-12-2009, 11:29 PM
I had the same thing happen with my Ideal .38-40 tool. The grandson was running bullets that I lubed through the sizer when he siezed up the plate in the same manner. Busted the head off the screw holding the plate and bent the pin stop. He hid the parts and I never found out about it till some weeks after he went home. I got the broken screw out and now need to find a replacement screw that looks SOMEWHAT like the original. I'll call the 310 man.

Sixgun Slinger
01-13-2009, 03:08 AM
hydraulic, I would say you got off lucky my friend if you only suffered a sheared sprue plate screw.:wink: Giving that the .38-40 tool is a little more obtainable of the 2. Not saying your situation is any less disheartning than mine, but I see the .38-40 tools here and there. I looked for about 8 years for my .45 Colt's tool before stumbling upon one. Give Rick a call at the 310 shop and I bet just from speaking with him today he can either help you out or point you in the right direction.:wink: Best of luck.

01-13-2009, 12:22 PM
Hydraulic, don't you know a fellow with a lathe??? Or maybe he even has some spare screws???

01-13-2009, 04:20 PM
[QUOTE=Sixgun Slinger;467052]Thanks StrawHat & HeavyMetal for reccomending Rick at the 310 shop. I just got off the phone with him and he had a great solution to my dilema and was a pleasure to speak with as well. QUOTE]


What solution does he propose (for curiosities sake)?


I'll bet that screw is a pretty odd duck. The Ideal sprue plate screw is a #10 x 36. Just try finding one of those.


01-13-2009, 07:45 PM
Sounds to me like the side broke out of the mold half, not just the screw. Brazing would be my way of repairing it, with the mold halves clamped tightly together, of course.

01-13-2009, 11:07 PM
KCSO: I had intended to talk to my gunsmith at the Bloomfield show but he was off making money guarding windmills. Hope Mike got your stuff to you. I'll give you a ring.

01-13-2009, 11:09 PM
Sixgun: Would you believe-I only have two of the old #6's and the other one is a .45 Colt.

Sixgun Slinger
01-14-2009, 01:51 AM
Catshooter: He sugested a couple of options actually. Brazing was one solution, but since it is the sprue plate side of the mold that is broke we discussed how well it would hold up over time with the heating/cooling as well as the knocking around on the plate itself. The second option discussed is the one I am leaning toward but reluctant to do for the sake of makeing two tools out of one is to cut off the other mold half and slot both halves for a set of handles. The other option was to try and have it welded with cast rod and reground.

To be quite honest I am still not sure how to have it repaired at this point. While all options seem viable I would like to try to get it repaired to the state it was in (or as close as possible) without having to cut the mold off or haveing a noticable brazing streak on there.

While Rick spent a good deal of time away from the shop on the phone with me (which I greatly apreciate), I am still pondering how to go about it.

dale clawson: Would your reply have been directed at myself or hydraulic Sir? If it was in relation to my issue I will expand a bit for clarification purposes. The screw was not aflicted, nor was the cavity itself, but rather one half of the mold was broke where it is attached to the handle itself. Either way I do apreciate your reply and your input. It seems that the concensus would be Brazing which I had thought about considerably long before posting this here. However as I mentioned above in response to Catshooter "I would like to try to get it repaired to the state it was in (or as close as possible) without having to cut the mold off or haveing a noticable brazing streak on there."

hydraulic: Sounds like you are sitting good since you have a back up #6. With all 3 of them combined you must be pressed for space. Knowing myself how a guy can run out of room for things and since I am always happy to help out a fellow shooter I would be glad to help you out. Just send me your .45 Colt tool and you should have a lot of space left over pard.[smilie=1:

01-14-2009, 02:13 AM
Sixgun it looks like you have to make the tough call here!

Faced with your problem, and realizing that no repair will ever be invisable or make the mold like new, I think I'd opt for the two tool route!

It won't be as handy as the original design but, done right, it won't look like it was "Disney Engineered" either!

My idea is do the repair once! Anything else may require attention every time you turn around!

Wish I had a better suggestion for ya, but I don't.

Sixgun Slinger
01-14-2009, 03:19 AM
HeavyMetal you are absolutely right Sir. I was thinking right after my last post that any repair is going to be noticable no matter what and would be iffy at best. Althaoth an extra pair of handles would take up a bit more space in my saddle bags (which is one reason I sought out this particular tool).

I also have concluded that making 2 tools out of one would be no great feat for me to do and I could make it happen so as to look like they were made that way from the get go and never be in fear of the repair becoming disfunct at the most inopertune time. Which would be no less than way out in the back fourty with no way to repair it there. Bad as I hate to mame this Ol' beauty (or what was) I am in agreement with you that doing it once is the route to take and not look back!:coffee:

By the by, where abouts in Orange County is the homestead if you don't mind me asking? I live in Bakersfield for about 8 years back when I was a youngster. I made it back out there about 10 years ago and was dumb founded at how much things had changed.

I would like to thank all you nice fellers that posted here with all the helpfull advice. I would also like to thank Rick at the 310 shop for takeing time out from the shop to chat with me and provide his help as well and last,but not least to the Cast Boolits crew for makeing it possible with the great site they have provided us with to make it all possible. Hat's off to all you fine folks.:drinks:

01-14-2009, 10:34 AM
Send it to me and I will fix it N/C. Just pay the shipping. It may take me a bit till my arms better but I specialize in cast and tool steel repairs. Been doing it for 25+ years and never a complaint.

01-14-2009, 10:46 AM

I live in north Orange county, just "spitting" distance from the L.A. County line.

Which puts me just East of Whittier.

Yep, the contractors making strip malls and houses have changed the face of L. A.

If you lived in Bakersfield you may have come down and shot at Wes Thompson old Juniper tree range off the 14 freeway.

It and Wes are long gone I hear but the house's are still there, waiting to clear foreclosure.

01-14-2009, 01:46 PM

There are people who weld cast iron and if they know what they are doing you can't tell it was repaired. Takes someone who knows what they are doing. I would talk with mikenbarb. The process involves pre-heating the pieces. Great forum, ain't it? Good luck.


Sixgun Slinger
01-14-2009, 06:15 PM
Here are a couple of pics. that I had forgot I had saved or I would have posted them in my original post. The first pic. shows how the mold half was seperated. The second pic. shows where the mold half was broke indicated by the red line.


HeavyMetal: I know exactly were whittier is and been the several times. Although I would have loved to shoot at that range I was just a young man back then and didn't own or know anyone that owned any shootin' iron out that way back then.
I spent most of my time at the Kern River acting like a heathen.[smilie=1:

Catshooter: I am going to talk with mikenbarb a bit to see what he has to say although I must admit, the 2 seperate tool idea is still weighing heavy in my mind.

mikenbarb: Sending you a PM pard.:coffee:

01-14-2009, 09:26 PM
Those pics are sad. I'd love to own one of those tools too. Good luck.


01-14-2009, 10:15 PM
Catshooter: Yankton show 23rd & 24th.

01-14-2009, 10:21 PM
Here's a picture of my .38-40 #6 and my .30-40 Single Action of 1896.

01-14-2009, 10:22 PM
I mean .38-40 Single Action

01-15-2009, 02:12 PM

The Yankton show will be my first in South Dakota and I'm looking forward to it. Will you be going? I'm new to the area and don't know where Niobrara is.

About the #6 tool with the sheared screw, did you have any luck repairing it? Were you able to get the broken off stub out of the mould block? If you aren't having any luck with it's repair, I might be able to help you. Just don't let go of the broken parts. I may be able to make a screw. If I can help let me know.

That is a very cool pic and some excellent equipment. I've always wanted a set up like that and I think now that I'm retired I just may have to.


01-15-2009, 10:59 PM
Catshooter: I have a table at the Yankton show. I'll be the old guy with a white cowboy hat and a goodlooking young wife.

01-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Excellent! I will look for you. White cowboy hat, goodlooking young wife.


01-16-2009, 08:15 PM
Im quite sure I can fix it. It will require a preheat and will need to be furnace brazed with a hi temp cast alloy. Its tough to be certain if it can be fixed till I see it but it dont look that bad and im pretty sure it can be done. The downfall is that any nickel will have to be removed from the weld joint area and it will be discolored from the heat but it will be a working tool when its done.

01-24-2009, 10:24 PM

I looked real hard for you at the show, and even embarassed myself a couple of times with guys with cowboy hats that weren't you. Sorry I couldn't find you. Maybe next time?


01-29-2009, 05:39 PM
I was going to sugest SS rod as I have done a lot of large casting that way.and good chance of it blending in.:coffeecom[smilie=1: