View Full Version : Gunk On Lee Mould
02-02-2006, 10:33 PM
Greetings from South Africa.
I recently started casting for my .45ACP using a Lee mould. The instructions say that you must regularly lubricate the mould. I did this and now have a layer of burnt varnish residue on the mould. How can I clean the mould to remove this residue.
02-03-2006, 12:10 AM
I have not bought a Lee mould recently, so I haven't seen the instructions you are reading.
But, Lee moulds are all made of aluminum. Only the places that pivot need lubrication to reduce wear. That would be the pivot screw for the sprue plate and the point where the blocks mount to the handles. The mould itself, and the cavities, require nothing.
Some people do like to put some anti-seize compound under the sprue plate.
Not sure what is the best way to clean up the mess you have...
Perhaps a good soak in mineral spirits will soften that varnish.
If that doesn't work, carburetor cleaner should...
02-03-2006, 04:08 AM
If what you have is more or less a brown to blackish residue left by the lube- don't worry about it. An aluminum mould will never stay as pretty as an iron mould, but it's of no importance. If it's so thick it's binding up the works then get the mould hot and try scraping it away with a wooden stick. If it really bothers you you can try one of the 3M abrasive pads or maybe some 320 grit AO paper backed up on a flat surface. I'd leave it if I was you and just consider it "battle scars".
02-03-2006, 07:11 AM
Agreement here with Bret's take regarding Lee molds. There needs to be a very small amount of lubrication on the mold contact/alignment surfaces, or these surfaces will get "sticky" and gall over time. This lubrication leaves behind a stain, a lot of which gets removed by the carb cleaner I use before starting with each mold. Some staining remains, though--I just live with it. Lee molds--at least the one- and two-cavity critters--are disposables anyway. Mine have greatly outlasted my service life expectations--so everything is "free" now.
02-04-2006, 04:53 AM
..................John a hearty greeting to the board. Just out of curiousity, what does a Lee mould go for down there? Are there any mould makers 'In Country'?
If you're using the NRA formula, 50/50 alox/beeswax lube to do the Lee mould then the brown stain is a petroleum residue. I suggest as the others did that if it isn't causing any problems to your using the mould then don't worry about it.
As you know the mould blocks are extruded and they do their vertical alingment via the 2 opposed 'V's on either edge of the blocks. You cannot get away from the fact that molten lead close to the slumping temp of aluminum is being repeatedly poured into them. Something we cannot get away from is the fact that when aluminum is heated to that degree it gets sticky.
So then, the Lee instructions stress lubrication. As Deputy Al said, the moulds in effect ARE eventually disposable, but we'd like to hold that off as long as possible, eh? If the old lube is causing issues then by all means clean it off. Most any solvent should clean it up. Carbureter cleaner, acetone, paint thinner, etc. If it will cut oil and grease then it will work for you to clean it off.
02-04-2006, 11:36 AM
Thanks for all the replies to my query. The mould works fine, just looks awful. As advised I will just carry on using it.
Lee moulds cost about $ 42.00 in South Africa, but are often in short supply. I don't know of any moulds made in this country. I also cast .44 round balls for use in my Uberti Remington New Army and my Uberti Colt army.
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