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Thread: Lyman 45 buying guide and cleanup instructions

  1. #1
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    Lyman 45 buying guide and cleanup instructions

    I don't think Lyman has made the #45 lubesizer for about 50 years,
    and it remains one of the favorite lubesizers for many of us boolit casters.
    Over the past few years, I seem to have become an expert on them
    (said tongue in cheek).

    Twice, I have bought/traded for a box of parts (some broken)
    and have re-assembled/built several #45 lubesizers from those parts.
    I have also designed/built/sold a stronger replacement handle/linkage kit,
    which is the major weak "LINK" in the #45's design IMHO.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=107488
    fyi, I am no longer selling them.

    In the last year, I have bought several complete units (like the photo's below),
    that only needed cleaning to be able to use it. Many other members here
    have done the same...and some of them, if they were NEW to lubesizing boolits,
    they would post the question, "What's the best way to clean up a
    lubesizer ?"

    So I thought I'd start a detailed thread on answering
    that question...and a few others.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I bought this at the local gunshow last week, which I am a vendor at.
    Since I was there the whole weekend, I was able to negociate
    with the vendor over the weekend and get his price down
    from his asking price...assuming he didn't sell it to someone else,
    a risk I didn't mind taking since I didn't really even want another sizer.
    He had alot of other used reloading tools, he told me he sells lubesizers
    all the time on fleaBay for $80 to $100...why wasn't he selling this one there ?
    I suspect he surfed through fleabay and seen what they go for and was
    just BSing me. He also had a nice old Ideal .257 "pointy" style boolit mold.
    at the end of the weekend, I paid $75 for the #45 and the mold...a great deal.

    btw, What I got is what is shown in the photo, no wrench, no top punch, but
    there is a .358 die installed...Bonus ! that's worth about $15 if you don't need it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I suspected the Red color wasn't original, of the many 45's I've owned
    and seen, they have all been Orange (or repainted). The lighting at the
    gunshow wasn't real good at this guys table, but I did catch a glipse of the
    bottom...Yep some original orange paint.

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    The top cast iron piece that is suppose to slide on the reservior tube
    was stuck (glued with old lube), So I couldn't check the function and
    if there was a top punch and die installed, I could have checked the
    allignment if it was stuck. For the looks inside the reservior, the lube
    has leaked past the pressure nut, So I assume it hasn't been upgraded
    to the O-ring style pressure nut which should eliminate that leaking.
    But at first glimpse, since it was repainted and the Hex end of the
    pressure screw looked in mint condition, I had hoped that the
    pressure nut and screw was upgraded...I guess we'll see for sure
    when I get it taken apart...Later...

    btw, in hindsight, I could have warmed the reservior tube up with
    my hand to get the lube to loosen it's grip and maybe borrowed
    a top punch from the vendor and checked for function and allignment.
    this would have been a smart thing to have done.




    another thing to check for when buying a #45 lubesizer is if the
    slide rods or the cast iron parts are worn from excessive use without
    proper lubrication. Remember it's at least 50 years old !
    Grab the upper piece with the left hand as shown above and
    grab the lower piece with the right hand as shown below.
    with the upper piece lowered most or all of the way, try to twist them.
    It should NOT move, it should be tight.
    If the upper piece is raised up all the way, there maybe a little
    movement and that's OK, but it's better if there isn't any,
    if the slide rod nuts are not tight, that can also cause this same
    looseness I am discribing...tighten them and try twisting again.

    I reiterate, When the upper peice is lowered all the way, if there is any
    slop/movement when twisting, you will not be able to size boolits
    consistantly and imperfectly sized boolits (NOT concentric, think lop-sided)
    will be the result due to varied allignment of top punch and Die
    and I WOULD NOT BUY IT...except for parts.




    Another common problem to look for is a crack in the lower
    cast iron peice, between the die setscrew and the die. This is
    caused by over tightening. It's impossible to fix for the average
    handyman/reloader...maybe a skilled welder could braze that
    cast iron, but I have never had to deal with it and I would recommend
    avoiding buying one that's cracked. Photo below shows a close up
    of the area in question. This one is NOT cracked.

    http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/u...wviewRed45.jpg


    Good luck, I hope this helps,
    Jon
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 08-21-2017 at 04:08 PM. Reason: typo

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    disassembly and cleanup part I

    The first step is to remove the Die. It is much easier to remove the die when the press is mounted to a bench. Heat up the area around the die with a heat gun, lamp, or the sun. Also, in this case the reservior tube needed to be heated as there was old lube that basically glued the mechanism tight. This is some different kind of lube, heat didn't totally melt it. I completely remove the setscrew as I plan to completely disassemble the press (except for removing the reservior tube from the cast iron base).





    This die is being a little stubborn. I suspect it has to do with the lube not wanting to totally melt like a typical beewax based lube. I soak the die area with kroil hoping that will loosen up the Lube (Ed's Red or mineral spirits should work too).



    Another trick/safety measure is to put a pure lead boolit or ingot under the depth control pin and gently tap (with a dead blow hammer or lead hammer) the bottom bar that the boolit is sitting on. Still applying heat. The pure lead boolit should absorb some of the shock and hopefully avoid damaging other parts of the press.





    once the die moves a little bit, just raising the handle should push the die the rest of the way out.



    Now remove the pressure nut by turning the pressure screw clockwise (if looking down at the top of the press). If you can see the pressure nut, it should be rising and not turning...if it is not rising and is just turning around, you have a problem. Usually this is just from the lube reservior being heated and the warm lube acts like a lubricant, if this is the case the press must be cooled. Wait til it returns to room temp. The Lube will stiffen up and you should be able to remove the pressure nut. If that doesn't work, you probably have some mechanical problem, like damaged threads or if the pressure nut has bottomed out at the end of the threads of the pressure screw, that can lock it up. If the threads are damaged...good luck !?! If the nut is bottomed out, COLD is your friend, try putting the press into the freezer for an hour or two. The first instinct is to wedge a screwdriver between the reservoir tube and the pressure nut...BUT DON'T !!! You're just going to damage things.




    Once the pressure nut is this far out, it should just lift off the pressure screw.





    Now the pressure screw can be removed. I can just be pushed out. If it's being stubborn, heat it up a little bit. If you still can't remove it, Gently tap it with a dead blow or Lead hammer while heat is applied.

    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 10-05-2012 at 08:54 AM. Reason: added text

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    disassembly and cleanup part II

    Now that the die, pressure nut, and pressure screw have been removed, the depth control assembly can be removed...the parts are shown below.



    Now the Lube can be removed. Some folks boil it out, I tried it once, and I failed to wait til everything cooled so the lube would solidify on the top of the water.
    So I had a Big mess ! When I removed the hot/warm sizer from the hot/warm water, the hot/warm lube floating on top decided to cling to the sizer like static cling...then trying to wipe off the hot/warm lube off the hot/warm sizer was an incredibly Big chore !
    So I haven't tried it again, but since others have been successful, I guess it works.

    I use a heatgun, it works well for me. I do this outside, and prop the sizer in a cardboard box to catch all the lube. I'm not trying to save the lube, just get it out and throw it away (or use it for flux).



    OK, whatever this lube is... "portions" of it ain't melting !!!! Maybe the lube ingrediants have separated ? But I am skeptical of that. I think someone filled it with a soft black grease (maybe lyman super moly?), but there are deposits of a very hard lube in the bottom of the reservior and in the bottom cast iron piece, obviously plugging it up...and that is probably why there was grease coming out of the top...the last person that tried to use this sizer surely failed to make it work.

    So I removed all the soft grease with a screwdriver. Then paper towels wrapped on the screwdriver to get any residue so I could get a better idea of how much of the hard deposits were in there. Well there was plenty. I will try soaking all the parts with hard deposits in mineral spirits once it's all completely disassembled.



    Now the slide rods and spring can be removed and the upper cast iron piece can be removed too.



    I wasn't originally wasn't going to remove the lube reservior tube from the lower cast iron piece because it is a difficult task and is easy to damage the tube...also the threads are super fine and can easily be crossed were reassembling.



    I put all the parts into the bowl and covered then with mineral spirits. I let it sit for a few hours. The hard deposits softened some, so I picked them out with wooden chop sticks, so I wouldn't scratch things up. It took a while and maybe if I was patient enough to let the parts soak for a day or two, it would have been easier ?



    Well, I got this far, I might as well remove all the paint and try to repaint it with some Chevy engine paint.

    I will remove all the bluing and break out the cold blue solution. I've never got a nice dark blue/black finish like the original finish from cold bluing, but it'll at least be a uniform dark grey and provide some rust protection for the metal.



    After completely degreasing all the parts, I used some heavy wheelbearing grease on all the threaded areas and where the die inserts and where the slides slide through. After the paint cured, it was easy to remove the paint from those greased areas. I used birchwood-casey cold blue on all the other parts (except the new spring). I applied it many times, although it looks pretty good in the photos, it's still dark grey "in person".





    I really dislike the original SMALL wooden handle, so I found a chunk of stag horn to replace that...a guy has to personalize a project somehow, right ?

    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 10-06-2012 at 08:37 PM.

  4. #4
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    Jon, I look forward to the future posts. I have a Lyman 45 waiting for my attention. It has a sizing die stuck in it. I tried a heat gun and failed. Really do not look forward to trying to boil it.

  5. #5
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    I bought a #45 in 2003 off EBAY for $38.50. I only bought it because it was advertised as very nice in the original box. Had it up in a display cabinet until I saw this post. Opened the box and found it to be perfect in every way. Has a 358 die and a 416 top punch. I'm going to clean it up today after having it around for 9 years.

  6. #6
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    Nice post, JonB. A Lyman 45 in good shape can be a real nice luber. Will watch the progress here with interest.

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    Remove the red

    I have owned many #45 sizers in the past and currently own two. I should sell them since I have eight other sizers but they are in such great shape I enjoy just looking at them. If your sizer were mine I would have to remove the red paint, muy pronto. I do like the bright orange of the original paint. I have found that the 45 works about as well as any other sizer. It is also the easiest sizer in which to change the dies and top punch.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  8. #8
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    What a great and timely post.I just sniped one off of fleabay while I slept for 35.00 . It was advertized as a chapman , yeah I knew the wrench came with it at least.I know nothing about the model 45.I have an old RCBS right now.The lyman looks a little bit rusty so hopefully this thread will help me out.It also has a sizing die and top punch so should be worth what I paid.Here is the link , you may can tell by pics what all I will probably need.Thanks again for this information.
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/ANTIQUE-LUBR...p2047675.l2557

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    a couple helpful hints for adjusting a die for a troublesome boolit design

    Before I install a lubesizer die, I will "eye up" the lube grooves to the holes in the Die and get an idea how far the boolit has to enter the die. Then only small adjustments are needed to get it perfect. These older style dies have stagered rows of holes, so even this double lube groove Wad cutter boolit I use in this example only needs one row of holes.

    These older style dies have larger holes than newer ones and can be troublesome. meaning they are more likely to allow Lube to get under the base of the boolit or fill the crimp groove. Plugging some of the holes is one answer..."Gearnasher" posted this hint several times and it works great for me. Find some solid solder, lead free seems to work best, but 50/50 should probably work too. It must be solid and NOT flux core. I insert a piece as shown in the third photo and rivet it, to fill the hole. Ideally you should leave a "head" on the outside, but even just a ridge on one side seems to be enough, plus the old dies are a bit larger and there isn't much clearance when inserting the riveted die into the lubesizer.



    The die has been rotated 90






    ==========================================
    below is the original post,
    ==========================================

    alrighty,
    Good snipe !!!
    I looked at the photos of yours in the fleabay link. Yeah except for the rust, it's real nice. That's one of the older ones with the cast brass cap. Also, there is some aluminum/silver piece on one of the slides, I wonder if that is Lyman's gas check installation tool, I've never seen one, so that is just a guess, I'd be interested in buying that gas check installation tool if you don't want it. The rust on the slides and lube reservior should most definately be removed...use great care as to not remove too much metal from the slides. I did clean up my red 45 today and took extensive photos, and will post them with my instructions and tips tomorrow or tuesday. I did have an issue with Lube removal, so I took it totally apart just to clean out some hardened lube in the lower cast iron piece that Heat and mineral spirits couldn't touch. I strongly suggest you disassemble it to remove the rust, even though you could probably clean it up without disassembly.

    GOPHER SLAYER,
    I wasn't planning on re-paint...But as mentioned above, it is totally apart, so I may as well. I'm thinking the Chevy engine "hi-temp" orange should be close enough.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 10-06-2012 at 09:01 PM.

  10. #10
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    I will take it completely apart , I will also take some better pics once it arrives.I will have to find a manual for it as well.Thanks

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    Did you run the pressure screw all the way to the bottom ?

    Did you run the pressure screw all the way to the bottom and now the pressure nut seems locked to the pressure screw and/or the bottom of the reservoir tube ?

    Here is how I would get it loose.

    FIRST, DON'T under any circumstances wedge a screwdriver between the pressure nut and the inside of the reservior tube...that was my first instinct when this first happened to me, but is the easiest way to wreck the reservior tube...and that is fragile and nearly impossible to find or make a replacement.

    ALSO, DON"T heat up your sizer....at least not yet.

    Your pressure screw and pressure nut are Likely not stripped out...it is bottomed out. one of two things has happened, depending on which pressure screw you have. some are threaded farther down to the bottom than others. So your pressure nut has either run out of threads and it is TIGHT to the pressure screw. OR your pressure Nut is bottomed out on the bottom of the reservoir. Either way, "COLD LUBE" is your friend here. put it in the freezer for an hour or so, then...

    with the cold press unmounted, unscrew the pressure screw...hoping the ice cold lube will grip the pressure nut. If it does, the pressure screw will back out of the bottom of the press. If the cold lube isn't gripping the pressure nut, maybe heat up the lube with a heat gun, then chill again in the freezer for an hour...that may help the lube adhere to the pressure nut.

    If that works...once the pressure screw is nearly all the way out, but it's still got full threading on the pressure nut (if not you can damage the threads)...

    THEN add heat with heat gun, blow drier, boiling water or what have you...then push the pressure screw back in to the reservoir and this will push the pressure nut up and out the top.

    If you are successful and decide to clean it up....If the lube is decades old, it may need more than heat to remove it...soaking in mineral spirits works best, but fully submerged in boiling water is safer and sometimes works.

    good luck,
    Jon


    ================================
    original post below
    ================================
    there is a manual in the sticky's
    always look to the sticky's !!! lol
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=34525
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 02-20-2013 at 12:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    alrighty,
    That's one of the older ones with the cast brass cap. Also, there is some aluminum/silver piece on one of the slides, I wonder if that is Lyman's gas check installation tool, I've never seen one, so that is just a guess, I'd be interested in buying that gas check installation tool if you don't want it. The rust on the slides and lube reservior should most definately be removed...use great care as to not remove too much metal from the slides.
    I wasn't sure about the aluminum piece on the slide either.I did "google" gas check installation tool.I could not get any pictures only one description that stated the aluminum piece seats the gas check when it bottoms out on the stroke.Tell ya what "insert horse trading here" I don't have the expertise to really mess with it.I will keep it long enough to make a detailed print.It is wonderful at times being a machinist
    I am sure that I will end up making new slides from the looks of it.I may however need some other parts like springs and such.I see you may be able to help me out.When and if it arrives I will start the rebuild process and send it out to you.As much as you are helping out myself and others on these old machines I couldn't think of anyone more deserving.Please when you figure out if it is worth the effort let us know with a report.

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    Gas check installation tool for Lyman 45

    edited and added the following.

    Thanks to alrighty for sending me this some time back, what I figured was a gas check installation tool for Lyman 45 the first time I seen it. I finally got around to installing it and trying it out with some 30 cal boolits where the GC's were a little stubborn to install. It only alligns the GC as good as your eyeball...But it does work better than the method I used previously...a Penny set on top of the die. This easily swings in and swings out.

    It'd probably be an easy machining project if there was enough interest...although since I am not a machinist, that is just a guess.

    And as I promised alrighty, I'd post photos once I got it setup.







    ==========================
    previous post
    \/
    alrighty,
    Yeah, that all sounds great.
    I do have lots of extra "small parts" as trade fodder.
    Jon
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 03-08-2013 at 05:59 PM.

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    Guys, that is NOT the gas check tool. It is a steel piece that goes under the size die and prevents the internal rod from moving. This allows seating the gas check on the internal rod of the die. It does not attach to the sizer at all, just sits in place. Works well.
    Wayne the Shrink

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    Wayne,
    thanks for that info...I kinda of thought that, but since I never seen one, I wasn't sure. I have considered making one like that...with a small indent/hole so the internal rod is lowered about 1/4" for allignment. Because, some dies have an internal rod that's the same length as the die while others are shorter.


    alrighty,
    I'm still interested in that piece...whatever it is ???

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    Posts #2 and #3 "Disassembly and Cleanup" are now completed.

    I think this might make a good sticky.
    I tried to answer all the common questions that come up regularly.

    I'm sure there are other hints tips and tricks,
    if you post them, I'll add them
    in somewhere in one of first three posts.
    Jon

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    "I'm thinking the Chevy engine "hi-temp" orange should be close enough."

    it is for me :P actually it's me fav color !!! ( yeah imma chevy guy ) in truth i believe ye olde allis chambers orange is a closer match but i have yet to see it in hi-heat foo foo can , the old dodge hemi color is also close de1652 ( the de1620 chevy orange is a wee bit redder but not as red as de1607 chevy red-orange ), loving this post !!! when i remove the body tubes i use a strap wrench , i've bought a couple that someone either used a pipe wrench or vise grips on ( well ..maybe channel locks ? ) of note if they had used a piece of leather for a cushion it wouldnt of hosed the tube or at least as bad
    Je suis Charlie

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    if it was easy would it be as worthy ? or as long of lasting impression ? the hardest of lessons are the best of teachers [shrugz]
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    Fantastic thread Jon! I'm gonna sticky it now.
    "The worst wheel of the cart makes the most noise." - Benjamin Franklin

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  19. #19
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    Jon, with the cold blue try multiple coats, see if you can't get a more satisfying color. It is controlled to some extent by the type of steel used.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  20. #20
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    When I re-conditioned my 45, I used Brownells Oxpho-Blue cold blue on the lube reservoir, and Rustoleum Glossy Real Orange on the body components and handle.

    I liked the Real Orange so much, I stripped the 4500's hammmer-tone finish and re-painted it orange.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check