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Thread: Lead Adhearing to Mould

  1. #61
    Boolit Master
    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    was just eyeballing my brass molds and found I have an issue on the new #68 clone from mihec. Will give this a try and see if I can get it cleaned out, might need to order some beeswax.
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  2. #62
    Boolit Buddy Phlier's Avatar
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    I apologize if this has already been suggested, but solder removal braid/wick should work pretty well for this. Stuff like: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Solder removal braid comes in all sorts of various qualities. Some work really well, some don't work worth a darn. I can't seem to find my supply of "good stuff" that i've had for years, so I just ordered the braid in the link to remove a few bits of alloy adhering to a few spots on a mold. I have no idea if the wick in the link is good or not. I guess I'll find out tomorrow when it shows up.

    To use it...

    Start by cleaning off the offending alloy so that it is completely clean and free of any oils.

    You're going to want a pretty high wattage soldering iron for this. Place the end of the desoldering braid at the mid point of the alloy you want to remove. With firm pressure, press the tip of the soldering iron onto the wick, just barely behind the very end of the braid. Wait for a bit, and the desoldering braid will cleanly wick the alloy into it. It's important that you heat the wick up, and allow the wick itself to melt the alloy. I recommend a chisel point on the soldering iron, one that is the same width of the desoldering braid, so that you can evenly heat the braid along it's entire width. Repeat as necessary, but the braid has such a high propensity for lead/tin alloys, it'll usually come completely up the first time. The desoldering braid does have flux in it. Make sure you thoroughly remove the bit of oily residue it'll leave behind. You can get wick in various widths, so buy one that matches up for your use. The link posted above includes a solder sucker along with a spool of wick. The solder sucker is nice for sucking up larger areas of alloy. Sometimes the sucker will leave a bit of alloy behind, and that's easily cleaned up by following up with the wick.

    If you don't have success with the wick you got, try others. You would think that there wouldn't be much variance between different brands of something as simple as desoldering wick, but there is. Some are also made to remove very specific alloys, so make sure that you get a wick that is made to remove lead/tin solder.
    Last edited by Phlier; 11-22-2016 at 02:57 PM.

  3. #63
    Boolit Buddy


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    Glad I found this thread, I am having a problem with one spot on one of my brass molds and don't want to damage it.

    Thank you
    "Yes or no will almost always suffice as the answer"

  4. #64
    Boolit Master Lead pot's Avatar
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    Once a brass mould gets tinned it's hard to get it cleaned. This is not much of a problem with a iron mould where you can put a wrap of fine steel wool on a bore brush or just a brass bore brush and close the mould on it and spin it. This will not hurt a iron mould but brass would be a different story.
    I have brass moulds and I like them better then iron, little heavy but they cast a good bullet. When your alloy is tin/lead or tin/antimony/lead you have a solder and it does not mater with the amount of tin that is in the mix. Tin is the Villon that causes it. Chances are colcolt that all of your problem started with a clean mould from the start when you first used the mould. A pot full of alloy and fluxing the alloy and starting to cast with out having all of the flux burn off the alloy or some still on the ladle if you use one to stir the alloy with it. All a good combination for tinning the brass from the start and it just kept building up.
    Opening the mould to soon before the alloy is set can pull some off at the parting line, especially if a fresh cut mould still has some burrs on the sharp edge. I use a paper towel and gently wipe the edge before I use the new mould. If there is a sticking problem this is where it starts.

  5. #65
    Boolit Buddy AllanD's Avatar
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    I have a brass mold I'm frankly scared to use because of the potential of alloy "soldering" itself to the cavities.

    The mention of "patina" makes my mind immediately jump to Potassium Sulfate, to intentionally Blacken the surface and thus create an artificial "patina".

    By the way, mixtures of Acetic Acid and Hydrogen Peroxide is basically making "Para-Acetic Acid" and it's action on Lead is to convert the lead
    into "Lead Acetate" which is formerly known as "Sugar of Lead" as it is Sweet to the taste should you be foolish enough to taste it and is one of
    the most "Bio-Available" lead compounds known as it is water soluble where most Lead compounds are not
    Last edited by AllanD; 12-19-2017 at 03:48 PM.

  6. #66
    Boolit Buddy
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    Try a plastic dental pick.

  7. #67
    Boolit Buddy
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    I think I'm having the same problem with my MP and Accurate aluminum molds.

    I hadn't seen anything until after a break in casting of a few months - dark, rough spots on the mold faces clustered at the edges of the cavities, that I didn't see when I put them away (maybe oxidation of the deposits?). Almost all the spots are between cavities at the sides, where the metal is thin (6 and 8 cavity molds), not at noses and not on the end cavities, where the mold is thicker (temperature difference?).

    These are so far very difficult to remove. Softwood sticks work a little on the smallest spots, but do nothing for the larger. Beeswax on the heated molds did not change the spots at all, and I heated the mold hot enough to scorch the towel I put it on. I tried rubbing the spots with ingots of alloy while the mold was hot - pure just smeared and the harder alloys may have marred the mold face.

    I have some scrap hardwood flooring that I'll try cutting into dowels for harder scrapers. I'll try a Kroil soak. I know citric acid solutions will take rust off of steel easily. I may try that on the marred mold.

    Any other ideas?
    Last edited by kevin c; 01-04-2019 at 04:23 AM.

  8. #68
    Boolit Buddy

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    I haven't had this issue with alum but I have with brass. For clingy lead boogers I keep a piece of burlap nearby to give a light scrub when mold is at operating temp. I would imagine the Kroil soak and wood tooth picks would probably be the safest course of action. With the brass molds I definitely have much better luck keeping lead boogers at bay with a good amount of heat cycling the molds before first use. While shiny brass molds are pretty to look at they tend to really gather lead deposits in my use. Definitely go slow and steady in your endeavor and probably not use anything harder than the aluminium.

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  9. #69
    Boolit Master
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    as I stated earlier in this thread, Bull Plate sprue lube and a chopstick cures all my mould problems.

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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