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Thread: Lee mold modification

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Question Lee mold modification

    Has anyone ever welded an extension on the sprue plate of a two holer so you can open it similarly to a six hole mold? A handle of sorts I guess you would call it. Just to do away with the tapping with the hammer handle.
    Lost in Penn's Woods.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    I think that may screw up my rhythm.
    "If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month."
    Theodore Roosevelt

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    you gotta try the gloved hand instead of the mallet.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    you gotta try the gloved hand instead of the mallet.
    is there a benefit to the gloved hand or ,,,why not tap it open ?..... i use a closet rod of wood 20" long
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    You could try flattening a piece of thin pipe as I did, it fits over the sprue plate. I think you will find as I did, it makes the mould unbalanced and difficult to use, if you try this you wont have to grind your extension off in half an hr. Before being enlightened by those on this site, I used to bang my moulds with an old hammer handle, I have tried the gloved hand method but I hate gloves on the hand I use my ladle with, So now I use the hammer handle to just flick the sprue plate and it works well for me. I don't think there is a right or wrong way just what works for you.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomf52 View Post
    Has anyone ever welded an extension on the sprue plate of a two holer so you can open it similarly to a six hole mold? A handle of sorts I guess you would call it. Just to do away with the tapping with the hammer handle.
    OK, not a Lee. With the Lyman it's pretty smooth, with the NOE I sometimes fumble, but I prefer it to banging the sprue plate with a mallet, and it gives more tactile feedback about how hard the sprues are.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I can see the benefit on that 5 banger Lyman. I will certainly file that away in good ideas, I like your method of getting around welding a lever extension on.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master ElDorado's Avatar
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    You really don't need a handle for a two-holer. Just get a welding glove. Watch how easily this caster uses a two-holer with no modifications. You can see how he casts at about 3:00 minutes into the video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMXtwOqc1NY

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Maven's Avatar
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    Gloved hand = 1st choice. Small Vise Grip on end of sprue plate = 2nd choice: Consider it as an experiment, which requires no modification of the sprue plate and which can be removed if it's too awkward in practice.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by badbobgerman View Post
    is there a benefit to the gloved hand or ,,,why not tap it open ?..... i use a closet rod of wood 20" long
    When I first tried the gloved hand, it was an "Aaa Haa" moment.
    Not to say it's for everyone, it just works best for me. Also, that was about the time I started using a hotplate to preheat the mold. So I never have a whack a cold sprue off, but if I do ? I use a oak stick.
    Good Luck,
    Jon
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    I will be offering the GC seater plate for the lyman 45.
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I've cast round ball and rifled musket conicals for 50 years and I've always used a heavy pair of welding gloves (the long gauntlet type to protect wrists and lower arm). I only use single and double cavity but I've never used anything to tap the sprue plate. I just lay my ladle back in the pot, reach up and swing the sprue plate then dump the rounds on a padded piece of cotton fabric. Doing it that way keeps up a steady rhythm for me. Everyone does it different though and you just have to do what works for you.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master dudel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB_in_Glencoe View Post
    you gotta try the gloved hand instead of the mallet.

    Make sure it's leather or cotton; not some glove with synthetic material (like Mechanics Wear gloves). Those gloves left black goo on my molds that were a pain to remove.

    The Mechanics Wear gloves are great; just not for opening hot molds!

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Like JonB gloves are a necessity from a safety standpoint.
    About Sackot idea. I would think his extended handle would be very time consuming. Always picking it up and setting it down. No disrespect meant. If the handle was much shorter and the 2 studs were threaded and attached to the mold semi perm. I would think it would be faster. Just my 2 cents Kevin

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    +2 for gloved hand on a 2 cav. Even with hard lead a good spruce cuts easy by hand. If I want to beat something with a stick there's the wife. LoL. [ I hope she never reads this or the stick will wind up where the sun don't shine on me]

    Mike

  15. #15
    Boolit Master bangerjim's Avatar
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    I have and use 8 different 2 banger Lee molds.

    I use a rawhide mallet to tap the plat open. When up to temp, it just takes a slight nudge. If you have a stubborn cavity, the rawhide's weight gives you a little help tapping on the joint bolt head to loosen the slugs up. One tool does both functions easily.

    bangerjim

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, what bangerjim said

  17. #17
    Boolit Master dikman's Avatar
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    I just watched that video. It's easy to drop the castings if you have "eject" pins like he does. My Lee roundball molds don't, of course, so it's often necessary to tap them - I doubt if a glove would be suitable for that! And I wish he'd turned off that blasted background music!! Very amateurish.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    +1 Bangerjim. I also use padded gloves but when I'm tired or have a fussy mould I use a rawhide mallet.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dikman View Post
    It's easy to drop the castings if you have "eject" pins like he does. My Lee roundball molds don't, of course, so it's often necessary to tap them - I doubt if a glove would be suitable for that!
    I have a few molds where the boolits just fall out...or can be coaxed by a jiggle. RB molds should drop castings easier than boolits, maybe you have a burred edge ? I use a Oak stick to rub cavity edges to wear off any burrs. Or if you have a Eye Loupe and a exacto blade and good hand-to-eye coordination.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I will be offering the GC seater plate for the lyman 45.
    Also I have replacement springs for the Lyman 45 lubesizer, If your's is weak or missing, let me know

  20. #20
    Boolit Master ElDorado's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dikman View Post
    It's easy to drop the castings if you have "eject" pins like he does.
    Those are hollow-point pins in a Cramer style mould. I've never heard of "eject" pins. If you having trouble with a round ball mould, don't try hollow-points. They are not easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by dikman View Post
    Very amateurish.
    Everything on youtube is amateurish. That's why it's there. If there a nuances in a video that you don't like, ignore them and try to glean the useful information that the poster is trying to impart. I've seen some outlandish ideas on youtube, and some people do some dangerous things, and make some unreliable claims. That's just the nature of the internet. But, diamonds come from coal, brother. All you need to do is pick them out.

    I'm just trying to show that with a two cavity mould, it's fairly easy to open the sprue plate with a gloved hand. And if your bullets stick, push them out with your gloved thumb.

    With a four or five cavity, I sometimes need a stick, too, depending on the mould. It's no big deal.

    BTW, that's not my video, but it was sort of an epiphany for me (one of many). For years, I did my casting in accordance with Lyman and other "factory" manuals. There is a lot of good information in them, but there's a lot that they don't tell you, either. Once you start looking at what other casters are successfully doing, and start trying their ideas yourself, you will find your own casting to be easier, better, and more joyful than frustrating. Also, it can take casting into a true hobby as you delve into its different aspects (i.e. alloys, lubes, equipment, etc).

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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