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Thread: Something I learned last weekend, about temp

  1. #41
    Would like to say thanks for that awesome little write up.

  2. #42
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    Fantastic write up, simple and very easy to understand. Just in time too, because I figure on doing some casting today.

    I just have one small question or issue - - - - 29˚68’27”N, 99˚22’07”W by my memory would be someplace in China, way north of Vietnam/Laos. And the 68 in 29˚68’27”N is wrong since the maximum is 59. That's what caught my eye and I looked at the rest of it.

    Just teasin', Gear. Really wonderful write-up

  3. #43
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    It seems that Gear is a closet communist Chinese. Who'da thunk it?

    Rick
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  4. #44
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    Excellent discussion.
    It is very hard to separate the meat from the hide when dealing with anything regarding firearms and shooting but there are people like Gear who are actively compiling fact based on science instead of superstition, and he deserves a huge slap on the back and a free beer for not letting himself be discouraged from posting by folks who hammer nails into trees.

    You just can't properly solve a problem (like temperature variances in pot vs. mold) unless you have a real understanding of what the basic problem is in the first place. Gear has identified the base problem which allows him to design a real, concise, simple, and effective means of solving the problem. That is the #1 thing that each of you should take from this. Gear is not a magician, he simply pays attention to details, and does not ignor the data. That is science plain and simple, and we should all try to follow his example no matter where we are in our proficiency. It's the only way we grow.

    I am not nearly as far along, and my experiments are directed a different direction (mainly dealing with the firearms) but I did find a way to discover the ideal operating temperature for a specific mold, and it seems that most of my molds like the alloy to run at about 740 degrees if I am casting with 50/50. Surely a different alloy would prefer a different temperature, but Gear pretty much nailed how to get darn close right off the bat.
    here's the thread where I had fun over Christmas break testing and experimenting:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-are-you-REALY

    I just have a couple more comments about the discussion so far.
    Thermometer calibrating:
    Just as the molten alloy hesitates in it's temperature when making the transition from solid to liquid, water hesitates in it's transition from solid (ice) to liquid and from liquid to gas (steam). This transition from liquid to gas is the point at which water boils and that can never go higher because any water that reaches a higher temperature is released from the container in the form of steam, so the boiling water is a very consistent temperature which is 212 degrees F. That is precisely why all of our thermometers start at 200F. So that we can accurately calibrate them! I run many thermometers in my business as it is very important to hot tank bluing, and they are all calibrated with boiling water.

    Mold temperature:
    I was told by 45 2.1 Gear, and several others that the mold will be at the ideal temperature when you get a 3.5 second sprue puddle freeze, and that has certainly proved to be just about right for me. If it takes more than 3.5 seconds, frosty boolits are not far behind, and if it takes less than 3.5 seconds, you are headed straight for rounded corners and then wrinkles.
    Regardless, it is imperative that the puddle freeze be consistent and monitored closely. I don't know if another single point of on the fly data that can be used to judge consistency as well as puddle freeze time.
    The puddle freeze is able to be manipulated by counting seconds after the drop and the mold is shut, before filling the mold again.
    The pace can be accelerated by the use of a fan, or by casting on cold days. Anything that helps strip the heat from the mold faster.
    I actually used to touch the mold to a wet rag for 1/2 a second after every drop, but I do not recommend you do this especially with brass or aluminum molds as they are easily warped by such vicious heat control methods. It's better to count time and use a fan.
    Last edited by goodsteel; 04-03-2014 at 10:51 AM.
    Tim Malcolm
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  5. #45
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    Something that helps me keep a good rhythm to maintain mold temp is at my casting bench at eye level I keep a large clock with a second hand that ticks. I find that with most molds something close to 4 casts per minute is what keeps the mold at the right temp.
    I try to stay close to that 4 cast per minute even with very large multiple cavity molds. With the large ones I adjust the pot temp to get a sprue hardening time of not more than 5 seconds but still try to set the pace at 4 casts per minute.
    I don't wait for the sprue to harden proper but as soon as it wont wiggle I cut it. Gear is absolutely right and is something I have said here a thousand times, its not alloy temp its mold temp that produces clean boolits.
    Once you find the rhythm and start making good boolits after that point for that pot of alloy for as long as that session lasts there should be no bad boolits only good ones. If your castings have to be sorted through to find good one I consider them all bad because if there are many from that session that are visibly bad out side the ones that look OK out side most likely are not good inside.
    Rhythm and mold temp work together to produce good clean well filled boolits inside and outside.

  6. #46
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    The "68 minutes" is an obvious invalid quantity intended to indicate that the coord's are fugazi. Sort of, the other parts are correct.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  7. #47
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    Sorry, have to start a post with my phone then edit with the computer and I type slow.
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  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by goodsteel View Post
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-are-you-REALY

    I just have a couple more comments about the discussion so far.
    Thermometer calibrating:
    Just as the molten alloy hesitates in it's temperature when making the transition from solid to liquid, water hesitates in it's transition from solid (ice) to liquid and from liquid to gas (steam). This transition from liquid to gas is the point at which water boils and that can never go higher because any water that reaches a higher temperature is released from the container in the form of steam, so the boiling water is a very consistent temperature which is 212 degrees F. That is precisely why all of our thermometers start at 200F. So that we can accurately calibrate them! I run many thermometers in my business as it is very important to hot tank bluing, and they are all calibrated with boiling water.
    Next time at casting I'll bring a pot of water to check my terminator. Don't know why I didn't think of that before. Great info on calibrating and mold temp Goodsteel.

    Gear: Just outstanding info now if I can just remember half I'll be headed in the right direction. Need to buy some ink so it can be printed out for future reference.

    cbRick thanks for your input.

    Thanks again guys for taking the time to explain in detail. I to don't like long post but when certain members post I read 'em.
    Lead bullets Matter

    There are three kinds of men: The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence and find out for themselves. - Will Rodgers

  9. #49
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    The boiling temprature of pure compounds and elements varies with pressure. Water at 3200 PSIA boils at 705○F which means a lot to people who work in power plants. Ice made from absolutely pure water freezes at 32.15○F period regardless of pressure or political views of the tester. The "triple point" of a pure compound or element which is the


    temperature where solid, liquid and
    vapor are present does not vary. Thus
    ice, molten sulfur, pure tin and other
    substances can be used as primary standards of temperature.However the purity of the stuff changes melting point as tin lowers the melting point of lead or salt melts ice. This is one example of how alloying can change the physical properties of metals. These chenges are not necessarily reversable. This can mean that the metal in your molt may not be the the metal in your pot. Some metals ere really soluable in each other, like tin and lead, antimony is not so soluble. Pure metals conduct heat and electricity better than alloys and some conduct better than others. Silver is the most conductive followed by copper then aluminum. This gives aluminum molds an faster ability to change temperature. I don't know the conductive of brass but it could be lower than copper because it has significant alloying metals mixed with copper. I don't this kind of knowledge necessary to cast. I throw coww in my pot, skim out the clips, flux, skim agian, add tin and start pouring boolits. Sometimes we get extremely technical on this forum and I worry that this and complexities that we talk about might discourage others from starting. Remember that boolits were made arround the camfire after skinning buffaloes all day.
    Closest recorded range Chrony kill (3 feet with witnesses)

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by olafhardt View Post
    .... I don't this kind of knowledge necessary to cast. I throw coww in my pot, skim out the clips, flux, skim agian, add tin and start pouring boolits. Sometimes we get extremely technical on this forum and I worry that this and complexities that we talk about might discourage others from starting. Remember that boolits were made arround the camfire after skinning buffaloes all day.
    That's absurd. I'm not going to pick on what you do, or what makes you in particular happy, or what your standards are for yourself, but I assure you what discourages people from casting is not what you call getting "extremely technical" (seriously, how intelligent/educated do you really need to be to savvy what I wrote in my second post in this thread???), it's the disappointment/frustration from not having a clue what they're doing and failing repeatedly to make good boolits because a). they don't know where/how to find the information or b.) some know-it-all on the internet (or elsewhere) who doesn't understand it either is feeding them garbage, or c.) other factors such as a lazy mind that doom them anyway.

    This site was founded on the premise of getting the BEST information together in a place where the most knowledgeable people of the craft hang out and share with each other. Some people ARE more technical than others, and there are lots of valid reasons for that. It is also very easy to tell someone "just melt lead, pour in mould, cut sprue, dump boolits, repeat, it's easy" IF you already have done it eleventy zillion times and figured out a way (whether you can explain it or not) that works for you. To a person that doesn't have much experience casting boolits, the nuances of alloy temperature, timing of mould handling operations, and what part of the process to change in order to correct various flaws in the final product is a complete mystery that only a basic fund of knowledge can fix. Ken's original idea was to make a place where people could gather and provide that knowledge for each other, not to announce that it isn't necessary to know anything about what you're doing to cast great boolits, or pretend that beeswax really fluxes your alloy, or shoot half-inch groups with nothing but a keyboard.

    Arm the newbie with some simple knowledge (tools) and they can figure out the rest for themselves. If what's being talked about on this thread is too complex for them, they may want to consider a different hobby, like frisbee golf. I also know this: If anyone ever managed to cast decent boolits for their 1860 Colts over a camp fire, they had a pretty solid understanding of the importance of proper mould temperature.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  11. #51
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    I agree with gear. People are at all different levels in this sport. True, what we talk about here is over the head of a newb, but this isn't what they need. There is a ton of more basic information for them on this sight, and a lot of encouragement. However, there are people who have been doing things the basic ways and have encountered some road blocks that are preventing them from advancing. When these road blocks are encountered, you have two options:
    A. you do like I did for years. You decide that cast boolits have limitations and the people that are claiming to blow past those limitations must be exaggerating their experiences. Just put on the blinders and refuse to learn anything. (this is easy to do without even realizing that you are doing it.)
    or
    B. use the tools we have available at our fingertips and on our casting benches, (like thermometers, and micrometers and a clock) to tune your process to be more efficient. If you get more, then it's worth it. I used a handgun chambered in 308 Winchester to tag targets at 100 yards consistently last weekend using perfectly cast lead boolits. Never did that before. Didn't know it was possible. I had read it was possible, but there is a difference between reading and doing. The bar has been raised another peg for me.

    Now, if you don't like discussions of advanced boolit making, you are not allowed to post how unnecessary it is in someone elses thread. I take as dim a view of that as if gear was to go into a complete newb's thread and start telling him what he is doing is just not good enough.
    This is a place to encourage each person in their personal pursuit of the sport, whatever rung of the ladder they happen to be reaching for at the time.
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  12. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by olafhardt View Post
    Sometimes we get extremely technical on this forum and I worry that this and complexities that we talk about might discourage others from starting. Remember that boolits were made arround the camfire after skinning buffaloes all day.
    Perhaps we can change your thinking a little bit. As was mentioned, there is tons of entry level information on this site in every forum and quite often new casters are advised not to get too technical in the beginning. Certainly there is nowhere on the web where more encouragement to get started and to stick with it than right here at CastBoolits. Nowhere else is more effort put in to dispel old wives tales for the benefit of new casters.

    That said how could the craft grow, the hobby progress if those with years of experience didn't discuss it for fear of someone new not trying casting or giving it up? This is truly the golden age of cast boolits. Better accuracy and higher velocity has been achieved in the last several years than in all the years before because of the discussions taking place, ideas exchanged and experiments being done through this forum.

    Do you really think these discussions of ideas, experiments and results shouldn't take place? Take a little time and think about that.

    Rick
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  13. #53
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    What we're talking about here, on this thread, shouldn't be over the head of a 'newb'. If it is, we failed them somehow. After all, this thread was STARTED by an inexperienced caster looking for a simple answer to (perhaps) the wrong question.

    Some members here have a tendency to freak out if advice given to a newbie involves any sort of quantification of an action, such as timing pours with a wall clock and focusing on maintaining a certain rate. This is where all the "you're overcomplicating it" criticisms originate. We're not talking about graduate-level casting techniques needed for sub-moa high-velocity shooting, we're talking about Boolit Casting 101 here, the class that comes right after the 099 class on safety fundamentals. Laying out the basic concepts and ground rules of casting boolit metal should simplify things, not make them more difficult. Of course it CAN be over-analyzed and made overly complex, for example a beginner doesn't need to start with a Waage pot, dual pid thermocouples, certified alloy, a Mihec custom mould, and a degree in metallurgy/chemistry/physics to make good boolits in short order, they just need some fundamentals, and correct ones. How is a brief explanation about how to manage pot and mould temperature with a thermometer and wall clock overly complex?

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  14. #54
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    I'm not strictly a newby, but I don't spend a lot of time experimenting either. I do like to read threads like this one because even if I don't use all the information contained, I usually pick up something that helps.

    Case in point is the post by cbrick(post #31) that pointed out that the sprue plate can be a source of problems. I have been struggling with just such a problem. I have a six cavity H&G #50 mold and a four cavity #50. The four cavity presents no problem. The six cavity is enough heavier that I can't get a good rhythm going. The sprue puddle solidifies before the cavities are full. I get 2-3 good boolets and the rest are just partial. Right now I'm working on a mold guide for the six cavity in the hope that it will allow me to pour faster and have a good sprue puddle to keep the temp of the plate hot.

    If anyone has more suggestions, they are welcome.
    John
    W.TN

  15. #55
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    When I joined CB back in '07, I had been casting boolits for 35 years.

    At first I didn't spend much time on here, meaning the whole forum.Until about 4 years ago, I simply heated my alloy, bottom poured it into a Lyman mold, sized in my old Lyman 450. Mostly for my SBH 44.

    Since the first time I read gear's explanation of how tin oxidizes much faster above 750 degrees, I have been casting at much lower temps. After finally buying a thermometer, I saw how much variation,(temp swings), I was getting from my lee 4-20 pot. For a while I simply dealt with it by constantly mentoring, adjustment, chasing the temp.

    Then I read a thread here on cast boolits forum about this thing called a PID. I asked a simple question of the thread OP, got a smart A** answer. But I insisted he tell me how to build such a control.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...elp&highlight=

    Referred to the special projects forum and a thread started by horseman, I finally got it built and working. Walker77 was rude, he must have thought I was a troll!?Ώ

    Whats my point? Yeah I ramble, but I was just pointing out how much MORE there is to learn from this forum.

    BUT you have to be receptive, ready to learn and discard old habits. Case in point, I've always used a hardwood stick to tap the sprues open. I keep seeing others mention using a gloved hand to open the sprue plate. I finally quit being stubborn, tried it myself. I don't like wearing gloves while casting, but one on my right hand is okay. It works! And my molds will last longer!

    Gear is patient, clear in his writing and right, (correct). He gives freely of his time and knowledge. I have learned more from him than anyone else here. cbRick, Felix, Beagle, 45 nut, there's a host of others that have also helped me and many others.
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  16. #56
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    Alamogunner, are you able to cast with a large ladle over a big pot of lead on an open burner? The problem with a bottom-pour pot is they shoot a low-volume stream of high-pressure lead that splashes in the cavity and sometimes plugs the sprue hole before the cavity is filled because you just can't get enough volume out of it to keep the pace up and mould/plate hot enough to work right. A 2# Rowel ladle will give you large volume and low pressure so you can dollop each cavity full in a quick gulp without spraying lead everywhere and creating excessive turbulence in the cavity that can trap air bubbles. The large ladle will also let you get through the whole pour quickly and let you flood the whole sprue plate with alloy to keep "pouring heat" into that area as Rick put it. If you dip out of and cast over an open pot, you can flood the heck out of the top of the mould and let it sheet off the sides without making a mess like you would with a bottom pour pot.

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    A 2# Rowel ladle will give you large volume and low pressure so you can dollop each cavity full in a quick gulp without spraying lead everywhere and creating excessive turbulence in the cavity that can trap air bubbles. The large ladle will also let you get through the whole pour quickly and let you flood the whole sprue plate with alloy to keep "pouring heat" into that area as Rick put it. If you dip out of and cast over an open pot, you can flood the heck out of the top of the mould and let it sheet off the sides without making a mess like you would with a bottom pour pot. Gear
    There must be a spy camera in my shop, that or Gear is a fly on the wall cause he's been watching me cast.

    I remember a month or so ago recommending to our giggling moderator to get a Rowell #2, he almost listened and bought a #1.

    Rick
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  18. #58
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    Giggles does tend to have troubles listening and comprehending, doesn't he?

    The technical part of all this matters when you want to do more than plink and play around with cast bullets.

    Want great accuracy particularly at higher velocity? Long range accuracy? Want to exceed 2500 fps and have a bullet impact where it is supposed to? Want hollow points that open without blowing apart?

    All those require thought and study of what needs to happen and how to make it happen.

    In the end you do what it takes to get the desired results.

    I've been casting for 30 years and have learned more in the last 5 years than I did the previous 25. Opened my eyes and saw what CAN be and figured it was time to work towards the goal of making the can into an IS.
    You will learn far more at the casting, loading, and shooting bench than you ever will at a computer bench.

  19. #59
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    Gear: I've got a pot that I use over a plumber's furnace, and a #2 Rowell. I've only used them for heavy .45-70 boolets and .475 L boolets. I guess I'll try it out on the .38 wadcutters too. If it works on those, I'll try it on the 200gr .45ACP boolets too. It should work fine on the 4 cavity MP H&G68 mold too.

    That plumber's furnace and pot was another one of those things I got at work before they scrapped it out. I tend to forget about it since I've been retired 8 years and don't cast those big boolets very often.
    John
    W.TN

  20. #60
    Gear I've been casting 30 years. I learned some great information from your post as well as some others here. Thanks John

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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