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Thread: Sticky: Lapping 301 -- Changing LEE feature diameters

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Sticky: Lapping 301 -- Changing LEE feature diameters

    Steve Hurst's traditional "loose lapping paste in the cavity" method has two problems -- the main one is the cavity begins to go out of round with the parting line axis growing larger than the 90-degree-from-the-parting-line axis the more you lap and this ovality gets agravated the more often you have to recast a new (off round) lap to keep on going on up in size. Removing the parting line from your laps helps, but the ovality is still there and it keeps on growing with each new bare lap you create. This technique is slow and is difficult to control for expanding a bullet feature multiple thousandths (like jacking out a nose .004").

    Next issue is you can't keep the loose lapping compound located just in the nose area, it unfortunately migrates down into the band areas and starts enlarging other things as well. Even though you did wipe it off AFTER you noticed it moving around that first time -- the grit already got itself embedded in the extra turning slug areas before you opened it up and wiped it off and that grit just keeps on cutting.

    ================ Lapping 301 ================

    The answer to these issues is to take a little fire-lapping technology and add it to your mold lapping technology.

    Make up your lap slug as normal, then take it to your steel fire-lapping embedding plates. Roll embed a coarse grit into the desired surface until that surface is just about solid wall to wall embedded grit. Notice that the part of the lap bullet that you wall-to-wall grit embedded has increased its diameter significantly. You just made yourself up a hard aluminum oxide porcupine with a lead core.

    Now go to a clean set of steel rolling plates and re-roll your embedded grit portion (bare steel, no additional grit) until you reduce the diameter until it measures the exactly the size you want your lap job to be. Notice how round everything is? This is a natural function of the rolling action. The lead core might not be perfectly round but the cutting tips of the aluminum oxide porcupine ARE perfectly round, this is done naturally by the rolling action of the steel plates.

    Now, take your lap bullet and spin it with your drill and SAND/FILE off all the areas you don't want to have lapping action from. You may need to leave the bottoms of some lube grooves to act as aligment zones (bearing journal surfaces) and I generally leave the nose tip form as the front outside bearing journal. I always clean off the gas check shank 100% and the first driver or crush band 100% as they don't need to be growing any as you lap (two critical fit-up areas).

    Now wash your lap off and scrub it lightly with a toothbrush to kick free any bit of grit that isn't firmly embedded into the lead. Don't forget to do this step, you don't want any loose grit pieces moving around inside your mold .....

    Ok, you got a very hard, very round, precisely sized lap portion that is really quite wear durable. You got selected outboard bearing surfaces and inside bearing surfaces to spin this affair upon and your critical surfaces that you don't want to change have been removed from the equation.

    Your first lap should leave at least .002" for your medium & final finish laps to work up to -- this is because when you first try to close the mold on an oversized cutting lap it DOES cut an oblong inital cut that is larger in line with the parting line.

    Think about how the oversized first coarse lap sits up on the edges of a single cavity half as if you had just rested it there ...... Your finished laps have to gently recover this natural oblong cutting action from the first lap.

    So, you got made-up durable rough laps, medium laps and finished laps. If you lubricate the cutting action with lots of liquid dishwashing soap they will last a long long time before you have to stop and re-grit roll them and resize them. They will only affect the areas you want affected. They will cut fast then they will stop cutting and spin free on your selected inboard and outboard bearing zones. The liquid dishwashing soap keeps every thing CLEAN, cool and lubricated. Just run hot water over the cavities occasionally to see how things are going. (liquid dishwashing soap is so much better for this use than oil or grease, it is a slick lubricating CLEANER after all)

    Here is a magic trick -- the rough lap can actually "raise" a surface a little bit by raising a forest of heavy scratch marks for your medium and fine laps to roll partially back down. You can grow an undersized surface a little bit.

    You can also intentionally "close down" or reduce an oversized bullet diameter on a LEE single cavity mold by clamping it up on the pin half in a smooth jaw machinist vise, crushing the kurling down and seating the sine forms into each other a little bit. You can dial one down by over a thousandth if you have to. Of course, you want to do this before you final lap it.

    Note: If you screw up a final lap, you can close the LEE mold down a bit to recover the error before you retry the final lap.

    Final lap has two real functions -- regain some better cavity roundness and reset the parting line to a nice fine line, not a big old nasty free lapping grit type parting line. Clamping forces are decreased and run time is increased on a finished lap engagement. Grit can be smaller too.

    ================================================

    Yes, hand turning your laps has a real function -- fine work, small changes. Slow meticulous fine work is best done by hand. However, trying to remove multiple thousandths by hand is too too slow and that is where these powered hard-rolled lap techniques can do better.

    ================================================

    Living with LEE molds is something those of us who don't have a killing amount of money tend to have to do. LEE molds don't fit individual throats all that well and tend to be undersized for most users in the nose "land rider" area as gun throats wear in this area quickly. These techniques allow you to adjust the size of a standard lee mold nose fairly easily and quite accurately.

    Plus, having made up your finish lap --- keep it, you can use it when the naturally occuring simple kurling/sine form wear occurs over time and takes your LEE mold out of round a bit. Or you bang something and kick up a burr on the edge of your cavity and you mold quits dropping bullets out freely.

    Oldfeller
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 10-31-2005 at 06:03 PM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Who has a crapped out LEE mold that needs fixing?

    This sticky sucks -- it is just words. It doesn't really teach you how to do anything. Useless, useless words .....

    A good edumacational sticky needs a strong central character, some action and lots of pictures. I got more picture space available, now we what we need is that central character (a mold that is really really screwed up) to form this here real type edumacational sticky around.

    I haven't got a crapped-out LEE mold (I fixed them all). Which one of you guys has got a really really crapped-out LEE single or double cavity mold that you will volunteer for fixing?

    Your poor old mold has to have an interesting NAME of course, and an interesting history behind him of how he got in that terrible torn up shape that he is in to begin with. You have to be able to describe what all ails him and HOW what he casts now isn't useable to you.

    (that way when you get him back we will have something to compare it to).

    Who has a really really screwed up LEE mold?

    Let's have a volunteer -- tell us what you got and how it got that way. All it will cost you is shipping one way to me, I'll ship it back to you after we are all done with it.

    <g>

    Oldfeller


    P.S. Jumptrap, not yours -- sledge hammer marks are irretrevable.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
    Does his posting from a lobby -- he's now a modern Paladin
    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  3. #3
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    Well, Oldfeller, I beg to disagree with you. I think this is a FINE post, and one I'll likely NEED in the near future. Only mould I have that needs fixing is that darn .50 cal. minnie mould, and that one looks fine as far as dimensions go, so you MAY have to resort to one of ol' Jump's moulds after all. Just know that our deepest sympathies go with any attemp to work on ANYTHING that boy's had his hands on! Hee hee! If you can fix THOSE, you can fix ANYTHING!

    Thanks. Darn good post, and like I said, I'll likely be needing/using it real soon for that .303 Brit #4 of mine, and who knows what all else. It's stuff like THIS that makes this place THE place to go! Even with ol' Jump here!

  4. #4
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    I've got a Lee that needs some TLC, but not in the diameter adjustment. I've cast enough with my Bator Lite, it isn't closing without some extra shaking. Everything is lubed proper. Any suggestions on tightening up the handles?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I have a LYMAN that I tried to make bigger and ended up with more out of round just like you said. I did this just before the sticky came up. Used a drill press for the drive. Just dabbed the compound in the driving bands of the mold. I know its not a canadate, but 311359, about 115 grain 30 cal I was trying to make out to .314 for my 7.65 arg. Now its more out of round than when I started. How about if I buy a lee and you make it fit my son's rifle?

    David
    Living and Learning.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    I'd take one that was all wobbly on the handles and wouldn't drop or open right. Fixes all involve the same techniques anyway -- but it would have to be a 1-2 cavity jobbie not a six banger.

    Now Ric, you know I can fix loose mold handles or poor sine form engagement, you got a Cruise mold with the fixes applied to it. But I bet you are talking about a six banger, aren't you?

    Oldfeller
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 10-31-2005 at 06:07 PM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
    Does his posting from a lobby -- he's now a modern Paladin
    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    We still need us a volunteer with a crapped-out LEE mold.

    By now Ric has pulled out his official Oldfeller-stamped 6.5 Cruise Missile mold and said "Oh, heck -- well, that looks easy enough to do" and has fixed his wobbly goblin mold right on up. Remember to tighten the center handle bolt & nut up until it barely moves (with mild resistance) before adding the fixative. You are making the handle joint take over the worn alignment pin's function after all. Also remember to stick a bullet in the cavity and to use rubber bands to keep even strong tension on the handles while the fixative sets up between the handles and the blocks. This gives you "optimum cavity alignment" which is then transferred to the handle set to be maintained.

    Now if you lap to this solid arrangement, you really get some fine looking work.

    It don't matter to me what all is wrong with it, worn pin to aluminum alignment, worn sine forms, worn kurling, handles won't align -- you name it, we will show you how to fix it. With pictures no less.

    And, if you can see your parting line flash size/offset changing from bullet to bullet to bullet -- then you got some diameter change issues going on too about at that same magnitude of size. Ditto for roundness issues too.

    Broke is broke is broke.


    =========================================

    Of course, could it be that we really don't tear up cheap LEE molds like Jumptrap always seemed to be able to? He'd just touch one and it would go to **** on him. Maybe LEE molds really aren't such pieces of **** as some members like to discourse upon with such great fervor?

    ==========================================


    Why can't I find me a worn out, crapped up LEE mold out of this entire group of ham fisted casters?

    <g>

    Oldfeller
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
    Does his posting from a lobby -- he's now a modern Paladin
    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  8. #8
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    Two holer, and nope, ain't got it fixed. Too busy hunting in the rain. Did you post a fix on this I missed?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    T'was years ago, when folks were asking me how the heck I got the mold blocks on the Cruise to open and shut perfectly, always indexing the dowel pin into the sideways hole perfectly every time .... perfect closure motion with no free play.

    "howtheheckdjadothat??"

    Send it to me and we'll see ....

    First, mark it in some way so you'll know the one I send back is the one that that you sent.

    Next, tell us all about your ugly charlie mold, how it flops when it slops and what that does to your casting motions and all.

    We all got to develop some proper sympathy for your plight, it helps with getting the creative juices flowing and all that artistic creativity stuff. Plus, only you can explain what a pain in the *** it really is to you -- also you will be telling me all the stuff that's gotta get right by the time we are done whilst you are explaining it to everybody else.

    Just tell us what the idealized perfect LEE mold would do for you that this one sure as hell doesn't do and that won't be too far off the mark.

    You didn't really think you were just getting it fixed for free, did you? You gotta explain it all first.

    PM headed your way,

    Oldfeller
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
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    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  10. #10
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    Well, I'd tightened up the handle pivot last time I cast with it, and went from too tight, to still not right. The mold half seems to not be aligning, and rides up over the roll pin. I'm afraid I'll get face wear this way. I've been recently getting a drop of lead build up on the alignment pin in the bottom, so I suspect it has been being poured in occasionally with the blocks not entirely aligned. The shop doesn't have very good light in it, so between that and bad eyes. I miss things at times. Yes, I'm a klutz.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    So, in between letting the blocks flop around madly, the handle set is telling the mold to go together in a way that conflicts slightly with the dual alignment pins and the sine features on the edges. Sometimes the handle set wins, but most times the alignment features win. Sometimes it hangs a bit and then goes together with a lurch (kinda).

    You have mis-shut the mold enough times that you fear you might have done some bad things to the alignment features. (can you actually see the pin/groove wear yet? Symptom is widening of the aluminum groove on one side)

    You know it doesn't close right all the time every time (and you do make an occasional funky heavily flashed bullet) but it doesn't really give you a whole lot of feedback when this actually happens, so you just roll on, casting at normal Shooters warp 3 speeds until you get a serious hunk of lead that's keeping the blocks open on you. I bet it is located at the end of a steel pin, lodged in the bevel point left by the drillbit.

    The lack of light in your casting area really doesn't help, but the durn mold should go together reliably 100% of the time, even if it were totally dark in here.

    ****, it just did it again ......

    Chisel out the chunk with your pocket knife and go back to casting. Seems like this is happening more and more lately. This thing is really getting to be a pain in the *** ....

    Have I got it?

    (actually, I am describing one of my old 2 cavity .44 caliber molds that I fixed)

    Oldfeller
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 10-31-2005 at 10:23 PM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
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  12. #12
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    Thumbs up

    deja vou!

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldfeller
    So, in between letting the blocks flop around madly, the handle set is telling the mold to go together in a way that conflicts slightly with the dual alignment pins and the sine features on the edges. Sometimes the handle set wins, but most times the alignment features win. Sometimes it hangs a bit and then goes together with a lurch (kinda).

    You got it.

    You have mis-shut the mold enough times that you fear you might have done some bad things to the alignment features. (can you actually see the pin/groove wear yet? Symptom is widening of the aluminum groove on one side)

    This actually only developed as a problem on my last casting session. There is a small bit of brightness where the smoke was worn from the sine, but I don't believe any metal has actually been moved.

    You know it doesn't close right all the time every time (and you do make an occasional funky heavily flashed bullet) but it doesn't really give you a whole lot of feedback when this actually happens, so you just roll on, casting at normal Shooters warp 3 speeds until you get a serious hunk of lead that's keeping the blocks open on you. I bet it is located at the end of a steel pin, lodged in the bevel point left by the drillbit.

    Yassuh!

    The lack of light in your casting area really doesn't help, but the durn mold should go together reliably 100% of the time, even if it were totally dark in here.


    That is also my feeling. You're giving me a warm fuzzy feeling.

    ****, it just did it again ......

    Chisel out the chunk with your pocket knife and go back to casting. Seems like this is happening more and more lately. This thing is really getting to be a pain in the *** ....

    Have I got it?

    It sounds like you are holding it in your hairy little mitts, as we speak. You have the symptoms, doctor.

    (actually, I am describing one of my old 2 cavity .44 caliber molds that I fixed)

    Oldfeller

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Ric's wobbly goblin has arrived. You can tell he tries to take care of his molds, but this one was getting a head of him a bit. I can sympathize, because I had several LEE molds get ahead of me before I learned how to coral them in.

    All LEE 1 & 2 cavity molds come in fairly "tight", but the mold motions on the handles can get loose very quickly and this leads to the progressive destruction of the mold faces and the mold alignment features. Note the extreme cavity alignment mis-match as the mold handles hold the cavities now.






    I also note Ric had to fight the "it won't come out of the cavity" syndrome on the inside cavity and it liked to stick first on the side away from the sprue plate, then it changed to the sprue plate side just recently (I bet the inside cavity sticks like a tick on a dog right now).





    I also note that he really likes this bullet a lot (he has patiently unstuck the mold dozens & dozens of times and put it back into service whereas 'ol Jump would have reached for the sledge hammer long long ago)

    I've put the pot on to warm, let's see what the bullets look like as soon as it hots up to 700 degrees or so.

    Oldfeller
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 11-06-2005 at 01:12 PM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
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    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    What's a nose got to do with it anyway?

    Well now, I cast twice and learned something -- I cast several times more to verify that information.



    The mold casts .3595"-.3615" as its natural size (whenever it behaves naturally, that is) and the two cavities appear to be slightly different sizes.

    It can cast bullets with extreme size spreads within the one slug itself .362" to .366" all within the same slug -- it didn't shut correctly on that cast. And this was with me taking great care to align everything before casting ..... and I didn't drop them, I caught them in my gloved hand so they are not banged up by hitting something.

    I betcha this thing throws them all over the place size-wise when casting at full Bruce B. Warp 3 type speeds.

    Note the noses, the one on the right was actually scraped good by the mold edge and maybe even actually struck a glancing blow by the opposing mold side alignment roll pin as the mold faces dropped "down" to each other when the alignment surfaces disengaged. There was enough force here to scrap or peen type roll-over the entire end of the soft, freshly congealed lead meplat surface.

    (hummm .... would this one fly very good?)

    And stick, lordy did they stick -- the one on the inside fully met my tick on a dog expectations (and then some, yessir).

    Now lets talk weight -- weight can affect vertical stringing at long distances. You don't see such large variations in size without seeing weight differences.

    I'm gonna use a digital scale in grams 'cause I ain't weighing powder -- I'm weighing heavy as **** cast lead boolits -- just take the differences as a "percent change" if you want to get all technical on me.

    Or go punch "convert.exe" into your browser to go get a PC utility that changes any measurement scale over to anything else. That is if you just HAVE to use grains for everything just to get your mind to work right (gun-nut syndrome #17).

    for those who ARE complete gun-nuts, the conversion factor is multply grams by 15.4324 to get to real units of measure

    15.293 grams___236.0 grains
    15.351_________236.9
    15.361_________237.1
    15.374_________237.3
    15.415_________237.9
    15.422_________238.0

    0.84% min-max difference -- well, maybe it ain't sech a big thang any no-wise.

    Still, we gotta fix that nose scraping and get the sizes to be closer to the same size (and get rid of all that flashing nonsense and sticking nonsense) It offends my sense of mold propriety. (syndrome #23)

    <g>

    Oldfeller



    PS The pretty leatherwork you see under the mold pictures and up on my wall -- that's Ric's native indian leatherwork. He shoots it, eats it, tans it then he paints and stitches it in authentic Indian motifs and sells it to tourists. (he likes to play with his food, in other words)

    Actually, he does good work -- it's been a long time since I touched some real home-tanned leather. Brings back memories of my brother and I tanning muskrat that we had trapped in tidewater Virginia around Norfork when we were little shavers.

    Ric spent more time just painting that purty pouch than its going to take me to fix his mold, but I appreciate the pretty thang anyway. I put it up next to my wife's needle-point reminder for me to not to get all wrapped around the axle so much as I go through life -- Ric does the same thing for me on occasion, too.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 11-06-2005 at 11:05 AM.
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    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  15. #15
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    Kelly, I see you have run down the idiosyncrasis pretty well of the mold. After your description, I guess I didn't realize all of that was wrong, as I would focus on one problem at a time, rather than as a whole.
    By the way, that think ain't tanned, it's rawhide. The lacing is the only thing tanned on it.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Now on to the healing .....

    Ric, don't get upset, it ain't you -- but I'm not real pleased with LEE right now and it likely is going to bleed over on this here sticky a bit. I got me this nagging bad LEE attitude, you see.

    (this is just after LEE changed our distributor initial buy-in amount, doubling it)

    Jumptrap keeps telling us LEE sine-type molds wear out too **** fast and it is because of their rotten cheap construction. And intentionally lazy design techniques. They are built to be cheap **** molds -- on purpose.

    I agree with him, they could have made this mold 2-3x more durable IF they had just closed down the 1.2 miles of slop between the sides of the handle grooves and the thickness of the handle tang sheet metal portion to the point the blocks were open-close (spatially controlled) within the span of good engagement of the built in mold block alignment features.

    That's the major thing I am going to do to keep this sloppy wobbly goblin **** from re-occuring on you. I am going to get the cavities to align correctly just one more precious time and I am going to GLUE the ever living **** out of the mold handle tangs and the block grooves, affixing them to the handles so they go back together exactly right every stinkin' time they open and close.

    But before I can do that, I've got to fix some face damage and get out all that gorped up lead in the drill centers up in front of the pins so the cavities CAN go together 100% right & correctly that one precious last time when I glue them to the handles. I will use two of the prettiest cast bullets (least out of round, least flash) to help get everything get lined up real good that last time.

    If you did this simple 2-3x life extender trick to a brand new LEE mold when you bought it as part of your LEEMENT, that would be optimal (and it is what I do now every time I get in a single or double cavity mold). Or LEE could just buy a different sized saw blade (yup, that's what they use to cut that handle mounting groove -- a carbide tipped milling slotter blade)

    But you see, LEE molds are crappy molds (built by DGAS people). No, that isn't true, the people who work at LEE care some but they have layers of DGAS managers over him who want maximum PROFIT and they want it NOW, screw making good stuff -- "it is good enough for what we charge for it" (the LEE Jr. philosophy). And that means you, operator -- hurry up boy -- you are taking too long to setting that job up, trying to do it right ....

    Plus, the reason the groove grew out to that 1.2 miles wide is the handle sets don't go together all that well (buy cheap stuff to make cheap stuff) -- I have actually had to BEND some brand-new handles so the mold was within good open-close range before I could glue them in place.

    NOW, DOWNSIDE TO THIS TRICK IS ..... you set the handles up to be the spatial open-close controlling element -- what happens when you drop the entire thing and it hits the wrong way on the concrete and it MOVES the handle set? Answer -- burn & scrape the glue out with a propane torch and start all over again with the fix. Or attempt a counter-bending exercise on the sheet metal tang material (you could do it with your hand strength alone since the blocks are solid to it now and they give you something to get a good grip on)

    Good news is you can actually dent a mold corner up pretty good and not move the handles any at all. Got me a couple that got Ooops'd that way .... haven't had to torch anything yet (thank goodness).

    Now to the steps -- I will present them in the order you would do them to a brand new LEE mold.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 11-08-2005 at 05:16 PM.
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  17. #17
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    STEP #1
    Deburr and deflash the mold face mating surfaces and the alignment pin sideways holes and the sine features. Warning -- on a brand new mold if you have a really big ding or a big hard flash edge -- leave it alone !!!! The cavities were cut with it that way and changing it may change diameters and feature sizes/flash lines. (sad but true, it was there when the cavities were cut and their proper size & shape depend on it staying there).

    Wobbly Goblin's knurled faces are about gone (lots of wear and heavy encrusted soot) so he's gonna get smoothed up some and that's about all. He doesn't have any knurl-venting to worry about preserving ..... I may create a central vent zone between the cavities if I can get away with it, it all depends on how much this mold wants to flash after it is lapped.



    Hey, lookie what I found !!! The ghost of Kurling Past .....
    Under encrusted crud from using bullet lube as mold lube, lots of small trapped droplets of lead, plenty of ding marks, whole raised edges caused by mold features slamming into each other and a nice crop of little pocket knife marks down next to the pin tips (one big one ran over the cavity edge causing a major bullet hang-up point which is your current biggest tick-on-a-dog cause), hey lookie -- vague traces of knurling. I feel like an archeologist. This thing wore out in normal use -- fancy that, the primative people of 2005 couldn't make a decent mold but their grandfathers could -- isn't that interesting, their civilization slid backwards for two whole generations.

    (NOTE: this is the normal use a registered gun-nut does to any LEE mold -- and they simply can't take it. They are NOT UP to our general use, period.)

    Let's talk about LEE general use directions for a second (they are written to guarantee you buy a new mold every few years) and the use of bullet lube as a mold lubricant.

    We all agree aluminum needs some slicky to keep it from gnarling up on you, but bullet lube AIN"T the best stuff to use. It goes on wet, then it tries to mock the bottom of your wife's frying pan as it smokes off, stinks and dries.

    Lots of fiber and other solids in bullet lube -- ask Felix, he can give you a percentage of the solids I bet. Waksupi had built up at least a couple of thousandths of solid gorp on his mold faces, he had no venting in some areas at all between the LEE mandated match soot build-up and the solidified bullet lube (which runs like a mad rabbit when it gets mold operating temperature). The two join together to make "mold cement" which builds up everywhere.

    I put him a central vent between the cavities (I sanded it judicuously) and as long as he doesn't power pour or pressure pour (ladle to sprue plate or bottom pour nipple to sprue plate) he won't get any serious flashing.

    I am going to switch Ric over to the dry moly system and get him to put up his matches and his lube stick on this one mold -- just to see how long it will go on with nothing but the burnished in moly system I send it back to him wearing. I'm also going to send him the final lap mounted bullet and some dry moly powder to use if the slugs ever do stop dropping free properly (as much as he likes this mold and uses it, he may have to release lap it again eventually).

    ========================

    STEP #2
    Burnish and de-edge flash (round over the edges) on the sprue plate sliding surface. That ugly plate did some ugly things to the top side of Wobbly Goblin -- ugly things -- (reference picture above)

    ========================



    Hey, I got to split this post up -- too many characters --- so I'll split it right here as a good ending spot.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 11-08-2005 at 05:16 PM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
    Does his posting from a lobby -- he's now a modern Paladin
    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Step #3
    Tune the handle joint, provide "PERFECT ALIGNMENT" of the cavities, close & apply rubber bands to handles -- heat and apply and cure heat-proof fixative.

    In Wobbly Goblin's case, this means align the bolt/nut, drop pretty bullets into the cavities, close it, band it, heat it and apply loctite to the handle/cavity joints a very little at a time so it doesn't run all over the place.

    Picking bullets for aligning the cavities on Ric's Wobbly Goblin was interesting, I picked the smallest, roundest bullets I could cast with the "inital mold state" to use for alignment setting duty. Smallest, because with the encrusted gorp gone his cavities close together better (tighter/smaller). Roundest, because we really want to minimize the roundess issues at this stage because it means less lapping later on to clean up the remaining out of roundess issues.

    For a Brand New LEE mold, the alignment features should still be working, so just deburr/deflash a tiny bit then tighten the joint, rotate to align it, rubber band it up, heat it up and fixate it.

    Tuning in the handle joint is a necessary step to this process. Tighten the joint until it drags some. Exercise the joint with some lubricant and if it loosens, tighten it up some more. You want the handle set to drag a bit, enough to hold the cavities open and keep them there when you want them to STAY open.

    ++++++++++++++++++++
    I despise a sloppy floppy self-destroying LEE mold -- but that's what they are as they get shipped from the factory (complete with instructions on how to "long term" finish the destroying of them so you can go buy another one). They teach you to beat the sprue plate with a wooden stick to open it, for crying out loud. Then they teach you to beat on various things with that same heavy wooden stick to get the bullets to drop out of the cavities.
    It's a crime of ignorance, factory-promoted ignorance no less.
    ++++++++++++++++++++

    Rotate the nut/bolt assembly to the rotational orientation that minimizes that open-close handle motion drag (this is the same location it will seek again over time anyway). NEVER LUBE THIS JOINT WITH BULLET LUBE AGAIN -- it will likely stick up on after boil off as clearances are now absolutely minimal in this joint. I use light sewing machine oil on used molds that belong to other people and that only very occasionally as you have to exercise the handle set while the oil boils & smokes off or it will once again it will get stiff on you.

    On a new mold that belongs to me I loosen the joint, puff moly powder into the joint, tighten it, exercise it, tighten it again, rotationally set it and forget it (forever).

    Fixating the cavities -- I used to use phenolic resin from work, but that was 3 working jobs ago now. The stuff had a 3 month shelf life, so it set up on me and was tossed quite a while back. Old "dead" bottles of locktite are what suffice me now. They work, not as well though and they do have some risks with loctite being very mobile (very moble indeed).



    I put loctite on at mold pre-warming temperatures to get it to run on in the joint and then go ahead and set up in a few minutes, so I don't waste a lot of time doing this step. WARNING: if you ever think the loctite got loose and got into the cavities don't panic - you are already screwed as it has already hardened -- you will have to whack it with a nylon hammer to get it to open and chisel it out of where-ever it got into (or just ignore it -- actually it follows the perfect alignment, so technically it isn't a "bad thing")

    Don't forget to use lots of rubber bands on the handles when applying fixative. This would be a bad thing to forget as you can't grip that consistently for that long.
    (you really can't)

    =====================

    P.S on the Wobbly Goblin, I had to soak the mold & handles over night and brush them with solvent as the evaporated (solidified) bullet lube had made the handle steel all greasy feeling and I was concerned the locktite wouldn't stick very good.

    =====================
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 11-06-2005 at 01:54 PM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
    Does his posting from a lobby -- he's now a modern Paladin
    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

  19. #19
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer


    waksupi's Avatar
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    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
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    What I have learned so far.

    #1. I now have a use for the container of moly I have had sitting on the bench for years.

    #2. Friends don't let friends buy one and two holer Lee's. I,m taking the pledge.

    #3. Had I tried to do this, I would have totally ruined the mold by this point. Fortunately, I had a nice protective coating of gunk on it. And don't own a concrete anything to drop a mold on.

    #4. I better get some better light, in where I do my casting!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Oldfeller's Avatar
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    Dressing the top surface true to cavities

    Everybody sandpaper laps the tops of LEE molds when they get all scarred up, it is a periodic tune up item that we have all done.

    Why? Because LEE buys cheap partially dressed partially vibratory stone media smoothed sprue plate stampings that still have nasty edges that tear up the mold surfaces. We fix them up as much as we can, but the tearing up still happens, ongoing.

    You see, LEE extrusions are SOFT aluminum. I have had pieces of lead oxides stuck to the sprue plate tear the **** out of the top of the mold, it doesn't even take steel to do it (although any nick or edge or burr or sanding mark left on that steel sprue plate will certainly do the gouge thing right smartly)



    Ric had some real nasties on the Goblin, so much so that I reduced them from huge down to merely there and called it "good enough". I also tried to remove the burrs on the sprue plate that caused the gouges in the first place.

    Notice the bullets sitting in place during the sanding -- this keeps you from rolling a wire edge down into the mold and creating a sticking point.
    Last edited by Oldfeller; 11-06-2005 at 04:52 AM.
    "Had guns, must travel" reads the card of a man ...
    Existing daily from his suitcase in a "temporary" land
    Does his posting from a lobby -- he's now a modern Paladin
    Paladin, Paladin, where do you roam? (far, far from home ....)

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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