Inline FabricationMidSouth Shooters SupplyGraf & SonsLee Precision
Titan ReloadingWisconsin TriggerRotoMetals2StainLess Steel Media

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44

Thread: DIY 100 pound pot/master caster

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437

    DIY 100 pound pot/master caster

    Instead of starting my own thread, I just commented in another thread and my project kept growing, so now I have decided to make my own thread. This thread title should make it a bit easier for others to find info on building a pot or casting machine.

    When I first tried casting, I was probably 14 years old and I used two cavity steel molds and a 10 pound lee pot that my dad and grandfather used. It wasn't until 4-5 years ago that I got back into casting and started to read this forum. After I bought a Smith 460 XVR, I got in on a group buy for an MP 45-270 SAA brass HP mold, with 4 cavities. The 10 pound pot was way too small and it dripped more than my $15 coffee maker.

    The next step was a PID and a 20 pound lee pot.



    It likes to drip as well, but hold more lead. The sickness continued and I ended up with two NOE 5 cavity molds. One is a Saeco #315 175 grain 30 cal flat point plain base. It works great in the 30-30 at 1300 fps for Silhouette shooting and it is also great for plinking with the 1926 Winchester 54 bolt gun in 30-06. The other mold is a 402 160 rn plain base for my XD 40 competition pistol. The pistol boolits get powder coating and my rile boolits get Cred in the rcbs LAM I. The new mr drippy isn't too bad from full to half empty, but after that, it no longer has enough pressure for a good fast stream. It takes forever to get back up to temperature and I would have to fill it again when only half way through a casting session.

    A master caster sounded and looked like a great way to make boolits, but also an expensive one. After seeing a bunch of other DIY pots I got more serious about at least having a 40 pound pot with more wattage to keep up with my casting. The RCBS pot was also pricey for what it is.

    After more research, I had a bit of a plan and started to buy some parts.

    I think I will copy my posts from the other thread, and likely shorten what I have in the other one.......
    Last edited by CGT80; 12-31-2016 at 09:16 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    05-01-2016
    I am considering building a bottom pour pot as well, and maybe a bullet casting machine. Jmorris has posted on a few forums to tell about his. He used a new oven element and bent it around a pipe. Amazon has elements for $16. I wonder if a stove element would be better so that the heat is from the bottom. The spout would have to pass through the middle of the element and the weight of the pipe would be on the element, unless you made stand offs to hold the pot, or supported it by the sides.

    Jmorris used a 3500 watt element, IIRC, and he melts 60 lbs at a time, but it will hold more.

    I need to go to my metal supplier and find a remnant of pipe and then work from there.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    05-04-2016
    I stopped by Industrial Metal Supply, today. They had a 13" section of 6 1/8" ID x 1/4" wall pipe in the remnants area. It was also uncoated on the inside, which is great. Much of their pipe is galv. It cost a whopping 5 bucks. I also picked up a rem of 3/8" plate for 6 bucks that I can cut a base from. The pipe is beveled on one end, although I would likely use more bevel for my tig weld on the bottom. I have some 1/4" plate around here, if I just match the wall thickness for the bottom. The CNC plasma machine is up and running, that my dad and I built, so I plan to use it where possible for my build.

    That is a 5" grinder and a pair of tilman 750m gloves for size. I didn't set the pipe next to my lee 4-20, but I know it is huge. I was also considering cutting it to 6" deep. The lee pot sucks when it gets below half full. It seems that 6"x6" of lead would weigh 80 pounds, if I found a decent calculator for volume and lead weight. This was with a quick google search on my phone while in the steel warehouse.



  4. #4
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    05-05-2016
    Last night, I also ordered a heating element to try out on my pot. It was just under $15 shipped on amazon prime and it is an oven element at 2585 watts with 1/4" terminals. Hopefully it bends as easily as jmorris said his did. The stove burner seems like it would put the heat in a better place, but it complicates things too much, at this point.

    Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Exact-Replacements-Erb44t10010-Bake-Element/dp/B004FO8JZ0/ref=sr_1_4?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1462073580&sr=1-4&keywords=heating+elements

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    05-05-2016
    Jmorris said he used a stainless sheet and wrapped it around the heating element. I plan to do something similar to hold the element, but I may end up insulating the pot and building an outside case/cover that is square. It would be nice to make it look well finished and like something you would see advertised for sale from a manufacturer. That would satisfy the OCD in me and also give me more of a challenge with my fabrication skills. Only time will tell how far I take it.

    It looks like my current PID should work for the 240v heating element. The PID will work on 120v or 240v and the ssr is 25 amps (more than double the load of the new element), and I would just have to change the plug ends to 15a or 20a 250v style and double check that my wiring is correct on the inside.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    08-15-2016
    It was finally time to get a start on the monster lead casting pot.

    Here is the pipe partially blasted with 220 grit garnet and marked where it will be cut for the proper height. I went with 9" tall x 6.125" ID and it should put me at 102 lbs of liquid lead, according to an online calculator. In reality, I don't plan to fill it that full. The Lee 20 pound pot needed at least 2" of lead to have good flow and when it was filled to 3.5", it did not have enough material for me to do one casting session. It also was very slow to catch up when adding more than a single sprue. 4 to 6 inches in the new pot should give me 22-45 pounds on top of the 2" which gave good pressure at the spout. I don't know if the larger diameter will have any effect on pressure.




    I didn't take a pic of wrapping the heating element around the pipe, but this shows how the pipe fits in my big vice to make it easier to wrap. It wasn't tight enough, so I stuck a section of 6" thin wall tube in the vice and wrapped the element tighter. Then, when I wrapped it on the 1/4" wall pipe, it fit snug. I still need to mount this vice to a bench outside. It is 14" from the jaws to the table and 22" front to back. Last week, I finished restoring them. The little parker is likely 70 years old, from what I could find on it. You can also see the fabrication table that I finally finished. It came in handy to clamp the pipe when I ground a bevel on the bottom of it.



    My thought was to drill and tap the bottom of the pot for a 1/2" pipe thread and to use a pipe plug as my spout. It would hopefully seal up and be easy enough to remove if I had to work on the spout for any reason. I don't have a 1/2" pipe tap or the proper size drill bit, but I had a bung that I cut on the lathe for another project but didn't use. It is 1" OD on the small part, so I will cut a 1" hole in the 3/8" bottom plate with an annular cutter and the mill and then tig weld the bung in place. A 60 degree counter sink should make a nice spout opening for a tapered rod to go into. I will probably try to turn that on the lathe.




    The heating element is 2585 watts 240 volts. Amazon has ceramic insulation for $27 that is 1" thick and will just cover all four sides of my pot. The outer skin will likely be stainless sheet which will screw to the edge of the 3/8" plate at the bottom and it will be in the form of a box with a round hole in the top to be screwed in the top edge of the pot. The stainless is a couple of door kicks that never got used, which are in the scrap pile. I will tig the joints and unfortunately don't have a brake so there will be plenty of edges to weld. I have only welded a small amount of stainless, so it will be good practice. I could do it with my MIG with tri mix gas, but it will likely look better to tig it.

    I have not decided on a stand yet. My goal is a stand that will automatically fill and empty a boolit mold, but that is a ways out.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    12-02-2016
    After a break, I finally got back around to this project!






    I just wasn't sure about using plumbing fittings for a spout, so I drilled the bottom of the pot and ran a 60 degree counter sink in that hole. Then, I turned a steel rod in the lathe and attempted to match that 60 degree angle. Some aluminum oxide powder and grease served as a lapping compound. At that point, it was time to attach the pipe to the base. With the 5" angle grinder, I ground a bevel on the bottom of the pipe. I think I tack welded it together with my MIG, and then I preheated the thing on a hot plate and then hit it with the mapp gas torch. I set the TIG welder on kill mode (460 amps) and gave it two passes. It never got the full pedal, so I'm guessing I didn't go over 400 amps. The base did warp a bit, but it isn't too bad.

    This week, I started in on the valve mechanism. There is a piece of 16ga aluminum under the valve mechanism, as a place holder for my final skin/box. I have a few stainless door kicks sitting around and wanted to use those as the skin, but they have holes drilled in them and I went bigger on my pot base, after I decided to allow room for insulation. So, I either have to fill the holes, or just build it out of aluminum. The vertical bars which hold the lever are cold roll 1/2" by 3/4". The lever is 1/4" by 1/2" hot roll, left over from another job. It was slow going when I milled the slots. My mill is a 1/4" diameter 90 degree drill point which I purchased to slot 3/16" material. For this heavier stuff, I set the spindle speed at 1200-1400 rpm and ran lots of mist coolant. My feed rate was an average of 30 thousandths of an inch per minute. I just went out and checked the drill/mill again. It took 1.5-2 seconds per thousandth of an inch on the handle of the mill. The cutter was just long enough to do a half inch in a single pass and I don't think it would have done it in multiple, with the drill point on it. I did not know the proper feed rate and the only way to find what that small of a mill was capable of, was to find out when it would break. Ruining a $25 cutter wasn't an option.

    The flow control bolt is 3/8x24tpi, and I wanted to be able to adjust it with my welding glove on and without tools. If needed, I will add a wing to the bolt head so it is easier to adjust. The pivot bolts are 10-24, IIRC, and are too short. The cheap screws I had in there actually had slop in them. The cap head screws are nice and tight, so I will get longer ones and nuts to match. 1/4"x20 bolts hold the whole assembly to the ear (1/4" plate) that is welded to the pot.

    Now, I need to make a base for the pot. My goal is to make this an auto caster, so I want to allow room for that down the road.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    12-04-2016

    I looked a pics from J. Morris again and a few others and took a stab at the dimensions required. My base is 1.5" square steel tube and is 1/8" wall. The heat shield for the element is 16 ga steel and I bent it by hand. The element was wrapped as tight as I could get it, but it expanded a bit after heating. It is still too hot to touch, after cooing for an hour or so.

    The red wire is 18ga and is rated at 200 degrees Celsius. Quality wire is normally 105 C., so this is rated for double the amount of heat. It was left over from when I used to repair the heat lamps in Carl's Jr fast food joints. I also have some woven glass tube to run over the terminal and wires, until it exits the housing for the pot. The element is 2500 watts at 240 volts. It was pulling 10.5 amps. The pid has a 25 amp ssr and was wired for 120v, to run my drip-o-matic casting pot. It wasn't easy to fit the ssr in that little box with the PID, but it was clean looking. I may have to add a heat sink to the back and possibly a fan. It got pretty warm to the touch, but not overly hot.

    Originally, I wanted to make a body out of stainless steel, but my remnants are on the small size and have some holes. Maybe I will try it for the heck of it, but I considered aluminum instead. Today, I started to wonder if aluminum was the right material. With a lead temp of 800 F., the outside of that pot will be extremely high. Then again, I plan to use 1" of ceramic insulation around the pot to help keep the heat in and away from the skin and myself. Hopefully, that will allow the pot to work even better. Right now it seems like the element is none too big for the amount of mass in the structure of the pot and the pot would take 50lbs of lead to just fill half way.

    The frame, under the pot, got hot, but I could still touch the cross brace against the bench. The legs were too hot to touch. Since the base of the pot warped, from welding, I had to add spot welds under the corners of the pot so it would sit steady. Two 1/4"x20 bolts hold the base to the pot. It might help to have some distance between the bottom of the pot and the frame, but I wanted the thing to be rock solid.

    My mig welder had flux core in it (I hate the stuff but will use it for mobile repairs) and I didn't want to deal with the splatter and fumes, so I tig welded the entire base and the tabs on the outside of the pot, along with all the parts for the mechanism. It was a good excuse to practice my tig welding. It also makes for small beads which I can leave, or make flush with minimal grinding.

    The element is only held at each end by a tab. The screw is for my ground wire.





    Back view:yes the ground should be bare or green, but I wasn't buying hi temp wire just for that. The green tape is good enough for me.





    My plasma and welders are wired with 50amp 250v plugs (and my dad and brother also use the same plugs on their tools), so my dad, brother, and I all use extension cords made up like this. The tig welder has a 6ga cord and this garage is only fed with 6ga, so when I welded the bottom of the pot, I only had a few minutes to weld before the 50 amp breaker would pop. It pulls 104 amps at full power, on 240 volt service. Unfortunately, It wasn't a continuous weld, but it is water tight, and is lead tight. I considered a 15 or 20 amp plug for the pot, but the only other item in my garage with a small plug is the mill/drill. If I needed to run the lee pot, I could change the cord end back to 15a120v and the PID would be ready to go.



    It has no problem heating up the inside of a single car garage.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Houston TX
    Posts
    590
    I bent a new stove heating element around pipe to make a pot heater. The element will bend new but once heated it can no be bent again. The pot was used to heat water for bending thin wood strips. The control was a simple off and on switch, the water was allowed to boil with the wood in the water boiling.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,610
    Looks like you are well on your way. One thing I would do different on mine is to make the frame wider and instead of having the mold carriers shaped like "F" with the mold between the horizontal and the flat rubbing on the arms I would make them like two back to back f's with a "wheel" opposite the mold vs just rubbing.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    This pot puts off some serious heat with that 2500 watt element shielded by only some sheet metal. It also seemed slow to heat up ingots that I added to it. So far, I have only had up to about 30 pounds of lead in it. The valve dripped quite a bit, as I cut the seat and rod then lapped them, but welded the base afterwards, from what I recall.

    It functioned well enough for me to order some 1" thick ceramic insulation from Amazon. It was $27 for a 12"x24" sheet. The temperature rating is around 2400f. It was easy to cut and came with a throw away knife. There is a 3"x12" strip left from that sheet. Bailing wire worked to hold the insulation tight to the heat shield and I was able to snug it up at the top, to try and keep the heat down around the walls of the pot. Woven glass insulation will protect the high temp wires even more, as they exit the pot.

    Even though the insulation had great reviews, I wasn't sure that it would block enough heat to allow the use of aluminum for a skin. Heat will be conducted where the base meets the skin and where the top of the pot meets the skin. I opted to use some stainless door kick plates that were in the scrap pile. They were not very tall and had holes drilled in them, so the cnc plasma table was not a good option to cut the sheet. Instead, I used the plasma and a straight edge to hand cut the sheet. It cut easily and wasn't hard to clean up with a 60 grit flap disc. Tig welding the box was another story. My SS welding experience is limited to small repairs. I didn't bother to back purge the box with argon since it isn't a critical part. The welding table make it easier to tack together. When it looked like a box, I skip welded the edges. Amperage was probably around 75 and I tried not to overheat the welds. 1/16" filler was a bit big and 0.030" was too small.

    Of course, the box warped. Grinding the corners was no fun either, but the welds looked like **** and I had the screw holes to fill as well. 60 grit discs cleaned up the welds and then I ran 3" surfacing discs in brown and maroon, on my 90 degree die grinder. For the corners, I cleaned them up a bit more with a blue surfacing disc. The hole in the top was plasma cut within a 1/4" and then I removed the valve and screwed the top to the pot so I could run a 3/4" dia carbide burr around the inside of the pot to match the parts. It took a lot of work to grind that stainless and I was trying not to overheat the SS, since it can work harden and I didn't want to trash a $30 burr. At least my new (old LeRoi Dresser 2AVC 5hp 80 gallon) air compressor kept up just fine with it's 20cfm output.

    To clean up the valve, I removed the valve assembly and pulled the rod out of the machined block that holds it. It is just a hand press fit. Some drilling lube and 220 grit aluminum oxide worked for a DIY lapping compound and my M12 1/2" drill was great for spinning the rod in it's seat. Yep, I just eyeballed the alignment If that failed, I was going to make an alignment plate based off the valve mechanism. It worked! It will drip a little at 800f, but at 650-725 it almost stops.








  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    Quote Originally Posted by bstone5 View Post
    I bent a new stove heating element around pipe to make a pot heater. The element will bend new but once heated it can no be bent again. The pot was used to heat water for bending thin wood strips. The control was a simple off and on switch, the water was allowed to boil with the wood in the water boiling.
    Luckily, you are right about it bending when new......that is what I had read on the forums. My element bent just fine, but I didn't want to heat it up until I had the pot further along. After a certain point, I forgot about trying it (just in case) and figured if it doesn't work, I will address it at that time. The new element was inexpensive and luckily I didn't try to bend a used element.

    That is a use I hadn't thought about for a pot like this.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmorris View Post
    Looks like you are well on your way. One thing I would do different on mine is to make the frame wider and instead of having the mold carriers shaped like "F" with the mold between the horizontal and the flat rubbing on the arms I would make them like two back to back f's with a "wheel" opposite the mold vs just rubbing.
    I really appreciate this advice. That is the step I was thinking over today!

    Everyone else has copied what you and the factory did. It made me wonder if wear would be an issue. It looks like the bottom of the arms would have the same sort of wear (maybe worse) where it is pushed to force the mold open.

    When I built the frame for the pot, I thought about how much space was needed between the legs. To go wider, there would have to be some sort of bracket to extend back toward the middle to hold the pot. With 20+ pounds of steel pot and up to 100 pounds of lead, I wanted the thing to be built like a rock. It would have been nice to thermally separate the pot from the base as well. At this point in the project, I hadn't fired up the pot and I wasn't sure if it would stay a manual pot or progress. The simple route seemed best and I had the 1.5" steel in the scrap pile.

    Now that you have given me a heads up, I can work on incorporating your idea into my build. It is raining right now and cold and wet in the garage, so I have spent part of the day just looking over other builds to figure out how to make the mechanics work on my pot.

    Thank you for the ideas.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    What molds do I use???

    The NOE 40 cal 160 rn is perfect, as is the S 315 copy. I also have an RCBS 45-225 rn and RCBS 311-115 GC for the 30 carbine.

    Lee 2 cavity molds are cheap, but the old ones I have (and don't use) are pinned to the handles with a blind pin/hole. A few people say the master casters will beat up an aluminum mold, otherwise NOE aluminum molds would be an option. Magma molds would work, but I don't use their castings right now and I already have my load data and pet loads. Same goes for more RCBS molds. It takes too long to get MP molds and the brass MP is really heavy for hand casting. The NOE 5 cav aluminum became my favorite.

    I thought long and hard after looking at the NOE site. They have a 2 cavity brass 402 160 rn in stock and a 2 cavity saeco 315 brass in stock, but it is a gas check design and they don't even offer it in brass PB. Well, I have some leading in the 30-30 with range scrap (I'm cheap and lazy and only pushing them with 9.6 grains of Herco) and GC's would be a better route. My fingers did the walking and my credit card did the talking. They should be here by next weekend, if all goes well.

    This will give me 2 steel RCBS molds to use and two brass NOE molds. Hopefully the brass will hold up well. For future molds, I would choose NOE first and then RCBS, anyway. The spacing between sprue holes will matter as well as the dimensions of the mold.

    Now, I need to make an adapter for a double spout. It will bolt in place so I can make a second one with different spacing, if needed. The NOE molds are a bit wider where the handles mount and the RCBS narrower, but I don't know if the brass NOE are the same dimensions as the aluminum I already have. It would be nice to have a plate/s for each brand that can be changed out of the mold holder on the machine. It wouldn't be much more than a couple sections of steel bar cut or machined to the right width to make up the difference between the two molds.

    A few days ago, I ordered 3/4" steel rod, pillow block bearings, and couplers from Amazon. The bearings are cheese grade but the shaft will only move a quarter turn. I wasn't paying $35 each from McMasterCarr for quality bearings when a $12 import should do the job. Hopefully the heat in the base of the machine and mold won't cause all of the grease to run out of the bearings. The seals don't look all that great. The bearings will go outside the frame of my machine, so I might be able to control a little of the heat transfer at that point, depending on how I mount them.

    Right now, I am debating on pneumatic vs. servo actuation. My dad has an Arduino starter kit that he hasn't done much with. It seems like a good way to go. The problem is that neither of us have figured out how to control the servos he has. The servos are 25oz/52oz peak, 44v, 40watts. He actually has 10 or so of those and the power supply. I have a pdf spec sheet. I don't know if I need another controller board for the Arduino or if the Arduino can connect directly to the data wires on the servo.

    He also has some pneumatic pistons with solenoids which I could use. It seems that air would give a nice push to the end stop, where the jolt would help knock the booits free. Tappers could assist. A servo would be easily controllable and could be stopped in the middle of travel to cool the mold/sprue with a fan, but I don't know if I could get the jolt at the end, or if it is even needed with tappers. A fan could just blow on the mold at the bottom of it's travel as well.

    The Arduino or similar device seems like a better option than a bunch of timers and other controllers, from a cost stand point, but I am open to suggestions.

    The plan is to make a manual master caster, then automate it. It would be great to PC or lube my boolits while the machine drops boolits.

    Thanks for following along!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Brisbane, Australia
    Posts
    718
    Looking good so far.

    The F shaped mould carriers and the rods these run on to hold the mould closed, ore more to the point, ensure there is no crud between the mould halves when it returns to under the spout are all hardened. Same with the angle blocks at the bottom that hold the mould open, they are all hard.

    As for the arduino, the digital outputs are very low current at 5v, i am using IRF740 mosfets on mine, they are rated at a 400v 10a, they are only running air solenoids, so they don't even get warm.

    Personally, i'd look at air cylinders, they may handle the repetition better than a servo would.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    barry s wales uk
    Posts
    1,084
    Admire your skill .hell of a job

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

    jroc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    MI./FL.
    Posts
    464
    I think you will find the pneumatic pistons will work better as they are more able to be adjusted by raising or lowering air pressure to them. Also I believe Hatch came out with a basic panel that I think is quite affordable. Just for your information.
    My Straight Shooters thread:
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...raight-Shooter




    Texan Loadmaster Model T, Lyman All American Turret, Forster Co-Ax,

  17. #17
    Boolit Master jmorris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,610
    It made me wonder if wear would be an issue.
    Its not wear that is an issue but I have to keep the rails waxed or they get "sticky".

    I suppose it's not a critical flaw but you can tell the motor I used is working harder to move the mold into and out of the pour position. The rails taper at the end to hold the mold halves together. You can see when the taper opens up enough to "let go", rollers would eliminate that.



    I used a DC gear motor I had and the only "control" is two one shot timers I put together. There is a switch that is contacted by the lever when the mold is all the way at the top.

    That switch activates a timer, controlled by a 10 turn pot to adjust activation time. It triggers a DPDT relay that when energized, cuts the power to the motor and the other pole applies power to the solenoid, pouring the lead. When the timer is done the relay flips back cutting the power to the solenoid and powering the motor up again.

    The other timer can cut the power when the mold is all the way down and open, if additional cooling is needed.

    It would have been nice to thermally separate the pot from the base as well.
    My pot is bolted to the base and it is only in contact where the bolts are.



    Your work is looking great.
    Last edited by jmorris; 01-01-2017 at 11:37 PM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    6,571
    Very nice job.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    Thanks for all the compliments, guys.

    Jmorris, thanks again for the details on your build. It is possible for me to change the mounting on my pot so it is a bit more isolated. Right now, it sits on 4 spot welds and has two bolts to hold it in place. There is so much heat off the bottom, that I don't know how much is transferred through contact and how much is just radiant. The good news is that the spout hasn't froze so far, a major problem with the lee 20.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    SoCal, USA
    Posts
    437
    Yesterday, I didn't have much else to do, so I started in on the shaft and bearings for the movement of the machine. The bearings are cheap China made units that I sourced on Amazon. Maybe those $35 Mc MasterCarr bearings wouldn't have been so bad after all. These needed to be aligned, but they are supposedly made to have some play in the mounting. The steel rod from Amazon was cheap plated rod like what HD carries. I was hoping it would be nice and straight, but it seems it isn't. Again, ground rod from Mc Master might have been better. With all that said, I think the parts will still get the job done to move 90 degrees.



    In my scrap pile was some 1/4" plate left over from the company who laser cut my fab table. A short piece was able to stand on end in my little Femi band saw, so that I could cut it longways. You can see in this pic it is already drilled and tapped for 3/8"x16. The shaft needs to be right against the back of the front legs, so that the spout will be centered over the pivot. Here is where a larger base would have given me more flexibility. That is also why the plates are proud of the legs, by 5/8".



    The drill/mill isn't anything great, but it beats a drill press and at least I have a nice set of Norseman drill bits and a finicky mist cooler that keeps the tooling very chilly when the flexible sections don't pop off. To find the center, I ran it without coolant and just barely touched the plate to make a mark, then adjusted the table, and made a slightly bigger mark. At that point I was ready for mist cooling and it was ready to drill.





    Something was off with that 5/16 bit. It didn't want to spin straight in the chuck and I don't think I had that problem with other drills. You can see the evidence in the finish of the hole. It is something I will have to check up on.

    Hand tapping sucks! This is a tap I picked up from a shop that a family member closed down. I'm not sure of the condition, but it is stamped HS, so I assume it is high speed steel. Should it be HSS, instead?

    It took a while to tap the holes, at 30 rpm. Yes, too slow.



    Here is the Versatapper. My dad picked it up on CL for $75, IIRC. It was just a few months back that I figured out it would actually hold a decent size tap, when I needed to tap a bunch of 1/2"x20 holes for my welding table. It works with hand taps and has a clutch and reverse mechanism. Push down and it turns forward (always at 1/4 of the speed of the mill) and stop and slightly lift to get neutral, then pull up to reverse. On these holes, I reversed after about two turns of the tap, to break the chips, then went back down. I looked at the paperwork to see what the gear reduction was and found a speed chart. It shows 1500 rpm for a 3/8" tap and I was running 120 rpm on the spindle, but this doesn't look like a machine tap to me and it didn't work like one.

    The tapping tool is mounted in a 1/2" R8 Collet. It has flats and should go in a drill chuck as well, but that adds a lot of height on this machine.




    Here is the shaft and bearings mounted. To mount the plates, I just tig welded a few spots on the bottom and ends. Don't tell anyone, but I first made tacks on the top of the plate, and then had to grind them with a cut off wheel because they interfered with the bearing housings.
    I underestimated the sloppy build of those housings and they do have a sharp corner on the casting.

    Not in the picture are two couplers for this shaft. One is for the middle and will have the arm to the mold attached. This would let me make adjustments or remove it........although I might skip that and weld right to the shaft. The other will go on the end of the shaft to attach a handle or gear if needed; again, it may or may not get used.



    I figured I might as well add more pics and description of the process. Photography used to be my hobby and I have an AS degree in it, but I used to shoot 6x6 and 35mm. This is cell phone format. Some people here might not understand what goes into making parts like this and when I have searched threads on these type of projects, I have been thankful for any details the person includes so that I am better prepared to take on the same project.

    The bottom of some of the pictures looks messed up right now. Photobucket must be having an off day. We'll see if it changes or shows up on your end.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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