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Thread: Its ALIVE automating master caster

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Its ALIVE automating master caster

    Well after dreaming for several years I have finally taken the plunge. It seems that this will work for me, but when the mold carrier comes back to the top it tends to rebound. I am contemplating installing a spring to hold it at the top position. I also know that my pressure regulator on the air tank is rather unimpressive, therefore I do plan on installing a better one inline to help.

    Any advice will be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    is it air actuated hydraulic.
    or just air operated.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

    this opinion brought to you by mister low-tech solution..

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Thanks R5R but I figured it out a couple hours ago by adding a relay. Now the Air stays in the cylinder to hold it at top pour position until after pour is complete.

    Hope to clean things up tonight or tomorrow morning and fire it up.

  4. #4
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    how are you controlling it?
    Relays? PLC?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I AM USING 3 relays at this time. I watched you video about the relays and went for it. Liking the way I can adjust time on the fly with the push of a button.

    Hatch you probably have a PID on your pot correct? Do you think it is a necessity for the automation or a luxury? I seem to run fine so far especially when the POT is more than 1/3 full. My other issue seems to be consistency in air pressure from my compressor that feed the large cylinder, but I believe this will be remedied by adjusting the pressure switch so it kicks in sooner. The pressure variations really surprised me as I did not think the regulators were that inconsistent.
    Last edited by Plate plinker; 03-23-2017 at 08:50 PM.

  6. #6
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    Consistency is the key to commercial grade boolits.

    On a PLC/PID controlled master caster you have controlled 90% of the variables with the last 10% being ambient temp and humidity.
    Those last 10% are hard to control unless you cast inside a closed conditioned space.

    You NEED a PID.
    I can turn on my machine and know that when my PID hits 750 I am ready to go.
    I know that regardless of lead amount in my pot what my lead temp stays the same.

    Speaking of the lead pot, a factor that I failed to mention earlier is that the flow rate varies based on how much lead is in the pot.
    A full pot flows faster then a almost empty pot.
    I do not compensate for that.
    Basically when the pot is full I adjust the lead amount so the spruce plate is full.
    I also stop casting when 2/3rds of the pot has been used.
    The only way to fix this easily is to switch pots with the bullet master.


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  7. #7
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    Forgot your air compressor question.

    I run 100 psi from my compressor.
    It goes unregulated to the lead pour air valve.
    I have a secondary regulator on the movement side as it's another adjustment I can make in the operation.


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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    How many Psi do you run at the movement cylinder. I know I read it somewhere but cannot find it.

    Seems I will be doing another PID project.
    Thanks again David

  9. #9
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    I run about 80 but I have flow regulators to slow the movement.
    Psi adjusts force and speed (if you lower psi enough)
    Flow regulators adjust speed

    The new air valves I use take 100 psi to operate but they are 1/3 the cost of the original designed units


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  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Wow I am at about 30 psi and this seems violent enough. I have a flow regulator on the return to top, which helped a bunch with slamming. Also tried a regulator on the down strike but at low pressure the sprue was to tough and or the bookies would hang up. I might try is again but up the pressure.
    Last edited by Plate plinker; 03-24-2017 at 11:10 AM.

  11. #11
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    How big is your air cylinder?


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  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by HATCH View Post
    Consistency is the key to commercial grade boolits.


    Speaking of the lead pot, a factor that I failed to mention earlier is that the flow rate varies based on how much lead is in the pot.
    A full pot flows faster then a almost empty pot.
    I do not compensate for that.
    Basically when the pot is full I adjust the lead amount so the spruce plate is full.
    I also stop casting when 2/3rds of the pot has been used.
    The only way to fix this easily is to switch pots with the bullet master.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I am not planning to automate my MC at this time, but the effect of varying level in the pot will affect any user. One option I am looking at is placing a cheap Lee "dripomatic" over the MC pot and using it to regulate the MC pot level.

    For an automated set up, one could actuate the Lee to add melt to the MC pot every so many hundred bullets (depending on their weight) with another circuit. If/when I do mine, it will be manual.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  13. #13
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    You would have to use two optical sensors to determine when the pot is low and when it's filled back up.
    It's easier to just toss in a 5 lb ingot when it will fit


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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    It took me a while to get the air pressure regulator and flow valves set so the machine would work properly. I had a problem with moisture in the air lines from my compressor. The air control valves get hung up if water is in the air lines. Had to add an air dryer in the supply line near the machine. The same air dryer also comes in handy while spray painting. A bigger return spring was also required on my system. Used a PLC and a modified program that originally came from Hatch. My program allows the mold to stop under the cooling fan and then returns to the pour position before going down hard to cut the sprue and empty the mold.
    Have cast thousands and thousands of bullets with the automated Master Caster. Have a few friends who help with the casting and powder coating of the bullet making process.
    Enjoy the machine.

  15. #15
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    Your setup is a early design with the spring return movement air cylinder.



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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by HATCH View Post
    How big is your air cylinder?


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    1 1/16 cylinder bore X 5"

  17. #17
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    the ones we use are 3/4 bore.

    1 1/16 bore torque
    Force @ 50 psi 45 lbs.
    Force @ 100 psi 90 lbs.
    Force @ 150 psi 135 lbs.
    Force @ 200 psi 180 lbs.


    3/4 bore torque
    Force @ 50 psi 20 lbs.
    Force @ 100 psi 40 lbs.
    Force @ 150 psi 60 lbs.
    Force @ 200 psi 80 lbs.

    As you can see that you are over double in force

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Nice table thanks so by that measure I should be running about 37-38 psi. I will probably bump it up to 35psi for some testing. As is at 28 psi I can do okay depending on the amount of heat in the mold and the pressure at the compressor. However, I have noticed that when I was running 30 psi or more most of the anomalies were far less frequent.

    Thanks again

  19. #19
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    I copy and pasted it directly from the spec sheets


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  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I'm wanting to convert my MC to a semi-auto version but have no experience in pneumatics. I don't really want to buy a bunch of parts that are not the right ones, for instance, the cylinders and controller valve. Should I get a double or single acting cylinder, a control valve that is 4 way 2 position or 3 position? What kind of pressure regulator or air flow valve? I would like to make it like the one in Wyman's video.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0Vkfr4l_Qc
    Does anyone have any specific part numbers or information? I'd also like to eventually convert my upside down Lee sizer to pneumatic with a joystick controller but feed the bullets one at a time by hand. I just don't need a Popeye sized right arm and sore shoulder.
    I already have a pid but don't think it is very accurate. At 585 degrees my lead is melted and that is approximately 35 degrees low.
    So any help you gurus are willing to share will be greatly appreciated.

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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