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Thread: A 'Red-Headed Stepchild' Mold...Arsenal 311-176-LFN

  1. #1
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    A 'Red-Headed Stepchild' Mold...Arsenal 311-176-LFN

    Oooops....I meant Arsenal..^^^...not Accurate.

    This thang wants to be beat silly to release these casts. I've done the eraser thing to the cavities and cleaned it spic and span with the brake cleaner spray...it shines clean like a new silver dollar...but it wants to hang onto those casts like a dog with a new bone!

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    I bought this mold used but it's in excellent shape. It's a big heavy hunk of aluminum and casts 2 ea. gas check and plain base.
    Today was test run day and the keepers were only about 20% and that was a pretty loose standard as I don't think I'll use any of these due to micro wrinkles and such...they just are not perfect.

    I ran the Pb pot from 650* through 750* and the mold ran from 385* to 490* on the hot plate...I just can't find the sweet spot yet...although that's not the worry as I can't understand why it wants to hang onto those cast like it does...there was a very narrow spot where they were falling out with minimal encouragement from the whacker...those were only a few.

    Is the problem because it has such square lube grooves and drive bands?

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    Anyone using this exact mold? Do you have any tips so I can learn to live with this one? (Leement it...possibly to soften the edges?)

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    This is wheel weight Pb sweetened with 2% Pewter Sn. and the ingots were tested @ 16.6 BHN. It should be a great boolit metal.
    Last edited by runfiverun; 02-16-2017 at 10:12 PM.
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Are the bullets round? Are the cavities offset in the mold? Have you tried waiting 2 or 3 x as long to cut the sprue and open? Have you cut the sprue and let the mold cool another 10 seconds before opening? ( Those last 2 sound crazy but sometimes that works. If the bullets can cool and shrink a little they sometimes will pop out.)

    I'm not afraid to leement anything..... I use the nut and comet cleanser thing first...

    Good Luck!

    Dale

  3. #3
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    Just looking at it I would say it is a combination of square noses and square lube grooves acting together.

    I have 4 words of advice for you.

    Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-Dry-Lubricant

    Go read for yourself. I bought the 4 oz liquid bottle and have enough for 2 lifetimes. 2 drops on a q-tip does a 6 cavity mold. Cavity's first, then I do the top of the sprue plate, then the rest of the mold.

    I can not say with 100% certainly that this will cure all your problems.

    But it sure made a difference on my problem molds. Worst was the Lee 7/8ths oz drive key slug mold. They hung on to that bottom plug with the slot in it like crazy.

    Eventually I lightly stoned a radius onto the slot edges and LWDL does the rest.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Have you tried to just tap the inside of the handle to help the mold blocks pop apart? Are the blocks tilting which would bind on the driving bands and that might make them stick worse. If the blocks are loose on the handles that could allow the blocks to tip or tilt when they should be parallel. Are those wrinkles or fractures on the sides of the driving bands?

  5. #5
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    I have not tried to wait more time after cutting the sprue...good idea. This is a heavy chunk of Aluminum, it's acting differently than my 'minimalist' Lee's.

    The most problematic cavity was hanging on both sides of the mold although it favored the one side the most.
    I haven't looked at the roundness with a micrometer yet...I got frustrated and just shut down the shop for the afternoon.

    Does the comet cleanser polish or leave micro scratches in the aluminum?
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  6. #6
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dusty Bannister View Post
    Have you tried to just tap the inside of the handle to help the mold blocks pop apart? Are the blocks tilting which would bind on the driving bands and that might make them stick worse. If the blocks are loose on the handles that could allow the blocks to tip or tilt when they should be parallel. Are those wrinkles or fractures on the sides of the driving bands?
    I shimmed the handles so the mold halves stay straight. It is a bear to open so I'm thinking it's the overall square design of the cavities.
    I hate to use the whacker stick at all but that's a good suggestion about whacking it to open. I'll try that.

    I know it can release them easily but that temp. band is very narrow and I went into and out of that band quick...prolly 4 drops went perfect then it went out of whack...requiring a big whack! or lots of whacks! I can't live with that.
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  7. #7
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GhostHawk View Post
    Just looking at it I would say it is a combination of square noses and square lube grooves acting together.

    I have 4 words of advice for you.

    Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant.

    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...-Dry-Lubricant

    Go read for yourself. I bought the 4 oz liquid bottle and have enough for 2 lifetimes. 2 drops on a q-tip does a 6 cavity mold. Cavity's first, then I do the top of the sprue plate, then the rest of the mold.

    I can not say with 100% certainly that this will cure all your problems.

    But it sure made a difference on my problem molds. Worst was the Lee 7/8ths oz drive key slug mold. They hung on to that bottom plug with the slot in it like crazy.

    Eventually I lightly stoned a radius onto the slot edges and LWDL does the rest.
    I'll pick up a bottle when I goto town next...thanks. I would like to use it in the cavities.
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  8. #8
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    I would polish the cavity's first.
    the square edges or too shallow of a draft angle can hang onto the boolits breaking those edges can help.
    some of my most troublesome molds are some of my better shooting ones you just gotta smooze them and massage them a bit then find their happy spot.
    generally a little frosting in the middle of the boolit is my indicator.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  9. #9
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Thanks...r5r...I like this design for the .30/30. I want to learn to live with it...I suppose this type of problem separates the men from the boys in the casting world. You either fix it and move on or screw it up trying to fix it.
    Seems like I read that E. Keiths original SWC designs had generous deep and square grease grooves and Ideal (?) had to re-design that a bit for better mold release.
    What do you polish with?
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    I never looked close to see if comet leaves scratches... But it does remove metal.. Who was that Australian guy that showed how to do this and make every cavity the same size? In a sticky, I think...

    Just to make you laugh a little... some of the smooth sided molds you don't need to open...just turn upside down and the bullets slide out.... ( now come on...you smiled didn't you?)

  11. #11
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    I have one mold that is a bugger sometimes. I found that if I turn the mold upside down and tap the handle bolt they fall out easier.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  12. #12
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    I'd be interested in taking that mold off your hands if it gets to a point where it makes casting not enjoyable! Looking for a new 30 mold and that looks like the boolit I sorta had in mind!

  13. #13
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    I would look at the mold halves under magnification to see if there were any "burrs" at the parting line. I had a mold with the same problem. It was brass and the bullets kind of soldered themselves to the "burrs". I used a stone to remove them. One thing I noticed, it was the same cavities that were hard to release.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    castalot...yes I'm grinning.I'm going to re-read some posts on the Leementing procedure.

    Baja...I turned it every way but loose...a couple of times that sprue plate came around and rested on my bare fingers...yeeeowiiie, I turned it back in a hurry!

    wv109323...I worked it over with an eraser...no burs anywhere that I can see with a mag/glass.

    Nagantguy...I think this boolit is made for the .30/30...I'm going to work this out...
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Have you tried "smoking" the cavities with a butane lighter?

    P.S. Those boolits in your pic. look pretty good to me. Also look like your melt could be hotter (I don't see any frosting).

    The perfect is the enemy of the good...

    When you open the mold. try waiting a bit longer than usual and when you do open, try using both hands, like you would with an old-fashioned manual hedge trimmer--the giant scissors kind.
    Last edited by CHeatermk3; 02-17-2017 at 01:17 AM.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CHeatermk3 View Post
    Have you tried "smoking" the cavities with a butane lighter?

    P.S. Those boolits in your pic. look pretty good to me. Also look like your melt could be hotter (I don't see any frosting).

    The perfect is the enemy of the good...

    When you open the mold. try waiting a bit longer than usual and when you do open, try using both hands, like you would with an old-fashioned manual hedge trimmer--the giant scissors kind.
    I was using both hands to open it, sorta prying against the handles with my thumbs.

    I don't think smoke is going to help here, it's going to have to be Leemented...no getting around it.
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  17. #17
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    "I shimmed the handles so the mold halves stay straight."

    I think this could be the problem.

    Some molds may have to open more in the front to release.

    I think if it was me I would put it back the way it was and try it.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    With the shims they open and close smooth and easy...it's when they have the Pb inside they don't want to open. Those drive bands are filled out perfectly because of the added 2% pewter Sn I added to the COWW's.

    I've been reading the archived post on this mould release problem and one of the fellas said that his problem was solved by reducing that blend with a 50/50 blend of soft Pb. It reduces the ability of the Sn to fill so perfectly in the square drive and lube bands. Later this morning I'm going to do that and see the difference before I start fooling around with the polish.
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

  19. #19
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    TexasGrunt's Avatar
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    I'll second smoking the mold with a butane lighter. It takes a few seconds and you'll lose nothing doing so.
    Semper Fi!


    Currently casting for .223, .308, .30-06, .30-40 Krag, 9mm, .38/.357, 10mm, 44 Mag and 45 ACP.

    I like strange looking boolits!

    NRA Patriot Life Endowment member.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Have you fellas ever tried using a Q-Tip to rub the cavities with powdered graphite...or used spray graphite to aid release?

    Oh yeah...how you feeling this morning Marine?
    "A handshake or your word is all it takes…don't screw that up."…charlie

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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