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Thread: Rusted dies

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Rusted dies

    Well I got ripped off on a set of Lee 45acp dies. Got them in the mail today but they are well used and abused.

    Sizing die looks OK but has a little rust.

    Flaring die is missing the top piece and the expander itself is frozen in place.

    The seating stem is frozen in the seating die.

    Anyone have any advice to free these or should I just scrap them?

    Sent from my LGLS991 using Tapatalk

  2. #2
    Boolit Man fishingsetx's Avatar
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    Soak them in Kroll oil overnight and try again. If that doesn't work, soak them longer. I freed up a frozen shift linkage on a 1971 9.9 hp Johnson outboard that hadn't been used in 20+ years and had been soaked in salt water over and over (guy just used the trolling motor). Took almost 3 weeks for the Kroll oil to finally creep in enough to break it free. Rusted dies shouldn't be nearly as hard to break free as the aluminum/steel on that old motor

    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shoot....what a ride!"
    Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, worn out, shouting "Holy Sh&$....What a ride!"

  3. #3
    Boolit Man
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    Forgive my young ignorance.... But what's kroll oil anyways? And where might someone find some?

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  4. #4
    u can get it in auto parts stores or homedepot. it comes in a orange can and it looks like transmission fluid.
    its a little pricey but worth it. like fishingsetx said it works great.
    Peter DiMatteo

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    CastingFool's Avatar
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    Kroil is a penetrating oil, used to loosen up frozen bolts, nuts, etc. You should be able to purchase it at hardware stores, auto supply stores, industrial supply stores. It is rather expensive, but a little goes a long way. Look for Kano Kroil. Now, it won't remove surface rust, but there is another product you can use, but I cannot remember the name of it. Perhaps another member will have the name.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    AZ Pete's Avatar
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    If you can't find Kroil, mix some acetone and ATF 50:50 and use that as penetrating oil. Kroil is great stuff though!


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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    KROIL IS # 1 Hands Down!!!

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  8. #8
    Boolit Man Randy Bohannon's Avatar
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    If your going to play with guns and reloading Kroil is your friend.A tight patch with Kroil though the bore of any gun will tell you where if any leading is in your barrel.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub
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    Once the parts are freed up, try evaporust. Just soak dies overnight and rust will be removed. Evaporust is available most places as the kano kroil and can be used many times over. Although, depending on how much you may have in those rusty dies, new ones are not too expensive. Hope this helps.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Homemade penetrating oil 50acetone/ATF Dextron either type ok.....

    Quote Originally Posted by AZ Pete View Post
    If you can't find Kroil, mix some acetone and ATF 50:50 and use that as penetrating oil. Kroil is great stuff though!


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    Acetone and transmission fluid is supposed to work better than almost all commercial penetrating oils. Walmart has a qt. of acetone for around $5.00 plus a qt. of trans. fluid gives you 2 qts. Good luck. I read a test of a whole bunch of commercial products vs. the homemade version on a couple of forums. afish4570

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    I've read about the acetone atf thing but when I try it the two fluids don't mix.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Try white vinegar, its cheap so you won't be out much money.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Just read and saw the You tube video Bundy Garage and saw him make the batch. Put in an oil can and barely shook it to mix the two components.....he did let the rusted screw sit for a week. The Liq. Wrench screw wouldn't budge and the 50/50 unscrewed easily. Sometimes tapping with a brass hammer to protect the project will shock and wick the liquid to speed up penetration. I still have several cans of PB Blaster and Liq. Wrench I am using up before I mix my 50/50 up. Not working on the projects like I used to in my golden years (gold for the doctors). afish4570

  14. #14
    Boolit Master



    retread's Avatar
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    Amazon has Kroil.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by waltherboy4040 View Post
    Try white vinegar, its cheap so you won't be out much money.
    40 yrs.ago on a Sunday when stores weren't open my father-in-law and I used Sloans Linament that was recommended by an old mechanic friend to free up some stubborn bolts on a bulldozer. I guess there are alot of things that can be used. The quest continues for the BEST, AFISH4570

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Driver man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew P View Post
    I've read about the acetone atf thing but when I try it the two fluids don't mix.
    Dexron 3 and acetone in equal parts is what I have been using for years. Mixes just fine.
    The Bird of Time has but a little way
    To fly-and Lo! the bird is on the wing

  17. #17
    Boolit Master




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    Evaporust is much easier to find than Kroil. Just order Kroil from Kano Labs.

    Use a Google search to find them. If it's your first visit you'll get a coupon code that should snag 2 13 ounce cans for around $20 shipped. Amazon also has it. I have both the spray and the liquid.
    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!

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  18. #18
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for the insight guys.

    After thinking about it last night I now wonder if it might be bullet lube in the seating die. Think it's worth boiling it first? Even if it wouldn't budge under pressure?

    I've got white vinegar laying around but I also have acetone laying around. Might just go pickup the dexron 3 and try mixing a small batch up. At worst I could be out about $10.



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  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I keep a container of my "soak" on the bench which is mineral spirits, Marvel's Mystery Oil, and Kroil (makes the Kroil last longer). I drop dies, gun parts, rusted tools, etc. in the container and let them soak (how long depends on how many times I visit my shop or how well my memory is working). My soak cleans, penetrated, and leaves a light film to prevent rust.

    I would try soaking the lube crusted die in mineral spirits (paint thinner, solvent) to see if that loosens the lube. I too use Kroil quite a bit, and did, years ago use brake fluid as a rust remover...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Char-Gar's Avatar
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    I would not boil a die. Kroil will loosen anything in the die that is causing the binding. If it is just hard bullet lube, drug store rubbing alcohol will be all you need.

    Stuck die parts are common. I put the die in the padded jaws of my vise and use either a wrench or vise grips to remove the part. Of course, I dribble a little solvent (see above) in the stuck joint and let it sit for five minutes. I have never had a die that would not yield to this treatment.
    Disclaimer: The above is not holy writ. It is just my opinion based on my experience and knowledge. Your mileage may vary.

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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