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Thread: Cost to automate a master caster..

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub

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    Cost to automate a master caster..

    Hello,

    I just bought a used master caster and should have it in a few days.

    I like the idea of the automation of the unit but, I'm a little slow when it comes to electronics and programming.

    Is there a kit that contains everything to convert?

    I'm good with mechanical things so putting together a kit with instructions should not be a problem.

    I would like to have adjustability on lead drop for bullet weight, maybe to 500 grains.

    Also, lead temp controler.

    Open to other options or upgrades, especially if they can be added in stages.

    Thanks for any input and help you can offer.

    John

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
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    Contact Hatch. He has made the electronics part of the project and used to sell them. I am not sure he supplies the mechanical bits but he may be able to advise on that aspect. There are YouTube videos of the Hatch system as well.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  3. #3
    Boolit Bub
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    I have been considering this too

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I did a used Master Caster a few years back, search the Star Equipment section, there are a lot of posts on the automation of the Master Caster. There is a list of all the components required, most of the hardware comes from McMaster Carr. Hatch will sell you the control box with all of the electrical components. Hatch has a list of the automated Master Casters and links to the location on this web site.
    I have a shop and did all of the work myself, the total cost for me was around $600.00 but with my shop and doing all of the work in building the electronic controls my cost was a little lower than normal.

    Look at the data available on this site almost all information is available to automate a Master Caster.

    I have cast thousands and thousands of bullets with my machine, a few friends help and all of the cast bullets are used by me, my family and a few friends who help. I do not commercially sell the bullets.

    We have been powder coating the bullets with an electronic spray gun from Harbor Freight. The machine will cast about 800 bullets per hour, so on a weekend a lot of bullets can be cast.

  5. #5
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
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    I was looking into this as well. I bought my MC new in Dec of 2016, and honestly, I don't like yanking down on the handle (I know, Magma calls it a "sharp" pull of the handle). The machine works well, Magma customer support is awesome and their molds are great. I have had some initial frustrations with it, but it works like is supposed to and spits out the bullets. Its strictly a personal thing, but using it is not as enjoyable as hand casting with my old Lyman bottom pour pot and a few hand molds, so, I thought about automating it.

    But, I just decided to look for a used Bullet Master and one showed up on ebay and I bought it. The owner turns out to be a great guy and VERY helpful over the phone. The unit is not here yet, its getting picked up by truck freight this week.

    I will of course keep the Master Caster and use it as needed, but I went in a different direction than automating the Master Caster.
    Last edited by bjordan; 03-21-2017 at 05:50 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub

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    I'd love to get a bullet master... baby steps for now

  7. #7
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    Sorry I been busy and haven't checked the board much.

    I don't really offer a kit but I can if I need to.
    What I offer now days is the basic panel as shown in this video -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83COHoXbhsM and this one -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EC1HjqMbvgg
    The second video is a earlier model without the latest software update.

    I sell them for $750 plus shipping. It doesn't include the air valves which are $30 each (cost plus $1) and you need 3 of them.

    You have to make two brackets. One for the rear of the machine that holds the movement air cylinder. And one for the top of the machine which holds the lead pour air cylinder.

    You really should read the 1st post in this thread -> http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...o-skin-the-cat
    It will really help you out.

    For some quick math
    $750 for panel
    $90 for air valves
    $40 for shipping
    $150 for parts from McMaster

    Thats around $1050 total.

    If you are comfortable in building panels and can follow directions you can save $200 depending on how thrifty you are with your parts.

    On the panel itself your gonna need a touchscreen (ea1-s3ml) - $205 and the PLC (c0-01-dr-d) - $109
    Those are your two biggest expenses and make up almost 1/2 the cost of the basic panel.
    I am not gonna price out each individual piece or provide part #'s to the parts I use inside the panel besides the two main ones listed above.
    I am able to sell the basic panel for $750 because I got a great deal on demo touchscreens ($50 each!!!) and have a source (almost out) of used fiberglass enclosures ($30 each).
    Once I am out of the last 3 demo touchscreens then the price of the panel will go up until I can locate more.

    Plus I buy all my panel components in bulk. I normally buy enough parts to build 5 panels. This gives me a better deal and also allows me to spread the shipping cost over 5 units.

    Using pneumatics to control the Master Caster may not be the best way but its the most economical and the easiest. It is also the most proven with over 2 dozen setups running WORLDWIDE.
    Yep worldwide. I sold a complete setup to a guy in the Philippines and I sold a couple panels to people in Australia.

    You said you wanted temp control as well.
    I think that there is enough room in my basic control panel to install a 1/32 DIN PID as shown in this ebay listing -> http://www.ebay.com/itm/Universal-1-...gAAOSwT4lWRWxO
    I would have to add Solid State Relay (SSR) and would have to beef up the supply cable to handle the additional current.
    You would need the PID, SSR, and a TC. Guessing $200 additional cost maybe.
    I can work up a firm cost because I have to build this exact setup for my clone master caster.

    The panels I build can run on 120vac or 240vac because of the power supply I use can run on both (50hz and 60 hz as well)
    Last edited by HATCH; 07-17-2017 at 04:12 PM.

  8. #8
    Boolit Bub

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    Very intetesting. I will message you soon with a couple questions. Thank you for your time.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I did mine with old school relays. So far so good. two air valves and two cylinders. Sourced most my stuff off of eBay and Mcmaster as a second source. Not sure about how much I have in it but probably about $200 dollars.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    I'm toying with the idea of using the electric motor out of my old concrete mixer to supply power in an electric automation. I think total cost will be under $400

  11. #11
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    Cost to automate a master caster..

    Price depends all on what parts you have available to you already.
    Relays are cool but unless your running a setup that has 6 or so relays you will not be able to adjust the timing on every stage. And you will be limited on a precise lead drop as most timing relays only do 1/10 of a second.
    The PLC setup will do a 1/100 th of a second.

    On my YouTube channel I have a video that shows a 3 relay setup.
    One was lead pour
    One was lead cool
    And last one was drop and mold cool
    It was pretty basic and would work. I only bench tested the idea.

    If you use spring return (original design) then it will save you $30 right away as you will not need a air valve for up stroke.

    Cost also depends on what you can fab yourself.
    Initially I had no access to a machine shop to make brackets. I have that now.

    Shop on eBay. You don't need a 5 inch 3/4 bore air cylinder. You can go with a longer stroke or bigger diameter.
    Just keep in mind different diameter means more air usage as well has additional force.

    Well it's too early for me to be awake and thankfully my puppy went back to sleep after peeing.



    Edited to correct sleepy errors
    Last edited by HATCH; 03-24-2017 at 07:33 AM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I may do a YouTube video next time I run the machine. Stay tuned.

  13. #13
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    Cool. I look forward to it


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Hatch has proven his setup works, and works very well. I'd hate to know how many hours he spent developing it, multiple software updates on hos PLC code. The addition of a touch screen was a very nice touch.

    I was one of the fortunate people that had access to the major parts for free and have machining facilities. The air cylinders and air solenoids were donated by a friend of my dad's. The parts i bought were from Ebay.

    With that said, if you look at all the posts on this forum, some will have me talking about issues i had with ironing out gremlins i had in my setup. It does work, and works well, but there are things that do trip it up. It does not like EMF on the power supply, turning on a fluro light, running my lathe, any inductive load can make the computer hang up. Hatch's setup that uses an industrial PLC will not have this issue.

    I hope when you automate your machine that you take pictures and give us all details!

  15. #15
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    Cost to automate a master caster..

    To clarify, it's the Wyman - Hatch setup.
    Yes I label the touch screen Hatch Automation but the entire package with pneumatics is the Wyman-Hatch setup.

    If it wasn't for Wyman's post on his air setup I would of never done what I did.

    With that said there are many ways you can automate the master caster.

    I enjoy watching each method


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I can't tell from Wyman's video how the air cylinders attach to the aluminum bar. It would appear that the bar is threaded because it's too thick for the nut to attach to the end. I also assume the piece of aluminum that attaches to the sides of the MC frame is threaded also.
    All my parts came in Friday but I'm out of town until the end of this week. I'm just trying to get all this info in my head for assembly. Any info or close up pics would be really helpful.
    I've also got a good idea of how to attach an air cylinder to the ram of my Lee sizer.

  17. #17
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    The alum bar is threaded. The movement air cylinder screws into it.

    I will try to take some pics this week and show you.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub

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    Were you able to get a few close up shots of the brackets and cylinder mounting?

    I got my package but wont get around to opening it this weekend.

    What part/model number air cylinders have run the best?

    Thanks,

    John

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlnel2 View Post
    Were you able to get a few close up shots of the brackets and cylinder mounting?

    I got my package but wont get around to opening it this weekend.

    Did you get the fully automatic package or just the manual with the joystick control?

    What part/model number air cylinders have run the best?

    Thanks,

    John
    Did you get the fully automatic package or just the manual with the joystick control?

  20. #20
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    Sorry, my wife and son just got back from France so its been a busy couple days getting the house looking decent and getting ready for today.



    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	193619 This mounting bracket has the side holes offset. Meaning if you look at it the bolts go in 1/4 of the width of the bar you use. This allows it to pivot better
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ID:	193620 This picture is missing the mounting plate and the lead pour air cylinder (with clevis)
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    Keep in mind the above pics are from a earlier design that had the spring return air cylinder


    $17.24 Each 6498K195 Single-Act, Nose Mount,Push,3/4"Bore,1/2" Stroke
    $30.66 Each 6498K155 Double-Acting, Nose Mount,3/4" Bore Size,5" Stroke Length
    $4.98 Each 6071K12 with Pins,Steel,1/4"-28 Female Thread Size,1-1/4" Long
    $4.60 Each 6498K42 Rod Clevis with Pin for 3/4" Bore Size Round Body Air Cylinder






    $32.73 Each 62005K333 3/8" Tube OD x 3/8" Tube OD,24.91 Maximum scfm


    Those are McMaster-Carr part #s
    You need one of each except the last one. You need two of those. The last one is 3/8 tube. You will need to change it if you go with a different size tubing.
    You will also need the fittings to connect your tubing to the air cylinders and the valves.

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