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Thread: Recommendations on Degreasers?

  1. #1

    Recommendations on Degreasers?

    Sorry if I am getting too anal about this, fellas... but: I just got a sweet new SAECO mould for my 45-70 - it's just a round nose 500 grainer. I am a noob at casting and have only had cheap Lee dies - and the last one ended up in the garbage after only a couple weeks! This new mould... hooo boy, I can tell just by looking at it that it is a BIG step up from the Lee's.

    If I understand it correctly all I gotta do is degrease it, and smoke it with candle soot and fly at it, right? Is there a preferred degreaser you old hands are using? I am just pleased as punch with this new mold and would like to start off right!

    Your two cents is, as always, sincerely appreciated!

  2. #2
    Boolit Man
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    Brake cleaner,alcohol acetone but if you'feel worried about the fume from these solvents some Dawn dish soap with boiling hot water. I've several Redding rifle molds and I've never used any type release agent. I have 3 45 cal Redding molds 400,500 and 525 gr and trust me they'll fall out with just a bit of persuation.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    For all new aluminum molds before I cast with them, I take Palmolive dishwashing detergent and brush the cavities and all surfaces of the blocks and sprue plate with the straight detergent, then I place the disassembled blocks in the bottom of a large coffee can with enough tap water to cover. Turn on your lead pot to pre-heat.

    Put the can over medium heat, bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 20 minutes, maintaining the water level to cover the blocks. Then turn off the stove, let blocks slowly cool until they are cool enough to handle, then remove from the can, rinse with warm tap water then assemble the blocks onto handles. Pre-heat the blocks on an electric hot plate on "medium" heat or use a 350 deg. F Tempilstik crayon if you want to be anal about it, then when your lead pot has come up to temperature, flux the melt, take your pre-heated and degreased mold and start casting good bullets...
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

  4. #4
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    runfiverun's Avatar
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    for stuff like the saeco's, rcbs etc.
    I warm them up on the edge of the pot.
    spray them down with degreaser while they are hot, then wash them off with some brake cleaner.
    then cast with them till they get hot and let them cool down.
    this should form a blue color in the mold cavity's.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    If you are going to smoke a mold, I wouldn't use candle smoke. It can be greasy. Better is a butane lighter. Smoking is optional though. I have plenty of molds that cast fine without smoking. A few that smoking helped. Mostly long thin bullets like .30 caliber 200 grains. I would try the mold before smoking it. I think it is the Lee aluminum molds that the instructions say to smoke them.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master


    10-x's Avatar
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    Cheap brake cleaner @ wally world works well on molds, 1911s, S&W all metal revolvers( with grips removed) and all military rifles out of the stocks. Clean the chain saws drive sprockets with it too. By chance you know someone that works at a NAPA auto parts store see if they can get you a deal on a case of theirs, same stuff, different can.
    10-x

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  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I'm partial to using denatured alcohol and a toothbrush.
    Bob

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I use rubbing alcohol and a toothbrush and let it dry and then use a lighter after in the cav. like stated.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    I prefer non-chlorinated brake cleaner. I used non chlorinated brake cleaner when I was working on construction equipment where over spray might get on wires or something plastic...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I simply use dish soap and hot water really working a lather up with a toothbrush. One of the cheap electrics really does a nice job here. I do this a couple times then rinse good and dry. Lightly lube with 2 cycle oil and pre heat before casting. I ran into one new lyman mould the coating was visible and heavy. soap didn't cut it I had to use acetone to cut it then the soap water scrubs.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master wrench man's Avatar
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    If you want to get it CLEAN use this stuff!
    http://sharecorp.com/products/evapo-kleen-aerosol
    ASE master certified engine machinist
    Brake & Alignment specialist, ricer to class 8

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    when I get a new mold, I spray the blocks with wally world brake parts cleaner, then detail clean the cavities with a q-tip soaked in acetone. smoke with broken off popsicle stick or toothpick and good to go. to store short term, I just spray the blocks, sprue plate and cavities with ballistol and let dry. if it's gonna be a long time without use, I soak the cavities in mil-spec grease (like RIG from brownells, but a lot cheaper when I bought for a buck a container back in the '90's). that's one of the reasons I like aluminum molds - none of the above (apart from the initial cleaning) is needed. Lee does make a good mold for the price, and if you get a good one, it's the best deal around. quality control is the issue there, but what the hell do you want for $20? I keep my eyes open on this forum and at the shooting range. they have a table where members sell used molds, brass, etc. a Lee mold that is used is generally going to last for a while, some I've had and used regularly for years.
    hope that helps.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master PaulG67's Avatar
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    A properly prepared mold needs nothing in the cavities except lead. Learn how to care for a mold, especially a new one, and you will have no problems. The link below is a how to for mold care. It can be used on any brand of mold. I have about 30 molds and of them there are only two or three that I did not have to do much before casting with them, they are NOE molds.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...ost-Revisited)
    Paul Gauthier AKA Dragonrider


    I am Retired, I was tired yesterday and I am tired today!!!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master pjames32's Avatar
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    I've found that once they are clean 2-3 heat cycles helps.
    NRA Benefactor Member

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-x View Post
    Cheap brake cleaner @ wally world works well on molds, 1911s, S&W all metal revolvers( with grips removed) and all military rifles out of the stocks. Clean the chain saws drive sprockets with it too. By chance you know someone that works at a NAPA auto parts store see if they can get you a deal on a case of theirs, same stuff, different can.
    CRC brand is industry standard. Wallys has "original", with HV solvent, at great price. This is what I use on firearms as well (NO wood!!). They also have a green version for more money. I have not tried it. Although I have green leanings, I prefer some things to be quick evaporating.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Just a friendly heads up on the use of aerosol spray cleaners...put on safety goggles..that stuff has a habit of coming straight back at you when spray hits rounded mould cavities! I use both methods..degreaser and good o'l hot water & Dawn with toothbrush..remove sprue cutter & dry on hot plate before casting. NEI used to sell a mould prep of Moly in a liquid carrier...closest thing now I believe is KG-10 Moly sold by MidWay. I use Q tip & with mould blocks warm..but not hot..I apply over tops, bottom & alignment pins & holes of blocks. Both sides & edges of sprue cutter & on cutter bolt threads and bearing surfaces. I do not apply to cavities. Seems to prevent lead spatters from sticking. Keep an old #2 pencil handy and scribble all over sprue plate top & mould block tops while casting to also prevent spatter sticking 7 give lubrication. A carpenters pencil sharpened to chisle point is also good for removing lead without fear of damage..as welll as thin 1/32" to 1/16" thin copper scrapers with edges sharp and square. Best of luck with your new mould.
    Last edited by .22-10-45; 04-08-2017 at 12:43 PM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I've used different brands of brake cleaner, carburetor cleaner and electrical contact cleaner, all with good results. Wearing safety glasses is a good suggestion. I've never had to smoke a mold and would skip that step until you try casting with it. Any of the things I mentioned will remove all of any protective coating that was on the mold and you will need to reapply something to stop rust.

  18. #18
    Boolit Man

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    With a new mould I use Simple Green, hot water, and a tooth brush. After cleaning I heat cycle it in the oven.
    On my regular moulds, I use brake cleaner to remove any oil I sprayed on for storage. Preheat and start casting.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    Acetone is the best ! Soak the blocks for two or three hours and scrub with an old toothbrush ...they de-greased!
    I do not like getting water in or around my mould blocks. Brake cleaner and carburetor cleaner come in second and third. But acetone is #1.
    Rust preventitive , I use Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant. It doesn't contaminate the cavities ,leave it on , heat mould and cast the stuff makes the boolits jump out of the cavities and prevents rust.
    Gary
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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