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Thread: Air cylinder for star??? What size?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Air cylinder for star??? What size?

    Looking to automate the stargazer so I do not have to pull the handle for hours on end then run to the chiropractor or massage parlor.

    Anyhow....what size double acting air cylinder works well for the star handle?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


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    Not an answer to your question but something I have pondered. I have a Star sizer and a Magma Case Master Jr. that I would like to put air cylinders on, especially the Case Master Jr. It's an arbor press modified by Magma and the stroke on the handle is very long. I would only set up a system where both hands had to be clear of the moving parts in order to actuate. My thought was to have two pneumatic or electro-pneumatic buttons, one on each side that both have to be depressed so I don't run a punch through my finger or hand.

    The Star's handle rod is 3/8" so material to experiment would be easy to get. I would fabricate a rod to which a fishing scale could be attached and measure the force required to size your most difficult boolit. Should be easy to figure out from there with a generous over-power factor rolled in. I would expect the rod to be about the length of the standard handle's rod before it attaches to the wooden portion of the handle to keep the throw as short as possible. The return force is negligible. You'll still need to periodically run an already lubed boolit through to keep the die lubricated unless you're powder coating.

    The factory air powered commercial Star sizer is capable of pushing a .44 boolit through a .40 die. I know someone that did it by accident.
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Interesting fact about a 44 through 40 cal.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    David - that was my first concern too. It takes only a fraction of a second for your concentration to be elsewhere and have a horrible accident with an air cylinder punching through your hand. One thing that makes me never move my hand near my automated sizer.

    If you have a feeding setup, your fingers will not be in danger of being damaged.

    As for force needed, that is the hardest part to work out, it's best to size it larger, and if the power is not needed, you can reduce the air pressure. For mine, i got given a motor and gear box, if it didn't have enough power, it didn't cost me anything, i could mount a larger motor to it. Air cylinders aren't cheap, so it would add up fast.

    The only area you may struggle a little is, if you are trying to size a .358 projectile to .356 it takes a bit of power. My 9mm ones size easily, the 158SWC that are .358 take a lot more force to squeeze down.

    Good luck, and i hope you provide pictures of how you go!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    certainly will I have a 8" x 1.25" ?? diameter dual acting cylinder on hand and will probably try it with that to start if that can't do it I will up size. I have a feeder on it and will be making a nose down loader too. might be july until I can get to this project as it stands now.

    Thanks for the advice and encouragement.

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    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    I have a question about no pigment there but resin still is. I would like my bullets to look like they are just lead. In other words a clear pc. I am pretty new to pc and have only used HF colors. Is there a place where I can get cheap clear or pigment free PC on the cheap. Is it as good as pigmented pc?
    AKA hans.pcguy

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    If you are using that cylinder to operate the handle, you have leverage, hopefully the length of stroke is long enough to get enough force. From the calculator i could find, shows that for a cylinder of that diameter will give about 120lbs of force at 100 PSI of air pressure

    Mine is setup to drive the ram rod part directly, so i have no mechanical advantage as such. But being driven from an electric motor, i do get more force at different positions of the stroke, not linear like an air ram would provide.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Traffer - I was wondering the same sort of thing, clear or even a silver so any chips you got in the coating, would not be as noticeable. The stuff i use is black, so any parts that are scraped off during sizing stick out like dogs private parts.

    Not that these small blemishes cause any issues, it's really just an appearance thing.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Plate Plinker,

    Do you want to push the ram or operate the existing mechanism? Making a new handle to attach the air cylinder would require far less power than pushing the ram with no mechanical advantage. I think your 1.25" cylinder would have more than enough power to operate the handle. Just figure out where along the handle shaft you would need to attach the cylinder to utilize the 8" stroke. A long 3/8" bolt with the head cut off, threaded only on the end might be a good handle. I made a replacement handle for my Star out of "nothing special" 3/8" stainless rod and it's plenty strong.

    If you want to slow the action of the cylinder a tiny orifice or a needle valve would regulate the speed but still let full pressure build up, just more slowly. RC airplane landing gear is slowed down in that manner. Without a flow valve the landing gear just slams up and down.

    I think I would lean toward Heim joint rod ends where I could to connect the parts. If you're not familiar with them, they have balls in them to allow misalignment and rotation without binding and in the size you need they aren't expensive.
    http://www.speedwaymotors.com/shop/h...4-16-578-31189
    Sometimes life taps you on the shoulder and reminds you it's a one way street. Jim Morris

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
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    OOPS, sorry folks I posted that on the wrong thread. Ugh. The mind is going.


    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    I have a question about no pigment there but resin still is. I would like my bullets to look like they are just lead. In other words a clear pc. I am pretty new to pc and have only used HF colors. Is there a place where I can get cheap clear or pigment free PC on the cheap. Is it as good as pigmented pc?
    AKA hans.pcguy

  11. #11
    Boolit Master



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    Yes, I was scared also so when I took the auto feed off my star, I re-plumbed the bleed valve with a push pull valve.
    Something like this
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Hand-Pus...gAAOSwHsRYCk-i

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I have regulatorsthat slow the speed of the air on the master Caster and will certainly use those on the star. Also I will look into those swivel type ends. I noticed somebody used those in a video and they look to work very well. Just need some time to get this all together, but for next week it is off to THE PINSHOOT.

  13. #13
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    based on this thread -> http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...zer&highlight=

    1 1/16 bore 9 inches long double acting.

    I have his setup on mine.
    I have found that I need a larger bore cylinder because some of the boolits get stuck.

    I am gonna order the following as a upgrade

    6498K462 - Round Body Air Cylinder, Double-Acting, Universal Mount, 1-1/4" Bore Size, 9" Stroke

    Its $71 but in increases the force from 90 lbs to 120 lbs when using 100 PSI of pressure

    I would also need the following

    1 1/4" Zinc-Plated Steel Pin, Retaining Rings 6498K563 8.32
    1 1/4" 1 1/8" 7/16" 7/16"-20 15/16" Right Hand 60645K351 5.80

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