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Thread: How long do lee ignots molds last? Mine just broke....

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    How long do lee ignots molds last? Mine just broke....

    Well, bought mine new about a 2 months ago and made about a 100 ignots with it. Then I got busy about a week and a half ago and have made about 1000-1500 ignots. I noticed the wood handle cracking a couple days ago and coming loose. I emailed lee and they will send me a new $2 replacement for $6.95 shipped or I could send it in. Well the metal arm snapped today. Thank god the lead cooled enough so it didn't splash when it hit the ground.Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    retread's Avatar
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    I have two that I bought about 15 years ago. Still going strong. I do not handle them roughly. When hot they are at their weakest and slamming them down to dump ingots is a no-no. Handle them with care and they should last for years.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Idz's Avatar
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    I've cast about 2000 pounds of ingots in my 4 Lee ingot moulds and they are still working fine after several years.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Most ingot molds don't have handles. You should have enough left to use a vise grip
    You may be able to send it in for a replacement.
    I've given up on the little molds and almost exclusively use the 1 1/2 x 5 3/8 angle iron molds I made, they hold Apr 2 # of lead.
    Having 8 of these I can empty a smelting pot fairly quickly.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


    DLCTEX's Avatar
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    I don't know how long they last as I'm only 13 years into the ones I bought used.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master tazman's Avatar
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    No idea how long they last. I have had mine over 10 years now.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
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    ive got two of them and it happened to both. still use them with gloves.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Now you have a set of molds just like my Lymans!!!
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting.

  9. #9
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I use one for a 'drip tray' under my Lee pot...it wouldn't matter if it had a handle or not.
    BUT, I have a couple Lee ingot molds, bought in 2010, and have cast countless ingot, and haven't broke one yet, wood still intact and uncracked.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    DerekP Houston's Avatar
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    Haven't broken mine yet, a few handles cracked and I repaired with jb weld. I'm a fairly slow caster compared to most guys here I think though, I don't mind spending a whole day just alloying ingots and marking them for future use. For me, any scrap gets cast in muffin tins, I only use the lee mold once I've added tin.
    My feedback page if you feel inclined to add:
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    Thanks Yall!

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    I've got one I picked up in the 90's still going strong.
    On every question of construction let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.

    Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823

  12. #12
    Salty Dog

    DukeInFlorida's Avatar
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    Handles are for new casters. J/K

    My casting buddies have all collected up our mutual ingot molds, and we have quite a collection of them that we use when doing a major smelting session (typically 1200 pounds and more.)

    NONE of them have handles on them.

    We wait for the alloy to cool enough to dump them, and then do a quick flip with a leather gloved hand. And, refill as needed. Don't waste any more $$$ with Lee. Just grind off the sharp handle remainder, and use the same way most of us use them. Some of our collection ingot molds are 30+ years old, and not a one of them has a handle on it.

    BTW, with a 20 pound casting pot (RCBS Pro Melt, specifically), we are also using a LOT of cupcake pans for round ingots. Not a single one of those has a handle either.

    So, rejoice in being unbound from the handle!!


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  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I have 2 which have cast 100's of ingots over the last 10-12 years and are still going strong.
    ukrifleman

  14. #14
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I sent lee pics of it to their customer service dept. They said need to send it back with my receipt and they'd replace it.

  15. #15
    Love how you have to ship their **** back on your dime, just so they can replace it!

  16. #16
    Boolit Master JBinMN's Avatar
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    Bought one about the same time ago. No issues for me so far. I do not know for sure how many ingots, but I do know it was more than #100 of COWW & Pure lead .

    Bummer to hear ya had an issue.
    Hope it all works out for ya in the end.

    G'Luck!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    I'm glad the lead had cooled to the point that you were not injured. With a new cost of 12-14 dollars I can't see investing the shipping cost to get it replaced. You could grind that broken piece off and bolt a piece of angle on it for a handle. I have a friend that welds aluminum and I would get a piece of aluminum angle welded to it if it was mine. I understand that welding may not be an option for some. I wonder if its truly aluminum or if its some form of "pot metal"?
    Last edited by lightman; 07-02-2017 at 10:12 AM.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Tripplebeards's Avatar
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    I went to a couple antique stores today. Found a corn cob mold for $18, a sectioned cast iron pie plate mold with a hole in the middle for $16, and another pie sectioned cast iron pan that was heavier construction for $12. I bought the $12 one and I bet it will never brake. If I can send the broken mold back in a bubble pack for $3-4 it's going back. I like my little lee ignots but this is going to make casting go way faster than having one little ignot mold.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Tripplebeards; 07-01-2017 at 04:21 PM.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    An ingot mold isn't a "working" tool. It is just a container for molten lead being formed into ingots. If it was never handled, it would last for eons. Possibly your handling caused the handle breaking. Perhaps the repeated heating/cooling caused a stress crack. Perhaps it was dropped at some forgotten time. Or maybe you just got the one in ten thousand with a faulty casting...

    Mebbe the casting gods did it just made to feed some Lee Hater's ego and unreasonable feelings about inanimate tools...(post 15)
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    The material used is ``pot metal`` be very careful when carrying it with molten lead.

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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