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Thread: How do you clean your molds?

  1. #1

    How do you clean your molds?

    I'm now up to 4 Magma brand molds and love them. When I get a new one I clean it with denatured alcohol.

    My most used mold (185 grain 45 SWC) has over 5000 rounds on it and due to smeared lead and other junk the plate doesn't swing near as smooth as when new. Is there a semi easy way to get it back to newish condition.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    I use brake cleaner or electrical contact cleaner to clean mine. A good squirt and a little brushing with a tooth brush. This gets any oil out. On the smeared lead I use a razor blade knife, very carefully, when the mold and lead is hot, to gently scrape the lead off of the flat surfaces. Note that I used the words carefully and gently.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Mike W1's Avatar
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    I've been using a brass brush in my Dremel on my Lyman's of late. Quick and I cannot detect any problems so far.
    Mike

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I put some mold lube on the sprue plate and rub the lead smears ect off with some 0000 steel wool, then recoat while the mold is hot.

  5. #5
    What kind of mold lube do you use?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master bosterr's Avatar
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    Synthetic 2 stroke motor oil.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    On a new never used mould set I start with laquer thinner and a tooth brush scrubbing down all the surfaces at least twice its surprising working over my pan how much show up in the thinner. I then clean again with dish soap and water with a tooth brush. and heat cycle several times then lube with 2 cycle synthetic oil and cast. For used moulds I clean with dawn dish soap and tooth brush the night before head dry and lube lightly. For lead smears I use a exacto knife with a square point blade to scrap peel it off when needed. This blade I stone and hone on a strop to flat and razor sharp. Its amazing how easy it peels lead off. for the vent lines a carbide scribe lightly used scraps and cleans them. If needed a heavier hand can deepen them .0005-.001 if your having issues. Cleaning the mould is important but it also removes any lubricant for the joints piviots so that really needs replaced before use.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I use brake cleaner or starting fluid spray cans, brass tooth brush or rifle brushes if needed. I coat with graphite, ALL OVER. It seems to repel lead splatter. I use a razor on a splatter/smear with Hoppes #9 to really clean it if needed. I stop using a mold the first sign of any trouble, like smear, inside splatter, etc. ; they don't get better with use.

  9. #9
    For you guys using 2 stroke synthetic oil, what surfaces do you coat? Ice always figured you want to keep any contaminants out of the mold but perhaps it just burns out of the cavities and leaves the rest protected.

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  10. #10
    I keep the specks and small smears off with two inch squares of lead removing cloth.I gently scrub while the mold is hot and in use.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    I put a small drop on the sprue pivot point wipe tops and faces with a q-tip lightly dipped into it then a clean dry q-tip to remove excess. I also do this to under side of sprue plate. alighnment pins get this treatment also. I keep it away from cavities . I also put a couple drops on the handles hinge point and the blocks screws handle to lubricate.

  12. #12
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    Dawn dishwashing liquid and hot water
    Scrub with comet and a tooth brush and Dawn again
    If brand new 3 heat cycles first then above procedure
    I carry a Nuke50 because cleaning up the mess is Silly !!

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  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    Can I ask for details on how you are heat cycling?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bwframe View Post
    Can I ask for details on how you are heat cycling?
    I can tell you how I do it. Place in a toaster oven set at 450 for an hour then let cool back to ambient temp. Repeat three to four times. W/ brass molds you see the patina forming. W/ aluminium molds not so much. But the bullets drop easily after the heat cycling. Molds are completely clean when I do this.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by dragon813gt View Post
    I can tell you how I do it. Place in a toaster oven set at 450 for an hour then let cool back to ambient temp. Repeat three to four times. W/ brass molds you see the patina forming. W/ aluminium molds not so much. But the bullets drop easily after the heat cycling. Molds are completely clean when I do this.
    Thank you! I'll give that a try.

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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