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Thread: Did my first casting today

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    Did my first casting today

    I got ants in my pants waiting to get everything just perfect . This afternoon I decided that there was no time like the present. I ended up with 38 boolits that I'm pretty sure I can shoot from my 480.
    As I didn't actually KNOW any thing experience wise about bullet casting. I only used my Lee 2 cavity 476/400 PB mold. For a while I had the alloy way too hot. Boolits were falling apart when I opened the mold. Turned the heat off and let things cool for a bit. The Lee mold is not really huge for a pair of 400 gr boolits. So I had to slow everything down. Not sure I understand everything I did . But I followed a lot of what I've learned here. I'll post a few pics.
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    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    From the YouTube vids I've watched . The cooker sounded like it was roaring right along. So I had this one roaring too. Yup, that was too much !! Must be the mic picked up the sound of the cooker better than what would be normal hearing. Living and learning .
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    The stuff that is NOT boolits. Had more rejects than boolits.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    For a while I was actually Making boolits !
    Then it started to sprinkle so I covered things with a piece of roofing metal. And shut down the cooker.
    I also made some ingots.

    My fluxing didn't go as well as I wanted it to . I think. I used white spruce dry sawdust.
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master




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    Congratulations...one of the best ways to learn is by doing. Pic not clear but bullets look good. Nice thing is bad ones go back into the pot. Practice will improve your results.
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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    More rejects than keepers is common at first. But you spotted some mistakes, made adjustments, and cast some good bullets. Thats all good. Next time you will make fewer mistakes and get more keepers. And after that will be better yet. Good Job!

    Your flux should be fine but most of us prefer pine. It seems like the rosin in pine helps it work. I've used Cypress shavings from the planer and was not impressed.

    Remember, the bigger the bullet the less material is in the mold. That means it gets hot quicker and you have to cast slower. A smaller bullet requires you to cast faster to keep the temp up. They are all different! Learn to watch the sprue change color.

    You're off to a good start. Keep up the good work!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I think your doing pretty good for using a turkey cooker, with a soup or gravy ladle and it being your first time. Your spruce sawdust will work fine. Looks like your muffin tin is out gassing from whatever is coating it. Teflon or biscuit grease will both do it. You didn't panic when things didn't work right and figured things out. That's a great start. I recast my first boolits 5 times before I got them right.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I'd double check those grey ones.
    look for square bands and bases.

    I run a 2 cavity 435gr LEE 2 cavity mold for my 45-70.
    I don't baby it, and I don't try to keep it cold.
    there is a window between shiny and frosted and that's where I'm running.
    I get a greyish galvanized like look and that's what I want.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    You can study, read, ponder watch and wish . . . but the only way you are going to learn is to jump in and get your feet wet. Looks to me like you had a very good day and learned a lot. Just remember, every time you cast (or do anything) you learn something new - I don't care how long you've been doing it and I've been at it for 55 years. And once you "get it down" - or think you have, you'll buy another mold that will be a whole new learning experience. Some days will go good and everything clicks - and some days, well . . . it would be better to just go have a cup of coffee! LOL

    You did great, learned a lot and had fun - that's what it's all about! Congrats and enjoy!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. I have some pics of the sharpness of the edges on some of them. Some of them don't look very good as far as rounded edges. The keepers miced out at 476-477 .
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    See if this works .
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    see that grey one in the middle and the one next to it.
    that's where I try to run all of my molds.
    they ain't all pretty and fancy but they are consistent in weight and diameter.
    I don't want them going to the white edges or rolling the corners over hot, and I don't want them all shiny.
    I hover in between the two mold temperature extremes.
    it's all an educated guess,,,, till the trigger is pulled.

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

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    Ok . I wondered what caused the rounded bases I got on a few of them. And I have about 4 grains weight variation so far.
    Thank you !
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    He's hooked !
    Welcome to the addiction, your life is forever changed.
    You can now start walking the streets and parking lots looking for wheel weights.
    Get a new Lyman casting ladle with the little side spout, pressure casting will sharpen all the edges and make well filled out and sharp looking boolits.

    I cast mine just below frosty, slightly frosty but not shiney either, get my best ones there with the pressure casting ladle.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    I drilled a hole in the bottom of a stainless steel gravy/soup ladle. Amazon , $6.00 free shipping The Rever Ware SS pot with double bottom I snagged out of a dumpster and cleaned up. Too often I spend before thinking. I'm trying to reverse that with casting. Next time I cast , I'm going to try my ir digital thermometer gun . I'm not sure it goes high enough to be useful for casting. If not I should get a casting thermometer.
    I'm thinking about an electric pot . But, I gotta get everything . a sizer, lube , gas checks, and lots more brass. Lots and lots of brass. And more lead. Lots more lead..
    I can set the hole in the ladle right on top of the holes in the sprue plate . Maybe that will work. ????
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Good news: Improvement comes quickly.

    I'm new, too; and while my first session was 50/50 keepers to "remelters" buy just my third it was down to 6/94. Drilled ladles can work VERY well and be easy with which to learn casting.

    Bad news: Molten alloy is too reflective for other than immersed probe thermometers. Turkey fryers are great for smelting but produce a lot of and maybe none to controllable BTUs for casting -- try a camp stove.
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  17. #17
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    Ok. I have one . I was planning on trying it next time. A camp stove that is. I'll look for a casting thermometer.
    Thank you for the heads up on the t meter . and everyone thank y'all for your insights , instruction and encouragement.
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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    Its a learning process and you are off to a good start. Very few of us started off with the equipment, lead supply and brass that we have now. We acquired it a little at a time, over time. Sure, a Star sizer, a bottom pour pot and a custom mold are great! But, its hard to squeeze all of this stuff out of the budget, especially if you are young and have a family.

    I'll 2nd the suggestion of the camp stove. It will be easier to control the temp. A therometer is one of those tools that is nice but not a have to. I would get a bottom pour ladle such as the Lyman or RCBS. A small Rowell would be great but more costly.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub jeff100's Avatar
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    I bought an old Coleman camp stove from Craigslist for cheep that I use for smelting my lead into ingots. I was using it tonight in fact, smelted about 50 lbs of WW I recently bought, also off of Craigslist. WW are illegal in my state for balancing tires and are hard to acquire. Just remember that once you use a stove for lead, no more cooking on it. - JJ

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Cold Trigger Finger's Avatar
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    So tomorrow , my options are . Go caribou hunting or smelt and cast. As we could use the meat . I better go see if I can put a couple few bou in the truck. But, I'd sure like to make some more boolits.
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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