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Thread: Star dies that I make

  1. #1
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    lathesmith's Avatar
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    Star/Ballisticast dies that I make

    Hello all,
    I wanted to post this thread to show and discuss the dies for the Star and Ballisti-cast machines that I make. All of my dies are made from tool steel, I won't use anything less. These are typically hardened to 50+ Rockwell, and are quite wear- and abrasion- resistant, and make a nice long-lasting die.
    I am going to start offering what I call the "standard" die configuration. This is a hardened die, with 3 rows of holes for 3 lube grooves (and less), spaced approx. .125 apart. The first row is about .750 from the top of the die. This configuration will cover maybe 80 or 90 per cent of bullets out there. I can still do custom spacing, on request. Remember, you can always plug unneeded holes with 7 1/2 shot, this is easy to do, and this can always be (carefully) removed later if you need the extra row.
    Pricing for these "standard" dies is $44, which includes shipping. I will still make available a non-hardened version; subtract $4 from the die price if you want this. I can take Paypal or money orders, your choice.
    Of course, I also offer punches for the Star; these run $15 each for the flat punch, and $17 each for the dished style that is popular with gas checks. I don't recommend using a dished punch with plain-base bullets, as you can get an unacceptable amount of base distortion.
    Plain punch nuts run $4, punch nuts with setscrews are $7, and the roller "L" handle is $28 shipped. I can also make you a die removal tool if your sizer is missing this, they run $22 each.
    I would like to take this opportunity to say a big "thank you" to all the guys on the boards here that have supported me and helped get this project going. Also, together we have made a nice financial contribution to the boards here, and I will continue doing this periodically in the future. There are many satisfied users of these dies to date.

    Update: I now offer punches and punch nuts with setscrews for the Ballisti-cast MK VI sizer. The punches are the same price as listed above for the Star. The punch nuts with setscrews are $4 each, or $35/10.
    Thanks again,
    lathesmith
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    Last edited by lathesmith; 02-27-2016 at 08:58 PM. Reason: added items

  2. #2
    I'm A Honcho! warf73's Avatar
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    Great die's.

    Thanks Again lathesmith for the great die's.

    Warf
    "Life isn't like a box of chocolates...It's more like
    a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn
    your *** tomorrow."

  3. #3
    Boolit Master GabbyM's Avatar
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    Can you do a little .225" with a matching punch?
    Need a 6mm in .244 too.
    I can imagine the little ones would be tough to get tooled up for.
    I wouldn't need any heat treat. I'm sure they wouldn't grow any faster than my bores.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    454PB's Avatar
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    Having made a few myself, that's a good price. Star dies are labor intensive.
    You cannot discover new oceans unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

  5. #5
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    I wanted to post an update here. I have decided to go ahead and tool up to do smaller sizers also. This means I can now make everything from .22 to .50-ish. Now the rifle guys can enjoy the benefits of less expensive dies also.
    lathesmith

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    A satisfied customer. Surface finish inside is superb. I got one of the
    development versions and it is just fine. I will order more in the future.

    Bill
    If it was easy, anybody could do it.

  7. #7

    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by lathesmith View Post
    I wanted to post an update here. I have decided to go ahead and tool up to do smaller sizers also. This means I can now make everything from .22 to .50-ish. Now the rifle guys can enjoy the benefits of less expensive dies also. lathesmith
    What would you want for a Lyman type set to resize some 30 caliber cast boolits for use in a 7.35 Italian? Probably a sized diameter of .300 to .301". Would need a longer sizing taper than normal.

  8. #8
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    Randy, contact Buckshot here, I believe he can fix you up with about anything you need when it comes to the Lyman lube/sizer. He definitely comes highly recommended!
    lathesmith

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    Very nice dies LS. Makes me wish I owned a Star, but my old trusty 45's work well for me.

    What lathe are you using?...

  10. #10
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    PM, that's an HF "Bench Dog" 812, aka 44859 lathe, that has been heavily modified by me. It is now a quite capable machine, and I'm pretty happy with it.
    lathesmith

  11. #11
    Boolit Master 475/480's Avatar
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    I thank you also ,the Star die you made me works great.

    Sean
    Last edited by 475/480; 09-03-2008 at 02:46 PM.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man



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    another satisified customer

    Got my first Lathesmith die today and couldn't wait to try it out! It's exactly what I asked for and performs magnificently.

    Thanks again for making a great die at a great price. I'll definately buy again. I'll be needing a 9.3 as soon as if get the mold design figured out.

    -john

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lathesmith

    I didn't see the price for a punch. Do you machine a concave depression in the face of the punch to keep the sprue from tilting the bullet?

    Vern

  14. #14
    Boolit Master AzShooter's Avatar
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    Just received my second die from Lathesmith and it's as perfect as the first. Glad I found you and I'm sure I'll be ordering more as needed.

    Next project is to try to figure out how to hook up a nitrogen bottle to my Star for a pressure bottle.
    Go ahead and run. You will only die tired

  15. #15
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    vernm, punches usually run $13. If you want the punch convex on the end all you have to do is ask; I can easily make it that way if you want it.
    lathesmith
    Last edited by lathesmith; 09-29-2010 at 08:16 PM.

  16. #16
    I'm A Honcho! Cayoot's Avatar
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    I bought 3 dies from Lathesmith....awsome! What a gracious and helpful gentleman he is to work with.

    I highly recommend him!
    “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” – John 3:16

    That still amazes me…I don’t care who you are or how much I care about you, I would never let you kill my son. I can’t even begin to understand how much He loves us.

  17. #17
    Boolit Mold
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    lathesmith:

    I will PM you to talk about a Star die or two, and top punches.

    Glad I found this thread.......

    .

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
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    I am wondering if it would be possible/practical to make a sizer die for the Star Luber that had a slot cut into it rather then 2 or 3 holes. What this would be intended for is sizing/lubing Lee Tumble lube bullets.

    For example the Ranch dog TLC460-350-RF has 4 lube groves in .310", .410" if you plan on lubing between the top of the gas check and the first band.

    Does this make sense?

    Ted

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    lathesmith

    I will need at least 3 dies soon. A .312 to .314, a .309, and a .356. From the reviews you must be the man to get them from. I have to wait a little because of waiting to order the boolit molds when I have a little more money.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
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    Gentlemen,

    I just wanted to add my two cents in here, too. Lathesmith made me two dies and a top punch, in somewhat of a custom configuration, and was willing to spend the time discussing the project until we were sure it would turn out right.

    He makes a quality product at a fair price, plus you get to talk to someone with some sense and who cares that you are happy with the outcome. Try that at Magma Engineering!

    Y'all take care,

    Regan

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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