StainLess Steel MediaRotoMetals2Titan ReloadingGraf & Sons
ADvertise hereLee PrecisionMidSouth Shooters SupplyInline Fabrication

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Removing Lube grooves from a Lee 452-200 6 Cavity mold.

  1. #1
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    6

    Removing Lube grooves from a Lee 452-200 6 Cavity mold.

    I am a newbie to casting and this forum. My first casting goal is the reproduce the great ACME 200 SWC NLG HiTech coated bullets I have been using for several years. I am documenting the process I used here in case it may be useful to others wishing to do the same. Keep In mind that I have very limited resources, no mill or lathe (yet), as the saying goes I have more time than money. With proper resources I would have just purchased a custom mold.

  2. #2
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    6
    The first step was to purchase and fabricate a cutter. I started with a 29/64 carbide reamer purchased off of eBay for $8.50. This cutter was nearly new with sharp carbides. Testing with pin gauges showed it reamed holes to .454 (or probably closer to .4535). The part that makes this project interesting is that I wanted to preserve the bevel back on the bullets so I wanted the cutter face to be no longer than .230. Using diamond cutters (needed for cutting the carbide sections) in my dremel I removed the morse taper, shorted the reamer and cut the relief. I then carefully stoned approximately .001 off the face of each cutter and tested in an aluminum block until I was sure it was reaming a .452 hole. I then fashioned a collar to make sure the cutter ran perpendicular to the mold.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cutter.jpg 
Views:	51 
Size:	24.3 KB 
ID:	213368

  3. #3
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    6
    Next I purchased a Lee 452-200 mold. I cleaned the mold and removed a few burs. I cast some test bullets to see how the bullets looked before I possibly mucked up this mold. I found that the bullets were out of round up to .458 in one direction. It was perplexing until I held the mold halves together and held it up to the light and realized the mold wasn’t closing all the way. It seems the factory put the alignment pins in too far and they were holding the mold open. I stoned those down until the mold closed all the way and on my next test cast made some normal round bullets from the range scrap lead I have laying around. These weighed 205 grains on average.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MoldMods.jpg 
Views:	94 
Size:	46.2 KB 
ID:	213369

  4. #4
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    6
    I started my modifications one cavity at a time. I would first dremel out 90+% of the lube groove then with the mold halves in the vice and the reamer inserted into the cavity I turned the reamer by hand with a adjustable wrench and slowly closed the vice until it spun freely. The cavity was in pretty good shape after the cutter was done and I probably could have used it like it was but I wanted a little better finish so I fashioned a polisher with some test bullets and some lapping compound. I turned it each cavity by hand for a few turns to remove any unseen ridges. I cleaned up and degreased the mold real well and reassembled. I cast some more test bullets.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	MoldPolish.JPG 
Views:	36 
Size:	73.2 KB 
ID:	213370

    The results were better than I expected and came out of the mold at .453 - .4535, which is fine with me because I planned to resize after high-tech coating anyways. Bullets weighed on average 214 grains with range lead and 207 grains with hardcast which is what I plan to use.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Bullets.JPG 
Views:	59 
Size:	54.6 KB 
ID:	213371

  5. #5
    Boolit Master




    Bzcraig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Nampa, ID
    Posts
    3,639
    Excellent and off to a great start! Welcome aboard
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same......." - Ronald Reagan

    "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived." - George Patton

    The second amendment is a nail on which hangs a picture of freedom - member Alex 4x4 Tver, Russia

  6. #6
    Nice job if Lee would just sell the 6 cavity molds without lube grooves I would have far fewer 100+ $ molds as I much prefer casting with them but can't get the profiles I prefer.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Central Wisconisn
    Posts
    1,114
    Very nice work. I work with a dremel and diamond wheels also. But your work makes me look like a cave man. Stoning the flutes of the reamer in my opinion would qualify you for brain surgery. But I am encouraged to see what I could accomplish if I took much greater care. I have a couple of 9mm molds that need the lube grooves removed. I already bought a reamer for them (can't remember off hand if it is exactly the right diameter).
    I have had pins in Lee molds keep from closing all the way also. I was able to squeeze them in a bit deeper. Mine seem to loosen up after time anyway, I end up putting a set screw in the side to hold the pins.
    Thanks for the post. Keep em coming.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,677
    And to think I would have sold the mold and purchased a new one without lube grooves.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

    sparky45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    SE, KS
    Posts
    1,722
    Beautiful job and result. I've been wanting a groove-less mold for some time now, you've given me hope.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Nines&Twos's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    69
    Nice job! Don’t think I could have done it that way.
    Makes me appreciate my lathe & a four jaw chuck.
    I’ve done a few myself but lathe bored them.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    2,793
    You may consider offering this service to those who are less talented and/or patient. There are a lot of folks using coatings that want bullets with no lube grooves.

    Well done BTW
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Bartlesville, Ok
    Posts
    270
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    You may consider offering this service to those who are less talented and/or patient. There are a lot of folks using coatings that want bullets with no lube grooves.

    Well done BTW
    I agree, it would be a win win if you have the time

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Posts
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    You may consider offering this service to those who are less talented and/or patient. There are a lot of folks using coatings that want bullets with no lube grooves.

    Well done BTW
    Appreciate the comments. I wouldn’t consider working on somebody else’s molds unless I had a mill and could do it right. Mucking up my own mold is one thing, but mucking up somebody else’s is too scary.

    I have been lurking for many months and already learned more than I can put to use. The talent, experience, and knowledge in this forum is beyond description. I look forward to learning as I venture into casting my own, and then into rifle shooting and casting.

  14. #14
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Round Rock, TX
    Posts
    139
    Very cool! I predict you will find much enjoyment in this hobby with your inquisitiveness and attention to detail. Even when one has the cash to plop down for a new tool, sometimes it's more fun to experiment and see what you can do just because. All of these skills are transferable. Even if some say it isn't really necessary for this project, you may find something in the future and have that "Ah Ha!" moment where the knowledge and experience you gained today will lead you to a plan for tomorrow. Nicely done!

  15. #15
    Super Moderator




    Buckshot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    So. California
    Posts
    11,611
    ..........Diadem, That is very impressive work you've accomplished. All of it from front to back you've accomplished quite a feat. Heck, creating your own tooling to accomplish a further modification on another object (mould) to get what you wanted All I can say is that when you DO acquire a lathe and milling machine, and maybe a tool grinder, you'll be a terror!.

    ..............Buckshot
    Father Grand Caster watches over you my brother. Go now and pour yourself a hot one. May the Sacred Silver Stream be with you always

    Proud former Shooters.Com Cast Bullet alumnus and plank owner.

    "The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president."

    Shrink the State End the Fed Balance the budget Make a profit Leave an inheritance

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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