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Thread: I Broked my Lee Mold.

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    I Broked my Lee Mold.

    The first 6 banger I purchased was this little 124 gr Lee TL design. It has cast many a thousand good bullets. Alas, the sprue plate was becoming loose and bullet bases were suffering. I've never encountered this with any of my Lee molds. I saw only one option, and I gave it a twist with a wrench. It was pretty cold at the time, and I did maybe give it a bit of muscle, but it snapped. I've already ordered a 4 cavity Lyman, but I hate to waste anything. It suffered my learning curve, so it's not in pristine condition. Any ideas? Will Lee fix it for a reasonable amount?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master Boolit_Head's Avatar
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    Can't hurt to call them and ask. They might just replace it.
    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

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  4. #4
    Boolit Master

    stubshaft's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HangFireW8 View Post
    What is the "it" that snapped?
    Sounds like the sprue holddown screw.
    If God didn't want man to eat animals, he wouldn't have made them out of MEAT!

    The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on my list.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    If the pivot screw for the sprue plate snapped off while one can with care drill out a screw or drill and use an EZ-out it takes a bit of skill and more than a bit of care to drill out a steel screw in an aluminum mold. Easy to slip off the steel and remove enough aluminum to enlarge the hole.

    Going through mental list of snapped screw / bolt removal approaches.... Running a drill bit backwards can remove a loose screw with no head, but you still have little room for oops. Drill press and drill out screw to next size tap hole then tap threads for next size up screw. Cutting a slot in the top with a dermal cut off wheel so a screwdriver can be used to remove it. The aforementioned drill hole for EZ-out but realize if the EZ-out bottoms out it will snap, and in small sizes they tend to expand the screw going in which makes it harder to remove.

    My top choice would be to just drill down the screw to remove and then re-tap threads for next size up. While at it drill in from the side to tap for a set screw that clamps the pivot screw so it can't work loose. One thing I really like about my NOE molds is that set screw holding the pivot screw.

    One thing to bear in mind is if Lee won't repair it then it is already broken so not much to lose by trying to fix it.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
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    I did that with the sprue hold down screw on one of my Lee molds. I sent it in and they got the stump out and replaced the screw with a new one and sent it back at no charge so I simply paid for shipping out there. Now I know only to tighten it down until it stops. There is no need to use force because the screw needs to hold the sprue plate loose enough to pivot.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master woodbutcher's Avatar
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    Uhhhhhhhhh.A little hint for removing broken screws/bolts.Crack open yer wallet and buy a set of LEFT HAND drill bits.They work great.A lot of times,the screw/bolt remains will start to back out just from the heat generated from the drilling.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    People never lie so much as after a hunt,during a war,or before an election.
    Otto von Bismarck

  8. #8
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodbutcher View Post
    Uhhhhhhhhh.A little hint for removing broken screws/bolts.Crack open yer wallet and buy a set of LEFT HAND drill bits.They work great.A lot of times,the screw/bolt remains will start to back out just from the heat generated from the drilling.
    Good luck.Have fun.Be safe.
    Leo
    Forgot to mention that part about left handed twist when I mentioned using a drill to back them out.

    I have heard of people putting a small tuft of fine steel wool in the threads when the put the screw in so it won't back out. Never tried it myself but it seems like it should work.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Use a drill bushing,and use Ridgid brand splined Ezi outs......Like all Ridgid stuff....they just work.......Everyone should have a set.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Lee Precision Satisfaction Guaranteed ... https://leeprecision.com/satisfaction-guaranteed.html
    Regards
    John

  11. #11
    Boolit Bub
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    I would guess Lee will replace the bolt for free, but repairing the mold will cost at least shipping. I'll second the use of left-hand drill bits. Once you get it out, you might want to drill and tap the side of the mold for a set screw: I use a 10-32 cup point grub screw with a small piece of stripped copper wire (18 ga) to keep the sprue plate bolts from loosening during use.

  12. #12
    Boolit Man
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    Thanks for the input guys.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


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    I can fix it, but you will need to supply the new screw!
    A new hole can always be drilled and tapped in the opposite corner!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by RogerDat View Post
    Forgot to mention that part about left handed twist when I mentioned using a drill to back them out.

    I have heard of people putting a small tuft of fine steel wool in the threads when the put the screw in so it won't back out. Never tried it myself but it seems like it should work.
    It works like a charm...I had two moulds that wouldn't stay tight for hell or high water, cast three boolits ...tighten screw...I got sick of that and tried the strands of 0000 steel wool ..... and neither of them have come loose !!!! I am shocked this works. I was going to unscrew one and when it didn't back out easily, I just left it alone...it's tight now so I'm not going to mess with it.
    Be careful of the RH and LH threads...
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
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    I like to take my welder and form a bead on the broken bolt, then pause. Watch the bead go from orange to red, then form another bead...repeat until high enough to grab with pliers. This has only failed me once, and that was a steel bolt that broke off recessed in a steel head. Funny enough this is the second time today giving this advice.

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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