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Thread: Sprue Screw on Lee mould

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Sprue Screw on Lee mould

    The left hand screw that hold the sprue plate on keeps loosening up while casting, anybody have a solution to this problem. The mould, 30 cal. carbine rd nose, casts real nice bullets. I use them in my Ruger 30 cal carbine revolver . When casting I have to retighten ever 4 or 5 bullets. Any idea's Thanks

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    slim1836's Avatar
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    Drill and tap a set screw in the side of the mold to lock the sprue plate bolt down once you get it where you like it.

    Slim
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Remove then screw and place a small strip of aluminum cut from a soda can in the screwhole, then reattach the screw.

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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    I'd think the best way, as Slim said, "Drill and tap a set screw".
    But I have heard of a simple 'redneck' solution of wrapping a few strands of steel wool on the screw threads.
    I have a couple of Lee 2 cav molds (which I bought as spares) that have this loose screw issue, I haven't done anything with them yet...so I don't have any experience.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    I Drill and tap all my aluminum molds.

    1 reason it works loose is you may not have lubricated it enough.

    Lubricating that screw is a pain, you need to make sure you keep the lube out of the boolit cavity.
    I cut the sprue, lube the screw with a lube stick from a lube sizer, work the sprue and wipe all the excess lube off--repeat the working the sprue and wiping until you get no more "lube leakage"

  6. #6
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    small bit of aluminum foil or fine steel wool as a thread locker is the simple solution. Drill and tap a locking set screw is the better one, a lot of molds come with an allen head set screw as a standard feature. Lube will help. It is the plate binding on the screw and turning it that causes it to work loose. Lube helps. I picked up some un-dyed ester oil (for air conditioners) at auto parts store. Very good mold lube. Keep a Q-Tip dipped in ester oil handy while casting, along with a screw driver. I twist sprue plate open with gloved hand. I'll feel it loosen if I'm paying any attention. Which when working with molten lead is pretty much mandatory.
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  7. #7
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    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    after I drill and tap I put a very small piece of lead in the hold.

    protects the sprue screw threads from the set screw

    might have to retighten it a few time till lead takes shape of threads and hole
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  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    you saying the 2 cavity lee molds are left hand thread ???
    want loosen mine but dont want to break it off
    need to reserface the top of the mold blocks

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by turtlezx View Post
    you saying the 2 cavity lee molds are left hand thread ???
    want loosen mine but dont want to break it off
    need to reserface the top of the mold blocks
    The 1 Lee DC that I own has "LF" stenciled on the block along with the mold number. I have no way of knowing if that's something recent though as it's been a long time since I'd owned one and don't remember.
    Mike

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  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter Laich View Post
    after I drill and tap I put a very small piece of lead in the hold.

    protects the sprue screw threads from the set screw

    might have to retighten it a few time till lead takes shape of threads and hole
    This sounds like a good idea. I just simply do as a few others have said, and drill a hole and put a screw in to keep the sprew plate screw from turning. I had to do this because I had the same problem. I haven't had the problem since, but the idea of using lead is appealing to keep from messing up the screw screw.

  11. #11
    Boolit Man fivefang's Avatar
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    Slim: but do use a brass 10/32 set screw, once those lee screws get damaged from a steel set screw they tend mess up the threads ,then re drill & re tap for a larger O.D. screw, speaking from experience, yeah, I have erasers on my pencils, Fivefang

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Thanks all for the suggestions will try all.

  13. #13
    Boolit Mold HH928's Avatar
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    Good suggestions but doesn't drilling and tapping the Lee aluminum mold require a drill press?

  14. #14
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    I took one that was doing that and drilled it through, tapped it all the way through the block and put a nut on the bottom. Now it goes no where. It is kind of a hassle having a nut on the bottom though. It keeps it from sitting flat. The pins got loose for me also, so I put double set screws on each pin.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike W1 View Post
    The 1 Lee DC that I own has "LF" stenciled on the block along with the mold number. I have no way of knowing if that's something recent though as it's been a long time since I'd owned one and don't remember.
    They switched to left hand thread a few years ago because the right hand thread ones loosened up even worse.
    (From what I recall)
    AKA hans.pcguy

  16. #16
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    I had two Lee moulds that had perpetually unloosening sprue plate screws. Tighten screw, cast one, two on the third cast the screw was loose ...Wrapped a few strands of 0000 steel wool around the threads and reinstalled...they have never loosened up again ...I don't know why this works but it does...try it, very simple and easy to do.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by HH928 View Post
    Good suggestions but doesn't drilling and tapping the Lee aluminum mold require a drill press?
    It's certainly easier particularly controlling depth & vertical but not impossible by hand I'd guess.
    Mike

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by HH928 View Post
    Good suggestions but doesn't drilling and tapping the Lee aluminum mold require a drill press?
    Like the first reply said it would likely make the job easier. I've hand drilled and tapped a lot of more precise things then a simple set screw in an aluminum mould but I've been doing stuff like that since I was a teenager. I've been a machinist for almost 40 years.

    Motor

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    KISS ( keep it simple stupid) few stands wire or steel wool done with it

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HH928 View Post
    Good suggestions but doesn't drilling and tapping the Lee aluminum mold require a drill press?
    No, the angle is not critical.

    I like the idea of a brass set screw. I have used lead shotgun pellets between the set screw and sprue screw (when I remember)

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