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Thread: Die mat'l

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
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    Die mat'l

    Are the standard reloading dies made from steel or some kind of magic composition? The reason I ask is I would like to tac weld on a die for a special project. The ones I have are magnetic so I figure they are steel, but I don't want to ruin a good die if tac welding doesn't work.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    Depending on the maker, the material might vary some, but it will almost certainly be steel (with the possible exception of some inserts made of carbide)
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Most likely case hardened mild steel...... pref weld with a 300 stainless filler,200degC preheat,and preferably grind off the hard case where the weld will be deposited.Cool slowly,under insulating material.If the case isnt ground off,likely a crack will form at the join of filler and hard steel.The soft core will weld easily with any suitable filler without cracking.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    Good advice John. Only thing I’d add is since it s a tack you’re after you could try it cold and break it to see if it even needs those precautions. You won’t be able to determine the exact alloy or hardening specifications used.

    Another good way to go is use silicon bronze filler. This filler has allowed me to weld things deemed unweldable good strength.

    Oh and also, carbide is magnetic! But most dies (all?) are Steel with or without carbide inserts. If you had a solid carbide die you’d probably not be considering welding on it!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    A surprising thing is that you can MIG weld HSS tool bar to a m/s holder with ease and complete satisfaction....and use the tool in a shaper or planer.(or lathe)

  6. #6
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    Most dies are made from 12L14 Steel and Case Hardened. If you are going to just tack weld a spot on it you would be better off using Silicon Bronze Rod.

    12L14 has lead in it to make it machine better. When you weld on it the lead gasses off and you invariably get an undercut at the edged of the weld. Sometimes this matters sometimes not.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    You might consider getting a used LEE die to weld on and tossing it into your drawer full of orphans when finished.
    EDG

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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
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