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Thread: Wattage for Lube/Sizer Heater??

  1. #1

    Wattage for Lube/Sizer Heater??

    Hopefully I will be receiving a new to me, Lyman sizer soon. I was planning on building a heater plate from a 3/4" thick aluminum plate and a heater. The only component I would have to buy is the actual heater. I have the aluminum plate and can machine it at work, power supply and controller. How does this work out in the real world? What recommendations do you have? I would like to use a lube that can take the summer heat and does not get sticky.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    georgerkahn's Avatar
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    In my experience, the key is patience. Huh? If a high wattage element is employed, albeit the lube melts quickly, there too often is a mess. On the obverse, low wattage element takes "forever" -- but NO mess! I have mine plugged into a Variac, and even in my cold basement, 20 watts is more than adequate at 100% initially, but gets turned down to about 20 to 25% after a bit. Good luck. geo
    Last edited by georgerkahn; 03-14-2018 at 12:14 PM.

  3. #3
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    Preacher Jim's Avatar
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    I use a 1"aluminum plate a 50 watt wadlow tube heater threaded into the block and control my temp with a PID. the probe is inserted in 1/4" hole in the block. keeps my lube flowing and no mess from being to hot. block tapped for Lyman and star sizers.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master JMax's Avatar
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    I have 4 lube sizers and all sit on a 20W Lyman heater plate. I plug them in about 20 minutes before I start and unplug then about 10 minutes before I finish, no need for power control for the lube that I use. 1 LAM, 2 LAM II and an old Lyman 45, all mounted on Pat Marlins ROCKDock plates with washers between Lyman heater and aluminum plates for some thermal isolation.I had to make an aluminum adaptor plate for the old Lyman 45 to mount on the Lyman heater.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Mike W1's Avatar
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    Have the old Midway heater turned wide open BUT now PID controlled. No guessing and no mess. Have no idea what the wattage on that thing is though.
    Mike

    Benefactor Member NRA
    Life Member Iowa Firearms Coalition
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    There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation.
    One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams 1826

  6. #6
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Wattage shouldn't matter if you have a temp controller.
    I use a magnetic automotive engine block heater, it's 200 watt, mounted to a 3/8" thick steel plate that my lubesizer mounts to, but I don't have a controller on mine ...yet, but have been looking at some controllers.

    There is a neat unit on fleabay for about $12 (with temp sensor and built-in relay to power the heater)
    Model: STC-3000
    Temperature Control Range: -67 to 248℉
    Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7
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    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
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    I use a piece of 3/4" aluminum tool plate as a mount for my Lyman 450s. Heat source is a small, folding 'travel' iron ($4 at a yard sale). Took a little trial and error to find the best heat setting but, once I did, it was a simple matter to mark the temp dial with a Sharpie and my infrared thermometer tells me that, once stabilized, plate temp holds within +/- 10 deg. F.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  8. #8
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    fecmech's Avatar
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    +1 on the iron and aluminum plate.
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
    - C. S. Lewis

  9. #9
    ^^^
    I followed this advice as well. Cheap iron and aluminum plate works for me.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I use a 25 watt oil pan heater I got on the cheap and hooked it up with a lamp dimmer switch set to about 3/4 open. it takes about 15 minutes to get the sizer and
    the lube up to running temp. I use some homemade Tac-1 that has too much carnauba with some paraffin. (the paraffin was from some crayons that I added)

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    30 watt 120V cartridge heater hooked up to a PID in a 1" aluminum block.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    A PID / Temp control is the way to go. I built mine on a 5/8 aluminum plate that I drilled so I could insert the cheapest round heating element I could find on ebay (I believe it's a 200w, 8mm in diameter). I know this is way overkill but it gets up to temp pretty fast and the PID takes care of the rest.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy luis7's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    40 w cartridge heater ( 3$)+ temperature control (1.5$)+12 v DC power station (5.5$) + piece of 3/4" aluminum tool plate as a mount for my LAM II (free).
    Working ok.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Here is where your going to get a different answer from every poster. It really doesn't make much difference what size heater you use. You can use a small heater element and wait 30 minutes for it to warm up or you can super size it like I did. I used a 400 watt pencil type element that warms my 3/4"X12 X12 aluminum plate up in about 4 minutes when in a 60 degree room. In 4 minutes or less I am at my set temp of 99 degrees and ready to size and lubricate my bullets. if there is a change in my plate temp the element turns on via the PID control and the temp is again regained. It is all in what you want and how much you want to spend. I don't like to wait long to do my sizing so I opted for a larger element and I'm very satisfied with its performance.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Uncle Grinch's Avatar
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    I’ve got less than $3.00 in my heater. I picked up a coffe cup warmer and stripped the metal plate and switch out of it and screwed it to the aluminum plate that my sizer mounts to. Very effective and very cheap.
    Shoot Safe,
    Mike

    Retired Telephone Man
    NRA Endowment Member
    Marion Road Gun Club
    ( www.marionroad.com )

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Lots of good input but I think 6bg6ga hit the nail on the head. With a PID controller wattage doesn't really matter other than the time to get up to the initial temperature.
    Without a controller, the situation becomes the equilibrium point between heat added and heat lost. That point is determined by the ambient temperature, the amount of heat being added and the rate at which the heated item loses heat to the surrounding air & surfaces.

    If the room and everything in it is 60 degrees F and we want the lubersizer to be 90F , we would add heat to the lubersizer. The lubersizer would become warmer but it would also lose heat to its surroundings at a particular rate. At some point the loss of heat would equal the amount of heat being added and the temperature of the lubersizer would remain constant. That would be the equilibrium point. An easy way to think about this is to picture a bucket with a hole in the side of the bucket. If you add water to the bucket at the same rate that it escapes from the hole in the bucket, the level of water in the bucket will remain the same.

    The problem is the ambient temperature isn't always constant! And, factors such as airflow across the heated item can change the rate at which heat is lost (make the hole in the bucket bigger or smaller). This is why PID controllers are so desirable. They constantly adjust the heat added to maintain the desired temperature.

    Another solution that isn't as elegant, is a simple thermocouple (or thermostat might be a better label) that opens at a given temperature. You add more heat than you need and then the thermostat turns off the heat at a certain temperature and back on at a lower temperature. This is a good solution when you only need to maintain a temperature range but it is slow to respond and doesn't work well when a very specific temperature is desired.
    Last edited by Petrol & Powder; 03-27-2018 at 08:59 AM.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Personally, I just run the wifes hair dryer a while on the lubesizer if needed. I keep it low tech though.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Gentlemen I generally don't have a lot of free time thus the large heating element. I have found and this information has been explained by Petrol and Powder that the the heater efficiently works in a room with low temp keeps up efficiently in the room and provides very constant temp thru the PId control. Sure, it was a few bucks more but the savings in my time more than makes up for the added cost.

    By the way.... I first started with a heat lamp many years ago.

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    I use a Rex c-100 , 10a ssr, k type TC and an 100w 120v cartridge heater. Sometimes on initial warm up the heater overshoots by 10°c,
    I probably need to adjust the the settings/values, pid instructions aren't the best
    Last edited by wjham77; 03-27-2018 at 11:58 PM.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
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    I have used a travel iron a steel plate for many years. I set it on high to get everything up to temp, then bring it down to keep it warm. The steel plate was free and the iron a couple of bucks at the second hand store. My PID was the iron temp setting.

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