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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
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    South of the (Canada) border
    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
    Super Moderator

    Preacher Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    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
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Rural Sumner, IA
    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.

    Benefactor Member NRA
    Life Member Iowa Firearms Coalition
    US Army Vet

    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

    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    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
    Boolit Master

    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    East Central IL
    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.

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

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

    fecmech's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Buffalo NY area
    +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
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    I followed this advice as well. Cheap iron and aluminum plate works for me.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    East Arkansas
    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
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    30 watt 120V cartridge heater hooked up to a PID in a 1" aluminum block.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    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.

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