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Thread: Making lead wire

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    NoZombies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zbench View Post
    As others have said, the fusion of the two billets is a mechanical one. For it to be fused, the wire coming out of the die would have to be molten. That is the only way that something that is two pieces can become one. If it were molten, your wire would not be round anymore, which negates the point of using wire. As others have suggested, if you want a 20 pound spool of continuous wire, you need to start with a 20# billet of lead. There is some math and calculations involved in this process. It's not just a matter of using a bigger billet. Fortunately, Corbin takes the guess work out of the process for you with their handy lead extrusion calculator.

    Check out the attached image. If you made a lead ingot 2.5" in diameter and 10" long, you would have a 20.1# ingot, so in theory you could make your 20# spool of wire. But look at the kind of cylinder you would need to drive that. 6" in diameter with a 15" stroke. That's bigger than the cylinder on a log splitter. Plus you would need the pump to drive it and the motor to drive the pump. Not saying that's impossible, but it's not a "desktop" set up. That is a serious unit. Corbin's standard hydro press has a 3.25" cylinder with a 6" stroke for comparison.

    Attachment 218165
    Thanks for the info! I started the other thread looking for a source for wire, and only started asking about making it myself after having people tell me (again) both in the thread and through PM that wire could be extruded continuously with multiple billets.

    I've found what seems like a good source for 50-100lb spools, so I probably won't be messing with extruding my own for a while.
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  2. #22
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    Best of luck as you stock up for the Zombie Apocalypse.
    Zbench

  3. #23
    Boolit Master Salmon-boy's Avatar
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    An alternative would be to run a continuous cast extrusion, kind of like how 3D print filament is produced. Take a look at: this screw for an industrial continuous extrusion press.

    Most of the knowledge will be in process control as the lead would have to stay clean and at the plastic temperature up to somewhere around final sizing. Seems tricky to me as it'd be either freezing up or squirting hot lead!
    "Unnh, Negative. I am a meat popsicle."

    Chuck

  4. #24
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    It's already squirting hot lead. If you squirt .185 wire it is hot enough to burn you coming out of the extrusion die. The more you extrude, the hotter it gets.
    Zbench

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrk View Post
    I would be interested in seeing some pics of your core cutting machine.
    I'm anticipating some lead wire in the near future, so I cleaned the machine off a couple of weeks ago and got it adjusted to cut some 225 grain cores for some paper patch bullets.

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  6. #26
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    Boy, that old critter has been around for awhile, hasn't it? I'll bet it cranks out the cores pretty fast, too.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    Boy, that old critter has been around for awhile, hasn't it? I'll bet it cranks out the cores pretty fast, too.

    Fred
    Yessir, the closest I could date the OBI is probably the late 30's. The tooling is a bit newer, but I'm fairly certain it's been cutting cores since the 70's. The contents of the bin are less than a minute of runtime. When I want to make more than about 30lbs of cores, I can remove the bin and block, and drop them into a 5 gallon bucket.
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  8. #28
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    Well, that should keep you busy for awhile. Will it cut different diameters of wire, or is it pretty much set up for just one diameter?

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    Well, that should keep you busy for awhile. Will it cut different diameters of wire, or is it pretty much set up for just one diameter?

    Fred
    It takes about 10-15 minutes to change diameters. The feed tube is caliber specific, the cutting blade isn't. The feed wheels are adjustable and interchangeable. The wheels on the machine now will do anything from about .312-.750. For smaller diameters, the feed wheels would need swapped, and .750 is about the max diameter it'll run.
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  10. #30
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    Now that beastie will take some feeding, that is more than just a hobby! Great to have the machine if you have the work for it. Are those just for yourself or are you in for production for someone else? Love hearing those old machines just tapping away. They sound just like happiness should.

    Bill
    The bloke out in the field is always right until proven otherwise.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master BlackoutBuilder's Avatar
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  12. #32
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    I do love old equipment, and getting something like this running is satisfying in it's own right.

    ka-chunk-ka-chunk-ka-chunk
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  13. #33
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    One of the best lead extruders in the business is a company called, "Vulcan GMS"...... They are in Milwaukee

    They would be happy to quote you any quantity of lead wire:
    http://vulcangms.com/processes/extrusion/

    Click image for larger version. 

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    BTW, here's what a serious lead extrusion machine looks like:
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #34
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    you can make continuous wire that wont break from multiple slugs, but i doubt your going to get there from any home sized machines. the extruders we used at federal, you could not tell where one slug started and another ended, but those machines were extremely hi pressure, along with some other tricks they used.

  15. #35
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    Thanks for the photo. What kind of consistency do the cores have? What does the shape of the cutter look like? I have made a simple air cylinder operated cutter with different styles of cutter blades but could not get cores as consistent as I would like.

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimrk View Post
    Thanks for the photo. What kind of consistency do the cores have? What does the shape of the cutter look like? I have made a simple air cylinder operated cutter with different styles of cutter blades but could not get cores as consistent as I would like.
    To picture the cutting blade, Imagine taking a 1" wide bar and boring an angled 1/2" hole through it, and then cutting the bar through in the middle of the hole making a semi-circle. It's about 1/2" thick, and It has a spring and plunger that's adjustable to keep some amount of pressure on the core to keep it parallel as it's being sheared. The tube for the wire is about a 2-3 thousandths slip fit, so there's not a lot of lateral movement of the wire in the feed tube.

    Once settled in (3-5 cuts to settle in) the cores are all within about 1 grain weight. I aim for 3-5 grains over the bullet weight, and squirt a few grains of lead in the swaging process to ensure consistency. If I have to squirt too much, the weights of the finished projectiles can vary, so I try to make sure I'm not more than about 10 grains over the finished weight.
    Last edited by NoZombies; 05-09-2018 at 02:55 AM. Reason: Clarrification
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by NoZombies View Post
    To picture the cutting blade, Imagine taking a 1" wide bar and boring an angled 1/2" hole through it, and then cutting the bar through in the middle of the hole making a semi-circle. It's about 1/2" thick, and It has a spring and plunger that's adjustable to keep some amount of pressure on the core to keep it parallel as it's being sheared. The tube for the wire is about a 2-3 thousandths slip fit, so there's not a lot of lateral movement of the wire in the feed tube.

    Once settled in (3-5 cuts to settle in) the cores are all within about 1 grain weight. I aim for 3-5 grains over the bullet weight, and squirt a few grains of lead in the swaging process to ensure consistency. If I have to squirt too much, the weights of the finished projectiles can vary, so I try to make sure I'm not more than about 10 grains over the finished weight.
    Thanks

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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