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Thread: Lee-menting: The Spinning of boolits

  1. #1
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Lee-menting: The Spinning of boolits

    I was asked by a fellow caster to share my technique, which is a bit different than other Lee-menting/Honing posts that I've read on our website. I have used this technique many times on many molds (alum, brass or Iron), some expensive molds. One old Ideal mold that I knowingly acquired damaged, had sticking issues as well as other problems. My Lee-menting technique smoothed out some scratches/gouges in that old Ideal mold, enough for it to drop a boolit nicely, even though I couldn't completely remove all the imperfections, those were luckily at the bottom of the boolit, so those issue get removed during sizing.

    I've found that about 20+% of the time, when buying a brand new boolit mold (from any manufacturer) that it doesn't drop boolits as easily as I'd like...my thoughts are, if you have to whack the mold multiple times, something needs fixin'

    First thing I do (after cleaning the mold with Hot water, dish soap, and toothbrush), is to cast with it multiple times. If after three or four casting sessions, if things do not improve (even a little), then I start to consider to Lee-ment it, BECAUSE, some new molds, even if they were manufactured by one of the great mold makers we have in business today, can have "sticky cavities due to sharp edges" or there could be burr's caused by the trailing edge of a Cherry or CNC cutting tool. Depending on the design, some new molds are worse than others, meaning some mold designs have more sharp edges than others. Squarish lube grooves and a sharp angled crimp groove are the main culprits. I have found that if I can 'DULL" those sharp edges, the boolits drop easier, sometimes a mold can be made so the boolits will fall out of the cavities with even tapping the hinge of the handle. So, this is how I deburr a new mold.


    Lee-menting: the spinning of boolits.
    This is the recipe

    A. Cast some boolits, I usually try to use wrinkled bullets (to hold the polish/compound) better, but that may or may not matter.

    B. I use a sheetrock [drywall] screw. I bust the head off. They are different from deck screws or other screws, they are thin and designed to break off when bottomed out. I think that is advantageous (the thin part), because you can drill a small hole and Lee-ment a small caliber mold. The smallest I have lee-mented was a 6.5 but I could easily do a 243 mold, if I wanted to. Now a 22 cal might be difficult.

    C. The tricky part, drill a hole in the sprue area of the boolits (one for each cavity). I drill them, while the boolits are in the mold I use a 3/32 drill, as that is the size of the screw shank of the particular screw I've used (I've used the same one over and over, I haven't broke one yet). I use some tape as a drill stop, I only want to drill about 1/2 the length of a rifle boolit. I might drill deeper into a pistol boolit. I use a battery powered hand drill and drill very slow, pull out often and remove the lead chips. Read part D if you think you can't drill a straight hole.

    D. I chuck the busted end of the screw into the battery drill, and slowly screw it into the boolit while I hold the boolit in my hand. I'm not too worried about a slightly crooked hole. When Lee-menting, I hold the drill in one hand and the mold in the other hand. It will wobble a bit if not perfectly aligned. I actually think a small amount of wobble is better than perfect alignment. I surely don't think that a minor wobble hurts anything, in fact I think it accentuates the rubbing of the sharp edges to make them dull. Just to calm your fears of what I just said, years ago, when I Lee-mented four different Lee 2 cavity 30 cal molds, some needed multiple lee-mentings, and I didn't see any change in size of that soft aluminum Lee uses, nor did I measure any new oval-ness due to the wobble. In fact one of those molds was Lee-mented 4 times, and let me tell you, that fourth time, I lee-mented the heck out of it, out of frustration.

    E. I use Automotive "polishing compound" (paste) ...well that is what I use first, it's pretty mild. I've also used the red automotive "Rubbing Compound" (paste), it has Rouge in it and is a bit more aggressive. Again, even when that was used, I didn't see any change in size of the cavity.


    This is the procedure:

    With the screw in the boolit and the other end in the battery drill, I have handles installed on the mold. I remove the sprue plates on any mold where it's easily removed, I don't remove Lee's sprue plates, since I don't like to "mess" with Lee's torqued sprue screws.

    1. Put some polish compound on the boolit.
    2. Put the bullet in the cavity.
    3. Gently close the mold, it may not close all the way until you start spinning.
    4. Start spinning slowly, speed up if you are comfortable. My drill has two speed ranges, I leave it in the slower speed range and will ramp up to full speed of that slower range (trigger fully depressed). You may not be comfortable doing that, especially for your first mold, find a speed you are comfortable with and try to be consistent. I will spin at full speed for 15 to 30 seconds. I try to do each cavity the same amount of time.
    5. Remove the boolit, clean the mold faces with a paper towel, so when you spin the next cavity, the mold will close without obstruction.
    6. Repeat 1-5 for each cavity, using a new boolit for each cavity.
    7. When done with all the cavities, completely clean the mold, toothbrush and hot water and dish soap...then preheat and do a test cast.
    8. depending on results of test cast, you may need to repeat the entire process.

    This can take part of an afternoon...I learned to never cleanup my setup, til I have success during casting, many times a mold needs more than one Lee-menting.

    Well that's all there is to it.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 04-07-2018 at 11:24 AM.

  2. #2
    Good to know, thanks for sharing the info.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Thats how I do it. I've done a couple that way and it worked for me. If one has a drill press, you can set the depth so that you cannot drill too deeply and go through the bullet.

  4. #4
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    I used to do it that way. Then I read (here, of course) about placing a 3/8 nut on top of the mould centered over the cavity and then pouring both of them in one fell swoop. Repeat as needed.

    Then chuck a 9/16 socket in the cordless and follow all the rest of the above instructions.


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    Cogito, ergo armatum sum.

    (I think, therefore I'm armed.)

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    Nice tutorial!


    All it might use is pics, but you explained it so well I could see it in my mind.


    I have used the A/C tape method( IIRC, "Beagling" it is called) to open up some molds a bit, but have not yet seen the need to permanently open up any of the molds I have yet. If I ever do though, I will be doing it just as you described.

    Thanks for taking the time to type this up & post it!


    I think it should be a "sticky" too! I bookmarked it for later reference if anyone asks about doing it.


    P.S. - catshooter mentioning the nut on top is a good idea is well, I might add.
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master slide's Avatar
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    Thanks JonB, easy to read and understand. Great job! I think this should be a sticky too!
    Last edited by slide; 04-07-2018 at 08:38 AM. Reason: left out a word
    Boolits !!!!! Does that mean what I think it do? It do!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I use the same method with a drywall screw, but use JB bore compound for polish. The cavity finish will be less shiny/flat on the high spots, but I continue until I get an even matte look in the cavity. The bullets still come out shiny.
    "In God we trust, in all others, check the manual!"

  8. #8
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBinMN View Post
    Nice tutorial!


    All it might use is pics, but you explained it so well I could see it in my mind.


    I have used the A/C tape method( IIRC, "Beagling" it is called) to open up some molds a bit, but have not yet seen the need to permanently open up any of the molds I have yet. If I ever do though, I will be doing it just as you described.

    Thanks for taking the time to type this up & post it!


    I think it should be a "sticky" too! I bookmarked it for later reference if anyone asks about doing it.


    P.S. - catshooter mentioning the nut on top is a good idea is well, I might add.
    I would have created a photo pictorial, but after the photobucket thingy, I haven't searched out a new 3rd party host, mostly because I fear the same type of thing happening. The Photos I post now are hosted by castboolits website and the software sizes the photos kind of small for this type of tutorial.

    Also, just to be clear, my method using automotive type polishes will NOT "open up a mold".
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...sed&highlight=
    one of these molds was lee-mented 4 or 5 times, the last time was done at a extended duration, and there was no increase in boolit diameter and no increase in boolit weight.

    If I were to want to "open up a mold", I would use the "WEET" method, that is shown in great detail in another sticky. But I haven't tried that yet, luckily I haven't found the need for it.

  9. #9
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    I see. Now, if I understand right, you were just "taking off the rough edges" without gaining any size. Thanks for clarifying that for me. I thought you were trying to do both at the same time.

    Still a great tutorial, IMO.
    2nd Amend./U.S. Const. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "A man ought ta do what he thinks is best" - "Hondo" Lane.(John Wayne)

    "If ya don't like my gate, ya don't have to swing on the hinges..." - L. Ackerman ( RIP)

    Enforce the Immigration laws & deport the illegal immigrants. Quit fooling around.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    imgur is good for short term, I am not sure how long pics stay up on there though, have to check that.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I used the hex nut method and auto rubbing compound to take a Lee .312 185 gr gas checked to a .314.

    Took time but worked slick.

    Great description!

  12. #12
    Thank you! I had one cavity of my 452-200 6-hole SWC mould that just did not want to release the boolit. I just spent 1/2 an hour, using Comet as the rouge. I used to have to beat the heck out of the mould to get it to release, now all 6 pills just fall out of the cavities without so much as a tap.
    Thanks again!

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