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Thread: Ordered my first mold

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
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    Wendyj, I started out 58 years ago with a single cavity Lyman mold, Lyman pot and dipper. I still have the all that. A Lee Mold is a good place to start, scrub it well several times under very hot water a toothbrush and Dawn liquid. Dry and then heat it up by the lead pot or burner. Lube with 2 cycle synthetic oil then start casting. Be sure to leave a large puddle of lead on the sprue plate, you will notice a slight dimple on the sprue as it cools. A large puddle helps with good fill out. Remember all the sprue and bad Bullets can all be remelted so you arenít,t wasting anything with the large puddle. Have fun and do get some cheap Harbor Freight welding gloves.
    Be sure to post some pictures on the forum for a critique and helpful suggestions. We were all once where you are now! Tim
    Last edited by tward; 05-25-2018 at 06:13 PM. Reason: Spelling

  2. #22
    Boolit Master RED BEAR's Avatar
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    speaking as one who has a scar that covers a large portion of the back of my hand please invest in a pair of welding gloves! i started 45 years ago on the kitchen stove a few melted tiles on floor and took a 30 year break in my casting. ten years ago got back into it outside of course. started with lee pot not bottom pour and lee dipper and mold. still using the pot had to switch to lyman dipper but cast a lot of bullers with that lee dipper still use it for skimming. the mold is still going strong. i have molds from a lot of mold makers and still like the lee molds as good as any. lee has some good equipment at a good price. i just enjoy casting and probably have more cast than i will ever use. there is a lot of good info here just when ever a problem or question arises check the board pretty sure one of the members has run into it before. and don't be afraid to ask there are no foolish questions. now that i have run on to long i will just say good luck and welcome aboard.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    My skillet was an 8 inch. Kitchen ladle too big. 2 lbs of lead not enough. I tried a few and mold wasn't hot enough. Had a few nice ones after mold got to right heat. Not many and will have to melt them again. Lead was probably 1/2 deep. I enjoyed it but need better equipment. Deeper pot decent ladle and more lead.

  4. #24
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    That's a good start, and it reads like you are a quick study. Your list of fixes for next time is spot on.

    As a newbie, myself, I think that your biggest and best surprise will be how much better you do in your next session.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  5. #25
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    Wendyj, looks good! How’d you get them to stick upside down? Tim

  6. #26
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    A hand held torch or a cheap hot plate will help greatly in getting a mold up to “temp” quickly and is great for keeping molds hot while using more than one per session!

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tward View Post
    Wendyj, looks good! How’d you get them to stick upside down? Tim
    Took picture right side up. Lol. I don't know how it done it.

  8. #28
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    Casting DVD videos would likely help you a lot. See my thread on them.

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nagantguy View Post
    A hand held torch or a cheap hot plate will help greatly in getting a mold up to “temp” quickly and is great for keeping molds hot while using more than one per session!
    I've got a quick start torch and used it to light my camp stove and turkey fryer. I had heat all the way up on the camp stove and after 10 minutes the lead hadn't melted at all. I moved it to the turkey fryer and just a few seconds to melt. I turned heat down to cast. Need a thermometer also. I fluxed with a piece of candle wax. It done good but with so little lead and it only being about a 1/2 deep it was hard to keep good deep clean lead. I cleaned my mold with dawn and a toothbrush. Lubed all necessary parts with Rem oil. Used candle soot to treat my mold cavities. I had it and the ladle in the upper end of skillet letting it warm up. I had the camp stove right beside of it with 3 more skillets and pans. I should have kept it lit to lay mold in another pan first.

    I think my preference for a pot would have been about 4 inches around and maybe6-10 inches deep with more lead and a lot smaller ladle. I am confused of what to do with my mold now. I tapped everything off and used torch to clean the entire metal parts. Brought it back inside my loading room to prevent rust. Do I need to clean again like a new one??

  10. #30
    Boolit Master



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    Get and watch the DVD videos!

  11. #31
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    Also yard sales and Salvation Army stores are your friend! My deep cast iron pot for making my house alloy and a long paddle and some cast iron corn cob Ingot molds and my powder coating oven all came from yard sales as well lots of lead brass and pewter

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy wendyj's Avatar
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    Got about 10 lbs of wheel weights after 5 different tire stores. Zinc and steel I presume won't melt as lead will around 700-8-- degreee

  13. #33
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    Your turkey fryer will melt the zinc and ruin your lead alloy. Sort them out very well or wait til you have a themometer to help you keep the temp above lead's melting point but below zinc's.

    You are correct that skillets are too wide and shallow to make good casting pots.

    The Lyman and RCBS over flame ten pound pots are simply too small.

    In cast a small Dutch oven and in stainless a heavy, restaurant supply, double boiler top; either of about a quart to two quart size works very well for casting - bigger can be better for smelting, but about this size is better for casting.

    As you learned lead in ingots melts slowly. Priming the pot with some left in it or, at least, with smaller sprues and reject bullets will be much less trying of your patience.
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  14. #34
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    I'm trying to decide if I want a bottom pour pot or just the Lee 4 lb pot. I reload and shoot and fish more than I will ever cast. I'm very Leary of the wheel weight I melted. Thermometer from kitchen said 750 degrees. Had a blue , red an orange tint on top of lead which took a few hours to get off. I put the lead in corn bread cast iron for ingots. More junk than lead. You real casters here probably do thousands a year where I'm happy with 200 a month. The tint on top of lead looked like crayons melted in it. I fluxed with candle wax and Lizard litter maybe 3 times. First go around and wheel weights were free so I'm out nothing but a little time. Lol. And a lot of sweat. My Coleman stove has issues since it took almost 30-40 minutes to boil water so I could check the thermometer. I di switch over to the turkey fryer for time. I won't ever use a huge ss dipper from Walmart anymore either. Couldn't get enough lead at one time. Need golf ball size for this 2 cavity mold. Even with my mistakes and learning curves I still find it relaxing and enjoyable. I need a place to buy lead at around 15 to 16 bh to mushroom out. The laser cast I have are a 22 bh and I would use on huge critters but nothing we have here. The Lee 4 lb pot looks like it would be ok for my needs. I'm not sure what to do with ingots I made today. Probably trash with the odd colors I was seeing.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by wendyj View Post
    I'm not sure what to do with ingots I made today. Probably trash with the odd colors I was seeing.
    Remember that I'm pretty new, too; but the colors are likely rubber and road grime being burnt off. Zinc causes a pasty "oatmeal" consistency. Your ingots are likely fine.

    I like ladling boolits: but would not consider that 4 pounder, due to such limited ladle access as much as low lead volume. Both Lyman and Lee make electric 20 lb ladle pots and RCBS a nice 25 lb..
    The first purpose of the Second Amendment is too often overlooked, fostering a liberty of mind and action necessary in the people of a free republic.

  16. #36
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    Watch the videos. Free!

  17. #37
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    Wendyj, if you have a Lee mold don’t worry about rust. The sprue plate can rust so just store the mold in it’s original box in a dry place. When you cast again just lube lightly as you did the first time. Dirty molds usually cast and drop more easily. Tim
    P.S. thecaptain on our commercial selling page has nice clean lead at good prices. Also Rotometals has great lead and is a sponsor on our site.
    Last edited by tward; 05-26-2018 at 07:14 PM. Reason: Ps

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
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    WJ,the bright colors are oxides of lead at high temp.....IMHO you are running too hot if your lead is oxidizing at that rate.Some powdered charcoal as top cover will reduce this oxiditation.The powder wont interfere with ladle casting ,if you use the right technique,as it is so light compared to lead.Dirt in the mix will cause more problems as it sticks to the pot,but floats up when disturbed,or stirred.The problems with bottom pour pots are mostly caused by dirt in the lead.

  19. #39
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    You'll like the bottom pour pot, I believe. I have two, because the ten pound pot emptied out too fast after the mold came up to temp. You might like the RCBS- 270 SAA mold. It's not nearly as cheap as a Lee mold, but throws some mighty accurate bullets, at least for me. I never had any luck with any .45 Colt bullets until I got that mold.....
    Tom
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    Did I ever mention that I hate to trim brass?

  20. #40
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    Re Gloves: I use leather gloves I buy from Costco - 3 pair for less than $20, and do the job, while not being as clumsy as welder's gloves.
    Re pot running out: I have a supply of ingots close to my casting station, and replenish as I go. I like to keep a full pot - that way as I put the hot sprue's back in and as I introduce a resupply of a warmed-on-the-lip-of-the-pot ingot, there is little change in the pot temp...
    Echo
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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