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Thread: Lube for drawing aluminum?

  1. #1
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    Lube for drawing aluminum?

    I need to draw some aluminum cups..it's 5000 series aluminum. Typical lubes for copper work poorly and galling occurs (Castor oil or lanolin) I've tried synthetic 0w20 and results are better. Figured I'd ask before I buy 10 different lubes to try. Anyone have any experience or recommendations? D

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    You might give the lee water souluable sizing wax a try, it appears to be the same as what we used for forming 2 piece soup cans an the drawn cans. Both of these were long deep swaging of the cans body. Another I have used to stop aluminum galling is waterless hand cleaner with out the pumice. D+L, Go Jo and Oarnge ??? all worked good here. THelees I would try diluted 5 or 6 parts water to 1 part wax

  3. #3
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    Never thought about water soluble.. Wonder how wire pulling lube would work..d

  4. #4
    Boolit Master

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    I have used it for case sizing. For yeas I used the swage lube from work for sizing and swaging. The lee water soluables die waxes residue when dried is very similar to what the cans had on them. I doubt lee is making their own lube but repackaging an existing swage lube. A couple 55 gallon drums would fill a lot of those tubes

  5. #5
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    I have to make 3 draws on this part.. Would be awesome if I could find something that doesn't dry out right away.. That way I don't have to re apply for every operation.. Cleanup isn't an issue .or at least it hasn't been, .my parts washer is very aggressive, I have a variety of soaps and burnishing compounds. D

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Mauser 98K's Avatar
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    sounds like the aluminum might be too soft for proper jackets if that is the intent. if it is galling in the dies at drawing speeds then it will most likely gall and transfer like crazy when pushed to bullet velocities.. the aluminum i use is the same one that they make flashing out of and seems to transfer less at pistol velocities. but i never used lube when drawing the aluminum flashing as it had a plastic coating that would protect it during drawing that would then burn off when i annealed them after the final draw.. i did try uncoated aluminum a few years back and used 90w gear oil that worked well...

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    The Lee seem to be the same wet or dried. as far as lubrication goes. Our problem with the cans was finished thickness couldn't vary by more than .002 on the finished can. A 211 can (16 ounce) started as a cup about 3" in dia and then each swaging took it smaller in dia and longer. trim then beads added last was the flange for the end to attach. Reason for the thickness tolerance and beads was when vacuum was put on the can it couldn't deform.

    We formed a lot of aluminum wire parts with hand dies and hand press using the waterless hand cleaners for lube with good results.

  8. #8
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    This aluminum is the hardest I can use without tearing or cracking.. It draws very well, and is quite an extreme draw.. I know lube is the issue with the galling, quite a lot of heat is generated, as I am thinning the cup almost 30% . So a lot of material is being moved. D
    Last edited by uncle dino; 07-27-2018 at 11:49 PM.

  9. #9
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    CG that's good to know. I'll give it a try..d

  10. #10
    Vendor Sponsor uncle dino's Avatar
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    No issues... Not reloading aluminum cases.. Making aluminum bullet components..d

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    GONRA suggests (but cannot guarentee in this application) STP Oil Treatment for a drawing lube.
    Drew aluminum 9mm Berdan Primer Cups for 14.5mm Soviet PTRS-41 cases
    using STP Oil Treatment for a "drawing lube" Just Fine!

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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