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Thread: cleaning aluminum bullet mold with electrolysis

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Katy, Texas
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe S View Post
    Thanks Dragonheart, peroxide and vinegar is something I have not yet tried. To address some of the comments made above, I normally cast at 850 degrees, which is where I usually get consistently good bullets. I normally cast with 30-1 but tried 25-1 and 20-1 with no improvement.
    Also tried casting a around 700 degrees with no luck.
    I assume that hydrogen peroxide which is commonly available is what you are recommending, am I correct?
    Yes, Hydrogen Peroxide the same stuff you can buy at Costco, Sams or any drug store. You probably already have some in your medical supplies as it is a mild antiseptic. It is usually 3%, but strong enough to make the vinegar a super oxidizer that will dissolve lead or break it's bond to the underlying metal.

    850 does seem a little too hot, but whatever works. Have you checked your pot with a thermometer to see if it is really at that temp? 700 doesn't work for me either, since I run two molds simultaneously. I typically need it in the 725-750 range to keep the alloy flowing. I also don't worry about the alloy mix as I shoot range scrap, typically is in the 10-12 BHN range, but since it is powder coated I could shoot pure lead at handgun velocities without worry. Hope some of the suggestions work for you.

    BTW: I have used electrolysis for removing rust from steel/cast iron and that works quite well, but I am not aware of a process for aluminum. I wouldn't recommend ultrasonic cleaning on aluminum either or at least not for any duration.

  2. #22
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Something else you might try is to loosen the sprue plate to allow better venting at the top of the blocks. I usually loosen my sprue plates so they almost swing free. On some moulds I find that I have to bevel the top edges of the mould blocks ever so slightly under the sprue plate. This forms a very small V where the mould blocks meet. it only needs to be a few thou so no files! I use a diamond hone to just break the sharp corner.

    Having said that this is usually when bases don't fill out well but the tight sprue plate being loosened and possibly those top corners being just broken will help venting and won't hurt anything so worth a try.

    I would not recommend a file for vent lines! I think country gent has it right... try an awl with good point or scriber or fly fishing bodkin. Something with a decently sized shank or handle and nice sharp point then very carefully score the vent lines, but only if you see something in them. I'd try loosening the sprue plate first then breaking sharp corners at the top of the blocks if that doesn't do it. Then if those don't work try clearing vent lines.


  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    What Doc Savage said. It doesn't sound like your mold has anything in it that would be a problem. I had a mold which cast good looking boolits on the nose and base, but the driving bands were visibly shrunken away from the mold on one side. I added a 3/4" hunk of bar tin to the 20lb pot and left the mold on top of the pot for 15-20 minutes covered with a sheet of aluminum foil. It cast normally after that. I think the temp was a bit low and the alloy benefitted from the tin. The previous casting session gave indications that it could use some.

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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