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Thread: Leementing set screw for mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Leementing set screw for mold

    Will I get away with adding a set screw to a Lee mold without a drill press? Can I use a hand drill, or is that asking for trouble?

  2. #2
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    A hand drill is fine, you have no critical angles or tolerances. Make sure you use a brass set screw or put a tiny lead ball in first to protect the screw threads. I usually use 10-32

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
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    My problem with a hand drill is you only have one shot at it. It would be a simple job with a drill press and vice.

  4. #4
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    This will depend on your own ability.
    Lee molds are easy to mess up, I have attempted many modifications on Lee molds, and I have messed up twice...but on the plus side, they are cheap to replace.

  5. #5
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    The main problem I have found is that on the 6 cavity molds there just isn't that much meat there, you only get 3-4 threads, and after a while they tend to strip out. But then I use my molds quite a bit, generally casting in the tens of thousands for my most popular ones. I cast for 4 people in my family and we shoot a lot of Cowboy matches. It would be nice if LEE just put in a screw with the threads the same diameter as the bolt. I think having them smaller just puts more strain on them due to leverage.

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    I've heard of people drilling all the way through, taping both sides and using a longer screw.

    So far I haven't had to do that.

    I Always start filling the 6 cavity mold on the pivot end, I feel this will put less pressure on the screw by not having to cut the harder (colder) lead further away.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Lock it in vise so its help solid or clamp it to a bench. You need it to be held good and solid no shake slipping rocking. Lay out and center punch the hole. With your drill motor and correct size bit drill the hole be as steady as possible. By hand chamfer the edge and tap it. Beeswax or a bullet lube works good for tapping aluminum. If you try to do it completely freehand with maould and drill wiggling around you will get an oversized hole or break the drill bit

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Anyone tried loctite on lee molds?

  9. #9
    Boolit Master

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    I had trouble with the lee 6 cavity 356-120 TC sprue plate , and a small strand of steel wool wrapped around the threads has taken care of the problem for going on 2 years , I had forgotten doing it so it worked for me .

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Anyone tried loctite on lee molds?
    Loctite is a temporary solution, due to the heating and cooling cycles it doesn't hold very long.

    As previously said you have to be 100% sure you have the right tension before it sets up or

  11. #11
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    remember you can get to the vertical screw from two sides: the side of the mold and the end.

    I use allen screws cause when they hit the ground they disappear guess I started with them cause my higher priced molds used them too.

    I use a bit of lead rather than a brass screw as I'm cheap

    I do this on all my Lee molds are part of the break in process (I see Lee molds as an "almost" ready to go mold with some assembly required)
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  12. #12
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    Good advice on the vise setup and center punch.

    If you have access to a numeric bit set, for hand drilling in aluminum just go down one size. Your hand wobble will more than make up for it. If this concerns you, keep in mind you can always redrill larger, later- but not smaller!
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  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Also chuck the drill as short as possible to do the job. This makes it stiffer and less wobble

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Anyone tried loctite on lee molds?
    Yes and it cooked out in no time. I have drilled out stripped screws and made new screws and I have drilled and tapped many of my Lee moulds with set screws, with hand drill and tap, as Grump said make sure you put a lead shot into the set screw first. Regards Stephen

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by toallmy View Post
    I had trouble with the lee 6 cavity 356-120 TC sprue plate , and a small strand of steel wool wrapped around the threads has taken care of the problem for going on 2 years , I had forgotten doing it so it worked for me .
    I did this also and the screw has never come loose again.... I would make three pours and the screw would loosen...screw it tight , three pours and its loose. I did not think this would work...it does, just try it.
    Tight about 3 years now . I wanted to unscrew it once but it was so tight I just left it alone. Not sure why this works but it does .
    I used a strand of 0000 steel wool , so stupid easy to install that I could do , and no tools required.
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    Last edited by gwpercle; 12-11-2018 at 02:57 PM.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Mold bpimwheel's Avatar
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    Now that sounds very much like using a Helicoil insert. We used these a lot on helicopter repair when I was in the Army.


    Quote Originally Posted by gwpercle View Post
    I did this also and the screw has never come loose again.... I would make three pours and the screw would loosen...screw it tight , three pours and its loose. I did not think this would work...it does, just try it.
    Tight about 3 years now . I wanted to unscrew it once but it was so tight I just left it alone. Not sure why this works but it does .
    I used a strand of 0000 steel wool , so stupid easy to install that I could do , and no tools required.
    Gary

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