Inline FabricationMidSouth Shooters SupplyGraf & SonsRepackbox
Titan ReloadingRotoMetals2WidenersLee Precision

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 21

Thread: Avoiding Oil Contamination of PC Bullets

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,782

    Avoiding Oil Contamination of PC Bullets

    Using oil or grease to lubricate your molds came up on another post so I thought it might be a good time to post how I cast to keep from contaminating my bullets to be powder coated. Many use some type of lubricant on their molds and for years I used synthetic 2 cycle motor oil on the sprue screw, which I thought to be the best solution. But the simple fact is if you put oil or grease on you mold it will flow and has a way of finding itself into the cavities creating casting problems and possibly contaminating bullets to be powder coated. As most are aware contaminated bullets and powder coating just don't mix. If oil getting in to where you don't want it has never happened to you then you are just lucky or haven't been casting long enough.

    I now avoid the contamination problem by using dry graphite on my mold surfaces including the mold cavities. Over the years I have often posted using the lead from a #2 pencil to coat the bullet cavities to eliminate sticking bullets. Using the graphite from a pencil also works on the mating mold surfaces and on the top of the blocks and the underside of the sprue cutter. The graphite provides sufficient lubrication as well as an aid to keep alloy from sticking to the surfaces. The graphite does not effect the mating surfaces or the size of the bullet.

    I use standard writing pencils and/or carpenter's pencils to simply rub a solid coating of graphite on the surfaces of a completely clean and free of any lead mold. I then brush off the surfaces with a clean toothbrush that is only used for that purpose. A little time consuming, but nothing like having to stop to clean lead smears and restart the process.

    Additionally , I run two 4 cavity molds simultaneously. By alternating the molds, one mold is cooling while the other is opened and re-poured. Using this method I cannot be tempted to cut the sprue too soon and smearing lead on the underside of the cutter and top of the mold blocks. By alternating I consistently produce 20 bullets a minute and depending on bullet size empty my 20# Pro Melt in approximately 25 minutes.

    The attached photos shows the surfaces of my H&G #7 mold after a run in excess of 1200 bullets yesterday in this mold alone; Note the lack of lead spots or build up on the surfaces and you can still see the graphite coating. The graphite can be touched up if needed while waiting for a fresh pot of metal to heat up. This was one of the two molds I used yesterday; the other a H&G #68, also shows the lack of lead spots or smears. I have used this technique on my brass and aluminum molds also, but I only own a couple of seldom used aluminum molds.

    Maybe this will work for you as well.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	007_1.jpg 
Views:	35 
Size:	35.5 KB 
ID:	235088Click image for larger version. 

Name:	008_1.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	38.7 KB 
ID:	235089Click image for larger version. 

Name:	009_1.jpg 
Views:	37 
Size:	44.1 KB 
ID:	235090

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    783
    Helping to reduce sticking with graphite is something I need to try.

    Oil in the mold cavities will cause wrinkled bullets and should be thrown back in the pot. I use NOE’s and MP’s oil without any problems. Just apply sparingly.

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    8,057
    I use eco AC oil applied to the sprue pivot bolt, handle bolt and bottom of the sprue plate when the mould it hot, with Qtip. Then wipe off excess with paper towel. I found even the echo 2 stroke leaves some residue under the sprue pivot. Used to be a product called lockease - graphite in alcohol but that stuff would run everywhere.
    Whatever!

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy


    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    MN
    Posts
    361
    I learned the hard way about contaminating bullets I didn't wash out the bucket I use to quench and had about 1500 bullets that had coating issues. I still use the sprue lube that comes with the MP molds but sparingly and I now wash my quench pail out before each use with dawn and hot water. Haven't had the issue since, the lessons we learn the hard way are the ones that stick with us the best that's for sure.
    "Yes or no will almost always suffice as the answer"

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,782
    Quote Originally Posted by Loudy13 View Post
    I learned the hard way about contaminating bullets I didn't wash out the bucket I use to quench and had about 1500 bullets that had coating issues. I still use the sprue lube that comes with the MP molds but sparingly and I now wash my quench pail out before each use with dawn and hot water. Haven't had the issue since, the lessons we learn the hard way are the ones that stick with us the best that's for sure.
    Yeah, been there and done that, but when I got into PC back in 2012 I learned to do several things differently. I went to air cooled and can't remember why I ever water dropped to begin with, i guess to increase the BHN some.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,782
    Quote Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
    Helping to reduce sticking with graphite is something I need to try.

    Oil in the mold cavities will cause wrinkled bullets and should be thrown back in the pot. I use NOE’s and MP’s oil without any problems. Just apply sparingly.
    I think if you compare you will find the NOE Lube is synthetic 2 cycle oil. I used to use the 2 cycle then tried the NOE and couldn't see any difference. Now I find the graphite is all I need when casting. I cast several thousand as long as I am at it, then when I am through I clean my molds, apply a coat of gear oil, vacuum seal and put them away until needed again.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Central Minnesota (Brainerd Lakes area)
    Posts
    239
    I use 2-cycle and occasionally get poor fillout on the cavity closest to the spru screw. Oil migration. I'll have to try some graphite. Thanks.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by sureYnot View Post
    I use 2-cycle and occasionally get poor fillout on the cavity closest to the spru screw. Oil migration. I'll have to try some graphite. Thanks.

    Sent from my XT1710-02 using Tapatalk
    I hate it when that happens. I now put the lube in a Needle tip bottle which dispenses a smaller/easier controlled amount of lube eliminating oil migration.

    I also only lube the sprue screw when the mold cavities and full, work the sprue multiple times and wipe the area (mold top and sprue bottom) with a paper towel.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
    Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Central Wisconisn
    Posts
    1,716
    I have been smoking my molds until they release well but this post made me think...I smoke with a butane lighter which lays down a thick coat of soot (carbon) very quickly. But it MAY contain a healthy percentage of unburned hydrocarbons in it. As it can feel greasy to the touch. I wonder if that is true ...smoking can contaminate boolits so the pc won't stick.
    For the hinges I use a product called "Never Seez" I found a can of it in my sisters garage and it says it is good to 2000F so I use that. It does not seem to "weep" or migrate when it gets hot.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Cecilia, Kentucky
    Posts
    1,811
    Thanks for the tip. I'll try the graphite next time I cast to help with lead smears and contamination.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,782
    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    For the hinges I use a product called "Never Seez" I found a can of it in my sisters garage and it says it is good to 2000F so I use that. It does not seem to "weep" or migrate when it gets hot.
    I also use one of the high temp lubes (1800F degrees) that contains copper inside the sprue and set screw holes. I originally purchased the lube at an auto parts supply to coat spark plug threads. Then I got to thinking it might work to keep mold screws from rusting in place and it does seem to work well.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist


    RP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Nahunta NC
    Posts
    3,018
    Dragonheart have you tried the powder graphite I have some that I have used on my birdshot I was making. It was for aguri use in planters to keep seeds from hanging up wondering if it could be applied with a makeup brush like a blush I think my wife call it? It can also be got in a small tube for locks it seems to stick to everything when I used it just a thought.
    [COLOR="Red"]Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC][/COLOR]

  13. #13
    Boolit Master


    Kraschenbirn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    East Central IL
    Posts
    2,621
    Quote Originally Posted by RP View Post
    Dragonheart have you tried the powder graphite I have some that I have used on my birdshot I was making. It was for aguri use in planters to keep seeds from hanging up wondering if it could be applied with a makeup brush like a blush I think my wife call it? It can also be got in a small tube for locks it seems to stick to everything when I used it just a thought.
    For small areas, like mold cavities, Q-tips work best for me. I've kept a small screw-top jar of graphite on the workbench for many years...a little messy sometimes but it's the best all-round dry lube I've found yet. Makes a pretty good lube for push-thru sizers, too; just rolling every fifth or sixth boolit though a small pan of graphite significantly reduces force needed to for sizing after application of PC.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,782
    [QUOTE=RP;4571756]Dragonheart have you tried the powder graphite I have some that I have used on my birdshot I was making. It was for aguri use in planters to keep seeds from hanging up wondering if it could be applied with a makeup brush like a blush I think my wife call it? It can also be got in a small tube for locks it seems to stick to everything when I used it just a thought.[/QUOTE

    I tried the spray on dry graphite from Amazon yesterday on three of my molds, (ANTI-SEIZE TECHNOLOGY 17041 Graphite Spray Dry Aerosol Lubricant, Net Weight:12 oz. $7.48 Prime) and it worked great. It sprays on a very thin fine grain liquid coating of graphite that drys almost immediately and it stays on quite well. Especially on my 9 mm, 4 cavity NOE Brass Hollow Point mold, which the pins have always been somewhat problematic. I ran over a thousand bullets with a single coat of the graphite and this mold has never worked so well. It also worked great on two of my H&G iron molds; on most pours the bullets dropped out of all 4 cavities with a single tap. I think from now on I am just going to use this stuff as it is a lot easier than coating the surfaces with pencil lead.

  15. #15
    Did you notice any size reduction after using the spray on graphite? I'd be afraid that it will build up after a few coats.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Central Wisconisn
    Posts
    1,716
    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    Did you notice any size reduction after using the spray on graphite? I'd be afraid that it will build up after a few coats.
    I don't think they are spraying it on in the cavities...If they are, I would agree, it will take up some room there.
    AKA hans.pcguy

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    Dragonheart's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,782
    I wanted to see how well the spray worked vs my penciled on coating of graphite. I sprayed the cavities as well as the surfaces. I have not measured the spray bullets against the others, but they look good and drop better than my penciled on coating; I thought my penciled coating was as good as it gets.

    Since I PC it would be a blessing if the spray dimensions were reduced significantly as this is a major beef I have against my NOE molds in general. For example my NOE115 grain 9mm HP mold drops at 359", then I add the PC. I have a lot of 9mm handguns from a number of manufactures and none of the barrels measure over .3555"; all my slugs were fired and water trapped, so my measurements are as close as I can get. When my bullets are sized a lot of metal is moved and I don't believe that to be an asset to accuracy. I will mic some dropped bullets today and see if there is anything to talk about.

    As far as spray coating build up I wouldn't worry about that as a little solvent and a brush should remove it easily as it is just graphite. However, I am now wondering if the coating would protect the ferrous surfaces from rust? If so molds could be stored yet ready to use, but that may be overly optimistic. I ran 40 pounds of metal yesterday, dropping bullets like crazy as my casting speed has never been faster.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale, FL
    Posts
    1,215
    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    I don't think they are spraying it on in the cavities...If they are, I would agree, it will take up some room there.
    The spray on graphite says you can spray it in the cavities. You have to be careful, because it can and will build up and cause undersized bullets.

    I don't guess anybody cares if a jig head is a few thou under, but bullets are a different animal.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  19. #19
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Michigan Lansing Area
    Posts
    4,630
    Seems to me it wouldn't be that hard to put an existing bullet back into the cavity before spraying if one wanted to avoid spraying the cavity. I am going to try the spay on graphite. Right now I use ester oil for AC units. Doesn't build up and doesn't discolor the mold from heat. Apply with Q-Tip to pins, pivots, and a touch to the face and sprue plate.

    On a related note. When applying gas checks using a Lee push through size die prior to doing PC I will use a touch of Lee case lube every few bullets. I think it is more soap based than oil based and it washes off easily with just a bit of boiling or very hot water and the merest touch of dish soap. I also hit it with a hot rinse after the soap. It does delay the PC step until the bullets have had a chance to dry completely. I haven't found that to be a problem since I tend to do large batch at once. I just wait until next day to PC or wash in the morning and PC in the evening.
    Je suis Charlie
    Scrap.... because all the really pithy and emphatic four letter words were taken and we had to describe this way of getting casting material somehow.
    Feedback page http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...light=RogerDat I do trade a bit from time to time.

  20. #20
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Posts
    14
    [QUOTE=Dragonheart;4572187]
    Quote Originally Posted by RP View Post
    Dragonheart have you tried the powder graphite I have some that I have used on my birdshot I was making. It was for aguri use in planters to keep seeds from hanging up wondering if it could be applied with a makeup brush like a blush I think my wife call it? It can also be got in a small tube for locks it seems to stick to everything when I used it just a thought.[/QUOTE

    I tried the spray on dry graphite from Amazon yesterday on three of my molds, (ANTI-SEIZE TECHNOLOGY 17041 Graphite Spray Dry Aerosol Lubricant, Net Weight:12 oz. $7.48 Prime) and it worked great. It sprays on a very thin fine grain liquid coating of graphite that drys almost immediately and it stays on quite well. Especially on my 9 mm, 4 cavity NOE Brass Hollow Point mold, which the pins have always been somewhat problematic. I ran over a thousand bullets with a single coat of the graphite and this mold has never worked so well. It also worked great on two of my H&G iron molds; on most pours the bullets dropped out of all 4 cavities with a single tap. I think from now on I am just going to use this stuff as it is a lot easier than coating the surfaces with pencil lead.
    I used the spray this morning on a lee 120 TC mold that i was having trouble getting them out of and it worked great, they practically fall out now. measuring right after dropping I am not seeing any measureable difference than before coating. I sprayed the entire inside and top of the mold using very light misting untill coated. I think you could easily get to much on if you spray it like paint though!
    Not sure if it effects PC, will let you know.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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