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Thread: Star Lubri- Sizer trouble - I must be a DORK

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    LenH:"Steep learning curve" is an understatement!!! ... LOL.

    Springfield: Yes. Base finning is what I would call it, which a traditional lubrisizer (Lee,RCBS) would clean up.Tails of alloy left on the trailing edge of the boolit. The lube extends forward, toward the nose. Best case, there is a single "squirt", always with a tiny flek of alloy in it. Weird.

    Re heat: I push the handle down far enough to operate the lube pump. When cold, the spring does not return the mechanism fully. I heat until the mechanism returns fully, ie, the lobe is softened enough to allow it to move inside the machine. I try a few boolits...unplug and continue. Either I get the "squirt" toward the nose( with the tiny flek of alloy in it), or the groove doesn't fill. Nothing in between. obviously, I'm monitoring the pressure all along the process.

    The "squirt" is aligned with the open hole on the die. I wonder if, somehow, I damaged the hole, causing a burr on the inside of the die...??? But even so, lube still leaks toward the nose of the projectile on most attempts.
    Last edited by 468; 02-25-2019 at 04:43 PM.

  2. #22
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    You said your boolits were smaller above the lube groove than the die diameter. Did you find some bigger boolits to try in it?
    KE4GWE - - - - - - Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    Tonight's project:
    1) Connect inline dimmer switch to control temp.
    2) Remove die.
    a)Clean.
    b)Polish interior to eliminate "burr", if found.
    c)Plug hole, and move to another.
    d)Adjust all and try again.

    I don't have any other boolits in .45 to try.

  4. #24
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    You keep referring to "hole", as in singular. The holes are arranged in a row, and there should be three of them in the row you need to use for your single lube groove. All three of the holes in the row need to be open for enough lube to flow all around the bullet to fill the lube groove.

    Most Magma/Star dies have three rows of holes, with three holes in each row. What I'm trying to say is, you should have three unplugged holes, all in a row that aligns with your lube groove.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    Fred, I originally had 3 holes open and it was a mess. I’m now guessing it’s because of the sizing issue of the projectile I mentioned. It did get a little less messy using just 1 hole.

    I just need to step away from this for several days and regroup. I can certainly understand why many of you may be scratching your heads while reading my posts. Believe me, I feel like a bigger idiot than you think I am.

    Thanks for all the helpful comments. I’ll figure it out.

  6. #26
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    If you have too much heat, the lube is going to run, no matter how many holes you have open. You just need to get the heat right, align the lube groove with the three open holes in the die, and then you'll love the machine. I now own eleven of them, but two are loaned out to close friends, and they know I'll never ask for them back.

    To tell you the truth, the Star machines were originally intended to be used base first, which required a top punch that fit each and every bullet that was run through the machine. Star resisted the nose first application right up until they closed their doors. It may have been because they could sell more top punches that way, but their argument was that the machine was designed to size base first, and that's how they were going to do it. They wouldn't make a flat punch for nose first sizing, but one of their distributors, John Paul Jones, did, and he sold a bunch of them.

    The reason I mention this is I have a couple dozen top punches for different bullets and some bullets just size better base first, so that's how I do those bullets. I don't have any lube seeping around any of the bullets I size base first, for whatever reason. It sometimes takes a little more time to get a top punch adjusted just right for nose first sizing with the flat punch, but once it's there, it makes the whole sizing and lubing process go so much faster and easier.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  7. #27
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    I did all my steps mentioned above and results were much better. I must have had a tiny burr on/in one of the holes...probably a piece of the shot, which is a harder alloy than I use, apparently.

    3 holes open.

    I still get the “bleed” of lube toward the nose, but i’ve determined that to be caused by the undersized “upper lip”. It’s not at all sized by the die in that area.

    The CR I used came out cloudy and white-ish. Does that mean anything? I think i’d prefer something a bit harder...anyone want toe swap? I had some blue Bear lube I think I like better.

    Again, thanks for the help.

  8. #28
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    In my experience, I've found the Magma lubes to work great. I get no leading, it's easy to use in the Star machines, and the lube stays in place, since I bulk pack my bullets in 1,000 round boxes. I've got one Star set up with a soft lube (SPG), and I hate using it, so it doesn't get much use. The only time I do use it is when someone needs some bullets for BP shooting.

    Clean your mold real well and make sure there isn't any build up in the cavities. You can also add a little tin to the alloy to get better fill out, and that may solve part of your problem.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  9. #29
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    The cloudiness in your CR lube is air trapped in the lube. I get it occasionally. The trapped air will purge out it and the lube will will clear up. You can avoid it, if you melt your lube and then add it to the sizer as others have posted. I don't and loose no sleep over it.

    Winelover

  10. #30
    Boolit Master bosterr's Avatar
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    I get the cloudiness right after adding a new stick of lube. It goes away.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by 468 View Post
    OK...

    The projectiles are 230g, not 220g as mentioned above.

    I did have a second hole open. I thought both holes were aligned and it was good/ ok to have 2 holes working. I was mistaken on both. I plugged a hole, re set the punch, and I ALMOST got it to work.(see above...I am a dork)

    Apparently, my projectiles arenít compatible with this machine. ... and I see why they were messy on the older machine. The boolit is .4524 or so below the lube groove, and .45 above. The die is .452.

    So, there you have it.

    Also, what does everyone do about the tails sometimes left on the boolit? This sizer doesnít clean them up.
    ALWAYS size them base-down - nose-down will occasionally leave tails...
    Echo
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    One of the most endearing sights in the world is the vision of a naked good-looking woman leaving the bedroom to make breakfast. Bolivar Shagnasty (I believe that Lazarus Long also said it, but I can't find any record of it.)

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    What a difference a day makes...and a new boolit mold!

    Got the Lee 230gr RN .45 mold. .. has 2 lube grooves. Tried it(Star sizer) as set up for the other boolit referenced above. Filled the lower groove(near the base) perfectly. Pulled the die, located and drilled out 3 holes for the upper groove. PERFECT! No squirts or mess. Using White Label CR 100* at 85*( yep... that’s another story)...little pressure.

    The main problem I was having was the diameter of the upper lip of the original boolit. All good now.

    Life is better...haha

  13. #33
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    Glad you figured it out and came up with a cure. It can be very frustrating when you do everything according to the instructions and some little thing isn't right. Good fill out of the mold is important for preventing lube leaks like you experienced.

    Now you're going to have to cast more bullets, since you'll go through these really fast with the Star.
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  14. #34
    Boolit Buddy 468's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReloaderFred View Post
    ...
    Now you're going to have to cast more bullets, since you'll go through these really fast with the Star.
    Thatís why I got the 6 hole mold! Now, if only I could get the hang of this aluminum mold...

  15. #35
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    Well, the fact you figured out what the problem was in using the Star proves you're not a dork.

    When I was hand casting, I bought a couple of the Lee 6 cavity molds, and they were OK, but I never did warm up to them. I machine cast now, and couldn't imagine going back to hand casting. I've got roughly 100 hand casting molds that I haven't used in years. I really do need to go through them and list some of them in S&S..
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  16. #36
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    Aw Geese! A problem with a Star and I missed it. Probably won't be another for months.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  17. #37
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    ReloaderFred, you learned me something today. I never knew the Star was designed for base first sizing. Were the bullets still pushed through the sizing die? If so, what was the advantage of the base first method beyond the top punch sales you mentioned?
    Tony

  18. #38
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    Anthony,

    Yes, the Star machines were certainly designed to size base first. I don't know why, other than the fact the designer decided that was the way it should be done. I do know for a fact that it's easier to set gas checks base first, but I'm pretty sure that's only a side benefit. The bullets were/are pushed all the way through the sizing die, just like with nose first sizing. The next bullet pushes the previous one out the bottom of the sizing die.

    I had a conversation with John Paul Jones a few years ago about it, and he said he was the first one to produce a flat punch for nose first sizing, but the Star Company refused to sell them, so he sold them himself. He was a distributor for Star, Saeco and a few other products.

    I know that when I size base first, it's less likely to have any leakage around the bullet. That may just be due to the bullets I size that way, though. Like I mentioned, I've got a couple dozen profile top punches for the Star machines, and unless the top punch fits the nose profile perfectly, it will mar the nose of the bullet. I've modified several top punches to fit certain bullets, and that makes a big difference. If the top punch is too big, you just put a dab of epoxy in it after chucking it in the drill press, but don't turn on the drill press. After coating the bullet with wax as a mold release, then I place the bullet base first on the drill press table and lower the spindle of the drill press down onto the bullet nose and lock it down until the epoxy has hardened. Then it's just a matter of carefully removing any excess epoxy, and you've got a custom top punch. The only reason I use the drill press is because I've got it, and it helps to align the top punch with the bullet.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

  19. #39
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    Agreed. I always lube nose down. Flat punches. Reading my manual says nose down as well. Wouldn't the flashing show up near the nose as well?

  20. #40
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    The current manuals are for the Magma produced Star Sizers. When Magma bought the rights to the Star Sizers, they didn't want to have to set up for turning individual top punches for every bullet. Making just a few flat punches is much more convenient than the machining required to make hundreds of profile punches, and much cheaper for both Magma and the consumer.

    Nose first sizing works really well for most applications, and I use it the most on my machines, three of which are equipped with bullet feeders. Some bullets won't feed through the feeders nose first, since they have a tendency to tip and get caught. There's nothing at all wrong with sizing nose first. I was just pointing out that the machines weren't originally designed for that, and will work either way, if you have the correct top punches.

    Hope this helps.

    Fred
    After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn't do it. - William S. Burroughs.

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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