Graf & SonsLee PrecisionRepackboxRotoMetals2
Titan ReloadingWidenersInline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 53

Thread: Random half fill lube groove

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    Boy, what a headache. If I didn't say it earlier, I found that the my air cylinder is the one Magma uses, 1 1/16" bore, 6" stroke, 5/8"-18 thread nose mount. I called Magma, and they were no help, stating they have been using them for 50 some years with no complaints. I've been trying to source a 1 1/2" or 2" bore cylinder, but they all seem use a 3/4" or larger thread!

    A simple fix would be to use more air pressure on the one I have, although I don't seem to have a tank with a safety relief over 115 psi. I doubt the extra 10-20 PSI would make a difference.

    I have been reading of bypassing the air cylinder altogether, and just pressurizing the lube tube straight through the cover. I might have to give this a try. Edit: scratch that, it looks like the lube tube ID is also about 1 1/16", so nothing to be gained.

    Unfortunately I do not have all the parts for the manual lube screw. I have the spring/seal assembly, and the handle, but it looks like I'm missing the screw itself, as well as a spacer that goes between the screw and spring. I found a 5/8 fine thread bolt just so I could try it, and it definitely works fantastic compared to the air cylinder. Magma wants an outrageous price for the parts, and I can't see any on ebay. If push comes to shove, I might just try and make it work with a bolt.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 03-25-2019 at 12:44 PM.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master

    Rattlesnake Charlie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Los Alamos, NM
    Posts
    1,150
    I have been using Carnuba Red at about 100 degrees, but only about 20 psi for my handgun bullets. Some designs do take a little longer to fill, and to be sure i get a full and complete fill I usually run the bullets through twice, 90 degrees off. Some .30 cal rifle bullets would cause me to pull my hair out if I had any. I found that making the stroke almost to the bottom and then stop for a bit, then finishing all the way to the bottom allowed those grooves that are just a little off to fill.

  3. #23
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    118
    Are you sure the seals are good? At 95psi the cylinder should be exerting about 80 lbs of force.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    Yes, seals are good. 80# sounds about right. I plugged it in to the air, and pushed the rod on the ground. That doesn't seem like an awful lot to me.

    Running bullets through twice does work, but obviously doubles the work. Kind of defeats the advantage of the Star over the Lyman. Heat at 100, pressure at 20 psi, and the lube doesn't even hardly come out of the die.

    At this point I'm thinking I'm going to find the hand operated parts, and run that. If that turns out to suck, this Star sizer is going down the road.

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    118
    I use the "hand operated" parts on my Star sizer. I was using White Label 50/50 at about 90 deg I am now using their Carnauba Red at about 100 deg. I give the handle a turn (or partial turn) every 10 to 30 bullets, it depends how much lube the bullet requires. I get less than 1% that have partially filled lube grooves (usually because I lubed to many bullets without giving it a turn). The Star sizer works very well and is much faster than my RCBS. I understand your frustration. The Magma Engineering air system seems to work for a lot of people. If you can get the "hand operated" parts it will let you get familiar with the sizer and eliminate one variable (air pressure).

    The air system seems pretty simple from looking at the parts. Not much that can give you problems. Binding in the cylinder? Something not aligned/binding? Something restricting air flow to the cylinder?

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    Quote Originally Posted by Paper Puncher View Post
    I use the "hand operated" parts on my Star sizer. I was using White Label 50/50 at about 90 deg I am now using their Carnauba Red at about 100 deg. I give the handle a turn (or partial turn) every 10 to 30 bullets, it depends how much lube the bullet requires. I get less than 1% that have partially filled lube grooves (usually because I lubed to many bullets without giving it a turn). The Star sizer works very well and is much faster than my RCBS. I understand your frustration. The Magma Engineering air system seems to work for a lot of people. If you can get the "hand operated" parts it will let you get familiar with the sizer and eliminate one variable (air pressure).

    The air system seems pretty simple from looking at the parts. Not much that can give you problems. Binding in the cylinder? Something not aligned/binding? Something restricting air flow to the cylinder?
    No idea, the air cylinder just plain isn't strong enough. My best guess is that it is borderline for the job, but works with soft lubes in a warmer environment. I could try other lubes, but would rather not.

    I am going to put a post up in the swappin and selling for the lube screw parts. 10 bullets without touching anything is fine with me. I'm used to getting 2-4 from the lyman.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 03-26-2019 at 02:12 AM.

  7. #27
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    It looks like all I'm missing is the screw for the manual lube system, hopefully someone will sell me one. Or at least I can make one out of a bolt. Looking at it, it seems like a slick setup. The spring compresses to provide reasonably consistent pressure over a number of bullets. Once you feel the lube, how many more turns do you guys go?

  8. #28
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Posts
    118
    I don't know what the "correct" way is, but here is what I do. I turn the pressure screw handle (compressing the spring) until I just feel firm resistance. I assume this has completely compressed the spring. I then start lubing bullets. After 10 - 20 -30 whatever I turn the pressure screw again till just feeling the firm resistance. When you are lubing the bullets you can feel a difference in the handle when the lube pressure is getting low. Remember the bullet is only lubed at the very end of the stroke by the pump plunger.

    At the end of the session I back off the screw handle 10 or 20 turns to relieve all spring pressure. I prefer not to leave the spring compressed, no idea if it makes a difference but one less thing for me to worry about and doesn't cost me anything LOL

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    I've left pressure after finishing on a Lyman and came back to find a ton of lube strings that worked their way through the die overnight. I assume the same can happen to a star. I think the manual screw will work out just fine for me.

  10. #30
    Moderator



    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Oregon Coast
    Posts
    4,898
    Yes, you want to relieve the pressure on any sizer/lubricator. I have Stars, a Lyman, an RCBS and two Saeco's, and they'll all leak over time if pressure is left on the lube column.

    I think your problem is going to be solved by going back to the original pressure screw system, and I see you got a response to your WTB post in S&S.

    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.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master


    Springfield's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    San Jose, California
    Posts
    3,362
    It isn't your air cylinder, it is your compressor. You said yourself the cylinder is rated to 250 psi. A larger cylinder isn't going to give you any more pressure, just a larger volume of air, so that it won't lose pressure as fast. Personally, with my 2 Stars with air, I just adapted a small HF 12 volt air compressor. That thing will really get out the pressure, albeit with a very small volume. But we don't need a lot of volume for bullet sizing compared to maybe filling car tires or running an air tool, so it works great. And it is much smaller, takes up no floor space, just put it on the bench. I tend to run my cylinders at 120 lbs, with just warm softer lube. It just gets too messy when heated up too much.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    Quote Originally Posted by Springfield View Post
    It isn't your air cylinder, it is your compressor. You said yourself the cylinder is rated to 250 psi. A larger cylinder isn't going to give you any more pressure, just a larger volume of air, so that it won't lose pressure as fast. Personally, with my 2 Stars with air, I just adapted a small HF 12 volt air compressor. That thing will really get out the pressure, albeit with a very small volume. But we don't need a lot of volume for bullet sizing compared to maybe filling car tires or running an air tool, so it works great. And it is much smaller, takes up no floor space, just put it on the bench. I tend to run my cylinders at 120 lbs, with just warm softer lube. It just gets too messy when heated up too much.
    While more air pressure would do the trick, a larger bore air cylinder will provide more force with the same air pressure.

    As cool as the idea of a no-touch air feed system is. The manual system should work better, and I like that it requires no electricity/air to work.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    Not even a competition. The air cylinder just plain sucks. I put together some spacers to make the 5/8 bolt I had work, and ran about 50 bullets through today. I turned the temperature almost all the way down, lube couldn't have been over 100 degrees. I easily ran 10 bullets through before having to turn the screw another turn or so. Full groove fill. A little lube on the nose, but no big deal, now I have something I can work with.


  14. #34
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    Bad news.

    It turns out that the manual screw does not work, and what I was feeling before was the spring bottoming out, and then adding more pressure on top of that. It works that way... for about 3 bullets. With only spring pressure, the lube groove doesn't fill fully, just like with the air cylinder. None of my dies has an O-ring on them, I didn't realize they were supposed to have them. Could this be causing the problem? Also, I can't seem to stop the lube on the nose. I've got the holes plugged with two shot each (except the one row I want open), plus I ran some hot glue over the top to try and seal. Nothing seems to help. Just like the air cylinder, I can turn the heat up to where the lube groove fills, but the nose gets plastered in lube. Could this leaking be causing my problems?

    I've been using Canaruba Red for years, but I am seriously considering switching to the new Canaruba Blue if it works better. I called Magma and talked through it with them, they are no help. I just can't wrap my head around why this thing is not working. What a nightmare machine. Is there another machine out there as fast as a Star, but reliable like a Lyman?

  15. #35
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Northwest corner of Vermont
    Posts
    916
    Are you sizing nose first or base first?

    I don't think the issue is within the reservoir but how about putting up a pic of what parts are in there for the manual feed.

    Are you sure you are stroking the pump fully? It takes a firm pressure to compress the return spring fully and make the pump push lube.

    When my Star fell into my lap I had seen enough pictures of them to recognize what it was but that was the limit of my knowledge about them. I cleaned it up externally and c-clamped it to my workbench and thought, at first, that it wasn't working. A little analysis of what the various parts did and it turned out to be "pilot error", I simply wasn't getting that last little bit of slack out of the return spring.
    Literacy should not be considered optional in computer based communication.

  16. #36
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    I did end up buying the lube pressure screw from Magma. They wanted $30 plus shipping just for the screw, but I'm just so sick of dinking around with this thing, I paid it. Here is a picture from last week. I have everything pictured, plus the lube screw. I am sizing nose first, fully stroking the press. I have been trying and failing with this for 4 months now. I've probably put 3000 bullets through it, and still can't get more than about 5 good ones in a row. I ruined 200 today. Now I have to boil the lube back off them and try again. Die isn't clogged, press isn't clogged, punch is adjusted perfectly, I've messed with the punch up and down all over, messed with the temp, messed with the air pressure, bought and tried the manual lube sytem. What else is there? Can you get stronger lube spring for these?

    Ignore the nuts, I used them to extract the spring assembly.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 04-12-2019 at 01:01 AM.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    I took the star sizer off the bench today, and mounted the Lyman 450 in it's place. I'm out of patience to mess around anymore, I need some lubed bullets.

    I would still appreciate help, I'd love to figure out this star sizer, as the Lyman is slow. I had posted on the starreloader forum without a response, but I'll post that here to review. I hope somebody can think of something to make this work...

    I have had this star sizer for about 4 months, which I bought used. The guy I bought it from is an active member of the Castboolits forum, and said it works fine. I have yet to have it work at all. This thing will not fully fill a lube groove! I'll try and describe all that I have tried so far.

    First of all, I have tried two dies, and two bullets, no change with either. Both dies are properly plugged, and the one row (one lube groove) I left open, is not clogged. I originally received this press with the air cylinder for lube feed. I also have the heated base for this. My compressor goes up to 95 PSI, and that's what I ran the cylinder at. I've tried lower pressure, but it only gets worse. It is possible to turn the heater up until the lube flows properly, but then I run into two other problems. The lube runs out all over the nose of the bullet, plus half falls out of the lube groove when it drops out of the die. The lube is nearly liquid before it will flow fully into the lube groove. When adjusting the heater, I am making small changes, and waiting a good 20 minutes for everything to equalize. This whole time, I have been messing with the punch as well. I can measure the die, and get the lube groove perfectly centered in the open row of holes. Even then, I've been messing with the punch, with no change. I mean NO change, until you cover a driving band, and at that point it wont fill the lube groove at all. One saturday I must have wasted 3 hours trying the punch about 1/16 of a turn at a time. I am 100% sure it has nothing to do with my punch adjustment.

    I have tried two different lubes with no luck, one I believe was Magma lube, the other is what I want to use, Canaruba Red. I am fully stroking the press. I've messed around with double stroking, and I've tried holding it down for a few seconds. Running bullets through the press two times does work, but what a PITA. Before this, I was sizing and lube on an old Lyman 450, which does work fine. In the winter I need a little heat with canaruba red, but it doesn't take hardly anything at all to fully fill lube groves.

    My air cylinder does work as it is supposed to, and does not leak. I eventually decided to try the manual lube setup. I had most of the parts, but couldn't find the screw. Either I didn't get it with, or I lost it. I found a 5/8 fine thread bolt, and a spacer, and tried it. It actually seemed to work. It took a few weeks, but I wasn't getting clear info on the screw to make my own, so I finally paid Magma for the real thing. So now I have a complete manual lube system, screw, spring assembly, and seal. While initially it worked, I came to realize that what I was feeling was the spring bottoming out, and then adding additional pressure to that. So I can make this press work, for about 3 bullets at a time. With only the spring tension, this press still will not fill the lube groove. Both the spring and air cylinder are not strong enough!

    At this point I'm at a complete loss. It seems to me that the lube system isn't strong enough. Magma has not been a help, and the guy almost seems insulted that I insist that their design doesn't work. I've invested too much money and WAY too much time into this, and it's no better than day one. I could ignore the spring, and just lube 2-3 bullets at a time before adding lube pressure, same as I do the Lyman. It would still be marginally faster than the Lyman, plus I like the bonus of nose first sizing. It seems odd to me that so many people claim that theirs works with heater at 100 degrees, and air pressure (with air feed) as low as 30 PSI. What else could I be missing? The air cylinder I have is the one sold by Magma. Has anyone tried a stronger spring on the manual lube system? Changing to a different lube is the last thing I want to do, but at this point I'm willing to try anything. I've wasted 4 months of my life, and ruined thousands of good bullets.
    Last edited by megasupermagnum; 04-11-2019 at 10:51 PM.

  18. #38
    Moderator



    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Land of 10,000 Lakes
    Posts
    11,497
    I hesitated commenting earlier, because others were giving you better advice than I could...especially since I don't use a air cylinder or a heater.

    I have re-read this whole thread and I strongly agree with Fred's comment in post #7 and I can only imagine two issues.

    #1
    I would try to empty the reservoir, then examine the passage where the Lube exits the reservior tube and enters the pump chamber. If there is a restriction or partial obstruction there, you will have a issue with delivering enough lube with the standard pressure of the standard spring, hence a partial fill on the lube groove...but having the pressure cranked up, you would probably get the seepage that'd put a tiny bit of lube on the nose.

    #2
    The only other thing would be "fully stroking the handle", so the spring on the pump is fully compressed. I realize this Full Stroke thing has been mentioned and you have acknowledged you are fully stroking the handle...but maybe there could be some misunderstanding about what a full stroke is, the pump spring needs to fully compress. I mean no insult with that comment, I just want you to fully understand, because these two potential issues are the only things I could possibly imagine being the problem after everything you have posted that you tried.

    Good Luck,
    Jon

  19. #39
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,378
    JonB you may be on to something. I had been messing with it today with no luck again. I'm currently letting JB weld cure on the die. I tried lead shot three times, and they never seem to seal. I only intend to size single lube groove bullets with this, so no loss.

    Anyway, I looked at the piston, and it's not even close to fully opening. I looked closer, and the lever is bent. I never thought much of it, as I got it this way. Sure enough, all pictures I see show a straight lever.

    Here is the bent lever...


    Here is with a 1/4" thick nut I fit in there, and the spring is still not fully compressed...

  20. #40
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    East Central Illinois
    Posts
    965
    I bet the hole in the lever has a split in it! That bend would really cause the problem you have been chasing! I think you are well on your way to solving the issue.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 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