Lee PrecisionADvertise hereRepackboxRotoMetals2
Titan ReloadingWidenersInline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 45

Thread: Has anyone ever made a mold with drill bits?

  1. #21
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    412
    Quote Originally Posted by RED BEAR View Post
    Well i was a machinist before i retired and i to don't see a problem whats the worst that could happen it doesn't work. Even then you may learn what you need to do to get it to work. Nothing ventured nothing gained.
    When I got my first lathe, I had a relatives 38/40 but could not find bullets for it. I was relatively new to hand loading and dummer and poorer than a rock. Decided to make my own mold. Well it took a while but it was one of the most positive learning experiences I have had. It was a brass mold with a truncated cone hollow point 1/4 inch open at the end. Boy would that thing expand and bow in the en d of a 55 gal drum like a steel drum. Cast great bullets. M are a round nose flat point for a 45 cal under h amber slug gun using the cherry method that worked well also. If you can spare the time, go for it as redbear said sneak up on final diameter. Remember molds and guns were made with a lot less equipment than we have today in the average shop.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Amarillo, Texas
    Posts
    3,361
    Watching as to progress
    Rave on dudes !!
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  3. #23
    Boolit Master


    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    South of the (Canada) border
    Posts
    1,627
    A few (maybe five?) years back I was outraged at cost for bottom-walker sinkers -- at one to three dollars each -- and reckoned I could make them for pennies. A friend on this site sent me a boogered Lee mould surplus to any need he might have for it, and I made a wooden holder from scrap wood which I clamped to (Rockwell) drill press table. I used a center-drill to eye-ball centering of existing cavity, and when I began actual drilling experienced quite a bit of galling. NOT much (if any ) of a "machinist" I reckoned one should either increase size in small increments -- or -- go for the gold so to speak, and attempt one drilling. I used slightly diluted Dawn with water as a cutting oil, and made one pass with the latter. It came out almost perfect, though not shiny. I chucked another drill bit in -- this time a couple of sizes smaller -- with some 1,000 grit wet n' dry paper around it. Using same lub, I raised chuck up and down as this spun, and it polished it quite admirably. When done with this detail, I drilled a new hole through bottom for wire, and was pretty much done. The only "pia" is -- this sinker is a weight on the bottom of a 12" length of wire with a 90 degree bend in it, to "float" on bottom while keeping lure down there -- so -- for the wire above -- I need remove the spru plate after EACH casting. The LEE aluminum for their screw started galling -- not designed for said removal after each cast -- so I drilled and tapped all the way through for a machine screw I had on hand. Now, a few seconds with a nut-driver is used to install and remove spru plate. Start to finish, I can make better than fifty bait walkers in an hour's time... and, they work quite nicely!
    My one and only experience making a mould -- albeit not for bullets -- using my drill press.

  4. #24
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    11,360
    In industry a lot of small moulds are made with form ground drill bits or reamers, D drills, or spade drills. A lot of the industrial drill presses are solider than most hobby mills though, heavier bearings drives and structures. These can be cut pretty quickly once the blocks are made and cutters ground. Lay out and set up are as important or more so than the actual tooling used. With the right lay out and set up a drill press can be as accurate as a mill. BUT its not just setting the part on the table holding by hand and drilling by a center punch or eye.

    Making a mould in the drill press can be done there are limitations it has to be smooth sided no grease grooves mainly, no gas check shanks. it has to be basically 2 dia with the large dia on the top so no nose pours unless a Hoch style block is used. Me made "test moulds" for lead and the mish metal used in die cast that cast a simple slug that was crushed to a certain point and force measured. Some battery manufacturers have moulds for lead pieces that are pulled apart / stretched to confirm lead quality. Normally these are made in "house".

    A lot of the one piece moulds were done with drills and reamers ground to size then the punch took care of the nose form and size. Similar to the core moulds used by bullet swaggers today.

  5. #25
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Location
    NW USA
    Posts
    994
    Quote Originally Posted by RED BEAR View Post
    Oh no i once bored a 2 inch hole in a 1 1/2 inch wide part. Went to tell the boss that it was drawn wrong and was told what you know better than the engineer . I said no i don't forget i said anything went back put in a 2 inch hole turned it in in two pieces. When asked why i did it i replied i certainly don't know better than an engineer. And that it was made exactly the way he drew it. Boss wasn't all that happy but what could he say.
    he could say “punch the clock and go home, forever.” That’s what I’d do if someone wanted to waste time and material to make a point. But, I still like your style.

    Suggestion of paper between blocks to keep drill centered is very good, although I’d be tempted to try plastic film instead . Then remove the film for the last pass of the reamer.
    Last edited by Drew P; 05-26-2019 at 03:52 PM.

  6. #26
    Boolit Buddy Kegcaissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    129
    The press drill was just not squared enough, finish needs to be polished, i run into many problems and another method would be better. Time for plan ''B''! I turned a bullet on the lathe, we then cut three grooves on a milling machine just before water hardening. I'm going to test it in the milling machine on a scrap aluminium part this morning to see what will happen. If this is not enough, i will try a ''D'' cutter on the lathe tomorrow. The sizers are already made, now i need the mold!!
    We really need a Ar-15 subforum!

  7. #27
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2,247
    Quote Originally Posted by Kegcaissy View Post
    The press drill was just not squared enough, finish needs to be polished, i run into many problems and another method would be better. Time for plan ''B''! I turned a bullet on the lathe, we then cut three grooves on a milling machine just before water hardening. I'm going to test it in the milling machine on a scrap aluminium part this morning to see what will happen. If this is not enough, i will try a ''D'' cutter on the lathe tomorrow. The sizers are already made, now i need the mold!!
    Having the same problem myself. Been trying to rig up my mini lathe to drill the holes. Need to make a milling machine conversion for it. Then it can cut precise holes square yada yada...

  8. #28
    Boolit Master


    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    South of the (Canada) border
    Posts
    1,627
    Bion, have made a few moulds in aluminum stock using jobber drill bits on my Delta 14" drill press, BUT, they were not for bullets. I "discovered" small mouth bass and walleye setting in bunches way down on river bottom, and endeavored to make "bottom walking sinkers" -- basically a crayon-diameter lead cylinder with a length of piano wire going through it. A few inches of wire below the lead -- to "scratch" river bottom, and a couple inches above for attaching to line.
    Bion, my first attempt -- using a gifted to me boogered Lee mould was an enormous success in making, but it turned out not long/heavy enough for my fishing need. The following attempts were nightmarish -- I tried boring "finish" size, versus starting small and replacing drill bits with larger -- but galling was the issue. I tried all sorts of lubs, from TapMagic to Dawn to -- which, bion, worked the best -- WD40. (I managed to make one which worked, and that ended my "make your own" on a drill press mould-making )
    geo

  9. #29
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Grave of Liberty
    Posts
    57
    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    Having the same problem myself. Been trying to rig up my mini lathe to drill the holes. Need to make a milling machine conversion for it. Then it can cut precise holes square yada yada...
    With a 4 jaw and carefull setup you don't need a mill (or conversion) unless you want slots ( or any hole other than a cylinder).

  10. #30
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2,247
    Quote Originally Posted by pastera View Post
    With a 4 jaw and carefull setup you don't need a mill (or conversion) unless you want slots ( or any hole other than a cylinder).
    Hah! I was just looking at 4 jaw independent chucks on ebay. Have to wait till I get some more money. Thanks for the tip. I have already done some rudimentary milling on my lathe but set up is a royal pain. Tried to use the same type setup principle to drill out a steel mold I was making and screwed it up. Wasn't clamping it down tight enough.

  11. #31
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    6,715
    When someone is making a smooth sided mould to try something out or for paper patched boolits I can never figure out why they don't just follow the old Ideal Cylindrical mould style:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ideal_Cylindrical_Mould_Diagram.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	135.1 KB 
ID:	251158

    You do not need a split mould to make a smooth boolit.

    They are simple to make and work well. I have made several from .30 cal to 12 ga.

    I make mine out of 1 1/2" round bar though so they hold heat better and to allow for large slugs like 12 ga. Most of mine are also a bit simpler in that the nose form is simply "shimmed" with a spacer to provide the weight I want and basically is an ejector to ensure I boolit can be pushed out of the mould. Some I have made as HP moulds with the HP pin being the ejector.

    For paper patching they can remain smooth. For shooting lubed they can be made a little over groove diameter then can be tumble lubed successfully and if made a few thou undersize they can be knurled, which increases diameter by about 0.003", then tumble lubed which works even better.

    I make a "D" bit in the shape and final diameter I want then drill and or bore to close size, then run the "D" bit in by hand to finish... then usually lap to final finish.

    They are easy to make and they work.

    Longbow

  12. #32
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2,247
    Quote Originally Posted by longbow View Post
    When someone is making a smooth sided mould to try something out or for paper patched boolits I can never figure out why they don't just follow the old Ideal Cylindrical mould style:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Ideal_Cylindrical_Mould_Diagram.jpg 
Views:	15 
Size:	135.1 KB 
ID:	251158

    You do not need a split mould to make a smooth boolit.

    They are simple to make and work well. I have made several from .30 cal to 12 ga.

    I make mine out of 1 1/2" round bar though so they hold heat better and to allow for large slugs like 12 ga. Most of mine are also a bit simpler in that the nose form is simply "shimmed" with a spacer to provide the weight I want and basically is an ejector to ensure I boolit can be pushed out of the mould. Some I have made as HP moulds with the HP pin being the ejector.

    For paper patching they can remain smooth. For shooting lubed they can be made a little over groove diameter then can be tumble lubed successfully and if made a few thou undersize they can be knurled, which increases diameter by about 0.003", then tumble lubed which works even better.

    I make a "D" bit in the shape and final diameter I want then drill and or bore to close size, then run the "D" bit in by hand to finish... then usually lap to final finish.

    They are easy to make and they work.

    Longbow
    Thank you for that post.
    I have been making my swaging dies similar to that but never thought of making a single cavity mold in that fashion.
    In this age of smooth sided powder coated bullets this type of mold is more practical than ever.
    My bullet point drill bit grinding technique is perfect for this type of mold making.
    https://youtu.be/yRb0eTZO0xM

  13. #33
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    6,715
    Here's a good thread by Heathydee who used to post here as well. He used square stock but same idea for the mould. It is a good step by step all the way through.

    http://www.homegunsmith.com/cgi-bin/...ST;f=3;t=24090

    I have not made multi cavity moulds yet but have been thinking about it. The ejection pins could all be run through one bar. This would be easiest to do with a milling machine which I do not have. However, a well set up drill press should do it because all the holes will be in line and as long as the bar holding the pins is drilled to match the actual center distances don't really matter much.

    These are about the easiest way to make a simple smooth mould. If a guy wants to lube then tumble lube is the easiest in my opinion. Make the boolit enough undersize that you can knurl it up then tumble lube. I made my own knurler that started oout life as a "groover" to make grooves similar (sort of ) to Lee Microgrooves. That worked well but I found the groover slipped a bit too often resulting in a damaged boolit. I didn't have a knurling head at the time. Now I just diamond knurl impressions into the boolit like the Corbin tool does:

    http://www.corbins.com/hct-2.htm

    They also make a cannelure tool and grooving tool:

    http://www.corbins.com/hct-1.htm

    http://www.corbins.com/hct-3.htm

    Same tool, different rolls.

    I am surprised these things aren't more common. It is extra work over just casting boolits then sizing and lubing but I generally just cast, knurl, tumble lube then load so no difference really.

    If a guy used sharp drill bits he could likely get away with drilling in small steps to a bit undersize then lapping to final size. There are enough sizes of chucking reamers available inexpensively though that if you can't make a "D" bit of correct size and form you can buy a reamer to suit so only the nose is "drilled".

    By the way, if you use aluminum for the mould block (I use steel or bronze) you could hand grind a woodworking spade bit to boolit form or at least nose form and it will cut aluminum just fine if you grind clearance angles behind the cutting edge on it.

    Longbow
    Last edited by longbow; 11-13-2019 at 10:02 PM. Reason: Added link

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    4,421
    Since you have a mill why not do sort of as country gent suggested.

    A 2 flute High speed steel end mill can be ground and hand honed to the nose shape of your bullet.
    Be sure it has clearance to the point.

    You can use it in a mill to drill your smooth sided cavities.
    You can readily test it in a piece of aluminum scrap.

    If you are skilled with a lathe you can drill and bore mold cavities with a lathe.
    You hold the mold in a fixture or in a 4 jaw chuck.
    Rough it with a drill.
    Form the nose profile with a form ground drill. eng mill or boring tool.

    Bore or ream the major diameter of the mold.
    If you are going to powder coat I guess you will not need grease grooves.


    Bore the body diameter leaving grease grooves if you are making a grease groove mold.
    EDG

  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy Kegcaissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    129
    Quote Originally Posted by EDG View Post
    Since you have a mill why not do sort of as country gent suggested.

    A 2 flute High speed steel end mill can be ground and hand honed to the nose shape of your bullet.
    Be sure it has clearance to the point.

    You can use it in a mill to drill your smooth sided cavities.
    You can readily test it in a piece of aluminum scrap.

    If you are skilled with a lathe you can drill and bore mold cavities with a lathe.
    You hold the mold in a fixture or in a 4 jaw chuck.
    Rough it with a drill.
    Form the nose profile with a form ground drill. eng mill or boring tool.

    Bore or ream the major diameter of the mold.
    If you are going to powder coat I guess you will not need grease grooves.


    Bore the body diameter leaving grease grooves if you are making a grease groove mold.
    I am currently going that way. The cutting test i've done friday was not that great. Next step will be on the lathe with a 4 jaw chuck.
    We really need a Ar-15 subforum!

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    169
    Even if your first try does not work as you would like, the experience you get is priceless and your second try will be better.
    You will gain invaluable knowledge from the experience.

  17. #37
    Boolit Buddy Kegcaissy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    129
    Here's what hapenned last friday:

    After making many mistakes on a prototype (first pic) here's my first almost completed mold blank (second and third pic). Shrinking tests were succesful with the prototype, info in the stickies here are really good. Bullet filling was not that good, i need to cut ventlines.

    First step was to square a aluminium piece then the cut for the handle was made. Pins were made on a lathe, holes drilled then the pins were inserted. The two parts were then milled together to get a squared mold block. Handle holes were drilled and tapped. I use the old RCBS design with a pin and a setscrew for the handles. Next steps will be to drill the sprue plate bolt and setscrew, drill the sprueplate, make ventlines in the blocks and then cut the cavity.




    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	86193101_193389538691544_5611592097569177600_n.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	38.1 KB 
ID:	256846

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	86378081_217785046031347_478924218264715264_n.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	48.6 KB 
ID:	256847

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	86378858_612354686220690_841808058098122752_n.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	39.8 KB 
ID:	256848

    All the job was done on a lathe and a milling machine. The tests made with a press drill were not that successful. I still need to cut the cavity. The remaining question is not how but what bullet to make a cutter for? 150gr plainbased for 6.5x55? 240gr plainbased for 303 and other 31cal? 120gr SWC for 9mm? Here's a pic of my prototype bullets: 180gr plainbased, 0.303'' nose with 0.313'' bands.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	86350824_2551729708407731_1671646802551504896_n.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	30.0 KB 
ID:	256849
    We really need a Ar-15 subforum!

  18. #38
    Boolit Master Traffer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    2,247
    The first one is always the hardest. If you don't need lube grooves it is much easier. Glad you stuck with it and got results.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master



    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    1,376
    I know a guy who has been making steel molds for boolit shapes and sizes that are not available. He uses a lathe with a slightly under sized drill bit at first and then one with the shape of the nose he wants. Then laps to correct size. He has even used a boring bar to make the driving bands for lubed boolits. There’s no limit of what you can do if you have the ideas, skills and equipment.

  20. #40
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    11,360
    If you go the lathe bored route use a solid carbide boring bar. They are much stiffer this cuts down a lot on tool flex and chatter. Boring a cavity requires a small bar and the shortest stiffest is best.

    For cutting nose profiles I prefer to make a spade drill bit over d reamers, even better is to grind it on an old used 2 flute end mil. For a one off the tooling can be roughed in very close and finished by hand. Ink it and back off by hand leaving a thin line of ink along the cut edge. I use old worn end mills for this. a mount for a die grinder in your lathe does a great job and can really make a nice form. Rough the nose radius in in small angles with the compound.

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