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Thread: Smoking a new mould

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Smoking a new mould

    All of my moulds have been smoked prior to first using them. Pins for the hollow bases or hollow points are lightly lubed.
    I have a new Mihec Mould, still in the box, for .45 caliber.

    An older member of my club happened to see it and commented on the quality. And then said don't smoke that mould. He said he never has and never did and his bullets come out perfect every time.

    So just what is the popular consensus on new moulds fresh out of the box...prior to first use and during and after casting a few?

    I didn't see any reference on the Mihec site regarding smoking.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Each company have there own ways of doing thing ,Just like we all have our own ways to clean a mold. I do smoke my molds after I first clean them and take less time to get the mold broke in for me. It works for me.
    Life Member of NRA,NTA,DAV ,ITA. Also member of FTA,CBA

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I don’t have many molds maybe 4 that I bought new and they are all aluminum which got cleaned in hot water and Dawn dried and smoked with a bic lighter. They have all been flawless after a couple of casting cycles. Most drop boolits without tapping, some 1 cavity will hold till tapped most time they drop out when heat is right with the alloy and mold. I do use a hot plate to get mold up to temperature tho.

  4. #4
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    read the directions that come with the mold, the high-end molds (NOE, MiHec ---) recommend heat cycling the molds a few time before using.

    After proper heat cycling you shouldn't have to smoke the mold

  5. #5
    Boolit Grand Master tazman's Avatar
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    I don't smoke any of my molds, either steel or aluminum(I have never owned a brass mold).
    I make sure they are clean first. I heat them above normal casting temperature, then allow them to cool to normal, then cast with them.
    I have never had an issue with any of them. No need to smoke them.

  6. #6

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Like Tazman, I don't smoke my molds. I give them a good scrubbing with a soft brush and brake cleaner, lube the pins and sprue plate, preheat them and go to casting.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Petander's Avatar
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    No smoke here either,I like clean molds. I did try smoking a Lee ball mold once because the instructions said so, no harm done.

    But MP instructions work good for me. No smoke,I don't want any crud in such a tight tolerance tool.

  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy


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    If the pins for the hp want to hang up a little, put them in a drill motor and run it against a buffing wheel or a piece of leather, for a FEW seconds! It will break any sharp angles, and let the boolit drop free! It works for me! And it does no damage to the molds. YMMV

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    Well, old habits die hard, but, I'll do it. Or "not" do it in this case.

    I plan on just a light oil on the pin shafts to ease them back and forth. And start casting.

    I'll let you know how it goes.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    I spray my moulds with Frankford Armory drop out graphite before casting.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    I smoked my first mold because 'they' told me I needed to. Haven't smoked one since.
    Warning: I know Judo. If you force me to prove it I'll shoot you.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    Rick Hodges's Avatar
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    I only smoke molds that are frustrating me....if I am having trouble I will try it. Most don't need it.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master waco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    I spray my moulds with Frankford Armory drop out graphite before casting.
    I never put anything in the mold cavities. This just makes your bullets smaller in diameter.
    The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
    Proverbs 1:7

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I don't smoke my molds. Does the soot from the smoke get in the vent grooves? Stuff in the vent grooves gets in the way of air venting. Or I could be wrong.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    New Molds I scrub with Dawn and dry well, blowing out with compressed air.

    I heat cycle my molds 3-4 times, scrub with a Clean Toothbrush and brake cleaner.

    Then smoke with loong fireplace match.

    Doesn't matter if aluminum, iron/steel or brass.

    It what works for me.
    I HATE auto-correct


    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



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    I never smoked my molds. Most are Lee aluminum, one RCBS Steel. I clean them well with dish soap and very hot water and/or brake cleaner and start casting. The first one don’t cast great, but in a little while they start throwing good boolits. I do have to tap maybe half the time on some.

    I would be hesitant to grease the pins in fear that a little would find it’s way into the boolit cavity. Any kind of grease or oil there will ruin your day.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master



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    I just wanted to add that after use, I spray my molds with Ballistol. Ballistol is very water soluble and I think it makes cleaning them before use a lot easier.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master


    Larry Gibson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waco View Post
    I never put anything in the mold cavities. This just makes your bullets smaller in diameter.
    +1.......
    Larry Gibson

    “Deficient observation is merely a form of ignorance and responsible for the many morbid notions and foolish ideas prevailing.”
    ― Nikola Tesla

  20. #20
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailcaptain View Post
    All of my moulds have been smoked prior to first using them. Pins for the hollow bases or hollow points are lightly lubed.
    I have a new Mihec Mould, still in the box, for .45 caliber.

    ...SNIP
    I assume this mold is Brass.
    there was a recent thread, about what I am about to mention.
    http://castboolits.gunloads.com/show...rrible-boolits

    Newly machined brass molds can have an issue, like easily getting "tinned" (alloy adhering to the mold face)...as well as just have some boolit dropping issues.

    It is highly recommended to heat cycle your new mold several times, so a patina builds up. a complete heat up and complete cool down, 3 or 4 or 5 times. And even then, don't be discouraged if you still have some problems. If you have some minor problems, just quit casting for that session and let it cool down, and retry after a while.

    While what I mentioned is common, it is not the case every time, it is probably just as likely that you will have no problems, each new mold is a thing of it's own.

    Anyway, I wouldn't smoke it.
    Good Luck.
    Last edited by JonB_in_Glencoe; 08-12-2019 at 02:11 PM.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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