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Thread: Alloy Temperature for Casting, and Keeping Molds Hot

  1. #41
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    Again, my observation has been that the temp is right when I can take the ladle and mold and stick it into the molten lead and it doesn't freeze over the pot and that after a few minutes in the molten lead the mold will come out clean with no lead stuck to it. Then as described if the bullets are dropping wrinkled I speed up the pour rate it increase the mold temp. Fill and dump quickly. Once I see them starting to get frosty I slow the pace between the drop and the fill and the mold will cool. So far that is working for me with COWW's as the alloy.

  2. #42
    Boolit Bub
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    I'm still working on managing the mold. I've tried dipping the mold into the melt, but between dodging the hardware on top of my casting pot (a Lee 4-20 with both the standard pour valve hardware and a thermocouple for the PID) and just learning how to move and maneuver these molds, I haven't gotten the knack yet.

  3. #43
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    Patience and practice, it will come together. Just pay attention and think about what you are doing and what is happening when you do it.

  4. #44
    Boolit Bub
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    I hear a lot of people talking about PIDs for controlling temp. I just might need to break down and order one.

    To keep my moulds up to temp, I recently got a heating element with a circular saw blade on top. After 10 min on that thr bullets are pretty much good after the first fill.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

  5. #45
    Boolit Buddy PBaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTShooter View Post
    My only real problem was that, as I went along casting, my Lee casting pot dripped more and more. It's like something got caught inside the spout, keeping the valve from closing. I have to get it hot and completely drain it, then take apart the pour valve to clean it, but that will wait for another - cooler! - day.
    Keep a flat bladed screwdriver handy. The dripping can be because of 2 reasons:

    1. The heat from the pot expands the steel just a little, and you are no longer bottomed out in the valve. Adjust the screw when you are at temperature. I do this by looking at the distance between the bracket and the pot, and adjust it to 1/16" above bottom. This adjustment is critical, as you want to maximize the amount of lead you are getting out the bottom with 228 grain boolits. You need that extra amount of force from the volume of the lead, so that you are filling each mold fast enough. I used to open up the holes of my 230 grain 6 hole molds 1 drill size to give myself a little extra help in this manner.

    2. The valve just drips. To fix this, take your screwdriver, and apply some downward force, and rotate the screw back and forth a little. This will clean out the dirt in the seat. You may have to do this 1 or 2 times during a session, but it should not be occurring constantly.

  6. #46
    Boolit Grand Master popper's Avatar
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    Get a cheap tap handle, pull the adjusting screw out and attach the tap handle on the top of the pintle shaft (adjust position for max flow - don't let the pintle come out of the valve hole!). Adds weight and just rotate to clear junk in the valve. I do a pour, rotate with other hand while sprue is cooling, reduces drip - doesn't always stop it. No screw driver needed.
    Whatever!

  7. #47
    Boolit Master trixter's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is where it starts I turn it on and up to where the 'medium' setting ends towards the 'high' setting, then set my mold on it.

    then I plug in my lead pot, (no switch) and wait about 50 to 60 minutes, then everything is up to temp.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I have found if I slow down the amount of lead that comes out of the spout, and let it run down the angled part of the sprue plate opening, I get perfect boolits every time and they fall out of the mold. I operate the pot at 760°. I cast quickly as it helps the mold stay up to temperature: fill all cavities count: 1001-1002-1003, cut sprue. Count 1001-1005 open mold and VOILA boolits.

    Repeat.
    Last edited by trixter; 10-29-2019 at 11:24 AM.

  8. #48
    A couple of the best things I've done for my casting is to use a PID for my pot, and install thermocouples in my molds, which connect to a digital grill thermometer (bought thermometer from NOE, and extra thermocouples online). Once I find my sweet spot for a particular mold, I write the temp. on the mold box. That way I can begin casting perfect bullets from the very start, and it tells me when I need to pick up the pace, or slow down. I have NOE drill the molds I buy from them, and I've drilled all of my other molds myself. I don't have to fiddle fart around with guessing when things are the correct temp anymore.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtech26 View Post
    I hear a lot of people talking about PIDs for controlling temp. I just might need to break down and order one.

    To keep my moulds up to temp, I recently got a heating element with a circular saw blade on top. After 10 min on that thr bullets are pretty much good after the first fill.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Someone here mentioned using a tin can for an enclosure over the saw blade on the hot plate...making a sort of an 'oven'. I gave it a try...



    Here an old Ideal single cavity mould with the pin is preheating as I watch the temp. of the oven with this cheap $6 BBQ thermometer...works great when I want to take a break when I have refilled the casting pot and am waiting on it to come back up to temp.
    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

  10. #50
    An interesting device.
    I did the PID conversion to my pots and will never look back.

  11. #51
    Boolit Bub
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    On examining the sprue plate on the double cavity mold I have most recently used, the openings are anything but round. That looks like an area to address, at least to start.

    I got a hot plate with a solid surface, and except for the fact that the mold handles tend to make the mold fall off of it, it's worked well for me. I need to come up with some sort of support for the handles, but I'm not sure if I need to make something that's heat resistant to put on the body of the hot plate (not the hot part, but the body of the device), or something that will sit off to the side of the hot plate. This is at least as challenging as getting a mold to sit on top of the casting pot...

  12. #52
    Boolit Master trixter's Avatar
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    For those of you that cast .224 boolits with Lee 6 cavity mold; what temperature of the lead works best for you?

  13. #53
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTShooter View Post
    On examining the sprue plate on the double cavity mold I have most recently used, the openings are anything but round. That looks like an area to address, at least to start.

    I got a hot plate with a solid surface, and except for the fact that the mold handles tend to make the mold fall off of it, it's worked well for me. I need to come up with some sort of support for the handles, but I'm not sure if I need to make something that's heat resistant to put on the body of the hot plate (not the hot part, but the body of the device), or something that will sit off to the side of the hot plate. This is at least as challenging as getting a mold to sit on top of the casting pot...
    I took the lazy and quick solution to my handle heavy problem....here I have a block of 1" thick outside decking supporting them, this material is very dense and heavy so it'll sit there without moving around much. A block of wood would do the same thing...

    a m e r i c a n p r a v d a

    Be a Patriot . . . expose their lies!

    “In a time of deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” G. Orwell

  14. #54
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by OS OK View Post
    I took the lazy and quick solution to my handle heavy problem....here I have a block of 1" thick outside decking supporting them, this material is very dense and heavy so it'll sit there without moving around much. A block of wood would do the same thing...

    Fantastic idea regarding the metal "housing" and handle support!

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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