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Thread: Lyman Mold Question

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Lyman Mold Question

    This might seem like a trivial or stupid question but how do you guys pre-heat your Lyman Molds? I've only used Lee Molds and a few casts and your ready to go. But now I need a new mold and Lyman is about the only company that seems to have the mold I need and its a fairly heavy 2 cavity steel mold. I haven't ordered the mold yet but I'm about to. Thanks
    Dave

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    The common practice is to use a hot plate, which I do.
    But, for 30 something years I use to heat it up on the top of the pot.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    +1 on using the top of the pot. By the time the pot is ready so is the mold. The new mold will take a little longer to get to casting good bullets but after the first time it will probably start dropping good bullets after only one or to casts. Good luck.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Rapidrob's Avatar
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    #2 top of the pot.

  5. #5
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    Preheating a mold on a Hotplate:
    That was one of the best hint/tip/tricks to casting that I learned here at CB, and it made my casting sessions much more enjoyable.
    Prior to me doing that, I only had marginal success trying to preheat a mold on top of my Lee pot or dipping the corner of the mold in the melt...it'd take me 20 minutes of casting to get good boolits with those tactics...20 minutes just wasted, plus the pounding on the sprue plate due to cold sprues, and all the mess of sprue chunks and particles and such in the dump area.
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  6. #6
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    Waaay back -- before I discovered the brilliance often offered on this site -- I'd rest my moulds on the edge of my Lyman MouldMaster to heat, along with the alloy heating to melt/flux/use. HOWEVER -- I learned (re this process ) two things: 1st, I bought a real el cheapo hot plate, which I have a piece of aluminum on, and an inverted steel (also cheapo) flower pot with a "door" cut out for putting in/taking out the mould. Using the hot plate with the "garage" atop it has been an awesome improvement for my casting. I will note that my moulds are pretty much all iron, as your Lyman -- or, brass. (I only have a couple of aluminum.) I keep the knob set for about 2/3rds up on General Electric hot-plate -- and, again, it has been an awesome improvement. (And, too, a safety "plus" with worry about knocking mould off gone).
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  7. #7
    Boolit Master stubert's Avatar
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    I also use a hot plate, I took an old fine tooth circular saw blade, ground off the teeth and set it on the heating element. It heats more evenly and you don't have to do a balancing act with the heating coils. I also took a 3 lb. coffee can, cut a small opening in the side and set it over the top.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Phlier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stubert View Post
    I also use a hot plate, I took an old fine tooth circular saw blade, ground off the teeth and set it on the heating element. It heats more evenly and you don't have to do a balancing act with the heating coils.
    Exactly what I did, and it works great. At some point, I'll put a PID on the hotplate so I can fine tune the temp of the mold.
    "Things sure are a lot more like the way they are now than they used to be." --Yogi Berra

  9. #9
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I have been sitting them on top of the pot , blocks on rim , wood handles supported by a block of
    wood . If I want to speed it up I'll take a cue from Lee and dip a corner in the melt...works for iron moulds too . 6 cavity moulds benefit from hot plate heating but two, three and four cavity moulds don't really require a hot plate . I don't have enough circuits to plug in both a Lee Magnum Melter and a hot plate... when both go on the breaker trips .. so I just keep on doing what I been doing for the last 40+ years , pot top heating and two cavity moulds .
    Gary
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master


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    My Lyman Mag 20 pot has a small shelf attached to the back rim of the pot. I set the mould there when I turn on the pot. I always have to block the handles up to keep the mould flat on the shelf. Normally by the time the alloy is melted the mould is good and hot. If not after a few casts it up to temp.
    Chuck

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Another vote for setting the mould on top of the pot. The pot is there and heating itself anyway, why add to the process when you have a built-in preheater right there. As my old shop teacher used to say, “KISS - keep it simple, stupid!”

    Froggie
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  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    My Lee 10# didn't have a shelf for warming so made one for it long ago out of aluminum. Year or two back I bought a hot plate. I'd never had any luck with a few of the Lee molds over the years but had one I'd bought mainly to cast samples for BHN testing. So I heated up the mold on the hot plate and was immediately rewarded with good samples from 1st cast. It really just confirmed what I'd thought after using the hot plate on the Lymans I normally cast with.

    After numerous time measuring mold temperatures when using those Lymans and weighing bullets in order I KNOW the first bullets out will be good ones. Never quite got there using only the warming shelf. The maximum temperature I ever recorded with the warming shelf was 305F. With my hot plate that happens to be PID controlled and set at 400F that hovers at 398 the molds are around say 20-40 hotter than they'd be off that shelf. Would take several casts to warm the mold enough to get it to operating temperature. Believe the tip to use the hot plate and the accumulation of PID stuff have been the most valuable things I've learned about on his forum.
    Mike

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  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by Green Frog View Post
    Another vote for setting the mould on top of the pot. The pot is there and heating itself anyway, why add to the process when you have a built-in preheater right there. As my old shop teacher used to say, “KISS - keep it simple, stupid!”

    Froggie
    That's what I do with my Lee molds but I understand that the steel and iron molds take longer to heat up

  14. #14
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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    Try to find a hot plate that is 1,200 Watts if you can, you'll have plenty of heat. If it has coils, put a skill saw blade on there to heat the mould more evenly and an old can on top helps to keep the heat in to warm that sprue plate. That is a BBQ thermometer, perfect for monitoring the oven.


    When this one hits 350 and that mould is pre-warmed it'll cast good boolits on the first cast, no kidding. A nice side to the oven is that if you want to take a break, put the mould back in the oven and you'll be good to go when you return.
    With my wide door I can place two moulds there.
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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I use a hotplate...dale

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    The old Lyman and Saeco 10# pots had a shelf and I used that but when I replaced them with a 20# Lee broke down and bought a solid surface hotplate at W-mart for about $20. Used the base from the tin that Danish Butter Cookies came in to make a cover, cutting a notch out of the side to clear the mold handles and added a wire bail handle. Once you work out the preheat setting for the plate you will not look back unless to ask yourself "Why didn't I do this sooner".

  17. #17
    Boolit Master

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    My experience after a lot of temperature taking is that tin can with a dial thermometer is wasted time and effort. Unless you're outside in a breeze as I didn't do that. I even insulated mine and same heating times,with or without the "oven". Heat rises.
    Mike

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  18. #18
    Boolit Master

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    I have cast boolits for many years and basically just started with a cool mould and let the hot lead warm it up. This most often resulted in a long warm-up session before getting good wrinkle free boolits with a good mould fill out. I found a bargin priced coffee warmer at a thrift store and it didn't get the mould hot enough. This past Christmas, my granddaughter got me a hot plate for prewarming moulds and I have only used it once. However I will say it was a good addition to my casting session because I got zero defects and 100% of my boolits cast were keepers. Not bad for my first time with a hot plate!
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  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I first read about the hotplate trick here. Bought a cheap one, put a saw blade on it and went to casting. Usually my MP brass molds will drop perfect bullets on the second or third pour. Before, it would be ten or so before the molds were hot enough.

    I've since bought a better quality hotplate with a built in pid, had a friend cut me a piece of 1/4" thick steel that fits the hotplate surface and have even seen where my first pour drops keepers.

    It seems most posting to this topic use bottom pour pots, but I'm a big cast iron pot ladle caster. The same friend mentioned turned a turkey cooker into a perfect height casting table with a top that holds all of the necessary stuff. Life is good....

  20. #20
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    Just dip the mold in the pot. Boolits come out nice and frosty so powder coat is better.

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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