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Thread: meehanite Saeco mold?

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    meehanite Saeco mold?

    Does anyone know how to identify a Saeco mold that is made of meehanite steel?
    Last edited by 762sultan; 01-22-2020 at 03:41 PM.

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    If it is not aluminum - if it is not brass .... it's meehanite metal,the common steel used to make mold blanks
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meehanite
    Regards
    John

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    I believe that a steel mold does not guarantee that it is Meehanite. I read that Saeco began using it because it produced better molds. At some point it was discontinued as a cost cutting measure. How can an older mold be identified as being Meehanite?

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    I have a couple of the old Saeco Meehanite molds. Usually they are sort of a copper color and easy to distinquish from a steel mold. Franl

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    I'm not sure SAECO ever changed the type of iron used to make their molds.

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    I have a number of SAECO moulds that I purchased new twenty-five or thirty or more years ago. I only have a very few that I bought in the last ten or twelve years. I don't know that I could identify different metals and I've never paid a lot of attention to their looks but I would guess the older ones and newer ones were all made from the same material.

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    Before Redding bought out Saeco I think someone else had made them for several years and ran the business into the ground. This is when the change was made. Redding makes a good mold but I think they have not used Meehanite steel. Saeco began as a hi-tech engineering company and were capable of machining to extreme tolerances and felt in order to make an accurate mold the use of this material was important, and their quality was obvious. All Redding molds are well marked, the question is "how do I identify a mold that was not made by the original Saeco company?"

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    One - I'm not sure the metal was ever changed. Just because Redding acquired SAECO doesn't mean they changed the production process.
    Two - The address and style of the logo will be a sign as to when the mold was made, BUT, I'm not convinced there's a difference in material used between early production and later production.

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    OK... I went to the source...I called Redding and in a roundabout way they told me that Meehanite is a trade marked name. It is a gray iron and they still use it. Just don't procure it from a trade-marked source. And it sounds like all other mold companies do the same.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 762sultan View Post
    OK... I went to the source...I called Redding and in a roundabout way they told me that Meehanite is a trade marked name. It is a gray iron and they still use it. Just don't procure it from a trade-marked source. And it sounds like all other mold companies do the same.
    Well there you go.

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    Meehanite is a trademarked process of casting iron, and Meehanite bars are procured from trademarked foundries who cast it into the desired shape. In this case, rectangular bar stock from which mold blocks are machined.

    Ordinarily, gray iron is sold only as cast cylindrical bar, which requires more machining when making mold blocks.

    Most metals are marketed in a variety of rectangular and round shapes which can be extruded or rolled, but not iron.

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    Probably most mould manufacturers use a ductile iron, of one grade or another, for their iron mould blocks.
    Easily machined, holds detail very well, and less resistant to warpage from the heating and cooling cycle.

    I use Dura-Bar 65-45-12 for all my paper patch moulds.
    Here's more info on the material itself:https://www.dura-bar.com/products/du...n/65-45-12.cfm
    And, it is available in many sizes and shapes.

    RRR
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    Looking for Bullet Mould Handles, Heavy Duty Replacement Sprue Plates, Adjustable Paper Patch Bullet Moulds? Check here:http://www.kal.castpics.net/

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    Meehanite cast iron is a process that produces a very fine grained iron. The Hensley & Gibbs mold blocks are meehanite. Back in the early days Saeco and H&G worked closely together, even the earlier mold numbers from the two companies are the same. I do know that Saeco used an iron that was alloyed with copper, but I don't know if it was in fact meehanite. I have several H&G molds as well as old Saeco molds that I treasure. In my opinion these old molds produce excellent bullets, which I attribute to master workmanship as well as the cast iron block material. From my owning some newer Saeco molds my opinion is the newer molds just do not perform as well as the old ones, but I don't know how one would go about identifying a date when things changed.

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    Original Hoch molds were meehanite, not sure if current production is, it was also used for lathe ways.
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." - Ernest Hemingway

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red River Rick View Post
    Probably most mould manufacturers use a ductile iron, of one grade or another, for their iron mould blocks.
    Easily machined, holds detail very well, and less resistant to warpage from the heating and cooling cycle.

    ……...
    I believe you meant to say "more resistant" to warpage......

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    Meehanite cast iron is a process that produces a very fine grained iron. The Hensley & Gibbs mold blocks are meehanite. Back in the early days Saeco and H&G worked closely together, even the earlier mold numbers from the two companies are the same. I do know that Saeco used an iron that was alloyed with copper, but I don't know if it was in fact meehanite. I have several H&G molds as well as old Saeco molds that I treasure. In my opinion these old molds produce excellent bullets, which I attribute to master workmanship as well as the cast iron block material. From my owning some newer Saeco molds my opinion is the newer molds just do not perform as well as the old ones, but I don't know how one would go about identifying a date when things changed.
    I suspect that the material used in current Saeco molds is similar to the material used in older molds. I also suspect that molds "season" a bit with long term use, making old molds seem superior to newer molds.
    And probably the biggest factor is the tendency to be nostalgic about old tools.
    The old adage, "they don't make them like they used to" is sometimes more nostalgia than reality. 40 years from now people will likely be saying, "these new molds aren't as good as the ones they made back in 2020!"
    The fact that high quality tools last for decades tends to make one feel that the older production was better. Sometimes the older production was better; but not always.

    My current production Saeco and RCBS molds appear to be very similar to old ones I see. I can't say the alloy used is the same and the suppliers of the alloys may have changed over the years but I suspect the alloys are very similar, if not identical, between old and new.

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