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Thread: Steel mould lubrication

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub sgms18's Avatar
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    Steel mould lubrication

    This may be a stupid question. Do I need to lubricate the alignment pins & sprue plate on Lyman steel moulds with bees wax or 2 stroke oil like I do my Lee aluminum moulds? Just got a couple 4 cavity Lymans but all my previous experience has been with Lee.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    My Lyman 4 cav. 9mm blocks flopped around enough, I never lubed it.

    I didn't keep it long, but it did fine.

    When I was done with a session, after it cooled, I dunked it in a jar of car engine oil to protect it.
    Not sure if that counts or not.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I am going to go with a yes alignment pins , top and bottom of the plate and top of the block + the handle screws with 2 stroke . Just not in the cavity . Q-tips are handy

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I use a little silver or copper anti sieze on all the screw's threads and alignment pins. Like the amount you can pick up with a toothpick. It makes disassembly real easy in the future. At the end of my casting session I 2 cycle the top of the mold and bottom of the sprue plate. I cast till it doesn't smoke and the bullets are fully formed at the base. I return all those bullets to the pot so I get good bonding of Hitek. Next casting session after heating on the hotplate, bullets are good to go from the start.

  5. #5
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    Do I need to lubricate the alignment pins & sprue plate on Lyman steel moulds with bees wax or 2 stroke oil
    I lube all types of molds with a Sprue plate lube, the one I use is similar to a fully synth two stroke oil.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Steel (iron) molds are prone to rusting during storage and some measure should be taken to protect them during storage. This is a different issue from providing lubrication during use.

    It may be possible to place a tiny bit of a lubricant on the pivot for the sprue plate but I have doubts that any significant amount of an oil or grease would remain on the alignment pins of a fully heated mold. I also doubt that it is necessary to try and lubricate the alignment pins, there just isn't that much wear of those surfaces. There are some lubricants that can better tolerate the high temperatures involved but I'm not sure if there is significant value in using them.

    A properly adjusted sprue plate will work just fine on a hot mold without lubrication. The key factors are a perfectly flat plate, on a perfectly flat mold face and a properly adjusted pivot screw.

    NOW, all of that being addressed, proper storage of the mold is a different issue. Iron molds WILL rust if they are improperly stored. There are different methods to address storage. Some people use a dry environment to limit the amount of oxygen and water that can reach the surface of the iron and other people use a grease or oil to prevent oxygen and water from reaching the surface of the iron.
    I use grease [RIG] for long term storage of iron molds. This works very well but the price I pay for that protection is the mold must be cleaned and degreased before use. I accept that extra labor.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    I use a small candle that I touch to the alignment pins and the sprue plate screw after the mold is up to operating temperature. If the sprue plate stiffens up, I apply some more---just lightly touching the candle to the top of the screw.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    LBT makes a mix of beeswax and graphite that works well or you could use two cycle oil sparingly was well . I've used both and they work well .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I use graphite via a carpenters pencil regardless of mould variety.

    Any time the mould is disassembled I color the sprue plates bottom, the pivot hole and screw, the top of the mould, and the alignment pins. Then when casting, if I should get a lead smear between block and plate, I remove it best I can with a rag and recolor both with my pencil. This makes those smears much easier to clean up. A small amount of smear will be removed just by scouring with the pencil, like you would with a wooden skewer. This works well to get a speck off the mould faces when casting too.

    I tried two cycle oil and never could get the hang of it. I always used too much and it always felt like the mould needed lube.

    For storage between sessions I spray with remoil. I don't do anything to remove it. After the mould is hot if I have any issues with contamination, say a bit of wax from fluxing, I open the mould and squirt it well with lighter fluid.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub sgms18's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the responses. I've been buying 4 cavity Lymans here & there & just want to be sure I'm taking good care of them because they ain't cheap. I found out the hard way what lack of lubrication does to Lee moulds.

  11. #11
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    with a hot mold and boolits in the mold, I spray the top of the mold, both sides of the sprue plate and a q-tip with Liquid Wrench L512 Clear One Each, 11 oz. Dry Lubricant.
    open the mold and swap the pins and pinholes.
    then I get a paper towel and wipe the top and sprue plate.

    IF I feel any drag on the sprue plate I use a needle-point dropper and put a minuscule drop on the sprue hinge/hole with 2 stroke additive, work the sprue 10-15 second and wipe away any oil that might have migrated.

    sometimes the Liquid Wrench L512 Clear One Each, 11 oz. Dry Lubricant works great in the mold cavities (spray it in, wait a few seconds then wipe out the cavities with q-tips. preheat the mold and the boolits fall out a lot easier -- or they don't . I'm still working on the correct procedure because when it works, it's great.

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