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Thread: Preheating mold

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

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    30+ years ago, I started casting with a 10lb Lee bottom pour. The lead I was getting at the time was from the range at work which was swaged hollow-base wad cutters. To help heat up the melt I cut a tin can lid and placed it over the lead pot. The molds could then be placed on the lid so my the time the melt was up to temp so were the molds. I never saw the need for a hot plate.

    I generally smelt into ingots using a SAECO cast ingot mold. When I start casting I place an ingot on the edge of the pot so that it is pre-heated before it could be placed into the pot without affecting the melt temp too much. Having cast for many years before I ever got a thermometer I learned from Dad and other casters to judge temp by watching the sprue cool. If it took to long - it's too hot. I also learned that pouring onto the sprueplate to the left side of the holes the melt would swirl into both and gave good fill. I also learned that if I watch the sprue frost over the mold was good to open. If doing 200 grain or larger boolits use two molds and rotate. Little tiny NOE 225-62 RN I could just fill the mold, blow on the sprue and open when solid.

    I finally did get a thermometer and who knew, my pot was at a good range. I learned from others here about speed casting which worked well for me using two molds. BTW, most of my molds are Lee aluminum with a couple SAECO steel molds. I get a good rhythm and I can make a lot of pretty boolits.
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  2. #22
    Boolit Master

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    Try putting a cover over your mold on the hotplate made from a modified coffee/tin can.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    I have gone thru several hot plates> some have worked better than others. the 2 i had befor were from Dollar General.they seemd to work a bit better that the one i have now from WM.you have to play with the setting some have been set on Med to hi and work great.the one i have now is about wide open and the cycle time from off to on is to much.so when it hits temp and turns on it is way cooler thatn i want so i end up waiting for the light to turn off then the mold it hot.Sp just keep turning the one you have up will you get it hot enough.if it will not get hot enough try a cover to make a mold oven if that dont work get a new hot plate.i use a tin can to make an oven when i use certain molds that will not set flat on my saw blaed and that works great.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    I use a hot plate...an old saw blade on top...and a coffee can with a side cut out so its like a small oven.

    redhawk

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  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy jlm223's Avatar
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    Has anyone ever tried a heat gun, or is that a bad idea? Just asking.
    Aim Small Miss Small

  6. #26
    Boolit Grand Master fredj338's Avatar
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    Better hot plate? Really you don't need 400deg, 350 is plenty hot & most decent hot plates will easily get that. The ones without the exposed coil are best, flat surface & you can cover with alum foil if you want more heat, but mine heat up nicely with the palte set about 2/3 to high, cheap Target hotplate.
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  7. #27
    Boolit Master


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    Cheap hot plate witha cast iron heat diffuser plate on top. Turn it to "5" as hot as it will go. By the lead is melted the molds are hot.
    I HATE auto-correct


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

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  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by robg View Post
    i just fill the molds im using and let them sit for a couple of mins .seems to work with ally and iron molds
    Actually that's the way I do it too , after sitting it on the edge of the hot pot ...and there is always the quick warm...dipping a corner in the melt . Casting a few throw-backs is good for the soul .
    But our way doesn't involve any special , fancy or expensive laser powered equipment...
    We just aren't technical enough , too simple .
    Gary
    Certified Cajun
    Proud Member of The Basket of Deplorables

  9. #29
    Boolit Buddy fastdadio's Avatar
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    I use a propane torch. Seems to work just fine.

  10. #30
    Boolit Master
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    Cheap WM solid top hot plate set a hair below medium with a cover made from a Danish Butter Cookie tin. Cut a notch out of one side of the tin big enough for the mold handles to stick out. Plug it in when I turn on my Lee 20# pot and in about 20 minutes both are good to go. Frequently get good bullets on the first cast, worst case so far is third pour.

  11. #31
    Boolit Master kmw1954's Avatar
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    Hot plate with an aluminum bike sprocket and then just the top of the Lee Pro IV pot after alloy is melted.

  12. #32
    Boolit Buddy bazzer485's Avatar
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    I wonder why no one had manufactured a specific heater for Moulds? NOE have a thermometer which can have a probe inserted into one of their Moulds. It would seem a logical next step to design a preheater
    Barry

  13. #33
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I have heard of guys actually warping molds using a "ham-fisted" propane torch approach and getting in a hurry. Just make sure the heat is distributed evenly.

  14. #34
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlm223 View Post
    Has anyone ever tried a heat gun, or is that a bad idea? Just asking.
    It could work.........................if you have all day!

  15. #35
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Remember, IR thermometers will not read the correct temp off of shiny surfaces like Al molds. I used some "aluminum black" fluid from the gun store to make a 1" black spot on the end of the mold to shoot the LED dot at and the temp is very close to the contact T/C readings I get.

  16. #36
    Boolit Buddy mehavey's Avatar
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    Simple,
    Repeatable,
    Use while lead melts in pot.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    1st Bullet casts perfectly... even big Minnies.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master OS OK's Avatar
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  18. #38
    Boolit Buddy mehavey's Avatar
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    I like the holes in the top (bottom) for pin heating !

  19. #39
    Boolit Master



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    My pop told me to put molds on top of the pot. Takes a good spell to warm that lead. When molten, fill cavities and put back on top Of the pot.

    Whole process takes 25-35 minutes. When that time has elapsed usually The Mold is dropping good bullets. Some molds simply have more culls than others. Some Molds will drop good bullets from the get go while others take 10-12 cycles.

    Just go with the flow. If ya have wrinkles or voids after all that clean the mold with a couple
    Blasts of carb or parts cleaner spray. AWAY FROM THE LEAD! No need to touch mold after spray. It will have gassed off when you fill it with lead.

    Good luck

    CW
    NRA Life member REMEMBER, FREEDOM IS NOT FREE its being paid for in BLOOD.

  20. #40
    Boolit Master


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    I, too put mine on top of pot--Lee 6-cavities

    once lead is at temp I pour one cavity and dump, then pour 2 and dump, all the way up to 6 cavities. Doesn't stress the sprue handle and get good ones from get-go
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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