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Thread: Lubrication when turning cases in a lathe?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    DonMountain's Avatar
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    Lubrication when turning cases in a lathe?

    I am turning 348 Winchester cases in my lathe to reduce the base dimension, for about 3/4" up from the rim, down to the rim. Should I be using some oil lubricant while turning these? I am trying to fabricate 43 Spanish cases.

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    Boolit Master
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    I never use any on brass, Don.
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  3. #3
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    No lube needed on brass with sharp HSS tooling (near zero rake), especially with shallow cuts.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    while not needed we used a wipe of soap on brass and copper. Beeswax also works. It helps improve the surface finish and stop any chip galling. Not a big deal but makes a nicer looking part. We just touched the bar to the part an slid along length of cut before cutting a very light coat.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Lubricant on brass is not critical.
    Most hand lotion is mineral oil and lanolin. You can use it and keep your hands moisturized at the same time.
    EDG

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    depends on the chemistry/hardness and tooling geometry. with brass inder 35 KSI UTS used wax on the tooling. HS brass can benefit in surface finish with light machine oil.

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    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    I use Ivory soap and water. Also works nicely for sizing .44-40 cases fired with black powder, decap, slobber and wipe out with .410 cotton mop, full-length resize while wet, then rinse in boiling clear water and let dry of their own heat to prime tomorrow.

    I do hose out the wet sizer die with WD40 after doing this. No rust.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Buddy
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    I try to swage the case down as far as I can to the desired diameter and as close as I can to the solid case head. Then I only have to turn about 1/4" to the rim. This gives the most metal thickness at the web and the biggest margin of safety.

  10. #10
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    I use diesel engine wrist pins and a 12 ton shop press to swage the 348 brass
    And yes, I use lube while swaging

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Idaho Mule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeettx View Post
    I use diesel engine wrist pins and a 12 ton shop press to swage the 348 brass
    And yes, I use lube while swaging

    Mike
    Just out of curiosity, does that "shrink" the primer pocket? I had thought of same method to form 11.7 x 56 Danish brass but have not tried it. JW

  12. #12
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    No, primer pockets were not affected
    I only did a few a day to rest the dies and my arms
    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I don't have a lathe but I do lube the brass and mandrel when I'm neck turning. Any thin machine or gun oil works. I'll put less than a drop on the brass and about every 3rd time I'll put less than a drop on the mandrel. When I say less than a drop I mean that I invert the bottle and touch the neck with the spout and what seeps out is enough. This is hard to put into words! This may not be necessary with a carbide cutter but I still do it.

  14. #14
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    Foster or Wilson case trimmers. Sometimes the spud used to make sure the case is centered gets a little grabby and makes trimming a little difficult. Q-tip rubbed in the Imperial sizing die wax and occasionally rubbed on the spud or pilot frees things up nicely. Even works with the Lee cutter and lock stud. Even though the Wilson uses a case holder still works with keeping the cutter lubed. Occasionally I use it on the chamfering tool. easy to clean off with a paper towel. Frank

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold BS2's Avatar
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    Try a rounded tip tool, not a sharp point.

    Run the tool just above center.

  16. #16
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    Honing the ground HSS tool with an Arkansas stone helps with the finish as well.
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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