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Thread: Ready to sell it...

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy

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    Ready to sell it...

    I bought a star sizer. Bought a lathesmith 452 die with punch ( hg68 style). No matter what I try I can’t get away from a bead of lube ahead of driving bands. I’m ready to sell and go back to my rcbs style sizer. Help. Should mention I’m using white label BAC lube with a halogen light for a little heat.
    Last edited by imsoooted; 05-08-2020 at 12:07 AM. Reason: Lube type

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    Just a wild guess, but it sounds like its going too deep into the die.
    If that doesn't work, and the boolit has to go in deep-
    If the die has vertical holes, you can bevel the edge of the top ones a bit and plug them with
    a shot gun pellet or JB weld.

    Or, the lube may be too warm.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 05-08-2020 at 01:42 AM.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master



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    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy

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    When I first got a Star I had a bit of trouble with the adjustment and finally got it set right. I bought the nuts with a set screw from Laithsmith and the troubles went away.
    I plugged the holes not needed with some lead shot. The set screw nuts are a life saver, and will work for different bullets of the same caliber. I use the same set up
    for at least 4 .45 bullets.

    I just got a die and punch from him for rifle bullets and seating gas checks. It took 2 minor adjustments and was good to go.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy

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    My sizer die only has one row of holes, since I only cast hg68 boolits. I started with punch all the way in then adjusted it out bit by bit. The lube ribbon got smaller but never went away entirely. I actually adjusted the punch so far out that the holes in the die were exposed behind the boolit. That made a bit of a mess! As far as too much pressure or too hot, I don’t know. I haven’t run into anything like this with my Lachmiller, after the initial setup it worked great, just slow. Any other suggestions?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master mattw's Avatar
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    I think heat may be your nemesis here. That is a pretty soft lube to begin with and the star applies lube with a pressure pump and if the lube is to soft is will make it by. I have seen it happen on mine as well.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy super6's Avatar
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    Turn the heat down. I had lots of frustration with over fill and mess then eureka heat to high!
    six, better now!

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    winelover's Avatar
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    The nut and set screw arrangement is great if your using it for one bullet..........sometimes more. I'm not about to invest in a top punch and lock nut for every different bullet I cast. For instance, I cast a half dozen different bullets for 9 mm and just about as many for 38 caliber. Not all the lube grooves match up with the various designs. However, one can use one top punch (flat) if nose first sizing for both calibers and all the different style bullets. I just record the length (number of exposed threads) on that top punch for the various bullets I use. Better to invest in different size sizer's, IMO.

    Winelover

  9. #9
    Boolit Master oldhenry's Avatar
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    I agree with some of the others that responded about too much heat being part of the problem.

    A common mistake when going to the Star from other lube-sizers is too much pressure on the reservoir. The purpose of the pressure on the reservoir is to deliver just enough lube to the main pump (left side @ rear) to allow the main pump to deliver just enough lube to do the job. Try slacking off on reservoir pressure & reducing heat.

    Any change will not be immediate: it'll take a few boolits to get the pressure down. I set reservoir pressure by backing off until I feel no pressure, then screwing it back in until I 1st. feel pressure. About 1 1/2 turns more should do it.

    Once properly adjusted, you'll love that Star.

    Good luck.

    P.S. Until any excess pressure corrects itself, try a very quick action on the operating lever (real quick).
    Last edited by oldhenry; 05-09-2020 at 10:01 AM.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    The Star is the only luber out there! Your problems could be a) punch adj.needs to be raised. B) lube too hot c) boolit too narrow for die

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Problem could be, alignment incorrect, lube to hot or to much pressure on the lube. If the lube is to hot and you have to much pressure it’s going to come out wherever it wants. This is one of the reasons I have the air cylinder for the Star. No more guess work w/ pressure.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    Greetings,

    What diameter are the "as cast" bullets?

    Perhaps lube is leaking past a part of the bullet that did not fill out?

    Cheers,

    Dave

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    For such a popular lubrisizer, finding clear answers for problems with the Star is frustrating. What you are seeing is lube bleeding through the holes in the die before the next bullet covers them again. Theoretically the Star sizer is nothing but a grease gun. A spring (or air cylinder) puts pressure on the lube in the reservoir, which pushes it into a chamber. When you pull the handle near the bottom, it pushes a piston which presses lube with significant pressure into the die and lubes the bullet. The problem is that lube can and does leak by the chamber, and into the die.

    Against what others have said, I do not believe this can be fully stopped, only minimized. To see this, all you have to do is put in an empty sizing die. The second you put pressure on the reservoir, lube comes shooting through the die. You can lower the temperature to slow it, you can't do much with the manual pressure spring unless you want to be turning it every 2-3 bullets (in which case why not just use the Lyman?) , but you can turn down the pressure on the air cylinder if equipped. There is no fully stopping it, while maintaining a functioning luber.

    I've come to terms with my star sizer. I hope one day someone will design something superior.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master


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    I disagree, I do many different bullets and I never get ribbons of lube on the nose once I get it adjusted. I barely tolerate 3 spots of lube on the nose. I have found that more pressure/less heat works best. I do have an air pressure cylinder, but I didn't have any problems back when I didn't. I load for 4 people in my family, so I probably get more use out of my Star then most, but it does take some experience to get it right easily. So don't give up.

  15. #15
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    JonB_in_Glencoe's Avatar
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    With a soft lube, use as little heat as possible.
    With the lube I use, SL68B, which is soft, I use no heat, and as little pressure as necessary.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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  16. #16
    Boolit Mold

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    I second JonB in Glencoe's comment about less heat with soft lube. This allows more tolerance in spring pre-load on your lube and slows the lube flow, preventing the dreaded lube loss and resultant mess.

    The opportunity for unrestricted lube flow exists any time a full diameter bullet is NOT against the lube holes. Given that I don't use a wadcutter profile bullet (yet) I have suffered this problem and found the solutions. When I use LBT Blue, I find heat necessary. Using Felix or SPG, I don't heat unless the lube won't flow due to cold (unheated work area). In heating LBT Blue, I use a small thrift store iron on a 1/2" thick Al plate which is threaded to accept bolts through my Star. I heat the plate until the bottom of the Star is warm to the hand, whether my shop is 60 or 0 degrees. A little fiddling with the lube pressure gets me on my way without wasting lube or getting it all over all my bullet noses.

    If you accept the fact that you are using a mechanical device with a spring you are compressing by feel and hand pressure on a lever injecting lube at variably high pressure, you will be able to change what you are doing in order to get proper results with less frustration.

    Find your groove and don't biopsy your bullet-feeding fingers!
    -Molon Labe-

  17. #17
    Boolit Master



    skeettx's Avatar
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    Yes, are you sizing butt first or nose first?

    Mike
    NRA Benefactor 2004 USAF RET 1971-95

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
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    I got a Star about 6 months ago and recently started using it, with the same grief as you, lots of lube on the noses, sometimes. I've never cast my own bullets before, and have no experience with any other sizers, but I've come to an understanding with mine.

    First, I'm using an Alox/beeswax 50/50 lube. if your lube is as soft as this, do not use any heat. my basement is about 60 degrees, adding heat just causes problems, it works fine cold.

    Second, you don't want any more pressure than necessary, start with no pressure, run bullets through the die and increase pressure until the groove is filled with lube. you won't need much more pressure than that. I found that when the pressure is right, I have to hold the lever all the way down for an extra second or two to make sure the groove is completely filled, at that setting the press will lube 20 to 30 bullets before needing more pressure. You just have to play with it, to get it right.

    Third, and this is important, you have to install the die correctly. If you take the die out, and look at the empty socket in the press, you will see the hole the lube is forced through. Your die should have three holes for the lube to pass through, when the die is installed, none of those holes should be close to the lube hole in the press. You want the hole in the press to split the distance between two of the holes in the die when installed, that by itself does a lot to minimize excess lube squeeze out.

    the directions that come with the press, aren't a whole lot of help. My press is second hand, so I don't know if that makes a difference, but these presses, at least mine, definitely need finessed. Once you understand it, it works really well.

    hope this helps, Tim

  19. #19
    Boolit Bub
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    Greetings,

    /quote Third, and this is important, you have to install the die correctly. If you take the die out, and look at the empty socket in the press, you will see the hole the lube is forced through. Your die should have three holes for the lube to pass through, when the die is installed, none of those holes should be close to the lube hole in the press. You want the hole in the press to split the distance between two of the holes in the die when installed, that by itself does a lot to minimize excess lube squeeze out. /quote

    I never thought of the hole orientation. Many thanks.

    Cheers,

    Dave

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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