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Thread: Juat had the worst casting session ever :(

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Hardcast's Avatar
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    Just had the worst casting session ever :(

    My new MP 40 cal mold arrived a few days ago so I set up my casting table and melted a pot of lead this afternoon
    anticipating a pile of 165 gr boolits. Never in my life have I worked for so long and unable to get one good pour or even any usable boolits. Extremely frustrating. Received new Saeco 9mm mold a few weeks ago and had a very productive session yielding about 550 good boolits. Today was the first time I have used a 6 cavity mold. Thought I was about to get the hang of it when my Pro Melt pour spout started acting up. Had to use a paper clip to unclog it about every pour. So I gave up and emptied the pot so I could clean it out. After it was emptied, could not find a reason for the clogging. Going to try again another day. Here is a pic of the only boolits that did not go back into the pot and none of these are good.

    Afterthought: I had my pot set on 750, which worked great for the iron mold. Maybe I need to run the temp higher with this aluminum mold. Just started casting again after an estimated 20 year hiatus.

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    Last edited by Hardcast; 09-22-2020 at 07:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Brass mould not hot enough?

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



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    Brass or aluminum mold? Aluminum molds generally need to be run a bit hotter; you are showing poor fillout due to a mold that is a bit too cool.
    Lead Forever!


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  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy
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    Any time Iíve had problems with the spout it seems to be related to low temp. What temp are you casting? Iím typically at 710 to 720.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Kinda looks like oil/grease contamination to me.... Some times, smoking the mould halves helps, use a candle and give them a good smoke and see how it runs.

    I warm my lee moulds by sitting them on the melting pot, a few drops and it's more than hot enough.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy Hardcast's Avatar
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    Aluminum mold. I will turn the temp up next session, but I was unable go get a rhythm going to keep the mold up to temp. Being this is the first time I have used a mold with the 3rd handle to break the sprue, that in itself is a learning experience. I also have some MP-molds 4 and 6 cavity brass molds, but have never used them. Hope I have better results with the brass.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Hardcast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazza View Post
    Kinda looks like oil/grease contamination to me.... Some times, smoking the mould halves helps, use a candle and give them a good smoke and see how it runs.

    I warm my lee moulds by sitting them on the melting pot, a few drops and it's more than hot enough.
    I cleaned the mold good with brake cleaner, then lubed the alignment pins and the underside of the sprue plate with Amsoil sythetic 2 stroke oil. Just a drop on a Q tip. Pre-heated the mold on the pot. It was just not a good day. The boolits are very hard as I cannot scratch them with my thumbail. Air cooled. But poor fillout and wrinkles.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
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    That 6 cavity really benefits from preheating on a hotplate if just to make the first sprue cut easier.

    If it's the old Pro Melt your thermostat could be off.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcast View Post
    I cleaned the mold good with brake cleaner, then lubed the alignment pins and the underside of the sprue plate with Amsoil sythetic 2 stroke oil. Just a drop on a Q tip. Pre-heated the mold on the pot. It was just not a good day. The boolits are very hard as I cannot scratch them with my thumbail. Air cooled. But poor fillout and wrinkles.
    You have done everything i'd do for cleaning it up.

    Hopefully next session will be better, i have had days that things just kept going wrong, best to walk away and try again another time. I found my cheap lee moulds were fast to get up to temperature, the biggest issue i had was them getting too hot.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master

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    I'd raise the pot temp a bit.
    And not be worried you'll stir or flux it too much.

    Something I have to do once in awhile with my old pro-melt is touch the spout with a propane torch
    for a couple of seconds if its a little breezy in the shop.

    I also had to really increase the out flow rate when I used a 4 hole compared to a double cavity mold.
    I ended up moving the adjuster screw on top out of the way and let it run full volume.
    FAIR WARNING:
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master

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    if the spot is plugging off after cleaning it, you t-stat is starting to malfunction and not keeping the temp hot enough, the spout is the first place to cool off.
    if you are ever being chased by a taxidermist, don't play dead

  12. #12
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    Temperature - could be a failing heating band if it' not a failing thermostat. Do you have a casting thermometer?
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

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  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Hardcast's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by No_1 View Post
    Temperature - could be a failing heating band if it' not a failing thermostat. Do you have a casting thermometer?
    No, I do not have any way of checking the temp. It's an original Pro Melt I bought new back in the 1980s.

    Looks like I need to be seeking a casting thermometer. Will be net searching tonight.
    Last edited by Hardcast; 09-20-2020 at 06:07 PM.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Hardcast's Avatar
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    Rotometals thermometer OK? Same as RCBS without the logo..

  15. #15
    do not underestimate how much pre-heat the mold needs to cast properly...ALOT of pre-heat especially if your casting room is cold..that thing practically needs its own toaster oven (at least on a 6 cav LEE aluminum 45acp mold)

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardcast View Post
    Rotometals thermometer OK? Same as RCBS without the logo..
    Yep, excellent thermometer, I don’t cast without it. Like others stated, your alloy is probably a bit cooler than you think.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy Hardcast's Avatar
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    OK thanks. I'll order it right away.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub
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    The wrinkles in the bullets and the spout plugging up are because the mould and lead are too cold. I found the best room temperature to cast with Lee 6 gang moulds was 80 degrees. The post should run about 700 degrees. once the lead is up to temperature put the end of the mound into the lead, when it can be removed and most of the lead runs off - does not stick to it, then it is ready for casting. It will still take a few runs to get to the best casting temperature. When all the stars align the mound will make boolits just about as fast as you can operate it.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
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    I purchased a new aluminum 5 cavity a while back and tried a quick session and walked away completely discouraged with the exact problems you are having it sounds.

    Then I remembered something I heard or read, just keep pouring and emptying, don't look at the bullets! Next session I made sure the mold was warmed up on a hotplate and I just started pouring and not looking at bullets. It took about 2-3 dumps but after that it was go as fast as possible and don't look back. It is amazing how quickly the aluminum can cool. You can get too hot waiting for the sprue to cool but it takes a while to get there and you will know it.

    I have the same problem with my pots spout freezing up. Try a little heat from a propane torch if you have one and as others have said, get a thermometer and maybe run just a tad warmer. I have one and it really helps me keep my pot temperature consistent. Depending on what I am doing, I run around 750 and adjust from there.

    Best of luck, we all get discouraged and then it all comes together.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Your bullets look realy close to being ok.think you already mention the problem above.To many things not going right kept you from getting the beat and the mold was cooling to much between casts.I think you just had a bad day.But the thermometer will help knowing where you are on the temp.Your iron mold worked good set at 750 on the pot so you may need a bit more temp for the aluminum mold but not much or cast a bit faster.The good thing is you got the mold up to temp so the next session should go better with that little bit of break in. I think we all have bad days when nothing seems to go right.try again tomarrow and thing will go better.

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