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Thread: Is this mold ok?

  1. #1
    Boolit Man
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    Is this mold ok?

    I'm new to casting, just purchased this used Lee mold. Are the wear marks on the top of the mold cause for concern?

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  2. #2
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    I'd use it.

    Compared to other old ones that still work,,, yours is in pretty good shape.
    Just try not to make it any worse.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

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    Perfectly fine. I wouldn't even try and fix it.. Its a type of galling. The hot blocks wear faster.

    Lube the bottom of the sprue plate with antiseize will really help get that under control and slow it down. 2 cycle engine oil works also. Just becareful, just a light thin coat. Too much two cycle oil and it will creap every where when it heats up and can migrate into your mold cavities. If that happens you got wrinkles in your bullets until it burns out.

    As an added bonus if the antiseize starts to smoke while casting you got the blocks too hot.

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  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master


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    It looks like you have a couple burrs on the edge of the sprue plate, a cotton ball will find them, then just touch the edge with some 400 paper to remove and lube. I use Amsoil 100 synthetic 2 stroke oil on locator pins and sprue screw and plate. Get you mold up to temperature, take a Q-tip damp with Amsoil and coat the bottom of plate lightly, then wipe it off with a paper towel, your good for several hundred casts, then repeat as needed.
    Charter Member #148

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Any mold I buy, from whoever, Lee, Lyman, RCBS, or a custom mold, I always "de-burr" the sprue plate. Use some 400-600 sand paper and do over the surface that contacts the mold block,...take a fine sharpening stone and/or ceramic rod and go around all the edges that face the mold.

    Then as Swheeler explains, I use chainsaw-oil on the sprue plate.

    When casting, I keep a thin piece of soft wood and a graphite pencil handy to clean any alloy build-up off the bottom of the sprue plate.

    Watch your alloy and sprue plate temperature doesn't get too hot, to prevent the wash of alloy on the sprue plate.

    Also allow your sprue-puddle to cool longer before cutting the sprue.

    Not being bossy,...just giving some tips from experience I learned the hard way.....
    Maker of Silver Boolits for Werewolf hunting

  6. #6
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    It's okay but needs cleaned. If any of it's lead, I'd heat it on top of the alloy bout 3 minutes and wipe it with a rag. If your pot is full you can rest the mould so the blocks are touching alloy, but supported by the handle and sprue cutter. Use a rubber band to keep the handles tight. Then when cool, take the cutter off, smooth the bottom of the cutter against a diamond stone or some 400-600 grit paper on a flat hard backer. On the edges of the cutter, remove any sharp edges or burrs. I would then use the stone or paper to go over the mould top. Keep the halves closed tight with a rubber band on the handles. Do just enough to knock off the high spots of galling, but don't try to take the gouges out. 2-4 strokes with the stone / paper on a backer is plenty with light pressure. You want to avoid giving the top of the blocks a slight radius. The screw is left hand threads btw. I color the sprue cutter bottom and mould block tops with a pencil so as to lube and prevent lead from sticking should I smear from cutting too soon.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    my 2 cents, if not gas checked, it needs to be resurfaced for truly good shooting. The lower cav has an edge nick about 9:00. This will disappear under a gas check, but otherwise will ruin long range accuracy.
    I never liked those base vent lines on a mold but tolerate them in gc'd only. Your sprue plate needs to be worked over as Hickok and Bazoo have said. You need to get all the crap off and maybe re-stone the holes. The lower has an issue as discussed and needs attention. Your leading edge has a big burr as can be seen topmost defect. Others seem to be from sprue holes themselves. Do you open your mold over the pot? and get splash on the mold? I would resurface the mold top until all galls were gone, same underside sprue. I use graphite as a lube. It's cheap and handy.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    I've never used the mold, let alone ever cast bullets before. I bought it used in "as new" condition off this site.

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  9. #9
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I'd hate to see what they call poor or bad condition.!!!

    This mold shows signs of not being properly cared for

    I'd ask for a full refund (unless you really need this mold) and if he wants the mold back $ for shipping.

    IF he's no willing to oblige I'd contact No1 and get him on the deadbeat list.

    Some people would say this is harsh but there is enough taking advantage of people on evilbay and other places, this is a Castboolit forum, we should know about molds, unless he is a new member that got on just to pawn off some junk, make a couple of bucks and leave! We've been getting more of those lately.

    If you plan on keeping it:
    As others said, I'd take the sprue plate off and flatten/smooth the bottom and, round over the edges.
    when the sprue plate is off I would check for galling where the plate pivot on the mold.
    .This one is really bad


    then I'd put some 220 git sandpaper on a flat surface (glass, tile, ??) and sand the top of the mold a little just to get it even, keeping the mold flat on the sandpaper.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
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    Here's under the sprue plate. I've sent an email to the seller.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    It should be fine with a little tender loving care. I would recommend some light touch up to the top off the mould. 600 grit paper with light oil on a flat surface. just enough ti clean up any high spots back down to the original surface, you dont need to remove the low spots.

    Then the same with the sprue plate this you want to clean up better start with 320 grit and work to 600 grit. making a nice flat polished surface.

    Once gaulding starts if increases until cleaned up. A very light coat of 2 cycle oil after cleaned up and before each use helps a lot.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ascast View Post
    my 2 cents, if not gas checked, it needs to be resurfaced for truly good shooting. The lower cav has an edge nick about 9:00. This will disappear under a gas check, but otherwise will ruin long range accuracy.
    I never liked those base vent lines on a mold but tolerate them in gc'd only. Your sprue plate needs to be worked over as Hickok and Bazoo have said. You need to get all the crap off and maybe re-stone the holes. The lower has an issue as discussed and needs attention. Your leading edge has a big burr as can be seen topmost defect. Others seem to be from sprue holes themselves. Do you open your mold over the pot? and get splash on the mold? I would resurface the mold top until all galls were gone, same underside sprue. I use graphite as a lube. It's cheap and handy.
    Keen eye, I didn't notice that little spot. The 358-200 is a GC mould though so should be okay.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Any damage to the base of a bullet effects accuracy. Sandpaper of varying grades to a fine polish, adhered to a perfectly flat surface, like cast iron, granite, glass, etc. can be used to grind and flaten both the mold blocks and sprue plate as long as the blocks are locked together and the surfaces held parallel to the paper. However, I wouldn't go there unless all I needed was to remove a small amount of metal.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    If someone you know has a mill they can true that up with minimal removed , longest part of job is setting it up .

  15. #15
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Personally I'd try casting with it and see how the bases look. I have a mould that you'd expect to give a nub because of a ding, but it doesn't, only if I pressure pour.

  16. #16
    Boolit Man
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    Unfortunately the seller and I cannot reach an agreement, so I'll take a shot at salvaging this one. Thanks for everyone's input, I have a good idea of exactly what to do.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I think you'll be able to salvage it no problem. One note, if the screw refuses to turn, leave it and work careful without removing the sprue cutter. After repeated heat cycles seems like the screws on lee moulds stick. I've got several that I can't remove, but offer maybe 1/8" movement.

    If you force it you'll likely strip the threads, but that too can be repaired. I have one that I repaired by drilling through and putting a 1/4" cap bolt to hold the cutter. It works great actually.

  18. #18
    Boolit Bub Sam Sackett's Avatar
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    You have some good advice already. After you clean it up it should produce acceptable bullets unless you are into long range bullseye shooting. Most of us don't shoot well enough that we can blame misses on the bullet. For normal plinking and target shooting I don't think the present damage will bother.

    Sam Sackett

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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