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Thread: Sure-Fire Lee-Menting Technique (Aimoo Post Revisited)

  1. #41
    Boolit Master
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    Well a I finally got around to Leementing a some molds today. So far it I have done 4 sets and tested 3 of them, and what a difference it has made! The first mold was a C429-240 SWC, which I have owned for about 15 years. This mold was a problem child from the day I bought it. I had to furiously beat on the mold handles with my leather mallet just get the bullets to drop and when they did two of the bands were always rounded. Well today I got my carbide scribe out and worked on the middle band which had always rounded out when cast. Then I drilled a couple of bullets and put them on a headless screw coated them with paste made from Comet (per the instructions) and ran them on slow till the cavities were nice and clean. Then I boiled the molds for about an hour with some dishwasher detergent and water. Finally I put them in my Ultrasonic cleaner with clean water and ran them about 30 minutes. They came out looking new. The next molds were 2 different Ranch Dog molds which cast perfectly; but, don't drop bullets without beating on the hinge pin. I gave both of them same treatment as the first mold, with the exception of scribing the vents. I proceeded to cast with all 3 molds this afternoon and it was pure joy. All three molds dropped their bullets effortlessly and the C428-240 SWC had great mold fillout on the middle band. The top band, which I didn't clean out the vent lines, still had rounded edges, so this evening I will have rescribe all of the vent lines on that mold. This is a great thread, thanks for all the info!f

    G

  2. #42
    Boolit Buddy oldtoolsniper's Avatar
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    I used the instructions as well but I used rottenstone that can be found at online stores for buffing out wood working finishes. I had a non dropping beat with a stick or club mould that now drops like rain.
    “Work hard! Millions on welfare depend on it!”

  3. #43
    Boolit Bub
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    great stuff I now have 2 molds that have been saved from the trash pile

  4. #44
    Banned
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    PatT wrote:
    "There are several posts on maintenance of the Lee aluminum molds on Cast bullets under the title "Lee-menting" . Seems like these would make a nice addition to the mold maintenance section, if you could get the author's permission.. .

    Pat"
    This about adding the info to "Cast Bullets For Beginner And Expert".
    Would the author summarize/write the total story to date and give permission to include the info?
    Thanks;
    joe b.

  5. #45
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by joeb33050 View Post
    Pat"
    This about adding the info to "Cast Bullets For Beginner And Expert".
    Would the author summarize/write the total story to date and give permission to include the info?
    Thanks;
    joe b.
    Joe,
    Some time ago, I rewrote the original Lee-Menting post as an article for CastPics. As you are likely aware, that site is linked at the bottom of the Cast Boolits page. You will find the article under "Articles by Members" in the second column, third down from the top entitled "Fixing a Lee Mold." Is this the type of thing you are interested in?

    Permission is happily granted on my part to include that information. Other posts have elaborated on and complemented my original, especially in regard to various polishing compounds tried successfully. Some of this information could be added as footnotes to the original, or incorporated into the original as successful variations used by others...or selective posts could be added to give credit to the provider. Your publication...your choice, let me know what is needed.

    P.M. sent

  6. #46
    Boolit Master
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    thank you to all who give so freely

    Well i did my next first tonight. I LEE mented my first moulds. A friend an neighber who showed me the basics to casting ( the bearest of basics) had 2 moulds i used for my first ever experience last spring. One Lee the other Lyman. Even for my first experiance i knew there had to be a better way.
    After moulding with myown moulds i decided to be a friend an try to fix my friends moulds. Besides i wanted to experiment an what better than on someone elses stuff (not realy). Bolth moulds only took an hour to do. An the boolits fell out every time i opened the moulds. The most it would take is a LITE shake of the handles.
    The auto store i went to had a blister pack with 2 types of Valve Lapping compound for under 3$. An i didn't even use eough to cover a match head.
    ONCE AGAIN i have to give my thanks to all my brothers of the silver stream
    Kevin

  7. #47

    Simichrome?

    Anybody try Simichrome, the German polishing paste found in Motorcycle shops, as a polish for Leementing? I am getting a new mold delivered this week and I plan to give it a try. It has a superfine abrasive of some kind in it and it works wonders on almost everything that needs a polish.

  8. #48
    Boolit Master on Heavens Range
    felix's Avatar
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    It's my standard for everything. ... felix
    felix

  9. #49
    Boolit Master Marlin Hunter's Avatar
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    I found 2 new techniques to Lee-Ment my molds.

    1) I file 3 flats spots, 120 degrees apart, parallel to the axis of the boolit. It allows a place for the lapping paste to go and not jam or lock the boolit while you are trying to spin it in the mold. This is for removing a lot of material, like several thousands of an inch. I opened up a C452-300-RF to .458-.460. It's not perfectly round, but that is what the sizer is for, and it is cheaper than a custom .458 mold. Lee does'nt make a gas check for .458 booliots .


    2) For just a polish to remove light burrs so the boolit drops out easily, I used scouring powder like Bon-Ami, Ajax, Comet, Bar Tenders Friend, etc mixed with liquid dish soap to form a paste. I cut a thin piece rectangle patch from an old T-shirt, and roll it up tight so it will fit into a drill chuck. I then make the patch a little wet with water. I put some scouring paste into the mold cavity with a toothpick. I open the mold and lay the cloth patch along the cavity with some of the rag going past the pins in the base. I then lightly close the mold and turn the drill on real slow. As the drill and patch center itself in the cavity I start to slowly pull the drill out until the mold closes, than I try to push the drill and cloth patch back into the mold, Once it is in there you can speed the drill up to it's fastest speed. Be careful you don't run the drill chuck into the mold, or pull the patch out and spray scouring paste in you face. It takes practice, but it is a lot easier than drilling a hole in the base of a boolit and trying to lap the mold that way. I have done it on my .54 REAL boollit down to .40. I have not tried .358 or 9mm yet. That will require a slightly different approach. I might have to wrap part of the patch around a shortened dowel or broken pencil so the chuck has something to grab onto. I might also try different diameters of heavy string or rope as the polishing carrier.
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    Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. Mark Twain

  10. #50
    Boolit Buddy Big Dave's Avatar
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    never been a big fan of Lee and after reading this thread still not. I'd rather buy a decent mold than horse around fixing junk that I paid new price for. Only Lee molds I have were given to me. Lot of useful info anyway.
    Ignorence killed the cat---Curiosity was framed.

    Friday Jones

  11. #51
    Boolit Master Marlin Hunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
    never been a big fan of Lee and after reading this thread still not. I'd rather buy a decent mold than horse around fixing junk that I paid new price for. Only Lee molds I have were given to me. Lot of useful info anyway.
    One thing nice about the Lee's is that they can easily be made larger if needed, an if you mess up the mold, it isn't a big loss. Steel molds are harder to open up.
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    Do not fear the enemy, for your enemy can only take your life. It is far better that you fear the media, for they will steal your honor. That awful power, the public opinion of a nation, is created in America by a horde of ignorant, self-complacent simpletons who failed at ditching and shoemaking and fetched up in journalism on their way to the poorhouse. Mark Twain

  12. #52
    Boolit Mold
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    Well, I tried to polish one of the cavities in my Lee TL-358-158gr 6-cavity mold. I have included a link to a video of the attempt below. I tried some casting after this and couldn’t tell if things improved or not. The entire mold needed a little breaking in, and once it got hot all of the cavities were dropping well.

    Any suggestions on how to improve the technique?

    I saw some aluminum polish for autos at the store (Mother’s brand). Any idea if that would work?

    Thanks,
    Ben

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcuzAu0kQ9M

  13. #53
    Boolit Bub
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    Nice video. I hope to do some soon.

    Glenn

  14. #54
    Boolit Mold
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    abrasives

    everyone seems to have their own ideas on what to use . my readily available ones are bon-ami , semichrome , tooth paste .
    any secret stuff i don't know about ?

  15. #55
    Boolit Buddy
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    Lee menting Video really nice and simple

    I'll try on my 311041 group buy mould to ease sticky cavities.....Great mould can really make a bunch of bullets compared to my old 2 cav. Lyman and Lee moulds. Nice video. afish4570

  16. #56
    Boolit Grand Master


    mold maker's Avatar
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    The same process works equally well on your expensive iron molds that can have the same problems as LEE's, at a much higher price.
    I've never seen a mold that couldn't be improved, no matter the cost.
    Those that throw off on LEE molds haven't, had to live on SS and still try to enjoy our hobby.
    I can take a properly prepared LEE 6 cav mold, and cast twice as many good boolits, in a given time, than with any iron mold at 2-3 times the price. Plus my arm wont be half as tired or sore from handling the extra weight.
    No I'm not a brand fanatic, I'm a common sense, 67 yr old gun nut with no money to waste.

  17. #57
    Boolit Bub
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    I found some graphite in a spray at NAPA. I would be careful the spray will ignite from extreme heat.

  18. #58
    Boolit Master 7of7's Avatar
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    For my TL-358-158gr 6-cavity mold, I took a 10-32 tap, and wrapped it in two 2x2 cleaning patches, the edge of the tap catches nicely on the cleaning patches when it is chucked up in a drill...and leaves about 1/3 inch of cloth over the end of the tap... I then run this on my bar of red rouge, and run it in my closed mold... It really polishes the inside nicely...
    I then clean it off, (Dawn, and a tooth brush) dry it. I use a propane torch, and a hardwood dowel to smoke the mold...
    It drops fine, and the boolits are purdy!!!

  19. #59
    Boolit Bub
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    Smile Excellent Information

    Thanks for the Lee six cavity info.I am new to casting been reloading a few years which is what has lead me to the casting end of things.I put an ad in at the local gun club I belong to and was overwhelmed with helpful responses.Last week I was invited to a gun club members home for hands on casting with two and six cavity Lee molds which is where I ran into this problem(next weekend is sizing and lubing).

    Point being is this older gentleman is so excited to see someone younger getting into casting and sizing that he told me he plans to sell me everything once I cast him enough backlog not to mention he then knows where to go for more castings.

    Thanks Again.

  20. #60
    Boolit Bub
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    Colleyville, TX
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    Good info, cast my first boolits in the last two weeks, used 2 different Lee 6 gang molds, one had sticky boolits, I had to beat the handles to get them to drop, the other dropped OK but opening and closing was tuff, and one of the cavities drops a boolit with a wrinkle.

    I walked away thinking I had purchased my last Lee mould, now I am thinking if I can tune up these molds, I may stay with the Lee's.

    Now this leaves to to wonder, do you have this kind of problems with other mold manufactures?

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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