Titan ReloadingLee PrecisionADvertise hereGraf & Sons
RotoMetals2Inline FabricationStainLess Steel Media

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 50

Thread: It Is ALIVE! Automated Master Caster

  1. #1
    Cast Boolits Owner

    No_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    N.E. Florida
    Posts
    6,373

    It Is ALIVE! Automated Master Caster

    Hello fellow casters,

    After 7 months I have completed the automation of my Magma Master Caster.

    It all started a couple of years ago when Dad decided he either was getting too old to cast OR he had no desire to load for himself anymore but he still had the desire to shoot. Either way, it left the job of casting and loading for him up to me and the brothers. As everyone knows, life gets in the way and I ended up being the supplier for my Dad's habit.

    I had done OK feeding my own addiction with a Lee 4-20 PRO which had been modified with a PID controller and RCBS sizer but fell short with the additional duties upon me now.

    One day after reading the numerous post by those who have Master Casters I broke down and purchased one. The intent from the beginning was automation. I quick call to Magma Engineering netted me a Master Caster with 1 mould of my choice which would be the 45-230 RNBB. The mould choice was a no brainier since 45 was the caliber of choice for him and I.

    What I thought would be an easy task turned out to be a monumental assignment. First I had to figure out the drive unit. I considered pneumatic power but figured a air cylinder for the Star lube sizer was in my future so I settled on hydraulic. I quick look around netted me an all-in-1 power units off of an old pipe notcher and a spare motor which would provide me 1 for now and 1 "just in case". A visit to the local hydraulic shop got all the hoses and a switching valve.




    A few hours in the shop netted me a hydraulic cylinder. This started out as a 1 1/2" cylinder but later was reduced in size by sleeving the cylinder in order to get faster reaction time. The brass valve on top controls the return speed which was initially too fast. A little more time in the machine shop netted me the actuating arm seen in the picture.



    When it came time to figure out the control system I let my fingers do the walking though the parts catalog where the decision was made to use electronic timers. These are wonderful things which can control ever step of the action. These are mounted inside a weatherproof enclosure. Not seen is the step down transformer. Since I chose a 220V pot it only made sense to change some wires in the motor so it would operate on 220V. The timers are 120V so I needed to step the power down which is where the transformer comes in. This gives me the ability to plug 1 cord in then rock in roll. The only thing I wish to add now is a PID controller to better control the lead temperature. It seems the action of the machine causes the knob on the side of the pot to "walk" toward maximum temperature.



    You may wonder if I am happy with the way it turn out. Considering I was told by Magma that others had tried it and it could not be done I would have to say it was an overall success. I must be honest and admit there are a few small gremlins that still pester me but I believe one is related to a bad timer and the other is just a modification to the electromagnetic actuator that controls the lead pour.

    As I type this it is running with no labor from me and putting out boolits at a rate of 550 per hour. I know it can run faster because last week on a test run I had it doing a calculated 800 boolits per hour but was having problems with the mould overheating. I think that could be solved with more cooling fans but at 550 boolits per hour I am happy!

    Here is a closing shot of 2 hours production and an overall picture of the setup.

    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free
    that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

  2. #2
    TEAR......

    I think thats the most beautiful thing my eyes have ever seen.......

  3. #3
    Boolit Master WallyM3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VT
    Posts
    995


    I know just enough to appreciate it, but not enough to do it.

    That is one marvelous development job and some very cool fabrication and machining.

    Congratulations!

    Edit: Maybe Magma would like a link.

  4. #4
    Cast Boolits Owner

    No_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    N.E. Florida
    Posts
    6,373
    So they can take what "can't be done" and sell it? I wonder what they would give me for my effort?

    R.
    Quote Originally Posted by WallyM3 View Post


    I know just enough to appreciate it, but not enough to do it.

    That is one marvelous development job and some very cool fabrication and machining.

    Congratulations!

    Edit: Maybe Magma would like a link.
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free
    that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

    Doby45's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Powder Springs, GA
    Posts
    1,721
    My favorite part of the WHOLE thing is the "MAKE BULLETS" sticker on the power switch. Even though it SHOULD read "MAKE BOOLITS".
    Good, Cheap, Fast: Pick two.

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  6. #6
    Boolit Master WallyM3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Arlington, VT
    Posts
    995
    "So they can take what "can't be done" and sell it? I wonder what they would give me for my effort?"

    (sigh) Of course, you're quite right.

    Shame, ain't it.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    160
    You need to have your modification copyrighted, to protect your inventive genius. I know just enough about what you did to be unbelievably impressed. It would be a shame if Magma or someone else were able to pirate that away from you without due compensation. Your knowledge and inventiveness are intellectual property. I believe a copyright would protect that.

  8. #8
    Anti-Socialist Texan


    geargnasher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    29˚68’27”N, 99˚12’07”W
    Posts
    14,660
    Quote Originally Posted by Doby45 View Post
    My favorite part of the WHOLE thing is the "MAKE BULLETS" sticker on the power switch. Even though it SHOULD read "MAKE BOOLITS".
    MINE TOO!!

    My second favorite thing in the pictures is the length of the grass on the front lawn. With projects like that, who has time to mow!

    Gear
    You can't fix Stupid, but you can occasionally head it off before it hurts something. --Stephen Adams

    To universalize one's experience and state it as the norm is always thin ice on which to stand.--CharGar

    Being able to separate the wheat from the chaff has always been a valuable skill in all of life's activities. --Bwana


  9. #9
    Boolit Master jmsj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    1,189
    no 1,
    That is absolutely outstanding !!!
    Congradulations on your sucess.

  10. #10
    Moderator Emeritus / Trusted loob groove dealer


    waksupi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Somers, Montana, a quaint little drinking village,with a severe hunting and fishing problem.
    Posts
    16,709
    Great job, Rob! Definitely beyond my capabilities!
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  11. #11
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Asheville, NC
    Posts
    10,262
    Wow! that is awesome!

    I'd buy 1,000 boolits from you just to watch it run! (but of course they'd have to be plain base as the bevel causes havoc on my sizer. )

    I like the 4" half pan to catch the boolits and stuff in. (Reminds me of when I was a cook. )
    vmthtr@charter.net is NOT my paypal addy

  12. #12
    Cast Boolits Owner

    No_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    N.E. Florida
    Posts
    6,373
    Geargnasher,
    It was just cut the other day!

    Blammer,
    Come on down and watch it run, since you are paying you can size them in my star for free, it does fine with BB boolits.

    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    MINE TOO!!

    My second favorite thing in the pictures is the length of the grass on the front lawn. With projects like that, who has time to mow!

    Gear
    Quote Originally Posted by Blammer View Post
    Wow! that is awesome!

    I'd buy 1,000 boolits from you just to watch it run! (but of course they'd have to be plain base as the bevel causes havoc on my sizer. )

    I like the 4" half pan to catch the boolits and stuff in. (Reminds me of when I was a cook. )
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free
    that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

  13. #13
    Cast Boolits Owner

    No_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    N.E. Florida
    Posts
    6,373
    I got a bunch of those from the salvage yard. I use them for all kinds of things. It seemed like a great idea for this application. The rails are 1x1 stainless angle (again from the scrap yard). I start with the pan slid partially out and as it fills I push it in. I fold a towel then lay it crossways in the pan to seperate the boolits from the sprues. When the back half of the pan gets full I slide the towel (and sprues) closer to the front, slide the pan in a little further and let the next pile of boolits begin. When not in use I store the various things such as thermometer, hammer, wrenches & bullplate lube in the pan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blammer View Post
    Wow! that is awesome!

    I'd buy 1,000 boolits from you just to watch it run! (but of course they'd have to be plain base as the bevel causes havoc on my sizer. )

    I like the 4" half pan to catch the boolits and stuff in. (Reminds me of when I was a cook. )
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free
    that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    69

    What a sight !

    That is very cool. Yes,a copyright is something to consider. If you had the time and inclination there are probably more than a few Master Caster owners who would like to have the same set-up.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    1,364
    Quote Originally Posted by shaggist View Post
    You need to have your modification copyrighted...
    Copyright is by default. It only covers text/images/speech though. For example, if GunRag grabbed no_1's post and published it, even with affermation, that would be a breach of copyright unless no_1 OKed it. What no_1 need is a patent...and good luck with that for reasons I won't elaborate. The best course of action to make money? Stay hush hush on all the details, post only the bear minimum to attract buyers, and make these mods for those who wish it...but then good luck doing that without starting a support company, if you're going to hide your techniques. This forum tends to not be based on secrets anyway, but on capability. Like me, not having the capability to make molds, paying out for a vendor here to make me one. Just thought I'd clear that up a bit since two posters mentioned copyright.


    Nice bit of kit no_1! Is this the kind of gear companies like Penn bullets use, or is there a next level up for the 'big' guys?

  16. #16
    Boolit Master JIMinPHX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Moving back east now
    Posts
    5,103
    Geeze Louise... You take this a whole lot more seriously than I do & that's for sure.

    Nice job there. I would certainly color that as an accomplishment.

    If you want to protect that idea as being yours, the first thing that you want to do is take pictures of it & any drawings that you have & send them to yourself via certified mail. Don't open the envelope when it gets back to you, just put it away. That is a legal reference that shows you had this on a particular day. It's sometimes called a poor man's patent. It's not as good as a real patent, but for less than $5, you get some proof to work with.

    If you ever decide that you want to do a second generation of the controls on that thing, look up PLCs. A PLC is a little gizmo that is programmable & can provide all sorts of different control schemes. The cheapest one out there is sure to have more than 10 timers available inside it. It can do a lot more than that too.

    Again,
    Nice Job!
    “an armed society is a polite society.”
    Robert A. Heinlein

    "Idque apud imperitos humanitas vocabatur, cum pars servitutis esset."
    Publius Tacitus

  17. #17
    Boolit Master






    Lloyd Smale's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    munising Michigan
    Posts
    12,804
    thats impressive pal! I sure wish i had the brain power to take on jobs like that!!
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  18. #18
    Boolit Master Mumblypeg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Northern part of South Carolina
    Posts
    626
    Quote Originally Posted by geargnasher View Post
    MINE TOO!!

    My second favorite thing in the pictures is the length of the grass on the front lawn. With projects like that, who has time to mow!

    Gear
    What grass? All I saw was blue and grey... hummmm... outstanding... now I'm going out to cut MY grass
    Experience is the source of all knowledge.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Miamisburg, Oh
    Posts
    957

    Thumbs up

    Kudos and hats off to you. That is a heck of a conversion!
    How's that hope and change working for you?

  20. #20
    Cast Boolits Owner

    No_1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    N.E. Florida
    Posts
    6,373
    Thanks for all the compliments guys!
    "Things always get better once thought, time, and money are applied in the correct amounts at the correct time"
    - No_1 -

    "The only way to deal with an unfree world is to become so absolutely free
    that your very existence is an act of rebellion."
    - Albert Camus -

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
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