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Thread: How Hard is it to Cut a Reloading Die

  1. #41
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    Good greif....It's super easy. Takes about 2 minutes. Get the thing to spin in something and take an angle grinder with a thin blade and grind it off. You can do it in your sleep. If yor are skert, put on a grinding shield.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master marshall623's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winger Ed. View Post
    That would be my weapon of choice.

    However; If ya don't know already--- The wheels are very brittle. You'll want to dress accordingly.
    Heavy gloves, jacket, full face shield, and work around the die body without letting the disc go deeper than the outside wall thickness.

    A shattered 6" angle grinder disc is the only tool I've ever used that sent me to the Emergency Room.
    This isn't me, but I kept a similar picture in my shop to show the kids that wanted to borrow a angle grinder and disc--
    "to do something real quick", and didn't have time to put on safety equipment.

    That, and pointing at the 1/2 of a disc stuck in the shop's ceiling was always enough to show them the error of their ways.
    A fellow in Virginia about 8 years ago was killed when a cut off wheel shattered and send part of it into his upper chest . Those things are no joke and will hurt you quick , I've had a couple shatter on me and it will make you quickly reevaluate what you are doing with that thing . Back to the subject of the die I 've cut one down with a Porta band saw , fine tooth blade and slow on the speed . If you go the cut off wheel route , just go slow with the pressure you put on it .

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  3. #43
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    Are we talking about the same grinders here folks? I am speaking of a Harbor Freight 4.5" angle grinder. with a steel guard half way around it...
    I have used them for a long time ...broken many blades... Cannot imagine a chunk of wheel from one of these Possibly going through the fabric of a shirt much less lodging in someone's chest.
    Am I living in a different dimension here or what?
    Until now I never HEARD of a 4.5" angle grinder hurting anyone ....I could see having it slice a finger or something but even then I have had wheels break they didn't fly out the way people are describing here.
    Help me understand

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buzz Krumhunger View Post
    I think I’d take it to a machinist to see if he’d cut it.
    You could buy the proper die for less than a machinist would charge to cut it.

  5. #45
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    About 5 years ago I put out a question for anyone who would be willing to give me old dies for me to modify in my endeavor to reload 22lr. Several kind folks sent me some. I have cut ground drilled and TAPPED them. With no tools other than an angle grinder and a drill press. NO PROBLEM.
    I had one that was particularly hard but still cut easily with an angle grinder. Maybe I am reeeeeeeeaaly lucky ...but judging by how I see many other people using them....It is not an abberation.

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffer View Post
    Are we talking about the same grinders here folks? I am speaking of a Harbor Freight 4.5" angle grinder. with a steel guard half way around it...
    It's real common to remove the guard and run a 6" wheel.
    That's where ya get into trouble if you're not REAL careful.

    And the cheap big box store ones are less flexible,
    and more prone to shatter than the good ones from a welding supply place.
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  7. #47
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    I cut a Lyman M die body down with a vice and a sawzall. No problems

  8. #48
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    The M die body is not hardened. It never touches the brass case.

  9. #49
    Boolit Master brassrat's Avatar
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    Oh well, maybe the next guy will have one

  10. #50
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    I'd tend to say the Lee dies are case hardened and not tool steel. Case hardening is inexpensive and only penetrates the skin of the part about .001"-.002". Use a file to cut through the outer skin.

    Have drilled vent holes in RCBS and Redding dies and they did not appear to be tool steel. Drilled easily once the outer skin was pierced.

  11. #51
    Boolit Buddy gnappi's Avatar
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    I've done it once with a Dremel and cutoff disk. As it happens I maybe cutting a 9mm Taper crimp seat die to crimp my 9x25. More to come on that.
    Regards,

    Gary

  12. #52
    Boolit Buddy Rapier's Avatar
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    Actually you can lock up a die body after removing everything, in a Bridgeport and cut the top off with a solid carbide end mill. I have made several straight wall sizer dies for my wildcats using that method to remove the shoulder and necks of sizer dies. You chamfer the top cut and done. Easy and safe.
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  13. #53
    Boolit Buddy gnappi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnappi View Post
    I've done it once with a Dremel and cutoff disk. As it happens I maybe cutting a 9mm Taper crimp seat die to crimp my 9x25. More to come on that.
    I wound up grinding it with my bench grinder to length and reaming it out so the 9x25 shoulder would fit... with the results I expected... sheared off powder coated lead and a great crimp, but unusable as it is
    Regards,

    Gary

  14. #54
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    I’ve ground them down on my belt sander before. Can’t imagine that a chop saw wouldn’t cut one.

  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by DougGuy View Post
    Heh y'all would NEVER make it on a pipe crew. They would laugh you right on out the gate talking about wanting a 14" cutoff saw b/c you are scared of a little 4" angle grinder and cutoff wheels. I have used THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of cutoff wheels in a DeWalt angle grinder. How you going to cut 12" schedule 10 stainless in position with a chop saw? How are you going to miter a fitting to make a custom fit? You certainly won't do hi purity stainless with a chop saw.

    As far as cutting a Lee die with a cutoff wheel, done properly, done CAREFULLY with gloves and eye/face PPE it's easily done and does a very neat, precise job.
    hooray for some common sense - cutoff discs dont break when they used right - **** happens from poor operator - cutting stuff thats under tension and it jams - cant hold the tool straight - ham fisted - push it in till the machine stalls etc .

  16. #56
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    I ground off 50 thou on a Lee 38-40 size die with a grinding wheel. I am a machinist now! Looks like crap but hey, it works.
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  17. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by brassrat View Post
    I cut a Lyman M die body down with a vice and a sawzall. No problems
    I have cut a couple LEE dies down - could not touch them with lathe tools at all - spun in the chuck and cut with a small grinder with a skinny cutoff wheel.

  18. #58
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    Carbide end mill in a milling machine....some are harder than woodpecker lips
    "Always do sober what you said you'd do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut." - Ernest Hemingway

  19. #59
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    Needed to shorten a Dillon SDB .32 die to crimp .30 carbine.
    I Drilled a hole in a 4x4 with a wood spade bit and wrapped the die in tape so it fit snug.
    Cut it off flush with the wood it was seated in and lightly dressed with a file as cut was maybe 1 degree off square.
    Safety glasses, leather gloves of course. Can’t say for sure if the die was hardened steel but it cut & filed with no problem.
    I drilled the bored hole so I could lay the cutting disc on the wood surface and plunge cut through the die in one pass.


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    Last edited by Bmi48219; 12-07-2021 at 11:06 PM.

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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