Titan ReloadingInline FabricationRotoMetals2MidSouth Shooters Supply
Lee PrecisionRepackboxADvertise here

Page 1 of 4 1234 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 66

Thread: Has anyone ever had any luck with a Lee aluminum mold?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Communist New Jersey
    Posts
    267

    Has anyone ever had any luck with a Lee aluminum mold?

    I have several Lee aluminum molds and I have not been able to get decent boolits from any of them. And yes, I have tried every trick that has been thrown out there. I have used them bare and smoked. I have used beeswax and 2 stroke oil. Just today working with a brand new 45 caliber ACP mold I went from casting at 600 and went up 25 degrees at a time all the way to 850. This is with a 1-10 WW to pure alloy and this same alloy makes absolutely perfect boolits in several of my Lyman molds. The very last thing I tried in addition to using my hot plate to heat the molds was to dip the corner of the mold in the pot per Lee's instructions. Well, that got it hot enough that I had to wait quite a while for the lead to solidify and even then I had wrinkles and even worse I now had lead in the vent grooves and now the mold will not close all the way and I have flash at the joint. Tried to get it off with a wood dowell but it is stuck in there good so I am guessing this mold is trash now. Made probably 300 boolits and I will bet there is at least a 75% rejection rate. The other molds I have for 30 cal and 223 are no better. I am casting either straight linotype or 50/50 WW pure on them. Same end results. So does anyone know how to make them work? And is the one with the lead in the vent lines trash?

  2. #2
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    5,373
    The vent lines do need to be clean for it to fill out properly.
    I wouldn't get too violent cleaning them though, maybe a wooden tooth pick will work and not scratch the blocks.

    I use Lee molds once in awhile, and have found they like to be on the hot side, compared to my Iron molds,
    and a little extra Tin in my normally rather soft alloy helps with the fill out.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master 358429's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Location
    Northern Virginia, where the freeway does roam.
    Posts
    747
    I will second adding the tin as beneficial to Casting bullets. Use a clean cotton rag that has been dabbed with synthetic 2-stroke oil you scrub the mold when it is hot the tinning and lead smears will come off, leaving you with a clean steaming mold.

  4. #4
    Banned

    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,420
    Mine all work fine! Must be you lol!

  5. #5
    Boolit Master 243winxb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    2,241
    Warped mold from dipping in pot. Trash it.https://support.leeprecision.net/en/knowledgebase


  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Nov 2019
    Location
    In my shoes. And where ever they take me.
    Posts
    223
    I just lay the molds on top of the furnace with the sprue plate down before I plug in the furnace then walk away for 20 min. I come back its ready to go.

    If your getting wrinkles the mold or sprue plate is too cold, need to add some tin, or needs degreased. I store my lee molds with Kroil on them and I use brake clean before they are heated up.

    Before I oiled them when I put them away they would oxidize and would give me problems later.

    Once heated up I run 1 mold at a time and chill it on a hot rag . The sprue cutter likes to be hot.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

    FLINTNFIRE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Longview, Washington
    Posts
    1,589
    Well I have had quite a few lee molds and have been able to cast nice bullets from all of them , every thing from round balls , 9mm , 38/357 , 44 . 45 and 45 rifle and minie and Lee REAL molds , clean first then preheat or cast until they come up to temp. and then start saving .

    I use brass , iron and aluminum molds , clean heat cast sprue lube while cavities are full a little not excessive , and I cast from wheel weights , range scrap and pure , or a mixture of all .

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    kens's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    coastal Ga
    Posts
    1,121
    As said above, wrinkles are usueally cold temps, oily residue.
    And If I am having a really hard time with wrinkles, stop everything and clean out the pot. I have found residue in bottom of pot that caused wrinkles.
    Clean out the pot and all becomes well
    I use bottom pour pot
    Have had good luck with Lee molds

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2018
    Location
    Mid atlantic area
    Posts
    1,035
    Quote Originally Posted by smithnframe View Post
    Mine all work fine! Must be you lol!
    This!
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  10. #10
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    sw pa
    Posts
    82
    I've had similar issues with a Lee 6 cav.I finally got good results after using brake cleaner on the sprue plate . It came new with a label on it,must have been the adhesive that created wrinkles.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Just outside Gun Barrel City, Texas
    Posts
    5,373
    Something else you might try is to hold the sprue plate holes up against the pot's exit hole
    and then open the valve to sort of pressure fill the mold.

    And be sure you have a clean nozzle to allow plenty of flow.
    The faster the mold fills the better. It should about a second or less to fill one cavity.
    Political Correctness and the cancel culture is only allowed to exist because of the coward culture.


    In school: We learn lessons, and are given tests.
    In life: We are given tests, and learn lessons.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master BNE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    1,096
    New molds are finnicky. But I suggest you keep making bullets with it. They will get better. Lee tends to like it hot. Filling the vent lines probably means you got it too hot.
    I'm a Happy Clinger.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
    poppy42's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by Wheelguns 1961 View Post
    This!
    +1 also
    Long, Wide, Deep, and Without Hesitation!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Brushy Mountains of NC
    Posts
    977
    I have quite a few Lee molds and like using them. If I have much trouble with one I open it up and stand it up in a pot of water and boil with a few drops of dish washing liquid. It does help to smoke them with a wooden or paper match, nothing oily like a candle. I also put a very small amount of lube on the pins. Of course the right temps and alloy does help.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Castlegar, B.C., Canada
    Posts
    7,384
    I have had several Lee moulds over the years and currently have four I use. They all cast just fine for me!

    I cast fast and hot. I do find that the Lee moulds cool quickly if not being filled and emptied at a brisk cadence.

    Iron and brass moulds take longer to heat up but retain heat better between pours.

    So, I'll say try casting faster. Cut the sprue just as the alloy is freezing then dump the boolits out and get another pour in quickly.

    Longbow

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


    Walks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    2,715
    Sounds like your molds may have oil residue in them.
    Try spraying them with non-chlorinated brake cleaner. Be very careful if you try this with a hot mold. That stuff sprays everywhere. Use safety glasses and do it well away from your lead pot and any other heat source.

    I've been having Good Luck with Lee molds for almost 35yrs. Also N.O.E., Arsenal and Accurate aluminum molds.
    Just got to remove ALL oil from them and pre-heat properly.
    I HATE auto-correct

    Happiness is a Warm GUN & more ammo to shoot in it.

    My Experience and My Opinion, are just that, Mine.

    SASS #375 Life

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Communist New Jersey
    Posts
    267
    Quote Originally Posted by 243winxb View Post
    Warped mold from dipping in pot. Trash it.https://support.leeprecision.net/en/knowledgebase

    You sent me a link to the knowledge base but no idea where to go from there. Maybe what you posted is from the knowledge base? Right in the directions from Lee it tells you to dip the mold in the pot so I do not understand where they are coming from with the statements on there. Contradicting information so I guess they owe me some money or a new mold.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Communist New Jersey
    Posts
    267
    Quote Originally Posted by BNE View Post
    New molds are finnicky. But I suggest you keep making bullets with it. They will get better. Lee tends to like it hot. Filling the vent lines probably means you got it too hot.
    Oh I definitely got it too hot! When the vent lines fill with molten lead it is too hot but it got that way from dipping the corner of the mold in the pot, Direct from the Lee direction sheet. As I said in the beginning, I started cold on both the lead and the mold and worked my way up all the way to too hot. I got some good bullets but at least a 60-70% reject rate. I will know more as I go through the pile tomorrow.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Communist New Jersey
    Posts
    267
    Quote Originally Posted by poppy42 View Post
    +1 also
    I will not even quantify this, or all the others that said the same. If you read my original post you will see that I had no problems at all casting perfect bullets from two different Lyman steel molds with the same alloy and even through out all of the temp ranges I tried with the Lee. No, it is not me this time.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    Communist New Jersey
    Posts
    267
    Quote Originally Posted by Walks View Post
    Sounds like your molds may have oil residue in them.
    Try spraying them with non-chlorinated brake cleaner. Be very careful if you try this with a hot mold. That stuff sprays everywhere. Use safety glasses and do it well away from your lead pot and any other heat source.

    I've been having Good Luck with Lee molds for almost 35yrs. Also N.O.E., Arsenal and Accurate aluminum molds.
    Just got to remove ALL oil from them and pre-heat properly.
    I cleaned the mold several times during the session with brake cleaner after trying beeswax on the pins, then regular wax, then two stroke oil. Tomorrow I will attempt to get the lead out of the vents, it is preventing the mold from closing all the way. If I succeed at that then I will do the boiling in soapy water bit and try again but I have no idea how I am supposed to lube the sprue plate pivot or lock. No matter what I use it is going to get in the cavities at some point. And Longbow, I am casting fast enough that the mold gets so hot it will not cool for 6-7 seconds before I can cut the sprue. I can move pretty fast.

Page 1 of 4 1234 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