MidSouth Shooters SupplyTitan ReloadingInline FabricationRepackbox
Lee PrecisionRotoMetals2ADvertise here

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 21 to 40 of 41

Thread: How many on here have made a mold?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master


    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    longview,tx
    Posts
    2,965
    Quote Originally Posted by Tar Heel View Post
    I have. That's why I buy mine now.
    It does take a lot of time!

  2. #22
    Boolit Master




    Tar Heel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Posts
    1,366
    Quote Originally Posted by deltaenterprizes View Post
    It does take a lot of time!
    I am NOT a machinist. Wish I was but jeez, I took algebra instead of shop. What a dope!
    Woe betide a nation in need of heroes.
    Bertolt Brecht

  3. #23
    Boolit Grand Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    6,536
    I have a lathe and would not attempt making a mold with lube grooves unless I was desperate. Molds are cheap.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  4. #24
    Boolit Master Scrounge's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    OKC Metro
    Posts
    1,128
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    I have a lathe and would not attempt making a mold with lube grooves unless I was desperate. Molds are cheap.
    I don't know, man. I spent $369 on my first lathe. Unless you're talking Lee molds, it's not real hard to spend more than that on just a few molds these days. You do need more than a lathe to make a mold. But once you have the machines, and the measuring and cutting tools, and the skill to use them, why wouldn't you? I find machining fun and relaxing. I believe it would be fun to make the tooling to get the shape, size, and density of bullet you want, and even more fun to shoot them. YMMV, of course. And no, I don't expect it to be easy, or cheap. But neither is learning how to shoot decently.

    Bill

  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    SW ND
    Posts
    254
    I have made some. Some from scratch, some from existing molds. Those mostly Lee in smaller calibers. Chuck up and single point cut to a large design. The main reason I have made them is because I could not buy what i wanted and it’s a rewarding challenge. Also for machine casting in a ballisticast machine as I couldn’t buy the design I wanted. Made one adjustable mold. Several weights on the same mold. Nose pour with base plug.
    I have one in the 4 jaw right now.

  6. #26
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Arizona
    Posts
    3,902
    I've made a couple. Here are four steps in my last one: sharpening the cherrie, cutting the cavity on my drill press, the finished cavity with cherrie, and the finished mould.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sharpening.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	18.2 KB 
ID:	294257Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cutting Cavity.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	22.3 KB 
ID:	294258Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mould Cavity.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	16.6 KB 
ID:	294259Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Finished!.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	27.1 KB 
ID:	294260

    The blocks were a set of Ideal junk blocks that I had to braze up to fill holes somebody had drilled for some incomprehensible reason known only to them. The double-acting vise I made myself, to fit the blocks.

    With the proper cutters, a file and some eyeballing, a piece of drill rod can be turned to a shape that looks more-or-less like a boolit. The turned rod is fluted with a dividing head or spin fixture (it can also be screwed into a hex nut, and the nut turned, flat by flat in a mill vise). I then hardened and tempered the thing, spinning it in my drill press, playing a propane torch on it until it was cherry red, then dunking it, still spinning, into a can of oil on the table. The finicky part is getting the burrs off the cut edges and surfaces and relieving the cutting edges with sharpening stones and diamond files. If you have a tool post grinder and a protractor on your lathe headstock, you can do most of the relieving that way, but eventually, you have to do the sloping or rounded surfaces by hand.

    With the vise closed, the crack between the mould halves is centered and a pilot hole drilled. The hole should be as close to the smallest diameter of the cherrie as possible, and can be stepped down for the nose or anything smaller. The vise is opened, the cherrie chucked into the drill press, and the vise slowly closed on the spinning cherrie.

    This procedure is done in starts and stops, using plenty of cutting lube, and opening the vise frequently to brush out chips. Eventually, the blocks go closed all the way. Then everything is cleaned out well, the surfaces of the mould halves checked for any burrs or chips that are keeping them from closing all the way, and the mould closed around the cherrie again, and the chuck turned a few times by hand. It should spin easily, with no hitches or snags felt.

    Then of course you put the rest of the parts on the blocks. I make the mould cavities of extra length, so I can add a screw base for a "Perfection" type mould, where I can choose the weight I want.

    This one wasn't ready for prime-time, for sure. I had calculated for 0.381" diameter, but the boolilts come out a fat 0.383". The boolilts out of it also look a little cruder than castings from a commercial mould. I probably need to lap some invisible burrs off the lands&grooves. But it is an interesting process. You learn to respect these despised mass-producers of moulds that send them out 0.001" undersized or 0.0005" out of round. Just try it yourself some time!

  7. #27
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    5,389
    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    I've made a couple. Here are four steps in my last one: sharpening the cherrie, cutting the cavity on my drill press, the finished cavity with cherrie, and the finished mould.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Sharpening.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	18.2 KB 
ID:	294257Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Cutting Cavity.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	22.3 KB 
ID:	294258Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Mould Cavity.jpg 
Views:	23 
Size:	16.6 KB 
ID:	294259Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Finished!.jpg 
Views:	27 
Size:	27.1 KB 
ID:	294260

    The blocks were a set of Ideal junk blocks that I had to braze up to fill holes somebody had drilled for some incomprehensible reason known only to them. The double-acting vise I made myself, to fit the blocks.

    With the proper cutters, a file and some eyeballing, a piece of drill rod can be turned to a shape that looks more-or-less like a boolit. The turned rod is fluted with a dividing head or spin fixture (it can also be screwed into a hex nut, and the nut turned, flat by flat in a mill vise). I then hardened and tempered the thing, spinning it in my drill press, playing a propane torch on it until it was cherry red, then dunking it, still spinning, into a can of oil on the table. The finicky part is getting the burrs off the cut edges and surfaces and relieving the cutting edges with sharpening stones and diamond files. If you have a tool post grinder and a protractor on your lathe headstock, you can do most of the relieving that way, but eventually, you have to do the sloping or rounded surfaces by hand.

    With the vise closed, the crack between the mould halves is centered and a pilot hole drilled. The hole should be as close to the smallest diameter of the cherrie as possible, and can be stepped down for the nose or anything smaller. The vise is opened, the cherrie chucked into the drill press, and the vise slowly closed on the spinning cherrie.

    This procedure is done in starts and stops, using plenty of cutting lube, and opening the vise frequently to brush out chips. Eventually, the blocks go closed all the way. Then everything is cleaned out well, the surfaces of the mould halves checked for any burrs or chips that are keeping them from closing all the way, and the mould closed around the cherrie again, and the chuck turned a few times by hand. It should spin easily, with no hitches or snags felt.

    Then of course you put the rest of the parts on the blocks. I make the mould cavities of extra length, so I can add a screw base for a "Perfection" type mould, where I can choose the weight I want.

    This one wasn't ready for prime-time, for sure. I had calculated for 0.381" diameter, but the boolilts come out a fat 0.383". The boolilts out of it also look a little cruder than castings from a commercial mould. I probably need to lap some invisible burrs off the lands&grooves. But it is an interesting process. You learn to respect these despised mass-producers of moulds that send them out 0.001" undersized or 0.0005" out of round. Just try it yourself some time!
    Thanks for the post! I have been wishing I had a double closing vise for years, I don't know why I never thought to make one myself. I guess since all the work I do is at work on my lunch hour, so I don't seem to have the patience for that sort of project. Once my home shop is up and running you can bet I'm going to learn to do this sort of work.

  8. #28
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    5,389
    Quote Originally Posted by Red River Rick View Post
    I've made hundreds of bullet moulds.
    Yeah but you're awesome. Not many out there have even dared try to make Whitworth moulds!

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    What the world calls "Global Warming", we in Arizona call "Summer Time."
    Posts
    2,067
    I've made a few molds and a few swaging dies over the years. Unfortunately for me, the molds I needed to come out with the tightest tolerances just didn't quite make it there for me.

    Those were rifle bullet molds. I guess my mill and my lack of real machining experience just didn't match the tolerances I was needing to get my rifle bullet molds to give me the accuracy I was dreaming of. Making the molds was easy. Making the molds that produced accurate bullet was the hard part for me.

    Pistol bullet molds were alot more forgiving but, I found that buying a good used metal pistol mold was easier for me to do than machine one into existence. It's always an awesome achievement when you can make your own molds though.

    I look forward to seeing what you create if you peruse your dream of making a bullet mold.

    HollowPoint

  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master


    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    6,536
    Just to put things in perspective, if a person had a drill press and a lathe with 9” swing, how long would it take to produce

    A single cavity mold
    Dual cavity mold
    Four cavity mold.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  11. #31
    Boolit Grand Master

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Northwest Ohio
    Posts
    13,173
    I plan on cherry cutting a mould shortly here at home. What I have planed is to make the blocks. complete. and 2 blocks 1/4" thick with the pin holes in them 1" wide and as tall as the blocks. clamp in vise the blocks will be open 1". Zero center line of block and zero dro then figure the y +- movement and cut. Takes the play of the double acting vise out this way.

  12. #32
    Boolit Master

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Posts
    2,417
    I have made several molds over the years and figured out a new way several years back. I make a cherry the a little smaller than the depth of the lube grove and grind about half off like a D reamer. Mount it in a boring head so I can adjust it for size. Take most of the metal out with a drill bit in the mill and then go in with the cherry. The boring head will let me go to what ever diameter I want, just have to back it off to extract it. I made a custom two cavity mold for a customer and the bullets were with in two grains from one to the other. I have used cast iron and aluminum for blocks. Round ball canon molds are done in the lathe 1/2 at a time. I leave a small ring on one side and cut the other to fit the ring. This way both halves line up and then the out side is machined to square everything up. A depth mike is used to make sure each half is the proper depth. Cutters are made for what ever size I'm making.

  13. #33
    Boolit Grand Master Nobade's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    5,389
    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    I have made several molds over the years and figured out a new way several years back. I make a cherry the a little smaller than the depth of the lube grove and grind about half off like a D reamer. Mount it in a boring head so I can adjust it for size. Take most of the metal out with a drill bit in the mill and then go in with the cherry. The boring head will let me go to what ever diameter I want, just have to back it off to extract it. I made a custom two cavity mold for a customer and the bullets were with in two grains from one to the other. I have used cast iron and aluminum for blocks. Round ball canon molds are done in the lathe 1/2 at a time. I leave a small ring on one side and cut the other to fit the ring. This way both halves line up and then the out side is machined to square everything up. A depth mike is used to make sure each half is the proper depth. Cutters are made for what ever size I'm making.
    That's good thinking. Kind of what NOE does by orbiting the cutter with his CNC machinery but adapted to manual. I gotta remember that...

  14. #34
    Boolit Master
    Bent Ramrod's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Southern Arizona
    Posts
    3,902
    Quote Originally Posted by dverna View Post
    Just to put things in perspective, if a person had a drill press and a lathe with 9” swing, how long would it take to produce

    A single cavity mold
    Dual cavity mold
    Four cavity mold.
    More data is definitely needed here. Are you making the blocks yourself, or using blank blocks or recutting old blocks? Do you have a milling fixture on your lathe? Do you want to bore the cavity(s) or cherrie it? How good are you at machining and bench work?

    I’m pretty bad at this stuff, so my recourse is going slow enough so that any miscalculations are noticed before the become total disasters. (Doesn’t always work.) Also, if things aren’t going well, I’ll stop and go back to it later. Allowing time to let the old subconscious chew on the problem that’s raised its ugly head is often the best way to go.

    IIRC, it took several hours to turn the blank, likely a whole evening to cut the flutes, about an hour for heat-treatment, several afternoons to deburr, relieve and sharpen the cherrie, an afternoon to recut the cavity and several days to make the rest of the mould fittings and attach them.

    The double-acting vise probably took a week of evenings to make. If I’d had to make the blocks, they probably would have taken several evenings, arguing that I had the proper sized horizontal milling cutters. That job would probably gone even more slowly on a vertical mill, and more slowly still on a lathe with a milling fixture. If you’re going to cherrie multicavity moulds on a drill press, you might consider a well-mounted X-Y table.

    There’s a couple of articles in (I believe) the Handloader Magazine from the 1970s by Henry Beveridge on how he made his moulds. His were the integral-handle type. He bought the castings, machined the surfaces, drilled the locating pin holes, and riveted them together. He put a piece of paper between the closed blocks, so the drill would follow the crack, and drilled the pilot hole. Then he put long guide rods through the locating pin holes, chucked the cherrie in a drill press, and held the mould against the cherrie by hand, slowly squeezing the handles shut, cutting the cavity by “feel.” The resultant casting shot satisfactorily in a Pope Highwall he’d just bought, so it must have worked.

    I got the impression that he worked a lot more quickly than I do, and, even with the pilot hole well-centered, getting exactly half the cavity in each mould half by hand, by feel, must have taken a lot of skill and experience, although he didn’t go into this.

    That’s the problem when professionals explain how to do stuff to amateurs. Jim Carmichael rips out a museum-grade flintlock stock in a couple days. Henry Beveridge cranks out a mould in an hours’ worth of reading. “It’s easy and fun!”

    Well, it’s kind of fun, for sure, but “easy?” Not hardly. I remember overhearing a student at the Shop Class I took describing to our teacher a job he wanted to do. He went on and on with setups, subtle changes along the way, sophisticated cuts and tool changes, etc, etc.

    Finally he got to the crux of the issue: “How would I do this?” Gene didn’t blink or take a breath. “With great skill, I would hope!”

    Perfect answer. Sometimes the only one possible.

  15. #35
    Moderator Emeritus

    georgerkahn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    South of the (Canada) border
    Posts
    2,042
    Quote Originally Posted by roverboy View Post
    I've been thinking about it for awhile. A friend has mentioned it to me. I might give it a try but, will have to borrow one of his molds to draw a print from. I will alter it to another boolit design. Thanks
    While I have yet to make a mould for a firearm projectile, I have made a couple for fishing. To wit I drilled out, followed by cutting with my Unimat lathe, a Lee mould which I made into a Walking Sinker mould. Also, to make "sliders" for Seth Green lake trout rigs I used kind of a lost-wax process with clay. (The latter worked well, but the "mould" was not reusable -- they crumbled in getting the slider out every time -- but, I made enough for my use ).
    From these experiences -- I know in my future, if wanted/needed, I'd have someone like Accurate Moulds do it for. Writing a cheque or providing a c c number sure seems like a more productive -- for me -- route to take!
    geo

  16. #36
    Boolit Grand Master
    bangerjim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    out of here, wandering somewhere in the SW.
    Posts
    9,915
    I have all the high-end machine tools, the knowledge, and the materials to do it. I prefer turning greenbacks into professionally made BRASS molds rather than wasting all the time measuring & calculating size vs shrinkage vs weight. Not worth the time and hassle in my book. To make something "just because you can" rather than buying it outright already engineered and manufactured seems a bit of a waste of MY time & effort to me.

    I leave that to the pros!

  17. #37
    I read about round ball molds in the old days being made of soap-stone. After a number of miserable failures I concluded that the old timers knew more about the process of making a mold that I could ever figure out. Never came up with something that even vaguely resembled a round ball mold.

  18. #38
    Boolit Master
    Mal Paso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Carmel, Ca
    Posts
    3,565
    Molds require a lot of setup for a one off project. Commercial molds are very reasonable compared to the man hours to make just one. It would have to be an itch I couldn't scratch any other way. I like the discussion though.
    Mal

    Mal Paso means Bad Pass, just so you know.

  19. #39
    Boolit Master Jedman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Lenawee County , MI
    Posts
    1,001
    I have made a mold for jig heads and weight forward lures and they worked good for fishing lures.
    Boolit molds I have modified a few mostly by shortening the length by milling off some of the topside and re drilling and tapping for the sprue plate. I did try to increase the diameter on a old Lee single cavity to make the boolit diameter a couple thousands larger for a friend and I never heard if it worked or not ?
    It’s not something I would try anymore.

    Jedman

  20. #40
    Boolit Master slughammer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    SE PA
    Posts
    723
    Quote Originally Posted by John Taylor View Post
    I have made several molds over the years and figured out a new way several years back. I make a cherry the a little smaller than the depth of the lube grove and grind about half off like a D reamer. Mount it in a boring head so I can adjust it for size. Take most of the metal out with a drill bit in the mill and then go in with the cherry. The boring head will let me go to what ever diameter I want, just have to back it off to extract it......
    How do you adjust the boring head while you're in the cavity? Do you just stop the machine, adjust so it side loads the cutter a bit and start it up again? Or do you have the blocks mounted on a rotary table and feed X while rotating the blocks?

    Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a couple of 38's and a bucket of ammo.

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 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