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Thread: How to fix this mold

  1. #1
    Boolit Master Wolfdog91's Avatar
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    How to fix this mold

    So , how would y'all go about cleaning and fixing up this mold so it will produce good boolits ?


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  2. #2
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    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    If it cleans up with tooth brush scrubbing, and those are pits from corrosion, I think it's a goner.

    You'd need to cast a few boolits and see, but as cheap as Lee molds are,
    I'd just get a new one before I spent too much time kicking a dead horse.
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    You can buy a new one for $35.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I’m no expert, but I think I see both trivial and potentially serious issues.

    The hardware, sprue plate and the tops of the blocks are easy fixes ; it’s the mold faces and the cavities that worry me. If there’s pitting in the cavities and the edges of the cavity halves, even if you can remove what looks like corrosion (maybe a heated citric acid solution? But I don’t know what that’d do to a brass block) I don’t know if they’ll cast good bullets unless you Lee-ment the cavities.

    ETA: oh, now I see that the browning is discoloration, not brass color. I still don’t know what citric acid would do to aluminum.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Sam Sackett's Avatar
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    I would remove the sprue plate, then soak the entire mess in white vinegar for about a week. Then I’d give it a good scrubbing. The sprue plate and the top of the mold need to be dressed and smoothed before the top of the mold gets totally ruined. A good cleaning can really change the looks of a mold. Then reassemble.

    Then I’d fire up the lead pot and see how it casts. If the bullets look bad, maybe spin them in the cavities with some real fine lapping compound. May not look pretty when you get done, but I think it would produce usable bullets. Maybe not for under moa match stuff, but serviceable.

    If you don’t want to spend the effort, send it to me. I like rescuing goners…..

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master

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    1) buy new
    or
    2) soak steel parts in evaporust, wipe clean per instructions, stone smooth cutter underside.
    3) clean block with soap,water, the cavities, mating and top surface. try a couple
    4) if they fall out, good, if not go to #1

    good luck

  7. #7
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    Good luck with that.
    Old retired guy in Baton Rouge La.

  8. #8
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    You may be able to coat a bullet and fresh it out by spinning it with a drill. No telling what diameter bullet you may end up with to get the nasties cleaned out of it.
    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.
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    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Most rust solutions are harmful to aluminum. It will clean it well, but, you would probably have to lap the cavities to keep bullets from sticking.

    As mentioned, new Lee molds are less than the time it would take to do all this. These days, places like Titan reloading can get you a new mold in a couple of days.

  10. #10
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Its going to be a lot of work but I think it could be recovered.
    Disassemble mould blocks and handles both, clean steel parts by soaking in the remover of choice. and a soft tooth brush. Polish the sprue plate flat and true. remove all burrs and sharp edges.
    The aluminum blocks are going to be the harder. Start with a good cleaning to remove what an be easily. Polish with a fine sand paper 400-600 grit using dish soap and water to keep from loading the paper. work on a flat hard surface. start with the faces remove about .002-.003 from each face. You dont have to remove all the pits just smooth them and clean up the surface. reinstall the alignment pins and clean up the tops the same way. Reinstall the sprue plate and cast some bullets.
    Now remember the .002-.003 you took off the faces, you can now lap the blocks back to round removing most of the pits, you have that much on each side to work with.

    You may end up deepening the vents with a scribe or awl also.

    Only you can decide how much work to put into this mould to recover it.

  11. #11
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    Don't know if it's an artifact of the photo, but it looks to me like those mold blocks are warped. If so, the mold is probably junk, unless it's a very minor warp. If it's very minor, try country gent's procedure. I also like ascast's idea about using EvapoRust on it. It does not harm aluminum, though I'd still disassemble it first. I'd let it soak for a couple of hours, and scrub with an old toothbrush, then see what you get, before proceeding with country gent's suggestions.

    Bill

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I would soak the whole thing in Evaporust.I was just looking at some Evaporust reviews a couple days ago and I saw a few where they soaked entire carburetors to clean up the rusted steel parts. It also cleaned up the carb pretty well. If nothing else it would clean of the iron oxides from the steel parts that have adhered to the mold.

    And for you guys telling him to get a new one.......... You don't know Wolfdog very well. This guy will not give up on anything. LOL.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Like others said. If it won”t cast anymore then strip it for parts and buy a new one. Someone sure didn’t like that mould.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    IT looks pitted when I blow it up. Before you clean it-take it apart and with a fine flat file lightly go over the inside to check for warp. If that passes let it soak with something a few days. I have a bead blaster I use with sugar sand that doesn't remove metal. <glass beads will work also> You can tape it up and blast the boolit area until clean. I'm sure it will work but maybe not worth the time. If you lived next door I could help you out. I like your videos. GOOD PHOTOS/
    Last edited by 45DUDE; 01-22-2023 at 02:19 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by country gent View Post
    Its going to be a lot of work but I think it could be recovered.
    Disassemble mould blocks and handles both, clean steel parts by soaking in the remover of choice. and a soft tooth brush. Polish the sprue plate flat and true. remove all burrs and sharp edges.
    The aluminum blocks are going to be the harder. Start with a good cleaning to remove what an be easily. Polish with a fine sand paper 400-600 grit using dish soap and water to keep from loading the paper. work on a flat hard surface. start with the faces remove about .002-.003 from each face. You dont have to remove all the pits just smooth them and clean up the surface. reinstall the alignment pins and clean up the tops the same way. Reinstall the sprue plate and cast some bullets.
    Now remember the .002-.003 you took off the faces, you can now lap the blocks back to round removing most of the pits, you have that much on each side to work with.

    You may end up deepening the vents with a scribe or awl also.

    Only you can decide how much work to put into this mould to recover it.
    Very good advice. FWIW an absolutely smooth/even finish on a boolit does not insure good shooting and accuracy. I would clean up the mold as may above (except watching for rust removers that may damage aluminum). I have lapped several molds for sticky cavities and to get a couple thousandths more diameter, and lapping would clean up those cavities pretty good. (I have used Comet cleanser and oil paste for polishing/lapping aluminum molds). A rough finish may not produce pretty boolits, but they should shoot as well as shiny boolits...
    Last edited by mdi; 01-23-2023 at 01:15 PM.
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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Found post house fire or in a tackle box? Remove sprue plate and I would take all to the glass bead cabinet and blast all at low pressure and see whats left. Might roll internal edges a touch with media. Worst case drill out what's left for slug mold, polish and radius bottom edges of sprue, maybe flat plate the top a little and let her eat lead and see.

  17. #17
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    Tap the handles off. Soak it in diesel for a week. Use a tooth brush to scrub out the cavities. Use 3 or 4 aught steel wool on the steel. Boil the whole affair with a couple drops of dish soap. Remove from the boil and it will flash dry. Put the wood back on and cast a few pours to see what you have. If acceptable, keep it. If not, throw it away.
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  18. #18
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    Biggest concern may be the bushings wear where it will no longer provide a consistent closure. I would pull off the handles and sprue plate.They get soaked in diesel and cleaned up as so many have stated. Make sure the plate is flat and true. Go over every speck of the mold with an old #2 pencil first with the point sharpened, then burnished it with the wood removing all the traces of pencil graphite. Take a hard look at the cavities with a large X magnifier. If they are pitted it is best drilled out to a flat point larger diameter PC only wc. If they are ok I like the boil procedure. This would be good practice if molds were 10 times scarcer than primers. It is also good to know when to cut your losses.
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  19. #19
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    Yes, clean it up with a toothbrush/rust remover. Cast a few to use as lap with Comet/water. It looks like a mold for a light 30cal for an SKS or AK. You can always powder coat if the lube groves are gone. If you’ve got the time it looks like a fun project, if your time is limited buy new from Titan reloading or look on eBay. Good luck and have fun. Tim

  20. #20
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    Toss the whole mess in Evapo-Rust for an evening, scrub with a toothbrush the next day. Inspect the mold halves to see how bad they are. If beyond repair, toss and buy a new one. If not too bad, scrub the mold with some baking soda and a toothbrush until clean, and put it back into service.
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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