Casting session this morning. [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Colorado4Wheel
09-04-2010, 11:24
I finally had 2 working Lyman 4 cavity molds and handles so I decided to try my hand at casting with two molds and the two furnaces that I now have. Plan was to use the 220v pot to start with and then move on to the other Lee 110V pot when it runs out. Long story short. I really think I am going to like casting with two molds at the same time. It takes a little getting used to. In my opinion you have to have a hot plate. Otherwise you simply won't get the molds up to temp and will be casting like a madman trying to get them up to temp. My process was to set both molds on the hotplate till they register about 280F. I cover them to get the temp a little more even. Then you start casting as fast as possible. They even out in temp pretty quickly and both start making good bullets at about the same time. While the sprue was cooling the stayed on the hotplate. Lyman 4 cavity molds seem to like it hot in my experiance. Once they both make good bullets I turned the plate off but they still rested on the plate while the one cooled and the other one was being filled. You are moving your arm a little more often but for me it was actually better because I never held the mold for very long. You always end up setting it down. So it was less tiring it seemed. Main thing is I wasn't going out of my mind BORED waiting for the sprue to cool. I hate just staring at the thing thinking "is it ready?". Whenevery I was going to stop I turned the hotplate back on to help keep them at temp. When one pot was empty the other was ready and I never had to wait for the lead to get to temp. I can't imagine going back to a single Lee pot. I hear the Lyman and RCBS are a little faster but I am happy with my setup for now. So, I am making bullets faster, they cool longer in the mold (which seems better to me) and I am not bored any longer. It's a win all the way around for me.

GioaJack
09-04-2010, 11:52
You are wasting your time by not only casting bullets but by reloading ammunition in general. Don't you understand that TIME IS MONEY and it should be your goal, as well as any financially responsible adult to be the richest man in the grave yard?

Dispose of all your worthless reloading equipment forthwith and either spend a portion of your vast, vast wealth on factory ammo or hire one of the ignorant poor slobs that spend their otherwise non-productive lives on this forum to do your loading for you. I'm sure that every member here, minus one of course, would gladly give their left testicle, or ovary, depending on the individual member, for a chance to make $7.00 an hour. I know that would be more than twice the highest wage I've ever made.

Before I would even consider accepting such a windfall position I would have to know the exact metallurgical makeup of both the moulds and the furnaces to assure myself that if I exceed the designed recommended RPM parts would not suddenly take flight and cause damage to my hillbilly looking features.

Please supply me with the requested technical information posthaste. I apologize that I can not reciprocate with a detailed resume but I have never accomplished enough in life to develop one nor can I afford the the exorbitant price of a stamp to affix to a fictitious rendition.

Please show a little mercy to one of the forum masses who was not intelligent enough to prepare financially for the dark years of life and throw me this last crumb of hope.

Your faithful future servant,

Jack

fredj338
09-04-2010, 11:58
IMO, w/ a 20# Lee, you don't need two pots. I often use two molds, heat them up on top of the pot then start casting, alternating between molds. The 20# pot has enough mass that you can add 2# ingots when the pot gets down 1/4 & never stop casting.

GioaJack
09-04-2010, 12:19
I think someone told him that, several times. Can't remember who it was though. :dunno:


Jack

RustyFN
09-04-2010, 12:24
You are wasting your time by not only casting bullets but by reloading ammunition in general. Don't you understand that TIME IS MONEY and it should be your goal, as well as any financially responsible adult to be the richest man in the grave yard?

Dispose of all your worthless reloading equipment forthwith and either spend a portion of your vast, vast wealth on factory ammo or hire one of the ignorant poor slobs that spend their otherwise non-productive lives on this forum to do your loading for you. I'm sure that every member here, minus one of course, would gladly give their left testicle, or ovary, depending on the individual member, for a chance to make $7.00 an hour. I know that would be more than twice the highest wage I've ever made.

Before I would even consider accepting such a windfall position I would have to know the exact metallurgical makeup of both the moulds and the furnaces to assure myself that if I exceed the designed recommended RPM parts would not suddenly take flight and cause damage to my hillbilly looking features.

Please supply me with the requested technical information posthaste. I apologize that I can not reciprocate with a detailed resume but I have never accomplished enough in life to develop one nor can I afford the the exorbitant price of a stamp to affix to a fictitious rendition.

Please show a little mercy to one of the forum masses who was not intelligent enough to prepare financially for the dark years of life and throw me this last crumb of hope.

Your faithful further servant,

Jack

Where is madscienceman when you need him. :rofl:

AZBru88
09-04-2010, 13:09
Where is madscienceman when you need him. :rofl:
I'm kinda glad Jack took over for him...much more fun to read Jacks posts!

Sorry Steve glad your casting set up is working out for you! Congrats!

WiskyT
09-04-2010, 15:48
One Lee 6 cavity is all I need to deal with at one time. I run my Lee 10# pot (should have gotten the 20#) and I run a seperate saucepan on a hotplate to refill the 10#. This keeps me in a steady supply of lead for as long as I care to cast. The hotplate also gets the mold as hot as I dare get it while warming up. I never found myself getting board counting to 10 while the sprue cools. Maybe counting to 10 is more of a challenge for me?

As the saucepan gets low, I refill it with sprues and ingots. My ingots are 10-15 pound slabs cast by letting the rendered range scrap cool down in the saucepan.

Steve, did you ever get a chance to try out those pills I sent out?

Colorado4Wheel
09-04-2010, 18:32
Yeah, I tried all the "add a ingot at a time" things. Tried speed casting as well. For me I just like not having to add other variables. I was constantly chasing temp changes and fluxing. Now I get into a rythem and get to just keep casting. For me it's just a lot less hassle.

Wisky. I haven't tried those bullets yet. Been really busy and barely have had time to load much less shoot. I was just looking at them today thinking I need to give them a try. I need to look up my old data for 125gr bullets. I will probably try them next week as we are going to chrono next week.

Bob2223
09-04-2010, 18:37
Well how many boolits an hour did you do with two of everything?

GlockPride
09-04-2010, 18:43
I thought from your title maybe you tried out for a movie...:wavey:

Colorado4Wheel
09-04-2010, 19:28
Well how many boolits an hour did you do with two of everything?

This was a practice session to work out the process. I didn't time anything. I emptied 3 pots of lead. One pot was used breaking in a mold and fiddling with another mold that was having issues.

GioaJack
09-04-2010, 19:32
I thought from your title maybe you tried out for a movie...:wavey:


He auditioned for a porno flick... they wouldn't give him the part because they said he didn't have the part. Not really sure what they meant by that. :whistling:


Jack

n2extrm
09-04-2010, 19:42
About time it started to click for you. Glad to hear it is working out. I wish I had the time to learn to cast. I shoot very little lead but it still interests me and I still toy with shooting more lead in the 1911's. Right now I only shoot lead in the 38. Maybe I should start scrounging what lead I can.

RustyFN
09-04-2010, 19:48
IMO, w/ a 20# Lee, you don't need two pots. I often use two molds, heat them up on top of the pot then start casting, alternating between molds. The 20# pot has enough mass that you can add 2# ingots when the pot gets down 1/4 & never stop casting.

Thanks for the tip Fred. I think I'll try that the next time I cast.

Colorado4Wheel
09-04-2010, 19:50
Yeah, I have been making bullets for a little while. It was always a slower process then I wanted it to be. It seemed like it took to long for the output I got. I have 3 qty 4 cavity Lyman 147gr molds and two sets of handles. I really hate sitting down to cast and then having a issue so I wanted a spare. It really is working well for me now so I am pretty happy.

PBKing
09-06-2010, 20:11
IMO, w/ a 20# Lee, you don't need two pots. I often use two molds, heat them up on top of the pot then start casting, alternating between molds. The 20# pot has enough mass that you can add 2# ingots when the pot gets down 1/4 & never stop casting.

Right On

PBKing
09-06-2010, 20:14
Yeah, I have been making bullets for a little while. It was always a slower process then I wanted it to be. It seemed like it took to long for the output I got. I have 3 qty 4 cavity Lyman 147gr molds and two sets of handles. I really hate sitting down to cast and then having a issue so I wanted a spare. It really is working well for me now so I am pretty happy.

2 molds works good for me. I sometimes run 3 but the #20 pot runs down quick

Never ran 2 pots. Sure would make for a endless stream of alloy though.

2 molds works just right....02

Colorado4Wheel
09-06-2010, 20:24
Alright. IF your adding ingots as you go are you fluxing?

I found if I don't flux my bullets suffer.

If I let the pot get down 1/4 full and top it off then it does cool down to much and I have to wait. Two pots mean I don't end up waiting.

If I add one ingot and keep casting my bullet vary sometimes and don't vary other times. It's just not consistent.

For me it's easier to just run two pots, run one down 1/2 way, switch to the other pot in waiting right after fluxing it. Fill the other pot and let it reheat while I cast the next pot to 1/2 full. Flux it right before I start using it. To me it just seems to be better to flux right before I start casting and not be adding ingots a little at a time and not flux, or add a little at a time and take the time to flux over and over again.

GioaJack
09-06-2010, 20:31
AAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! :brickwall:


Jack

Colorado4Wheel
09-06-2010, 20:44
Jack,
My lee pot is slow. I could add ingots a little at a time but then for it to work right I have to be fluxing all the time. If I wait for the pot to get to a 75% it's too late to refill it. It will take 5 mins to get back up to temp if I fill it at that point. If I just add a ingot at a time then I will need to flux all the freaking time. I know I could buy a $350 pot but that was more then I wanted to spend. I just don't see how adding a little at a time (fluxing or not) is better then just using two pots and running the pots till they are 1/2 full and switching. Fluxing right before you start casting out of the next pot seems to work better. I really don't see how the suggestions above work as good as they say.

GioaJack
09-06-2010, 21:23
If you want to run two pots that's fine, absolutely nothing wrong with it. I couldn't do it, I'd spill something on myself and I'm way too handsome to risk scars.

Want to run more than one mould at a time, again, fine. I do it every once in a while just to break the monotony of looking at the same kind of bullet. No problem, although if you're using iron moulds you can cast all day long without stopping or changing to another mould. Again, no problem, you just haven't perfected your technique yet... it'll come as you gain more experience... so far you're doing very well.

What I don't understand is why you think you can change the laws of physics, or chemistry or gravity or whatever the hell law governs an alloy. In one breath you complain that at times your bullets vary and in the next breath you complain about taking the time to flux... well you can't have it both ways Bucky. You either do it right or you settle for sub-standard results, it's that simple.

Oxidation, (oxygen drawing the tin and antimony is a continuous process, it happens every second the alloy is in a melted state. Fluxing momentarily stops the process and alloys the metals to once again become a true alloy. (I'm sure there's a more scientific explanation but it's way, way above my intelligence level. Dana T. or one of the other engineering types on here can explain it.)

It's very, very easy to flux too little... your system for example. On the other hand it's pretty much impossible to flux too much, (within reason.)

If you insist on short changing the fluxing repetition then use a good fluxing medium, bullet lube or crayon works very well since it tends to melt over the entire surface stopping the oxidation and allowing the alloy to be reintroduced. If you don't want to flux again until you add metal cover the entire surface with sawdust, (don't stir it in, it actually screws up the alloy and leaves deposits at the bottom of the pot which leads to dripping on some bottom pour pots... Lee.

Covering the surface with the sawdust retards the airflow over the melt and in turn retards the oxidation. Before you add metal skim the sawdust off then flux then replace the sawdust.

It's a whole lot better just to get in the habit of fluxing every time you add metal ant then every ten or fifteen minutes. What's it take, all of 20 seconds?

I know you're going to do it your way not matter which way is the right way so I'm gonna have a cigarette and a drink... maybe two.


Jack

fredj338
09-06-2010, 22:59
Alright. IF your adding ingots as you go are you fluxing?

I found if I don't flux my bullets suffer.

If I let the pot get down 1/4 full and top it off then it does cool down to much and I have to wait. Two pots mean I don't end up waiting.

If I add one ingot and keep casting my bullet vary sometimes and don't vary other times. It's just not consistent.

For me it's easier to just run two pots, run one down 1/2 way, switch to the other pot in waiting right after fluxing it. Fill the other pot and let it reheat while I cast the next pot to 1/2 full. Flux it right before I start using it. To me it just seems to be better to flux right before I start casting and not be adding ingots a little at a time and not flux, or add a little at a time and take the time to flux over and over again.
I don't flux per say, I just stir w/ a paint stick, leave the dros on top. Depending on the ingot size, & your casting temp, I never even slow down once dropping a 2# ingot in, as long as I have a 2/3 full pot. I am casting around 750d, so adding 2# to 15-16#, it just gobbles the ingot up.:dunno:

hoffy
09-06-2010, 23:23
Been casting since early '80s. Now days, I cast a years worth in a couple of weeks hitting it hard, two pots, one 20#, one 10#, mostly 4 cavity molds. Drop in sprue often, flux often, drop in pigs often, except when getting tired, then let them run down and throw some pigs in & start over. My 20 pounder has a shelf for molds, but I usually just leave frozen bullets in them(breaks are not long) and they drop good ones with 5-6 pours.

The Lyman Cast Bullet Handbook gives good information on metallurgy and what goes on in the pot, almost a required read, do things wrong and you will remove things you want.

I load for a lot of people, and I get them to size my bullets most of the time, I have a bad back, and it is worse now, will find out soon how it effects me, will probably have to figure a way to do it standing up, and I have been doing it the same way for 20 years, sitting.

Colorado4Wheel
09-07-2010, 11:13
What I don't understand is why you think you can change the laws of physics, or chemistry or gravity or whatever the hell law governs an alloy. In one breath you complain that at times your bullets vary and in the next breath you complain about taking the time to flux... well you can't have it both ways Bucky. You either do it right or you settle for sub-standard results, it's that simple.

Jack

Thats kinda my point. The way that is suggested is to just drop some stuff in a keep going with out fluxing. I don't do that. It don't work for me. So by seperating things out and fluxing before I start with each pot I eliminate those issues. If I need to I will flux in the middle of the run. Thats just what you need to do sometimes. BUT, I have noticed running two molds that it is far less likely to be needed because you are draining the pot faster so it doesn't have as much time to develope the need to flux it twice. Two pots allows me to do things right and not be slowed down by varying temps and breaking my process to flux as often because I am adding lead all the time.

Colorado4Wheel
09-10-2010, 14:21
Someone asked how fast it was with two molds.

I made a little over 800 rds in 1 hour 15 mins once the molds were up to temp. Using a hotplate you can get the molds up to temp pretty quickly. Thats three pots of lead and I wasted about 5 mins because my second pot was a little under temp.

I never timed myself before but I can say that is way better then in the past. My last batch of bullet were the nicest looking bullets I have ever made.

Bob2223
09-11-2010, 07:29
Someone asked how fast it was with two molds.

I made a little over 800 rds in 1 hour 15 mins once the molds were up to temp. Using a hotplate you can get the molds up to temp pretty quickly. Thats three pots of lead and I wasted about 5 mins because my second pot was a little under temp.

I never timed myself before but I can say that is way better then in the past. My last batch of bullet were the nicest looking bullets I have ever made.

Is that all?
I do more then that an hour taking my time with one double cavity,,, :whistling:

:supergrin:

Bob

Colorado4Wheel
09-11-2010, 07:47
I actually have no idea what others do. I'm just happy that my bullets are better then in the past, I am faster then in the past and I am not bored.

Bob2223
09-11-2010, 08:01
I actually have no idea what others do. I'm just happy that my bullets are better then in the past, I am faster then in the past and I am not bored.

Thats great your where ya wanna be.
I like making the best looking boolits I can but speed is nice, I started using two mould at a time for the HP bullets.
Two cavity moulds are a little slower but using both moulds helps.
I may be getting a used furnace thats a step up from the Lee, even Jack will like it.

Bob

Colorado4Wheel
09-11-2010, 09:13
On a good week I can go through 1K bullets. This last session (and I am still getting used to this two pot/two mold thing) I made two pots worth of bullets. They looked good. I dumped in a seperate pile (remember I water drop). I then started again with a fresh pot. The molds had a nice even temp, I had gotten the hang of what lead temp to shoot for (this is a lee pot so you kinda have to baby sit it a little). Those bullets were shinny and bright looking. Well, until I dumped them in the water at least. Either way, they should work pretty well and I save the pretty ones (last in a run) for my match's. Even my first run bullets shoot pretty darn good freehand at 25yds so thats fine with me.

GioaJack
09-11-2010, 09:41
On a good week I can go through 1K bullets. This last session (and I am still getting used to this two pot/two mold thing) I made two pots worth of bullets. They looked good. I dumped in a seperate pile (remember I water drop). I then started again with a fresh pot. The molds had a nice even temp, I had gotten the hang of what lead temp to shoot for (this is a lee pot so you kinda have to baby sit it a little). Those bullets were shinny and bright looking. Well, until I dumped them in the water at least. Either way, they should work pretty well and I save the pretty ones (last in a run) for my match's. Even my first run bullets shoot pretty darn good freehand at 25yds so thats fine with me.


'Freehand' is a drawing or painting term, 'offhand' is a shooting term. Flatlanders never cease to amaze me.

(You better be feeding and watering my magazine... he's still in his growth stage.)


Jack

Colorado4Wheel
09-11-2010, 10:33
I am getting frustrated, I think I will hit something with a hammer to relieve some stress.

GioaJack
09-11-2010, 11:13
I am getting frustrated, I think I will hit something with a hammer to relieve some stress.


I suffer from similar feelings but I already know what I'm going to hit... and I won't need a hammer. :whistling:


Jack

WiskyT
09-11-2010, 12:10
On a good week I can go through 1K bullets. This last session (and I am still getting used to this two pot/two mold thing) I made two pots worth of bullets. They looked good. I dumped in a seperate pile (remember I water drop). I then started again with a fresh pot. The molds had a nice even temp, I had gotten the hang of what lead temp to shoot for (this is a lee pot so you kinda have to baby sit it a little). Those bullets were shinny and bright looking. Well, until I dumped them in the water at least. Either way, they should work pretty well and I save the pretty ones (last in a run) for my match's. Even my first run bullets shoot pretty darn good freehand at 25yds so thats fine with me.

Now I know why he hasn't used the bullets I sent him. They aren't pretty enough:upeyes: Never mind that they fit into 2.5 inches at 25 yards OFFHAND double action in a GP100. They aint pretty.

Colorado4Wheel
09-11-2010, 17:24
Wisky, it requires me to chrono 10 rds and then load a batch. I just havent had a chance to do that lately .

WiskyT
09-11-2010, 18:04
Wisky, it requires me to chrono 10 rds and then load a batch. I just havent had a chance to do that lately .

I think you are hung up by the inherent uncleanliness of the bullets. No amount of hand washing will make it okay after you touch them.:whistling:

GioaJack
09-11-2010, 18:12
NEWS FLASH

Colorado man says we've all been breathing wrong!

Film at eleven... if we don't suffocate first. :whistling:


Jack

bdhawk
09-11-2010, 20:26
i use a lyman 20#er bottom pour furnace and lee six cavity molds. i fill up the furnace flux with a piece of crayon cast a few and when one is cool enough, i test it with my saeco hardness tester. if it is ok, i cast down 'till i get down to 'bout 3/4" to 1" in the pot. i reload the furnace, adding metal by weight and wait 'till it is ready then i start all over. while i am waiting, i will do something else to pass the time. today, i shot my pellet pistols, sometimes i will lube/size already cast bullets, and sometimes i will reload. heck sometimes i will clean the shop, but that is contrary to the mad scientist look i usually have in my shop [lab:embarassed:]. whatever i do to pass the time i stay close by, keeping an eye on things.
i once left a lee 10# bottom pour unattended. when the alloy reached temp, it emptied itself, making a huge mess. luckily it did not start a fire.

shotgunred
09-11-2010, 21:40
And you guys wonder why more people don't cast!:wow:

GioaJack
09-12-2010, 10:27
And you guys wonder why more people don't cast!:wow:


Little Stevie just makes it a hundred times harder than it actually is... he figures people will see the problems he invents and be less likely to go out looking for free lead. It's actually a devious yet effective plan.


Jack

shotgunred
09-12-2010, 10:31
I am trying out some molly coated bullets. Any of you guys molly coat your bullets?

WiskyT
09-12-2010, 13:44
I am trying out some molly coated bullets. Any of you guys molly coat your bullets?

I haven't tried it, and I don't think I will. From what I can tell, it is a big messy PITA that offers nothing in return.

dudel
09-12-2010, 14:07
I don't think I will trying Moly. I'm not seeing much advantage over plated, and I hear the moly lube can be a bear to clean.

Of course if they were the only thing available..... I'd cast me some boolits.

shotgunred
09-12-2010, 14:36
Didn't you make a sticky for casting?

I was rummaging around and found my lead. I have about 30 bars 1 inch thick by 3 inches wide by 2 foot long. Seems like that would make quite a few bullets.

GioaJack
09-12-2010, 14:41
Didn't you make a sticky for casting?


Little Stevie make a sticky for casting? BWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA!

Sorry, that wasn't nice, I shall verbally chastise myself, I shouldn't be so cruel. I blame it on my prescription medication... and the fact that he is still holding my Kimber magazine hostage. :steamed:


Jack

shotgunred
09-12-2010, 17:07
I thought he was our official sticky maker.

dudel
09-12-2010, 17:22
I was constantly chasing temp changes and fluxing.

Have you considered a PID?

BigDog[RE]
09-12-2010, 19:15
Seriously, casting is not rocket science... You melt the lead, you flux the lead, you pour the lead into your pre heated mold, you cool the mold, you drop the bullets.

I use a 20# Lee dripomatic, a 4 cavity Lyman 452630 mold, a handle from a broken hammer, and a wet towel folded up. I pour the lead into the mold, wait a couple of secs until the sprue firms up, then I touch the sprue to the wet rag for a sec, open the mold and drop the bullets.

I use a system very similar to this one:
http://goatlipstips.cas-town.com/casting.html


I tried the two mold system, but I found it awkward to pick up and put down molds constantly. My way the mold is always in my left hand, and I can keep a constant rate. When the pot gets about 1/3 third empty I drop another ingot in. This keeps the temps from climbing to high. I usually cast around 1000 boolits before I get tired/bored and move on. I do take breaks during the casting session.

Colorado4Wheel
09-12-2010, 19:17
Have you considered a PID?

I wish I knew how to make one. I glaze over every time someone posts how to do it.

Colorado4Wheel
09-12-2010, 19:24
And you guys wonder why more people don't cast!:wow:

It's really not that hard. They give me crap but they don't pay attention much so thats their issue. Reality is casting at a moderate pace is not hard at all. Going faster is the hard part because your tempted to rush things that simply should not be rushed. Once you find the type of bullet your gun likes you just repeat the process over and over. My issue is I have been wanting to speed the process up. Lots of people have ideas how to do it (most I did not like). For me I just like the two mold and two furnace method. Lately I have barely had enogh time to load never mind to cast so it was worth it to me to find a way to make it faster.

fredj338
09-12-2010, 22:22
i use a lyman 20#er bottom pour furnace and lee six cavity molds. i fill up the furnace flux with a piece of crayon cast a few and when one is cool enough, i test it with my saeco hardness tester. if it is ok, i cast down 'till i get down to 'bout 3/4" to 1" in the pot. i reload the furnace, adding metal by weight and wait 'till it is ready then i start all over. while i am waiting, i will do something else to pass the time. today, i shot my pellet pistols, sometimes i will lube/size already cast bullets, and sometimes i will reload. heck sometimes i will clean the shop, but that is contrary to the mad scientist look i usually have in my shop [lab:embarassed:]. whatever i do to pass the time i stay close by, keeping an eye on things.
i once left a lee 10# bottom pour unattended. when the alloy reached temp, it emptied itself, making a huge mess. luckily it did not start a fire.

The only issue testing a piece of alloy that has just been cast, it will harden over a 24hr+ period. So I never bother unitl a few days have gone by. Know what you put in the pot. Weighing them is a decent spot check for alloy composition, if you keep notes on such things.

shotgunred
09-13-2010, 04:47
I was thinking a lee 20 lb bottom pour 110v pot and Lyman molds.
I am not set up for a 220v pot.
A set of handles.

Anything else?

Colorado4Wheel
09-13-2010, 07:29
Lyman are good molds. The Lee pot is workable. Just never smelt in it. Handles for the mold. My Lyman drop out at practically the size you need them to be to shoot them. You only need to figure out a way to lube them. Either Alox (Tumble Lube) or pan lube them. Personally I like my regular hard lube which really kinda needs a sizer to go on the bullets quickly. Pan lubing would be fine for small batch's of rifle I gueess. You can buy a bottle of Tumble lube for very little so thats a fine way to start.

fredj338
09-13-2010, 11:42
It's really not that hard. They give me crap but they don't pay attention much so thats their issue. Reality is casting at a moderate pace is not hard at all. Going faster is the hard part because your tempted to rush things that simply should not be rushed. Once you find the type of bullet your gun likes you just repeat the process over and over. My issue is I have been wanting to speed the process up. Lots of people have ideas how to do it (most I did not like). For me I just like the two mold and two furnace method. Lately I have barely had enogh time to load never mind to cast so it was worth it to me to find a way to make it faster.

Like reloading Steve, time i smoney. If you really want to go fast, get a Magma auto machine. Sure, it will run you $15K, but you just turn it on & it goes. You can reload while it casts, check on it periodically. Another option is a Magma 40# pot, quite expensive, but pretty tough for the casting temp to decrease enough to stop you form casting. Run a pair of 6cav molds & you are getting a lot of bullets/hr, maybe 1000/hr. SHort of an automated casting outfit, about as high a production rate as you can get IMO.

Colorado4Wheel
09-13-2010, 13:13
Yeah, every Lee 6 cavity mold I got was defective and obviously so before lead even touched it. So don't talk to me about Lee 6 Cavity. My Lee 2 cavity was fine. But after 3 sucky 6 cavity I am done with them. I know you are going to think "It's just Steve again" But they don't even open and close properly when you don't have handles attached. Thats not too much to expect I would think.

My double Lee 20lb pots give me the same amount of lead as the Magma for a fraction of the cost. I know it's not as good but it's good enough.

fredj338
09-13-2010, 14:02
Yeah, every Lee 6 cavity mold I got was defective and obviously so before lead even touched it. So don't talk to me about Lee 6 Cavity. My Lee 2 cavity was fine. But after 3 sucky 6 cavity I am done with them. I know you are going to think "It's just Steve again" But they don't even open and close properly when you don't have handles attached. Thats not too much to expect I would think.

My double Lee 20lb pots give me the same amount of lead as the Magma for a fraction of the cost. I know it's not as good but it's good enough.
I agree, Lee stuff, all there stuff, is supsect. I have been lucky & only had to return one of my (3) 6cavs, but when they do work, they produce a ton of bullets for little cost. Way faster than any 2cav combo you want. You can get 3-6cav iron molds, very pricey & heavy as hell for casting more than an hour. The (2) Lee 20# pots works, but again, you were looking for ideal casting outfit that allows max production, to me that is at least a 40# bottom pour or greater. One heat source to manage, just keep feeding it ingots, 2-3# at a time. You'll never slow down.:dunno: http://magmaengineering.com/images/stories/products/MasterpotLg.jpg
If you ar handy w/ a torch, you could make a 50#+ bottom pour pot.
http://www.rotblattsculpture.com/Articles/buildingabronzec.html

Colorado4Wheel
09-13-2010, 14:25
I don't "want" a 2 cavity. It's just the only Lee mold I got that actually worked as advertised.

I am using two 4 cavity. I am not looking for "ideal casting outfit" I am actually pretty happy with my setup now. People just wanted to critique my using two molds and two pots. The wanted to suggest the same old lame ways of casting that I tried in the past and found so frustrating because they all are short cuts. Two pots means I never run out of lead. Two molds means I never rush the cutting of the sprue before it's cooled. Two pots means I flux every time I add lead. Nearly every bit of advice I have been given on speeding up the process involved cutting corners. I tried them all. They all sucked.

JesseCJC
09-13-2010, 19:37
Man, with 2 Lee 10 pounders going at once that must leave all of 10lbs to cast with! I can't stand working with my drip o matic anymore. I get more coming out in between casts than I do while actually opening the valve.

Ok, ok so I embellished a little, but I still wish I would have opted for a better casting pot. Pretty much everything I go from lee either broke, is breaking or works when it wants.

Colorado4Wheel
09-13-2010, 19:40
Man, with 2 Lee 10 pounders going at once that must leave all of 10lbs to cast with! I can't stand working with my drip o matic anymore. I get more coming out in between casts than I do while actually opening the valve.

Ok, ok so I embellished a little, but I still wish I would have opted for a better casting pot. Pretty much everything I go from lee either broke, is breaking or works when it wants.

Heat the pot of lead. Drain the pot through the spot then tip the remaining lead out. Turn it off to cool. Remove the rod and clean the inside of the spot cavity. Mine barely drips now. I don't know if your 10lb is as good as the 20lb. I hear they leak easier.

WiskyT
09-13-2010, 19:54
Man, with 2 Lee 10 pounders going at once that must leave all of 10lbs to cast with! I can't stand working with my drip o matic anymore. I get more coming out in between casts than I do while actually opening the valve.

Ok, ok so I embellished a little, but I still wish I would have opted for a better casting pot. Pretty much everything I go from lee either broke, is breaking or works when it wants.

Clean it like C4W said, and just twist the stem with a screwdriver occasionally. I also deliberately push down on the handle as I stop each pour, rather than just let the weight of the handle stop the flow. Some people have also added weight to the handle.

fredj338
09-13-2010, 21:15
I don't "want" a 2 cavity. It's just the only Lee mold I got that actually worked as advertised.

I am using two 4 cavity. I am not looking for "ideal casting outfit" I am actually pretty happy with my setup now. People just wanted to critique my using two molds and two pots. The wanted to suggest the same old lame ways of casting that I tried in the past and found so frustrating because they all are short cuts. Two pots means I never run out of lead. Two molds means I never rush the cutting of the sprue before it's cooled. Two pots means I flux every time I add lead. Nearly every bit of advice I have been given on speeding up the process involved cutting corners. I tried them all. They all sucked.
I don't think anyone was seriously critiquing you using two pots & two molds. Most bullet casters will use two molds, whether 2, 4 or 6cav, just keeps them at a more constant temp for casting. You out lined the biggest reason for not using two pots for casting, adding metal & fluxing. A single 40#, although expensive, will allow you to keep casting longer between adding alloy & you have to flux less often.:dunno: I just know casting takes time & reside myself to it. If I am in a hurry, I'll buy them.:supergrin:

Bob2223
09-14-2010, 05:49
Man, with 2 Lee 10 pounders going at once that must leave all of 10lbs to cast with! I can't stand working with my drip o matic anymore. I get more coming out in between casts than I do while actually opening the valve.

Ok, ok so I embellished a little, but I still wish I would have opted for a better casting pot. Pretty much everything I go from lee either broke, is breaking or works when it wants.

After you clean the pot good chuck the rod up in a drill, use some lapping compound and spin the rod in the valve for a min.


Bob

Colorado4Wheel
09-14-2010, 07:08
I don't think anyone was seriously critiquing you using two pots & two molds. Most bullet casters will use two molds, whether 2, 4 or 6cav, just keeps them at a more constant temp for casting. You out lined the biggest reason for not using two pots for casting, adding metal & fluxing. A single 40#, although expensive, will allow you to keep casting longer between adding alloy & you have to flux less often.:dunno: I just know casting takes time & reside myself to it. If I am in a hurry, I'll buy them.:supergrin:

Yep, I just want to use my time as best as possible.

I don't know but I don't think a 40 lb is going to let you not flux as much. If I flux both pots at the beginnning I need to reflux the second pot when the first is ready to be refilled. Fluxing every 15 to 30 mins is not a big deal.

PBKing
09-14-2010, 07:17
I am using two 4 cavity. I am not looking for "ideal casting outfit" I am actually pretty happy with my setup now. People just wanted to critique my using two molds and two pots.

All that matters is your set up works for you. Forums like this are more about exchanging ideas not necessarily finding concensus...as if.

PBKing
09-14-2010, 07:19
Yep, I just want to use my time as best as possible
How many bullets do you cast per session? Just curious.
BTW I like the 2 4/20 idea for a long day of casting.

Colorado4Wheel
09-14-2010, 14:07
I typically cast for a couple hours in the morning and thats it. If I can make 800 bullets a time (which I now can) I will do that about 4 times a month. Give or take a little. So it I start casting at 9am on a saterday I am done way before lunch and get to do what I want for the rest of the day. Or I come home at 3pm and have enough time to make 800 bullets or so before dinner.

shotgunred
09-14-2010, 15:12
Why do you need two 20 pound pots to melt 14 lbs of lead?

You should be able to use one pot with room left over.

Colorado4Wheel
09-14-2010, 15:27
Several reasons.

1) When you cast you may make 4qty 155 gr bullets at a time but your sprue weights about that same amount (never measured it just guessing). So a lot of lead is used and recycled the next time you cast.
2) You don't drain the pot more then about 2/3 the way. That keeps the lead flowing the same. So the 20 lb pot really only makes 10 lbs of lead and then a portion of that is used up in sprue and also getting the mold up to temp and casting right.

I go through 3 partial pots of lead to make that 800qty of bullets. Using 1 pot I would spend at least 30 mins total waiting for it to reheat. HUGE waste of time for the way I like to do things.

WiskyT
09-14-2010, 19:18
Why do you need two 20 pound pots to melt 14 lbs of lead?

You should be able to use one pot with room left over.

I did a halffast estimate of what my Lee 10# holds, I came up with closer to 7#. With my 10# and a ONE six cavity mold, I run my pot dry real quickly and adding lead as I go just makes for a bunch of luke warm lead. I run a saucepan on a hotplate with molten lead in it and ladel more molten lead in my 10# pot as I go. All the sprues and additional ingots go in the saucepan and it acts as a resevoir for the casting pot.

I do it that way since I started out with the 10# thinking it would be "good enough". If/when it dies, I'll get something bigger, but not some $500.00 deal. I don't think I'll ever run two molds though. My 6 holer makes a big pile quickly and I think it would be a big fat PITA to keep picking up and putting down the two molds. Maybe if I grow a third hand I could make it work.

Colorado4Wheel
09-14-2010, 20:27
I wish I had been able to get a 6 hole to work. They cool the sprue fast and make a lot of bullet quickly. It's like I am chasing a dream I am just not going to ever acheive.

Anyway. Setting down the mold is no big deal. Even when using one mold I set the mold down because the iron is heavy. Iron also takes a little longer to cool the sprue it seems. So only difference is swapping. Not a big deal.

fredj338
09-14-2010, 22:53
I did a halffast estimate of what my Lee 10# holds, I came up with closer to 7#. With my 10# and a ONE six cavity mold, I run my pot dry real quickly and adding lead as I go just makes for a bunch of luke warm lead. I run a saucepan on a hotplate with molten lead in it and ladel more molten lead in my 10# pot as I go. All the sprues and additional ingots go in the saucepan and it acts as a resevoir for the casting pot.

I do it that way since I started out with the 10# thinking it would be "good enough". If/when it dies, I'll get something bigger, but not some $500.00 deal. I don't think I'll ever run two molds though. My 6 holer makes a big pile quickly and I think it would be a big fat PITA to keep picking up and putting down the two molds. Maybe if I grow a third hand I could make it work.

The Lee 20#P4 is a good melter for the money. You can buy 5 fo rthe cost of the slightly larger cap RCBS. Mine runs fine, never loses temp as long as I refill before it's half empty. Just drop a 2# ingot, stir a couple times w/ a paint stick & keep casting. It doesn't lose any time or much heat. You are dropping 2# of cold alloy into 10# of 750deg alloy, it melts ina bout 30sec.:dunno:
Steve, if you can get one of the medicore Lee 6avs to work, they make a ton of bullets pretty darn fast. I do prefer iron molds though, seem to get better bullets out of them. I think once they are upto temp, the temp stays more uniform.

PBKing
09-15-2010, 08:03
I wish I had been able to get a 6 hole to work.

I bet you Can.

Colorado4Wheel
09-15-2010, 15:08
I'm waiting for someone to offer and buy a 6 cavity, actually use it for a month then sell it to me for cost so I know it works. I'm sick of order them from midway, opening the box and finding the thing nearly impossible to open/close because the pins are out of alignment. I actually really like the 125gr 2R bullet mold they make. It pours at about 130gr which is perfect really.

fredj338
09-15-2010, 15:27
I'm waiting for someone to offer and buy a 6 cavity, actually use it for a month then sell it to me for cost so I know it works. I'm sick of order them from midway, opening the box and finding the thing nearly impossible to open/close because the pins are out of alignment. I actually really like the 125gr 2R bullet mold they make. It pours at about 130gr which is perfect really.
Steve, I do have a good functioning 228grRn/45 & 200grFP/45 in 6cav. I had to send one back. You can go almost as fast w/ a 4cav by Lyman or Saeco, they are just better made & easier to use, less problems means you can go faster. You won't do much better than 800/hr w/ a pair of 6cav running smoothly.:dunno:

Colorado4Wheel
09-15-2010, 15:37
Good to know. The 4 cavity seem to work good so why mess with it.

fredj338
09-15-2010, 17:09
Good to know. The 4 cavity seem to work good so why mess with it.
Yeah, the add'l. time fillng the other 2cavs, waiting the add'l time to get the larger sprue to cool, it's kind of a wash. I tried to get Lee to make 4cavs on their 6cav format. They said no, but that would be a much better setup than either IMO. Keep doing what you are doing. The only way to get more is have someone else do it for you.:supergrin:

bdhawk
09-15-2010, 17:34
The only issue testing a piece of alloy that has just been cast, it will harden over a 24hr+ period. So I never bother unitl a few days have gone by. Know what you put in the pot. Weighing them is a decent spot check for alloy composition, if you keep notes on such things.

i make my alloys by weighing different metals, lead, linotype, wheel weights, tin. etc. i have been casting for 35+years and this works for me. i check for hardness, just after the bullet is cool enough to handle as a control. my experience has shown that if the hardness is at A just after cooling, it will be B after a few days. i strive for pretty much the same hardness by adding whatever metal(s) needed to get the results i want. the hardness check is just to confirm so i will not cast hundreds that does not meet my needs.

WiskyT
09-15-2010, 22:49
I'm sick of order them from midway, opening the box and finding the thing nearly impossible to open/close because the pins are out of alignment.

My molds don't open and close when I finger bang them either. Stop playing with them and use them what they are for, casting bullets. Smack the hinge pin while you're opening it and it will pop open and the bulets will fall out. They act differently when they are 800* and being used, as opposed to 70* and being played with.

Colorado4Wheel
09-16-2010, 06:29
My molds don't open and close when I finger bang them either. Stop playing with them and use them what they are for, casting bullets. Smack the hinge pin while you're opening it and it will pop open and the bulets will fall out. They act differently when they are 800* and being used, as opposed to 70* and being played with.

They didn't work hot either. They would stick and on the last one one side opened and the other didn't cause the bullets to fall in the V and warp the mold. But we have been over that. Everyonen just wanted to blame me. This stuff isn't that complicated and something opening and closing is not too much to expect.

PBKing
09-16-2010, 10:37
I'm waiting for someone to offer and buy a 6 cavity, actually use it for a month then sell it to me for cost so I know it works.

Yeah I know what you mean. I've been waiting for someone to fly me out and put me up for the weekend to learn em how to operate an aluminum 6 banger. (I'll even throw in the mold...But wait there's more. If you act now I will throw in a pair of handles FREE)

I suspect we both got a long wait.

Seriously...well not really, if you can run a pair of 4/20's you surely can handle a al 6 cav.

Colorado4Wheel
09-18-2010, 19:56
Had another go at it this morning. I am finally getting things to gel just the way I want them to work. I have kept notes on mold temp and lead temp and have figured out what my setup likes at the pace I am now running with two molds. I start with my molds at about 290F using a hot plate (it doesn't matter, just something over 275F) and my lead at 800F. The mold actually cools a little after several casts and stabilizes a little lower temp.
I have finally figured out the Lee pots and how to get them to stabilize at a temperture. JUST DON'T FIDDLE WITH IT. Seriously. They take some time to stabilize. They will cycle even when the lead is only 500F so you have to turn them on to max just to get the lead to melt. But once they get close to temp (not at) you have to turn them down. I found the number "4" on both pots was pretty close. You can change it to 4.5 but if you move it much more then that they start bouncing around and become erratic. Either way that makes a difference. Small changes only. Mine don't drip at all now. Just got to scrape them real good and clean them (empty them to do it) every once in a while).
BIGGEST change was from a talk I had with Jack. He was convinced I was not fluxing enough. I thought I was because the lead still looked good. But I took his advice. I fluxed a lot. I fluxed really good at the start of every pot (like always). Not just once but several times. I then would start casting and every once in a while throw a little piece of wax in the pot (his idea). I stirred it with my screwdrive till the smoke was gone and kept casting. Bullets looked better then ever. I don't really care how they look but it was intersting to see them look a little more shinny. Fill out stayed great. I sometimes needed to scrap 4 bullets right after fluxing because I didn't wait long enough for the smoke to disappear. I guess you can't just assume that because I fluxed 5 mins ago that it's still good. I made about 1100 bullets in under two hours. Thats start to finish (full heated pot) including some cleanup etc. at the end. Even did some phone calls because I had too take them.

RustyFN
09-19-2010, 09:17
I can't find the link but I saw a thread somewhere about a guy selling custom molds made from brass. There were a few guys on the forum that had bought from him and had nothing but great things to say about the molds. When I find the link I will post it here. I would like to try one myself.

Bob2223
09-19-2010, 12:33
I can't find the link but I saw a thread somewhere about a guy selling custom molds made from brass. There were a few guys on the forum that had bought from him and had nothing but great things to say about the molds. When I find the link I will post it here. I would like to try one myself.

Rusty are these the moulds your talkin about?
http://www.mp-molds.com/

I have the 45 HP, 40 HP and just started using the 357 HP a few weeks ago. Also have one his Aluminum 6 cav moulds a 200 gn SWC "H&G #68 copy.
Easy to get great looking bullets out of em, the cramer style HP set up makes em pretty fast too.

You can get a round HP, 5 sided HP or FP from the same mould by changing pins.

I think the brass moulds are great and really like casting with em. !



http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2351.jpg





http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2392.jpg

Bob

WiskyT
09-19-2010, 12:49
That mold gives me a boner. Jack, have you seen the pic that Bob posted? Could save you some money trying to satisfy those lusty wenches down at the Waffle House.

GioaJack
09-19-2010, 13:00
That mold gives me a boner. Jack, have you seen the pic that Bob posted? Could save you some money trying to satisfy those lusty wenches down at the Waffle House.


I only eat at five star restaurants... or is that five dirty spoons?

Actually I just got off that web site and was checking out the 6 cavity aluminum .453 mould.

I don't have anything against aluminum, tried a couple Lee's when they first came out and really didn't like them at all... I was much faster with my iron 4 cavities and they produced better bullets. (I thought I was just too stupid to figure them out but when Little Stevie had problems I felt better... he's a hell of a lot smarter than I am.)

I guess now I'm gonna have to send that slug out in Indiana a PM and see if he has one of those 6 cavity aluminum ones. I know he has the brass one but I'm not interested in 2 cavities or hollow points.

Just what I need, another reason to spend more money. I should'a kept wives number 2 and 3... they were the rich ones. :crying:


Jack

Bob2223
09-19-2010, 13:04
That mold gives me a boner.

:rofl:

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2359.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2385.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2476.jpg

http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2482.jpg

Bob

Bob2223
09-19-2010, 13:08
Yes I have one of his 6 cav aluminum moulds a .452 200 gn SWC (H&G # 68 copy)
It's a lot better made then the Lee, harder alum and the sprue plate is heaver. Didn't you have a few samples of the 45's ?

Bob

RustyFN
09-19-2010, 13:13
That's it Bob thanks for the link. I have it saved in my favorites now.

GioaJack
09-19-2010, 13:16
Yes I have one of his 6 cav aluminum moulds a .452 200 gn SWC (H&G # 68 copy)
It's a lot better made then the Lee, harder alum and the sprue plate is heaver. Didn't you have a few samples of the 45's ?

Bob


Read your damn PM, quit making me send stuff every where. Ya, I've got some of the HP's but how am I supposed to know what mould they came out of? (They are nice looking. Fred sent me some last year. Loaded 'em up and keep a loaded .45 mag for when I take Dawg out at night while the bears are getting ready to hibernate. They roam around here like flies on a poop pile.)

If I can cast the same quality .45's that my iron moulds do only in a light six banger I'll do it in a New York second.


Jack

Bob2223
09-19-2010, 13:24
That's it Bob thanks for the link. I have it saved in my favorites now.

For the price of a iron mould and then having both cavity's Hollow pointed the brass Cramer style moulds are a good deal if thats what ya want.
I have a few shooting buddy's that really like the HP's and do a little trading for em.


Bob

Bob2223
09-19-2010, 13:31
Read your damn PM, quit making me send stuff every where. Ya, I've got some of the HP's but how am I supposed to know what mould they came out of? (They are nice looking. Fred sent me some last year. Loaded 'em up and keep a loaded .45 mag for when I take Dawg out at night while the bears are getting ready to hibernate. They roam around here like flies on a poop pile.)

If I can cast the same quality .45's that my iron moulds do only in a light six banger I'll do it in a New York second.


Jack

Well go read your dang reply and quit bitc'n on the thread! :upeyes:
The 45 hp's came from the brass mould, the SWC came from the 6 Cav aluminum mould. The Alum 6 cav does cast good bullets, but they do cast kinda like the Lee 6 cav as far as mould temp and casting speed. I don't have a problem with the 6 cav moulds but a few guys in Colorado cant seem to be able to use em? :whistling:


Bob

GioaJack
09-19-2010, 13:35
He doesn't have any in stock anyway. If Little Stevie can't get them to work I'll end up throwin' it through the wall. I get a bit testy at times.


Jack

Colorado4Wheel
09-19-2010, 17:46
Bob learned how to paint a Lee Mold Gold 24 hours ago.

WiskyT
09-19-2010, 17:47
Bob learned how to paint a Lee Mold Gold 24 hours ago.

So I got all aroused over the reloading equivelent of fake boobs?

Colorado4Wheel
09-19-2010, 17:53
http://i23.photobucket.com/albums/b376/BobMKIII/100_2359.jpg


I see male and female body parts. Not sure if I should say any more.

Bob2223
09-19-2010, 18:02
I see male and female body parts. Not sure if I should say any more.

Thats what your male body parts look like? :wow:


Oh no!!


Jack, you were right!! :faint:


Bob :tongueout:

Colorado4Wheel
09-19-2010, 18:39
Thats what your male body parts look like? :wow:


Oh no!!


Jack, you were right!! :faint:


Bob :tongueout:

:upeyes:.........

GioaJack
09-19-2010, 18:40
Thats what your male body parts look like? :wow:


Oh no!!


Jack, you were right!! :faint:


Bob :tongueout:

:upeyes:.........


:whistling: