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Old 12-27-2009, 14:57   #14
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 709
Originally Posted by WiskyT View Post
Okay, I was just having a little fun with you on this part. I have seen things in my life "fixed" like this though. I've seen a guy put the track on the bottom of a drawer backwards. The drawer was then 1/2" to far to the left, so he hogged out the hole in the dresser for the drawer.
Ah, okay. No worries. I certainly understand the concern you were expressing, it's just that it doesn't apply in this instance.

I have something of an engineering mindset, so I don't like to fix something improperly. I like to understand how something actually works and to get at the root cause of any problem, and where that's not possible I like to fix the problem with minimal side effects. I arrived at my solution to the problem as a result of studying the press, and assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that it was possible for the press to have been manufactured slightly incorrectly or for the various tolerances to stack up in such a way that they caused the problem. Or something.

When I ordered the press, I ordered spares of just about everything that Midway had available. One of those parts was an extra z bar. So I removed the z bar from my press and compared it against the spare. They are dimensionally identical.

I then noticed that the tab towards the top of the press that the z bar fits into can move forwards and backwards slightly. So I put the z bar back into place in its original configuration (in the hole that is now the middle hole), pulled the tab as far to the rear as it would go, and ran a bunch of cases through the press (with the powder feed disabled and the sizing die removed).

They all fed perfectly.

I then moved the tab to the forwardmost position and ran a bunch more cases.

They all fed perfectly.

Whatever the original problem I had with the case feeder, it appears to be gone now.

The advantage of the factory setup is that it is capable of placing more pressure on the case to push it into the shellplate, if that should prove necessary. I'll leave the press in that configuration for the next batch and we'll see how it goes.

There is a plastic gear in the shellplate that advances things. It is VERY easily damaged. Check that part out. One wrong move while setting the timing can wipe it out. So can reversing the shellplate at the wrong time. You don't need a pipe wrench to wreck it. Order a couple, they're cheap, and good to have around.
Is this the hex ratchet you speak of, or the gear itself? Sadly, Midway didn't seem to have the gear itself, else I would have ordered some. I presume Lee is the best source for these?

It sounds to me like your plate is not indexing properly. That gear might be wiped out, or it might need another quarter turn on the adjusting screw. The screw should be turned until the plate locks into position, and then turned a little bit more.
The plate already locks into position. How can I tell whether the screw needs to be turned any more? How do I "reset" the indexing so that I can redo the procedure? By turning the screw counterclockwise until the shellplate will no longer quite make it to the proper position?

Note that I ran into problems with the casefeeder with the shellplate indexing set properly as per the instructions.

I see the problem with the shellplate rotating halfway only once every roughly 100 pulls of the handle. If there's a damaged part in there, wouldn't it cause more consistent problems than this?

Also, look at the part Lee calls the "drive bolt". When he says to use finger pressure only to tighten, he really means it. It is so soft it feels like it's made out of lead. You can get into trouble with that thing while disassembling the shellplate. It's a reverse thread and if you forget, you will tighten it while trying tot take it off. Now it will be too tight and need pliers to remove, which WILL ruin it. Get a couple of those when you order the white plastic gear.
This is good to know. I haven't taken the shell carrier off and apart yet, but will certainly be mindful of this.

If it take only finger pressure to tighten it, I presume it should only take finger pressure to loosen it?

I'm a "minimum force" kinda guy. Things tend to last a very long time under my care.

You didn't damage anything with your extra hole, and I don't think you moved the entire universe 0.25" to the left, but I bet when you get this all figured out, you won't need the "extra" hole.
It appears I already don't, interestingly enough.

I'll report back when I've taken the shellplate carrier apart. Somehow I suspect I won't find anything, but you never know...

Last edited by kcbrown; 12-27-2009 at 15:00..
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