Pouring your own?

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by Jack Ryan, Jul 4, 2003.

  1. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan New Member

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    I've poured about 50-100 sabot out of a new lyman mold for 20 guage sabots and they just aren't up to par.

    Kinda wrinkly and some voids.

    Got any suggestions? I tried the heat on the furnace from half way all the way to the hottest. It's a steel die and I've cleaned it a couple times trying to improve the situation.

    I haven't shot any of these yet.
  2. Logansdad

    Logansdad New Member

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    shoot some..then get back to us
  3. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    Jack, I would call Lyman at 1-800-225-9626. There may be seasoning instructions for that new die that neither of us know about. When in doubt, I call tech support.

    swede
  4. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Hi Jack, first a couple of questions.

    What type of pot do you have? Bottom pour?

    What are you using as an alloy? Wheel weights, Lyman alloy #2?

    What are you using to flux the pot?

    Temp should be around 750 to 800 degrees. I would recommend Brownell's for a flux, I think they call it "Marvelux Casting Flux". they also sell a spray can of mould drop out that is very good. When pouring, the mould has to be at the temp of the lead alloy. I usually pour about 10 fast ones and throw them back in the pot. This will make sure the mould is hot. When they are crinkily, it is usually a sign that you are pouring too slow also causing voids. Make sure you leave plenty of sprue as this will be drawn into the mould as it cools. Let us know what the answers are to my questions. Hope this helps.
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2003
  5. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I usually hold the corner of the mold in the lead pot for a couple of minutes to preheat it. The first one or two might still be a little crinkly, but once the mold gets up to temp, they start throwing well. I use pure beeswax for a flux. Perhaps not the best, but I happen to have 10 pounds of it, so... :D If using a dipper, pour at a medium rate and smoothly, making sure you fill the mold with one pour. Leave a good sprue and make sure the slug is fully solid before cutting the sprue and breaking open the mold.

    Flux and stir deep, skim and then flux, stir and skim again. I grew up in a "hot metal" print shop. I learned that you can't flux too often.

    Enjoy.

    Pops
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 4, 2003
  6. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Pops, you ole dog. I also grew up around a linotype shop. Great metal to cast with! Especially liked the auto feed lino pots! Ingot and chain feed.
  7. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I ran the H3ll pot for Dad's newspaper for a couple of years, casting the plates for the comics and ads. Beastly work in the Summer in Southern Nevada. I was so young, I didn't really know that I was supposed to be uncomfortable, so just did the work and poured as much water over me as down my throat. When I turned 12, the state allowed me to get a paying job, so I went to work in a print shop in Las Vegas. Guess where they put me.

    Yup. :D

    Since I'm casting for the BP guns, I try to use as pure lead as I can get. The local junk yard calls me whenever they get in a batch of old plumber's lead. I sure wish somebody near here would tear down an old X-ray shop.

    Pops
  8. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan New Member

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    I'm using a bottom pour furnace.

    I wouldn't bet on or against anything in the lead. It was a gift. I have melted it all once and scraped off the worst of the impurities from the top. It's not wheel weights for sure. I would think it wouldn't matter from a shooting stand point since they are sabots and there is plastice between the bullet and barrel.

    I'm fluxing with candle wax but I don't see the point. I can't tell that it has any effect on the metal.

    I've used this set up, metal and furnace, with Lee aluminum molds with great success. Both a 12 guage slug and 45 cal bullets.
  9. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Jack, a bottom pour pot is good. However, is the flux you are using just any type candle wax or is it bees wax.

    Fluxing is very important when melting any type alloy as it holds the alloy together and helps get the oxidation that the melting process starts to slow down. It also cleans the dirt from the inside of the pot walls.

    I would guess with a sabot, the lead/tin/antimony content of the lead would not matter. The higher the tin/antimony content, the harder the bullet. The Lyman alloy is usually 92% lead, 2% tin and 6% antimony.

    Now Pops, as stated above, shoots them ole smoke poles and he uses as pure a lead as he can find. Plumbers lead can usually be found in recycling stations and junk yards. When I find this, I mix it with 50/50 bar solder to harden the bullets. This can be found in any plumber supply store.

    The Lee aluminum moulds are fine and light weight. The thing about them is that they heat up faster which is why you are not having problems with them. The steel moulds, like RCBS need a longer time to heat up and have to be kept hot while casting.

    One last mention, I never put the sprue hole up to the nipple. I always leave a little gap so I can see how fast its pouring. This also allows me to build a big sprue so it can flow back into the mould as it is cooling.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan New Member

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    I'm just using a candle I had laying around.

    The heat thing is the first guess I had myself. The problem trying to correct it or keeping the mold hot is that the slug won't drop off the "insert" until it cools a little. This slows the whole process down to the point there is a limit to how hot you can keep it unless I need to reheat the thing up every time I pour another one.

    I figured with the steel I'd have ten or twenty scrap until things warmed up but it never really got much better.

    "tapping" the fresh poured slug to get it off dings up the soft lead so that's not much better.

    I figure I'll shoot a few of what I've got and see just what they do. If they suck I'll blame it on the poor pours and try to fix it. If they shoot OK I guess what they look like doesn't matter.
  11. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Don't tap the slug to get it to release, tap the mold. You might nit be waiting until the slug hardens enough. You will see a definite change insurface texture when the lead cools. It will lose the shiny apearance and get dull. Wait another 10 seconds and then open the mold. Tap the mold at the hing to release the slug and dip the mold back into the melt for 5 or so seconds. Try it, you might like it. :D

    Get some real beeswax at the candle making supply shop or buy some commercial flux. If the candle you are using is pariffin, it is not the best thing to use, by far. It will cause more galling than it will prevent.

    Pops
  12. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Yea, what Pops says. I would buy the Brownells Marvelux as I stated before and also the "Mould Drop Out". The Mould drop out is an aerosol you spray the inside of the mould and insert with before heating and pouring. It lets the bullets fall out easier.

    When I knock out the bullets, I use an old hammer handle and hit the hinge pin only. I have a box with an old towel in it to cushion the dropping bullet.

    Another trick is that when you are finished casting. Fill the mould one last time and store it filled. Let the lead cool inside the steel mould with a huge sprue on it. This way the moulds won't rust or oxidize. Same with the aluminum.

    You definately need to get rid of those candles. They cause more harm than good. A good flux will burn (aas in flame) before it smokes very little. If you get a lot of smoke, you need to change.

    Good luck, Jack and let us know how it goes.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2003
  13. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan New Member

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    Appreciate the tips, friends.

    I been kinda busy and haven't had time to get back till now, let alone DO anything. I have some beeswax so I'll try it first.

    I quit the tapping on the bullet about the first or second pour because as you said it deformed the bullet. I'll try the idea on leaving one in the mold when I quit next time.

    Does the lead stick to the mold any when you dip a corner in? And I was wondering it would all get warmed the same since the mold is actually 3 seperate pieces? I know that trick worked great on my alum molds but they conduct a lot better than steel.
  14. inplanotx

    inplanotx New Member

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    Jack, the lead should not stick to the mold. If it does, it will peel off easy. When you flux, make sure you mix it in good and also scrape the insides of the pot. Good luck. That mould drop out is great stuff. Just a little whack on the hinge pin and it falls right out. Happy casting.
  15. WyomingSwede

    WyomingSwede Guest

    ????

    Jack ...How did they turn out??? Inquiring minds want to know???


    a wanna-be swede bullet caster
  16. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan New Member

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    Re: ????

    I'm still in a holding pattern. My "help" broke her leg about a month ago and I been busier than a one armed paper hanger.

    You guys think this "list" is funny, http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=8606, but if you want to see it get serious times about ten, just break her leg and listen to all that crap coming from the couch!

    He11! For years I've been accused of laying on the couch while she does it all. Now all I hear is what an inconvenience it is to be force to lay on the couch all day. Oooooh the inhumanity of it all. Oooooh no one cares that my leg hurts! Ooooh while you are in there, get me a Diet Dew. Would ya?
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2003
  17. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    One doesn't need two good legs to cast bullets. :rolleyes:
  18. FN_Project90

    FN_Project90 New Member

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    armed you are as big of a smart ass as me, I LIKE IT! hehehehe
  19. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan New Member

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    Nope but it takes ALL of mine to keep up with my chores and hers.