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Old 03-12-2009, 12:41 PM
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Prepping a new bullet mold


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I'm just getting started with casting my own bullets. I ordered the 6-cavity Lee for 40 caliber. What should I do to the new mold (if anything) prior to using it to cast bullets? Clean it, with what? Apply a release agent, what kind? Heat it?

I have my manual on order and will read it when it arrives.
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:13 PM
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Lee says clean with a good solvent. I like either brake cleaner or carb cleaner spray. Once cleaned smoke the insides with a few kitchen matches. A layer of black soot is the release agent that Lee recommends. Don't use a candle for this is the candle flame carries wax contamination to the surface of the molds.

Anyway that's what I do with the Lee molds. Seems to work well for me doing it that way. They usually start casting good bullets right away. I don't have any of the six cavity molds, mine are all singles and doubles. Nick, one of our mods, uses six cavity molds, he might have some tips for you also.

I adjust the sprue so it's not to tight and then start casting. Once the mold is hot a little wax applied to the indexing pins in the mold and just a trace on the spru keeps things going. You just don't want to get any liquid wax down in the mold cavities our you'll have to clean and re-smoke them.
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Old 03-12-2009, 02:52 PM
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Frankford Arsanal make a mold release spray that works very well with the lee aluminum molds, they will just drop out. Also you don't seem to get the mold as hot to start producing good bullets.With a 6 cavity mold you will have alot of bullets real quick.
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Old 03-12-2009, 06:13 PM
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If you don't have any brake cleaner around, you can use Coleman camp fuel. It's an excellent de-greaser. Beeswax works well for a sprue plate and pin lube, too.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:24 AM
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I use Lee molds. I use Isopropyl Alcohol to clean them and use rubbing compound with a toothbrush and Qtip on the cavity to smooth it. Smoke the cavity with a wooden match. Tried a butane lighter before but had to clean the cavity again as it didn't work as well as the match. After heating a little beeswax to the sprue bushing, v ribs and locating pins. You don't need but a touch. Have thought of trying Pam as a lubricant and will try it at some point. Spray it on a Qtip and rub it on. I have a new mold I have never used and will try it in the cavity also with a very light coat. Hey. It stops eggs from sticking to a frying pan. My ideas may be a little off base but I try them and use what works best for me.
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Old 03-13-2009, 01:29 PM
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You can clean with Dish detergent and boiling water. Boiling water rinse.
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When pouring alloy, DO NOT hold all 3 handles in your grip. AWTTW.
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Old 03-13-2009, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armyrat1970 View Post
...rubbing compound with a toothbrush and Qtip on the cavity to smooth it.
Rubbing compound is an abrasive, although very fine. The moulds will work fine with a simple "clean 'n smoke".

Quote:
Have thought of trying Pam as a lubricant and will try it at some point. Spray it on a Qtip and rub it on. I have a new mold I have never used and will try it in the cavity also with a very light coat. Hey. It stops eggs from sticking to a frying pan.
Pam is pure vegetable oil suspended in a propellant. Hope you like wrinkled bullets.
The whole idea is to have mould cavities that are oil/grease free.
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