Good idea. I do a lot of drill & tap so it didn't take me too much longer than you but I use the self drillers a lot in sheet metal work and will try that next time.
I wondered what the "smoke" was for and what you say makes sense but I wonder if that is necessary given all of the people that don't smoke at all? Having said that, I just got a .357 RN mold from Lee and
smoked it just because Richard Lee said to!
I took some pictures of the tooling through that stereo microscope thing and if they are clear enough I will post some of them. The worst of it seems to be that the manufacturing procedure seems to leave some serious "divots" or tear out in the lube channels and the base of the bullet. There was also some evidence that the cutting tool had been rotated too quickly and left "wave or high water marks" where the aluminum might have started melting? Some of you seem to be machinist types and might know why this happened?