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?
MR, lee molds are cut using a lathe or mill cutter, not the traditional cherry cutter. The molds are spun against a boring bar holding a cutter, then controlled by a CNC program. At least that's what I have been led to believe.
I don't believe they do anything to them once they're cut, like polishing or de-burring. I just got a new lee mold, a 358158-RF. After washing in boiling, soapy water, I began casting with it. Pre-heating on my hot plate produced the first 2 boolits as keepers. Not only that but they fell from the mold with no banging, just "PLOP"!
I take a chance each time I buy a lee mold that something won't be quite right. Most of the time it's something that is easily fixed, only once did I need to return a mold to get it right. This time I got a good one right off the bat!