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Old March 2, 2007, 12:06 PM   #1
wicker
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Proper die care

I'd like to hear some thoughts on correct die care so that I many come up with a plan for mine. I've been loading for a year and now have several sets. I want to care properly for them, so as to allow the long life they should serve. Basicly, I thinking of keeping them corrosion free.

I've been thinking of a quick coat of WD-40 when put up and a quick blast of brake clean when pulled down, for use. Thoughts and ideas, please. How do you care for your dies?
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Old March 2, 2007, 12:17 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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No, stay away from the WD 40. It does very little for corrosion resistance, and will leave a nasty gummy mess that can be very difficult to remove.

Clean your dies every once in awhile to remove dirt and crud, especially from the inside, and store with either dessicant packs or with vapor phase inhibitor chips that you can get from Midway.
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Old March 2, 2007, 01:29 PM   #3
rem33
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Maybe I am a bad at die care but I have never done nuttin but put em away.

I do decap wash/clean my brass before running them thru the die.

A small dessicant pack is a great idea.

I have some Hollywood brand dies that they had stopped making by the time I started reloading, well over 25 years ago, that are still fine.
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Old March 3, 2007, 02:29 AM   #4
T. O'Heir
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"...nuttin but put em away..." Ditto. However, I do clean 'em every once in a while. I've always used the same products I use to clean my firearms. No fuss in 30 some years. How humid does it get in Iowa?
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Old March 3, 2007, 04:18 AM   #5
scsov509
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A couple of my die sets require regular cleaning or they just don't seem to work as well. I load a lot of lead as opposed to plated or jacketed, and it seems like that dirties my dies up pretty well. I can always tell when I need to clean though because usually my seating/crimping die starts getting hard to use on the hand press.

All that said though, I just use my same gun cleaners on my dies. Disassemble, clean out, reassemble. Takes me like 3 minutes to do a real thorough job.
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Old March 3, 2007, 10:08 AM   #6
wicker
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T. O'Heir said

" "...nuttin but put em away..." Ditto. However, I do clean 'em every once in a while. I've always used the same products I use to clean my firearms. No fuss in 30 some years. How humid does it get in Iowa? "



Pretty darn humid! In the winter humidity gets so low you get snake skin but in the summer heat it goes into the 80 percentile area. So high it can make breathing tougher. High enough I think some special care is needed.

As I'm sure you all know, just keeping an item clean so dirt, etc, cannot hold moisture. Perhaps a good cleaning when done being used will do the job.


Mr. Irwin, I'm supprised at your comments on WD-40. I dissagree that the product leaves behind a mess that is difficult to remove. Brake clean removes it like warm butter. While it doesn't have great corrosion resistant proporties it does indeed drive out moisture fairly well and does, in my experience has modest corrosion resistance. My thoughts were, that modest corrosion resitance would be good enough, given that the dies are snug in a contiainer in my home rather than exposed to rain and such.

I'm a fabricator by trade and a shop rat by choice. This doesn't make me the end source on WD-40 but does give me grounds to develop an honest opinion that is in oposition to yours, I guess. Keeping the dies clean is good advice, imho, along with the deissicant packs, which I didn't think of. I'll check into the vapor phase inhibitor chips as well.

To be honest, I'm thinking the WD-40 would work well, but why go through the trouble of treating when done and then removing the product again before each use when a quick spray with a gun solovent/brake clean to remove dirt and a dissicant pack that just lies there, doing it's job with no effort, will suffice.
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Old March 3, 2007, 10:37 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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"Mr. Irwin, I'm supprised at your comments on WD-40. I dissagree that the product leaves behind a mess that is difficult to remove."

Over time, the light-weight oils in WD-40 will oxidize like mad. Once that happens, they form a varnish that is very difficult to remove, even with solvents like brake cleaner.

I've seen far more than my fair share of firearms, fishing reels, clocks, and other precisions that have been "cared for and lubricated" with WD-40 and left until the stuff decays and causes major problems for the person who has to clean it out.

WD-40 does have some good points. It displaces water. That's sort of its reason for existing. It's good for lubricating door hinges. It does a great job in removing candle wax, chewing gum, etc. It's also VERY effective when used in conjunction with steel, brass, or nylon wool for rust removal.

Other than that, I don't have much use for the stuff at all.

There are FAR better products on the market, ones that have much better protectant capabilities, and ones that don't have the potential for leaving a nasty, hard to clean up mess behind.
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Old March 3, 2007, 10:50 AM   #8
wicker
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WD-40 aside, I'm calling the inhibitor chips the tip of the day. They are dirt cheap and it sounds like they work well. Midway's description says the protect a 20ci area. That's pretty much a dies box in a nutshell and is not far from most 50 round ammo boxes either. At 10 cents each they sound like a wise investment. I've got many small boxes at work holding misc machining tools and precision measuring equipment that could use the chip treatment as well.

Thanks for the tip. I'll be ordering some pronto.
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Old March 3, 2007, 12:05 PM   #9
K96771
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Ditto. I just put it on my wish list.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpag...eitemid=154282
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Old March 3, 2007, 12:23 PM   #10
Mike Irwin
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"WD-40 aside, I'm calling the inhibitor chips the tip of the day."

See, I'm cute AND useful...
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Old March 3, 2007, 01:36 PM   #11
mrawesome22
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Take them all apart, spray inside and out with brake cleaner. Get them good and dry, spray with RemOil. Anyone know why RemOil in the bottles is clear now instaed of yellow? Did they change the formulation?
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