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Old January 1, 2013, 01:00 AM   #1
deerslayer303
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Casting Question

Hey Ya'll Happy New Year!

I just cast up some .58cal REAL boolits. I got good fill out and the bullets look good except there is some like cloudy discoloration on them. I have a 10lb Lee production pot with the bottom spout. I usually melt the lead on Hi then I turn it down to 6 and flux and heat the mold (Lee 2 cavity Aluminum mold). I don't have a thermometer yet. Any tips? I think they are shootable just wondering about the color of them. Do I have the metal too hot?

Thanks guys
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Old January 1, 2013, 06:38 AM   #2
sourdough44
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I have the same casting pot. My bottom spout is usually plugged so I use a ladle out of the top. I don't have a thermometer so I just go by how it fills the mold & looking at the finished product. If I have 'wrinkles' I'm not hot enough & to 'frosty' I may be to hot.

I thought about upgrading my system, but for what I do it works for me.
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Old January 1, 2013, 06:45 AM   #3
Doc Hoy
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DS303

I am with Sourdough on his comments.

I don't use the bottom spout for anything but making ingots.

Also agree with his comments on high and low temps and their impact on the quality of the bullet.

I have the same pot and have used it for about 30 years. I cast at about 7 on the dial. I do find that some mold seem to like different temperature settings.

I only have a little experience with the new Lee mold design but it seems to want to cool down quicker and so I raise the setting of the furnace just a bit. That observation is very preliminary and I may find that I am completely wrong after more experience.
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Old January 1, 2013, 06:50 AM   #4
GP100man
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A pic is worth alot

Are ya talkin `bout something like this ???

& probably gettin the mold too hot (2 big holes for a 2 banger), how fast do the sprues freeze ??

This is from the mold too hot . & cast from a Lyman 314299DC seconds apart . The bullet with the bad bands are from the cavity I always filled first thus giving the mold time enuff to absorb more heat from the alloy & getting too hot.



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Old January 1, 2013, 08:37 AM   #5
m&p45acp10+1
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I do not mind a little frosty. As long as they fill out. 2 of my molds give the best fill out when they drop with a little frost on them.

If it looks like an orange peel then it way too hot. Frost is ok. Rough to the touch is not.

Oh and I started getting way fewer rejects when I started using a thermometer. It was money well spend. (This comes from a poor working man, that is tight with a dollar as well.)
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Old January 1, 2013, 10:14 AM   #6
deerslayer303
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here is a pic

This frosty / cloudy coloring is only on one side of the boolits.

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Old January 1, 2013, 01:25 PM   #7
GP100man
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I notice it`s in the same spot on the bullets , is there contaimination in the cavitys ??

How do you clean ya alloy ???
Smelting in a seperate operation in another pot is prefered.

Flux material !!!

Do you pour fast slow ??directly in the sprue hole or let it swirl ???

How often do you empty & clean the Lee 10#er.
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Old January 1, 2013, 01:57 PM   #8
m&p45acp10+1
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Flux again, and smoke the mold again. I use a butane lighter to do it. I have a few that come out that way as well. If it wipes off with a cloth do not worry about it. Some of my best bullets have a frosty looking spot on the nose of them, in the same spot of the nose. As long as the base, and bands fill out properly I would not worry about it.
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Old January 1, 2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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From your pictures, it looks like inclusions (dirt, slag, etc.) to me. Flux, stir, and skim. Flux, stir, and skim.
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Old January 1, 2013, 03:35 PM   #10
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I was able to scrounge some lead ballast weight several years ago. Think about a 2X4 lumber, 6 feet long. When melting them, I found blue coloration in the metal. The bullets would show up with little lines of blue in them.

I don't see that the discoloration harmed the bullets at all. Of course, if it's plumbous, I'm apt to make bullets with it.
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Old January 1, 2013, 08:40 PM   #11
deerslayer303
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Thanks for all the tips guys its much appreciated. This is the first batch of bullets with a brand new mold. I cleaned it with alcohol and smoked it with an unscented candle. My pot had WW lead in it so I had to melt that drain it and then throw in the corn cob ingots I made a while back that are melted down roof flashing from the scrap yard. I think you guys are on to something though its been about 8 months since my pot was clean. The next batch I will flux the crap out of before casting. But this batch is destined for about 1400 FPS
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Old January 1, 2013, 09:17 PM   #12
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That`s It !!!!

Smokin the cavity with a candle !!

Candles while makes good smoke it puts a film of unwanted petroleum products in with the carbon , even the large kitchen matches have an amount of wax in em to keep dry & promote burnin.

I smoke with a butane also & very lightly when I do , I usually spin a bullet in the cavitys with a paste of comet cleaner to polish burrs & such , try this & cast before smokin the mold .

PS: I have in the past cleaned a smokey mold & got anothe .0015" out of it !!
& fluxing good & keepin clean alloy never hurt either .

GP
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Old January 1, 2013, 10:35 PM   #13
mehavey
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Re Deerslayers picture:

Actually, they don't look that bad at all.
Edges are sharp.... Shoot`em

Four future suggestions:
- Thoroughly scrub the cavities w/ toothbrush/liquid dishsoap
- Smoke the cavities with a wood match and preheat on pot ledge as it heats up
- Get a lead thermometer/cast at consistent 700-750, and
- Use a dipper (not bottom pour), sealed in hard contact with the sprue hole
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Old January 1, 2013, 11:02 PM   #14
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Smoke is for signalling other indians, keep it out of molds. Forget what Lee tells you to do. Lee tells you to smoke their molds because they're usually so rough they won't release the boolits. Smoking helps that, only as long as it lasts, which isn't long.

There's crud/dirt in that lead. Also, when fluxing use something that allows you to scrape the sides and bottom of the pot. Dirt and crud can be trapped against the inside of the pot by the molten lead. Scraping it knocks it loose so it can float out to be skimmed off.

Best thing to use for flux it sawdust. Then use a wood stick to stir it with. Let it burn until it chars, then stir with the DRY WOOD STICK. The carbon is what does the fluxing.
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Old January 1, 2013, 11:15 PM   #15
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I agree with snuffy and will add theres nothing wrong with frosted bullets, as long as they are filled out.
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Old January 2, 2013, 12:34 PM   #16
deerslayer303
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Thanks for all the tips guys I will try that the next time I run some. I will remove the smoke from the mold and try that and will flux with some saw dust too.
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Old January 2, 2013, 07:07 PM   #17
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Snuffy has it. I don't smoke but I do flux and I have found that having saw dust on top of the pot helps out quit a bit. I have only used a bottom pour and have had nothing but good luck with mine
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:08 PM   #18
Edward429451
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I have the Lee 10 LB pot with bottom spout and I tested the thermostat on it for accuracy, and you know what? They actually have a decent thermostat on it! 6 will give you 600 deg F, 7 will get you 700 Deg., all they way up to 10 where it topped out at about 980 or so. Wadda' ya know!

I cast about 650 to 700 deg and make bootiful boolits with it.
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Old January 2, 2013, 11:44 PM   #19
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I have the twenty pounder and if I run two molds I set it just under seven and it does great. If I run just one of my lee molds I have to turn it down to just above six and let the mold cool just a bit in between pours.
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