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Old October 12, 2011, 03:58 PM   #1
Smokymtnsmoke
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Lee Classic Turret Press - I need a machinist - I think...

Ok, I have this Lee Classic Turret Press that meets my needs very well and has been a great service. I don't load / shoot enough to afford a true progressive but I want to make some mods/upgrade like you see in this video..

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/vhOFUVaUy_E" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


The first thing I hope to get working is to add an RCBS Bullet Feeder Die



with a clear tube on top to hold the bullets. Don't really need or want or have the room for the whole collator. Anyone here done this before?

The next is I need a machinist to make the auto indexing bullet ejector.

Also I'd like to see if someone can help me make what they call a "Square Ratchet" out of metal. The plastic ones wallow out fairly quick, at least from my experience, and stop the indexing process. And at $.50 + $5 shipping, well that whole piece could be better built.



The primer feed tube bracket would also be nice butt could come later.

So what ya got in suggestions and advise?
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Old October 12, 2011, 05:59 PM   #2
CrustyFN
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Quote:
Also I'd like to see if someone can help me make what they call a "Square Ratchet" out of metal. The plastic ones wallow out fairly quick, at least from my experience, and stop the indexing process. And at $.50 + $5 shipping, well that whole piece could be better built.
The square ratchet piece is made out of nylon so that it will fail. If it was made from metal then when something hangs up or we do something wrong we will be replacing more expensive parts. If you are very careful when you change turrets they should last a long time. I have been reloading on my classic turret five years and thousands of rounds and am still on the original one.
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Old October 12, 2011, 09:37 PM   #3
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Yes, the TF3567 is supposed to fail if something goes wrong. I was a 73 year old accountant last year when I got my LCT, and I have no mechanical ability at all, and am fumble fingered. I am still using the original one. All you have to do is read the instructions, and not ever try to turn the turret unless the TF3567 is on the square portion of the index rod.
To me the LCT in auto indexing mode, with the Pro powder measure and the safety prime is a marvel of efficiency at a very small price. The only thing you have to do with your left hand is set a piece of brass in the shell holder, set a bullet on the case, and remove the finished round. Your left arm might wither away if it wern't doing SOMETHING!
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Old October 12, 2011, 10:03 PM   #4
Jim243
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Smokey

I had to chuckle when I read your post. I have used the Classic Turret Press for over 7 years now and never once thought about turning it into a progressive press. Neat idea about setting up a bullet feed for one of the open stages. If you fail to flare the case mouth enough, your bullet will just fall on the floor when you try to seat it. You may want to try to automate the case feed as well, I am sure there is a mechanical arm/robot that could do the job. Now that I would like to see (LOL). Maybe a foot switch that moves the ram up and down, that would be usefull.


Good Luck and let us know how it works out.
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:20 PM   #5
Smokymtnsmoke
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Jim, glad to give you a chuckle but your press must run a bit smoother or has less tolerance than mine as the PLASTIC square ratchet wears after only a thousand or so rounds. It is visibly wallowed out and miss shaped. Why does it do this? I don't know except that it must take more force on the lever to actuate the rotating turret of my press than it does on yours causing excessive wear on that PLASTIC. Got any REAL solutions? as I'm all ears.

I'm more aimed at adding a bullet drop tube with a bullet feeder die such as the RCBS. I load mostly jacketed or copper plated bullets so that should work ok but I was hoping someone here had climed that mountain and could tell me of their experiences with that challenge.

Watch this video and you will see what I'm after...

http://youtu.be/O5mP4P7hOSU
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:29 PM   #6
Cowboy_mo
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Well, if the parts only cost .50 and the shipping is $5.00 and they wear out as often as you say, order about 100 of them at a time. The small nylon part shouldn't weigh enough to increase the shipping and you'll be all set for quite a while.
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Old October 13, 2011, 06:59 PM   #7
wingman
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Jim, glad to give you a chuckle but your press must run a bit smoother or has less tolerance than mine as the PLASTIC square ratchet wears after only a thousand or so rounds.
\\

May have it upside down, mine has thousands of rounds on it and still looks new,usually everyone breaks the first one and that is the reason Lee sends two with the press, have to call operator error here.
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Old October 13, 2011, 08:30 PM   #8
mikejonestkd
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I am over well 10K in 10 months on the original plastic square ratchet. I bought a few spares when I got the press and they will probably outlive me.
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Old October 13, 2011, 09:24 PM   #9
Smokymtnsmoke
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I've got a 10pack of the ratchets on the way.

Maybe if it were made out of Delrin plastic , a hard 'n slippery self lubricating plastic

Anyone out there have a mini lathe or the tools to machine delrin into a ratchet?


What about the bullet feeder die guys? Wouldn't you like that on your turrets?
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Old October 13, 2011, 10:36 PM   #10
oldreloader
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I haven't had my LCT but about 6 months but I'm still on the original rachet too.
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Old October 14, 2011, 11:49 AM   #11
Ike666
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I've got about a month on a Classic Turret. The first thing I did was strip all the auto-indexing stuff off.

But then, I've got a good progressive press already.

I can certainly see where you might be able to achieve a reasonable approximation with the plane you've got.

When you get it assembled, post some pictures for the Rube Goldberg Reloading Press awards.
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Old October 14, 2011, 08:09 PM   #12
Sport45
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The first thing I did was strip all the auto-indexing stuff off.
Me too. So I suppose that plastc ratchet of mine will never wear out...

Never thought about using a bullet feeder. Half the fun is picking up the bullet, rolling it between your thumb and forefinger and carefully positioning it on top of the case before guiding it into the seating die.

But then I use my LCT slowly, batch loading rifle or magnum handgun ammo. I use a progressive for stuff I load (and shoot) faster.
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Old October 16, 2011, 11:50 AM   #13
Cavedweller1948
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When I first got my lee classic turret press I tested the mechanics carefully. I found I could not even cycle the press because the plastic piece was so tight it would not slide up and down the shaft. Not wanting to destroy the plastic piece, I used scotch-brite to polish the shaft until the plastic piece slid up and down on the shaft smoothly with no hang ups. It took a while using scotch-brite, so maybe a fine emery cloth would be faster, but I don't think it would be as smooth. I have reloaded thousands of rounds with it and no noticeable wear on the plastic piece. The twisted part of the shaft that turns the turret is where it wanted to hang up and took the most polishing to get it to work smoothly and a good lubricant will help it last many thousands of rounds. Hope this helps.
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Old October 16, 2011, 12:01 PM   #14
TMD
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I've had my LCT press for over 3 years and have easily loaded over 20,000 rounds through it and I'm still using the original plastic insert that it came with. I think the reason some people have problems with it is they either try and manually index the turret with the handle all the way up or they short stroke the handle not letting the turret completly index to the next station.
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Old October 16, 2011, 08:42 PM   #15
Jim243
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Mine's over 7 years old and over 25,000 rounds and still using the one that came with the press 7 years ago. Are you oiling around the turret to reduce any drag? At least once a month. Also needs cleaning ocasionaly. You have to make sure your indexing rod is free and non-binding.

I do not understand unless something has changed.
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Old October 16, 2011, 08:56 PM   #16
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Smokey

LOL I'm still looking for a open spot in my turret.... but more power to you. If your part is failing that often I found that oil or grease applied to the turret does help. I have had mine for about 25 years now and it still works fine. It started life as a 3 hole and has been through the upgrades and is now a 4 hole auto indexing unit. But this last July I caved and went full progressive with a new Hornady LNL press, I think I got my money out of the old Lee press.
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Old March 8, 2012, 02:07 PM   #17
Smokymtnsmoke
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Brief update - Thanks to a few here with REAL helpful suggestions, I polished the spindle as well as lightly lubed it and I've cranked out about 5K rounds with out issues.

I'm still looking to add the bullet drop die mainly for loading 40SW, 9mm and 38/357.

Just looking to make this sweet little press as productive as possible.

Smoky
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Old March 8, 2012, 06:04 PM   #18
Lost Sheep
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Three things to know about the square ratchet

1) A little drag between the square ratchet and the indexing rod is a good thing. When the ram is moving downward, the ratchet is forced up against the notches in the indexing arm. But just enough drag to overcome the weight of the square ratchet, which isn't much.

2) The position of the ram (up all the way, down all the way or anywhere in between) is irrelevant to whether the square ratchet will break when you manually turn the turret. The direction OF THE LAST MOVEMENT OF THE RAM IS important.

3) If you are not sure what direction the ram last moved, just grab the indexing rod, lift it 1/8 inch (and wiggle it a little if you like) and drop it back down. That will disengage the square ratchet from the notches and make it safe.

4) About the turret within the ring. Keep the thing clean, then a little silicone lube, THIN coat of lithium grease, graphite or other dry lube seems to work best for me.

Smokymtnsmoke, glad you got your indexing problem worked out.

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Old March 8, 2012, 07:16 PM   #19
markr
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Let me do some looking on Youtube. This guy made some aawsome modifications to his classic turret press ans automated everything. The auto eject is just a little gizmo attached to index rod with an arm that sweeps the completed bullet out of the shell holder every fourth pull. Wait one......
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Old March 8, 2012, 07:18 PM   #20
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vhOFU...e_gdata_player
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Old March 8, 2012, 07:19 PM   #21
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdLA...e_gdata_player
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