The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old August 21, 2012, 10:27 AM   #1
daddySEAL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 405
I'm Going to Make Aluminum Ratchet for my Lee 4 Hole Turret Press!

Is anyone else here tired of the Stupid Lee plastic ratchet crapping out?
Has anyone else here made their own aluminum or other type of "soft" metal replacement?
__________________
If you can read this,...Thank a TEACHER,
And since you are reading this in English...Thank a SOLDIER.
daddySEAL is offline  
Old August 21, 2012, 10:49 AM   #2
ScottRiqui
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 27, 2010
Location: Norfolk, VA
Posts: 2,905
Thousands of rounds into reloading, I'm still on my second plastic ratchet, and I *know* what I did to screw up the first one. Now that I know how the mechanism works and what not to do, I suspect the second ratchet is going to last almost indefinitely.

If you're chewing up ratchets often enough that you're considering milling a replacement out of aluminum, I'd make sure there isn't something else wrong with your press or your practices first.
ScottRiqui is offline  
Old August 21, 2012, 10:52 AM   #3
snuffy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 20, 2001
Location: Oshkosh wi.
Posts: 2,774
My original square "ratchet" has over 5,000 rounds on it, looks like new! Learn what NOT to do with the square thingy, it will last for years.

What not to do is; don't turn the turret with the ram all the way down, or all the way up. The ram must be at half mast. Also, don't reef on the handle, smooth operation is a must.

Destroying that ratchet is operator error, plain and simple. Making an aluminum replacement will put the stress on the plastic that surrounds the square ratchet, you'll be replacing it instead of a .50 part.
__________________
The more people I meet, the more I love my dog

They're going to get their butts kicked over there this election. How come people can't spell and use words correctly?
snuffy is offline  
Old August 21, 2012, 01:47 PM   #4
daddySEAL
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 23, 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 405
OK, thanks for the half staff info, I may have done that when the turret did not end in the lined up position on a die.

I've had this problem for a month now, only having been reloading in earnest that long after having the press for years (until I recently retired).
Even without the index bar in...and hand turning, I've noticed a "difficult spot" in the turret rotation at a certain place.

I have 5 turrets now for different caliber dies...and is there is the same problem for each turret. It has baffled me.

I called Lee, who said to send in the whole press, which I'm not wanting to do...and be "dead in the water" for reloading at all 'til it comes back.

I've been needing another turret anyway, so yesterday I ordered a 3 hole to 4 hole conversion "kit", like shown below...plus a new square plastic "ratchet". Then I will see if the new turret holder works more fluidly thru all stations.
I'm also going to use graphite on all moving parts.

Any thoughts?
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 206578.jpg (64.6 KB, 47 views)
__________________
If you can read this,...Thank a TEACHER,
And since you are reading this in English...Thank a SOLDIER.
daddySEAL is offline  
Old August 21, 2012, 04:09 PM   #5
mikld
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 7, 2009
Location: Southern Oregon!
Posts: 1,086
I believe the "cheap plastic thingy" is a sacrifacial part; It'll break before any major damage is done from "short stroking" or indexing at wrong time, etc.....
__________________
My Anchor is holding fast!
mikld is offline  
Old August 21, 2012, 08:04 PM   #6
dickttx
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 29, 2011
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 484
Several thousand rounds over the past two/three years and still on the same one.
The handle and toggle system will put lots of pressure on things. If you put the pressure on at the wrong time the 50ยข piece breaks, rather than messing up your whole press.
You do use breakers in your electrical system don't you? Some people used to put a penny in the hole when glass fuses were used. Some didn't get out alive when the fire started.
__________________
Education teaches you the rules, experience teaches you the exceptions (Plagiarized from Claude Clay)
dickttx is offline  
Old August 21, 2012, 08:29 PM   #7
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,996
Slight correction:

The problem is not turning the turret by hand with the ram at "half-staff". The problem arises when you turn the turret counter to its normal rotation (that is, backwards) while the square ratchet is engaged with the notches inside the index arm.

The square ratchet engages the notches only when the arm's most recent movement was DOWNWARD. (The ratchet drags on the index rod, as it is supposed to, and is forced into engagement with the notches.)

An easy way to disengage the ratchet is to grab the indexing rod, lift it 1/4" and drop it down again.

Again, I say, the position of the ram is irrelevant. It is whether the ratchet is engaged with the notches.

Second point: Operating the press too fast will put extra stress on the square ratchet because of the inertia of the turret and dies. But on that point all the advice you have received is absolutely correct.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Old August 24, 2012, 03:50 PM   #8
ShootingNut
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 27, 2006
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 1,470
I Gave Up

Many years ago, tried everything but my press simply was not consistent ending up with the dies in good alignment.
So, I pulled the index rod and reload in 50 round batches, manually turning my turret.
I'm happy, and more confindent that I turn out a quality accurate reload.
But, to each his own, good for those that the Lee Classic operates properly.
Regards,
SN
ShootingNut is offline  
Old August 24, 2012, 08:42 PM   #9
Lost Sheep
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 24, 2009
Location: Anchorage Alaska
Posts: 2,996
Instead of auto-indexing, how about semi-auto?

Instead of auto-indexing, how about semi-auto?

If I tired of using the auto-indexing on my Lee Turret, I would do this (to be able to still use continuous processing instead of batch processing):

Cut a ring of masonite or something to drop over the turret such that there were four "ears" sticking out over the turret ring and some lugs on the inside of the masonite ring that would engage the dies.

Each time the operating arm of the press is at the top of the stroke (and the ram at the bottom of its stroke), my hand is very close to the turret and it would be very easy to push one of the four "ears" and rotate the turret manually 90 degrees.

This would require minimal shift of the hand position and loading would not be slowed down very much.

If the masonite ring was made correctly, the dies would be protected from being knocked out of adjustment.

For a more permanent soluton with would not involve touching the dies at all, you could cut little notches in a turret, the masonite ring could engage those notches.

Call it an "Advancing Ring". It could even be attached to the turret "puck" with machine screws if you drilled and tapped holes for it.

Just a thought.

Lost Sheep
Lost Sheep is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.08126 seconds with 10 queries