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Old August 7, 2013, 11:13 AM   #1
tateconcepts
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Getting Lee Sizing Lube to mix with Alcohol

Hello fellow TFL reloaders,

I have an issue here - I have read that it is best to use the Lee Sizing lube that comes with their kits in a mix of alcohol to allow easy application while ensuring a quality thin coat remains once the alcohol evaporates. Some said to use the stronger 91% alcohol I think and others said the managed to use the lower grade but that it took longer as the water needed to evaporate.

I'm in Texas - it's hot as hell here at this time of the year so evaporation happens in minutes... What I HAVE NOT NOTICED - is that I put about half of a tube into a bottle with the higher alcohol content and then attempted to shake it and mix it - two weeks now of also being in my garage of 100+ degree weather and only a small amount has mixed into a murky solution. There are still what appears to be small, rat droppings of lubricant which have fallen to the bottom of the bottle and just don't want to mix. Is this normal, what have you TFL members done in the past to ensure a better mix? This is critical because I reload 223, 300 AAC and 357 SIG along with 357 MAG in the 38 SPL dies. I am a Lee brand guy right now (except for my scale and other items which are Lyman) and I like their customer service. The progressive, classic turret press and breech lock meet all our needs - so let's not make this a religious war. And yes, I like Barnes or Sierra bullets first - Speer, Remington and Winchester come next then Rainer as a plinking load. I am also a Hodgdon fan so I keep Varget, H110, HS-6 and TiteGroup (along with some W231 and WSF for general purpose). Thanks for all the help TFL - my Dad and I are loving our fathers day gifts!
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Old August 7, 2013, 11:28 AM   #2
wogpotter
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I've used several lubes to dilute like this, but not Lee's. because of that I don't know how helpful this will be in your case.

I use "Yellow Heet" gas line dryer for the alcohol. Its pre-mixed, comes in small quantities & dissolves, Hornady, RCBS & Pacific lubes very easily. I put one full bottle of the lube in a full bottle of "Heet" & shake vigorously. To stop evaporation I store it in 1 Pt nalagene bottles with a screw top. I've stored mixed alcohol-based lubes in quantity for a couple of years this way.

When I want to lube cases I just shake it up to make an even mix, decant a couple of ounces into a small pump spray bottle I kept from a pump spray cleaner.

If you mix is sperating then you can probably just re-mix it with a good shake right before spraying.
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Old August 7, 2013, 11:47 AM   #3
jcwit
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Lee sizing lube can be thinned with water. Check out the link.

http://leeprecision.com/resizing-lube-1-tube.html
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Old August 7, 2013, 11:49 AM   #4
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What are you really trying to do, make a spray-on case lube like Dillon's? Castor oil and 91% alcohol, but I haven't taken the time to work out the ratio. 1:7 mixes perfectly (I've tried that) and doesn't separate, but I wouldn't trust it for rifle brass until I'd tried it on something like 9mm or .357 Sig. It might work fine, or it might need to be mixed a little richer.

Kiwi Mink Oil, or castor oil straight from the bottle, are good rifle case lubes; apply a very small amount with your fingertips.

I like Lee products but have never tried their sizing lube, sorry.
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Old August 7, 2013, 02:52 PM   #5
Tom68
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Getting Lee Sizing Lube to mix with Alcohol

Tate, I have luck mixing the lee lube with rubbing alcohol--what is that, 70%, I think? Can't even begin to guess the ratio, as I don't bother to measure, but I will guess it may be around 1:5. I mix it in a small spray bottle and shake it up good, then toss out the cases on an old cookie sheet, spray, roll, spray, and then let dry. In Alabama it takes about 5 minutes to dry IIRC--- I'll bet here in Kuwait it would take about 30 seconds! Anyway, I haven't had a case stuck in a die using this method. If I feel unusual resistance as the case is entering the die, I stop and re-lube (I have stuck a few using other lube methods and have begun to develop a feel for when something isn't going right).

The mixture dries with a powdery haze that wipes off relatively easily. So far I haven't found any problems with it.
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Old August 7, 2013, 04:23 PM   #6
stubbicatt
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I don't know. I've been doing this for years, about 7 to 1 ratio of Lee Toothpaste Tube lube and 90% ISO alcohol. It just works for me. I squirt about 6 squirts in a ziplock bag freezer bag, toss in a couple handsful of brass, roll it around on my fingertips, dump it on a screen, and add a couple more handsful of brass, and repeat. Maybe squirt one or two squirts in to keep things wet.

It dries to a white haze, as another contributor pointed out. Works just dandy.

If you are getting clumps, I'm not sure what to say other than continue to agitate it until the clumps dissolve, I guess...

I use the stuff straight from the tube for my match rifle cases, but for bulk loading of blasting ammo like 147 grain 308s on .mil brass, the ziplock bag method works swell.
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Old August 7, 2013, 10:21 PM   #7
Jim243
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tate, I hope you are NOT using the 180 proof alcohol, that has sugar in it and is for drinking. You need the rubbing alcohol the stuff you get at Walgreen for cuts and bruise's. The bottle that says DO NOT TAKE INTERNALLY.

I use 1/4 oz of Lee's lube and 4 oz of alcohol (medical type) and works well, just shake it up, if left sitting for a long while, you just need to shake it up again.

Jim
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Old August 8, 2013, 04:36 PM   #8
Nordeste
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I read about it in Lee's "Modern Reloading" manual that came included in my Lee Classic Cast press. It said about mixing a part of lube with 10 of rubbing alcohol. I didn't have that kind of alcohol at hand so I mixed a small amount of lube with approximately ten parts of 91% alcohol. I reload 9 mm, and technically, the carbide dies do not require lubrication, but the manual said that it didn't hurt so I went ahead. I can tell the difference between the cases I don't lubed and those which were lubed when I resize them.
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Old August 8, 2013, 05:14 PM   #9
jepp2
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For another recipe click on the Case Sizing Lube link: link
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Old August 8, 2013, 07:35 PM   #10
zxcvbob
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Quote:
For another recipe click on the Case Sizing Lube link: link
Castor oil works about as well as lanolin and it's cheaper and mixes easier with rubbing alcohol -- but I don't think it can be diluted as far.
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Old August 9, 2013, 07:36 AM   #11
MSD Mike
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I just put a small dab on my finger and wipe I very small amount on each case as I load them in the progressive. I don't thin at all and a tube still lasts for many many rounds.

Mike
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Old August 13, 2013, 05:24 PM   #12
tateconcepts
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@Jim243

I wouldn't waste Ethyl Alcohol on any cartridge, it's isopropyl - who would try to use Everclear for reloading anyway?
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Old August 13, 2013, 05:28 PM   #13
tateconcepts
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@ MSD_Mike

I'm not rubbing anything on my hands. The purpose of a progressive is

HANDS OFF AND CRANK EM OUT

I would use the Breech Lock or Classic Turret if I wanted to 'touch' my cases.

I use both a case and bullet feeder. A single pull of the lever - does three operations on THREE DIFFERENT CASES AT ONCE as ONE CASE completes and falls into the tray mounted to the stand. I don't touch cases except for inspection and prep - the only time I touch a case afterwards is to load them into an ammo box or a magazine!
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Old August 13, 2013, 05:32 PM   #14
tateconcepts
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Thanks all for the comments - I guess it seems I will need to premix some with a putty knife or my finger, then mix it with alcohol. If you just put the Lee Lube in there and shake it up, it won't mix well enough with 91% and just leaves little drops of lube in the bottom.

Note - I did inspect the alcohol bottle again with the spray nozzle I attached yesterday and more has dissolved. It appears that this is just a matter of the Lee Lube only being dissolvable in water - not alcohol. The alcohol is just the means of a good prep and reasonable distribution of the lube mix so that when the alcohol evaporates, then the water - only the lube remains.

I guess that's what I will try in the future! Thanks all for the comments and take care!
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Old August 13, 2013, 07:57 PM   #15
MSD Mike
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Maybe you should get some carbide dies and skip the lubing process. I personally still lube some cases with a carbide die because I think the press runs a bit smoother but you certainly don't have to.

Mike
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Old August 13, 2013, 08:03 PM   #16
PawPaw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zxcvbob
Kiwi Mink Oil, or castor oil straight from the bottle, are good rifle case lubes
I've wondered about that and I guess I need to find some Mink Oil to try. It's got to be cheaper than Lee lube. If I can find it locally, that's a plus.
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Old August 13, 2013, 08:24 PM   #17
zxcvbob
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@tate: try the cheap 70% rubbing alcohol next time. Or add a bit of water to the stuff you have now.
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Old August 19, 2013, 05:27 PM   #18
Old 454
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I too have tryed to mix that Lee lube that come with the resizing dies and all I get are globs of lube floating around. I tryed the 70% and the 91% no luck, I will try water next. I only use it for the 9MM shell cases.
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