View Full Version : When do you give up on a Lee mold?

December 3, 2009, 11:45 PM
I have a 230 gr round nose tumble lube mold that I cannot get to drop clean bullets. I have changed the heat on the pot, gotten the mold hotter, tried it cooler, I have cleaned the mold, boiled it, done the lee-menting procedure where you lap the mold with a bullet and valve-lapping paste and I still get incomplete fills on almost every bullet. they will not drop cleanly, I have to tap aggressively to get the bullets to fall even with the lapping and smoking the mold.

I don't have the problems with any of my other Lee molds; I can cast up bullets with any of them and get them to drop and fill well. I can use the same batch of lead at the same heat, preheating the 230 gr mold and switching to it and get a bad pour.

No wrinkles, but just indistinct edges. Has anyone else had to just give up on a Lee mold? or what else can I do?


December 4, 2009, 01:51 AM
Dave, I suspect the vent lines are not deep enough. Sounds like a little work deepening them would give you better fill-out. it's not rally hard to do, but you have to be careful NOT to raise any burrs on the edges of the cavity. An engraving tool is best for this, but any steel with an edge that can be pushed or drawn along the vent lines will work.

Another thing is sometimes the sprue plate is too tight to the top of the mold, it has to have a tiny bit of a gap to vent the top of the mold also.

December 4, 2009, 07:51 AM
Sorry to hear about your experience. I never have had to give up on Lee molds. They have always worked for me and I own more than a dozen of them.
Just was loading up the exact bullet that you mentioned. Cast in WW alloy, they are pretty much all perfect. That being said - there are a few that are "soft" on size. They look OK but when I go to seat them in a case, they are too small. There are not many - a couple or three out of a hundred.
All of them drop readily from the mold. I wonder about burrs...but you seem to have covered that detail.
How hot have you run the melt? I run mine at 750-800 deg.

December 4, 2009, 08:05 AM
I may be wrong but it almost sounds like you may not be letting the air escape the mold. As snuffy said I would back off the sprue plate screw a little . And try holding the mold a little further away from the pour. Just an 1/8 inch

December 4, 2009, 08:10 AM
When you pour the mould, do you pour a little off center with the mould slightly tilted? I had a mould(358242) that gave me fits until I learned how to cause the lead to swirl inside the cavity. A little extra tin added to the alloy might help too. Jim

December 4, 2009, 03:43 PM
Try different alloy????

My 2 cents.

December 4, 2009, 09:41 PM
More heat. crank that baby up to 850 and see how that works. If that doesnt work, try what snuffy said. The key is to get the mold hot, and keep it hot. Lee molds generally need to be run HOT. If the bullets are frosted, that is ok.

maggys drawers
December 4, 2009, 09:56 PM
Try wiping the cavities with a little Kroil on a Q tip, then wiping them with a dry one. It can really help with getting a mold to release.