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Old September 23, 2010, 08:52 PM   #1
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Just got my Lee ball mold today

The Lee instructions say to lubricate the v ribs but I am not sure what they are. Also it said to put carbon on the cavity with a match. Do you do this every time before you start?
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Old September 23, 2010, 08:58 PM   #2
Andy Griffith
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The "V" ribs is the little piece of steel and the channel in the mould that help to locate and line up the mould halves correctly.

As for using the smoke from a match, I've never had to do it after the first time, unless a mould didn't want to release bullets well.

It's the smoke from a blown out match that you want to coat the mould with- not the flame- the carbon in very, very fine particulates.
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Old September 23, 2010, 09:06 PM   #3
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What do you use to lube the mold? I don't have any bullet lube.
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Old September 23, 2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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Try using Rapine Graphite Mold Prep. works very well on my Lee molds
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Old September 23, 2010, 10:00 PM   #5
the rifleer
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I've never used lube and they come out pretty good. Let me give you a few tips that i learned the hard way. First, use gloves and protective clothing (shorts don't work well, ask me how I know haha).

Make sure your mold is hot. I hold mine over a propane torch for about 20 seconds which seems to work well. If the mold is too cold you will not get very good ball castings. Same if true if it is too hot. It just takes a little practice and a little patience. Use a dowel or something to knock it open and drop them onto a towel or even a bucket of water.

Be safe and have fun.
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Old September 23, 2010, 11:59 PM   #6
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Fascinating. +100
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Old September 24, 2010, 08:39 AM   #7
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A candle will do in a pinch for a mold lube. The reason for the mold lube is that hot aluminum gets "sticky" and doesn't want to close or open easily.
Usually a one time smoking is all that is required.
You might wash the mold with acetone or lacquer thinner or strong alcohol before you smoke it.
Make sure that the lead, dead soft, that you are using is very clean. Multiple fluxings before you begin to cast. Dirty lead will eat the thin aluminum at the sprue away and give you a very ugly outcome. (Don't ask how I know and don't ask why it took a couple of ruined molds for me to figure that out
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Old September 24, 2010, 12:44 PM   #8
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The way you smoke it..... to hold it over a candle close to the wick. This serves to starve the flame of oxygen creating a carborizing flame which produces dark smoke and almost black soot. The black soot is the lubricant. Looks bad but it works.

You can also use talc which you can get from a pharmacist.

DO NOT USE CORN STARCH! It is too embarrassing.

I agree with whoever said, lubing it once lasts an awful long time. I schmootz mine up with talc about every three hundred balls.

As a disclaimer, I cast roundballs only and have absolutely zero experience casting other shaped bullets, although I do cast other things in lead.

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Old September 24, 2010, 06:16 PM   #9
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I've got prolly a dozen Lee molds and I never smoked any of them. I stick a corner in the lead to heat it up. I have one I bought used that was already smoked. Can't say I see any difference.
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