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    • #31351
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      How to clean Lee moulds


      How to get your aluminum molds from this….

      …..to this…..

      …. to this… in just “one” word!

      “Easy Off Oven Cleaner” Simply follow the directions on the can. Your welcome

      I hope this was a Lee bash parody thread cause the farce is strong in this post.

    • #31357
      Goodsteel
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      I’ll never understand why people smoke their molds.
      Lead doesn’t stick to aluminum, brass or iron unless it is pressed into the surface under duress.
      What a mess.

    • #31360
      Wright Arms
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      As much as anything, I would say it is because in Step 2 on the instruction sheet that comes with Lee moulds, it instructs the purchaser to smoke the mould cavities with a wooden match, bees wax candle or butane lighter.

      Not saying I agree or disagree. But it is what it is.

    • #31361
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      Early on I smoked a few , and I have 1 that insists on being held over the wax burn off every 100 or so pours . It is like a ritual rather than of any value .

      I’m sure we all have taken note that easy off eats aluminum and makes hydrogen gas while it does it . I have a couple of iron moulds that won a trip to the rust remover but they weren’t all that great when I got them . Outside of that no chemicals in my moulds .

    • #32928
      Chris C
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      I was kind of shocked when I saw the pictures of that mold. I’ve never seen a mold smoked that dark. I can barely tell when I smoke a mold, but have only done it a few times. I’m like Tim, lead doesn’t really stick to aluminum, so if the temperature of the lead and the temperature of the mold are proper for the cycle, the bullets either fall out on their own or take a light tap to do so.

    • #32931
      kens
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      I like to know why lead doesn’t stick to a iron mold just like solder?

    • #32932
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      Because rust .
      All of the grey/blue is rust just like bluing on your rifle or the grey patina on a carbon steel knife .
      Over simplified most likely .

    • #32962
      Goodsteel
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      kens;n13507 wrote: I like to know why lead doesn’t stick to a iron mold just like solder?

      Because solder has lead only as an additive, with tin being the part that marries the steel. Most solder is at least 50% tin, while most bullets have less than 5% tin, and lead has little affinity for steel, iron, brass, or aluminum.
      It CAN stick, but only if you produce a “scrubbing/smearing/rubbing” action such as what happens under the sprue plate. To eliminate that, use a sprue plate lube.

    • #32965
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I have tried casting with bare metal molds, mold cavities coated with moly, cavities with Kroil in them, but have always came back to using just a light coat of soot from a butane charcoal lighter. Just works for me. And, when I say light, it is just barely changing from the color of a bare mold.

      I also find that my molds have individual personalities. Some like to run hotter than others. Some like a slower pace. Once I find what they like (and it is usually a learning experience every time I change molds), things go smoothly. I would say I find that spot in 20 – 30 pours.

      To clean my molds I use aerosol carburetor cleaner. A cotton swab in the cavities too. After drying, I warm them a bit and lube the alignment pins, sprue plate, and hinge pins (both on the mold and handle). I then lightly smoke the cavities. Finally, I bring the mold up to temperature slowly by having it sit on the edge of the lead pot. Some of my molds like the sprue plate heated via propane torch before starting to cast.

      I use a PID controller and only cast when the alloy is in a 10 degree band of what that mold likes.

      Consistency in how I pour (I’m a ladle man) and cadence made a significant difference in bullet quality.

      Just what works for me.

    • #32991
      GhostHawk
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      Well I do things differently. A year or so back I saw a post on the other site that mentioned a “Liquid Wrench Dry Lubricant”. Essentially a drop or 2 placed on a q tip and use that to clean and lubricate the mold. Well I ended up eventually buying a 4 oz bottle. I had a few molds that did not like to release cast bullets cleanly.

      Wow, cleaned cavity’s, pins, ran over the whole thing, yes including the sprue plate. By the time I was done the mold was clean, all old smoke removed, and dry.
      So I set it to warm and started casting.

      Bullets “flew” from the cavity’s, 3 out of 4 casts I did not need a tap of any kind. If I was water dropping I settled on a routine where I opened the mold over my little yellow plastic bucket and tapped the bucket with the mold. Everyone out. Close the mold and repeat.

      In every mold, success, no problems, no stuck bullets. 90% reduction in lead wanting to stick to the sprue plate.

      So I did them all. Washed them all in warm soapy water, dried, and worked them all with the LWDL.

      Casting was changed forever.

      Somewhere between 500 and 1k boolits I start seeing signs that a mold may need retreating. So I set it aside when I am done with it and redo it.

      I think with that single 4 oz bottle I have a lifetime supply.

      But don’t take my word for it. Invest 8$ and try it yourself. And never smoke another mold again.
      And also never cuss and swear because you screwed up a mold whacking it trying to get the bullets out.

      FYI this really works well on the Lee 7/8ths oz slug mold. But, the mold does need to be hot, and it does seem to need reapplying more often. About once every 100 slugs for me this far.

      Your mileage may vary.

    • #33001
      Rattlesnake Charlie
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      I’ll have to try that GhostHawk. Thanks for the tip.

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