Author Topic: Casting into bucket  (Read 6605 times)

Offline DDJ

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Casting into bucket
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:52:16 PM »
I saw on some casting posts people are unloadign thier casting molds into water.  I see some advantages there, but I am left with some questions as well. 

The question is the sprew is now wet and irregulary shaped (read as has pockets to hold water), so how do you keep the water from flash boiling and blowing hot lead all over you?

I see a few answers but none appear to work in my head.
1) seporate the sprew from the sprew plate before opening the mold.  Mine tend to stick and often need some help releasing form the sprew plate.  I need to smoke the sprew plate I know.
2) Allow the sprew to drop into the bucket and then recover after casting session and allow to air dry before next session.  That creats large piles of very unstackable material to store.
3) Create a screen over the bucket of water that will not allow sprews to fall through.  This is where I am going but I have not come up with a way to keep the cooling sprews form cloging up the openings so the next cast bullets fall through.  this would also create some amount of number 1 as pieces fall off the sprew that could fall through a libreial opening to allow 45 bullets to pass.

I do not know I have been playing this through in my head and do not have a solution I can implement yet.  I thought I would ask for some advice.
Thanks
DDJ

Offline SnoHam13

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 06:29:37 AM »
water quenching is a way to cool the slug and harden it a bit so it reduces leading
as far as lead spitting at you, that will only happen if you throw the trimmed lead into the pot wet

personally I only use lead that got wet during cold start with the casting furnace
I never toss any in a hot pot [not worth the risk of burn]

I just drop mine on to a soft cloth and air cool

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Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2014, 08:16:39 AM »
For handgun bullets I drop into a shallow card board box.

I don't mean to open a can of worms, but if a higher BHN was the only factor in reducing leading they'd make all bullets that way.
In my experience, it's a combination of correct diameter, hardness, lubrication and velocity.

Gas cutting is what most often causing leading, and that happens when the bullet is too small, or too HARD to expand to fill the bore.  While a full house magnum charge would beat up soft lead like used in muzzle loading, a powder puff charge on a very hard bullet won't have enough pressure to expand the diameter - thus the gas would cut past the bullet, leaving skid marks.

So I don't see much advantage to water quenching for most of the casting I do.

Offline Carl

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2014, 09:58:41 AM »
While at my old job,we cast and loaded 200,000 rounds per month and always cast into a cloth (old blue jeans) padded box and let the mix of lead/tin/wheel weights , set the hardness. Also a good lube makes a big difference on leading as does proper bore prep.

My 'Slick 50' (engine oil treatment) quenched barrels were always cleaner than the other shooters at the range. I never told the secret of heat barrel,without wood or plastic parts,to 300 degrees and then quench in slick 50 till cool.

Oh no ...now I gave it away. Well it is not the only way,but it was my way...and it worked.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2014, 02:52:52 PM »
I saw on some casting posts people are unloadign thier casting molds into water.  I see some advantages there, but I am left with some questions as well. 

The question is the sprew is now wet and irregulary shaped (read as has pockets to hold water), so how do you keep the water from flash boiling and blowing hot lead all over you?

I see a few answers but none appear to work in my head.
1) seporate the sprew from the sprew plate before opening the mold.  Mine tend to stick and often need some help releasing form the sprew plate.  I need to smoke the sprew plate I know.
2) Allow the sprew to drop into the bucket and then recover after casting session and allow to air dry before next session.  That creats large piles of very unstackable material to store.
3) Create a screen over the bucket of water that will not allow sprews to fall through.  This is where I am going but I have not come up with a way to keep the cooling sprews form cloging up the openings so the next cast bullets fall through.  this would also create some amount of number 1 as pieces fall off the sprew that could fall through a libreial opening to allow 45 bullets to pass.

I do not know I have been playing this through in my head and do not have a solution I can implement yet.  I thought I would ask for some advice.
Thanks
DDJ

What kind of mold blocks are you using???

You seem to be overcomplicating a very simple operation.

Standard mold blocks trim the sprue before the bullets are dropped from the mold.  I usually break the sprue lose over the lead pot and the sprue falls back into the hot lead.  By the time the mold is opened the bullet is solid and will not have a "void" large enough to present a problem.  The final drop of a couple of feet into a plastic tub of water just leaves enough heat to cause a sizzle.

All the bullets are retrieved from the water and arranged to air dry.  Usually I leave them overnight.  Sprues in the batch are returned to the lead pot.

I do not use the water quench as much to harden the bullets as to cool them and protect them from damage when they fall from the mold.

Offline res45

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 09:51:39 PM »
Here is a good article on heat treating cast lead bullets,I water quench as well as oven heat treat cast lead bullet depending on what I'm going to use them for. 

It mainly depends on what velocity and pressure I'm going to be shooting the bullets as to if I'm going to heat treat them or not as well as if the bullet will need sizing. 

If sizing is going to be done it much easier to size the air cooled cast bullet first then heat treat them in the oven ie toaster oven then water quench to the desired hardness.  Sizing a hardened bullet is much harder to do than first sizing a regular air cooled bullets then heat treating.

Heat Treating Cast Bullets
http://www.lasc.us/brennan_4-5_heattreat.htm

Alloy Selection and Metallurgy
http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Chapter_3_alloySelectionMetallurgy.htm

From Ingot to Target
http://www.lasc.us/Fryxell_Book_Contents.htm
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 10:04:49 PM by res45 »

Offline Antman

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 06:38:28 AM »
DDJ,

I water quench if the load needs it. Like res45, sometimes I will heat in a toaster oven to 400ish when quencher in ice water.
The lasc articles are a great resource. As far as the sprue, when I open the mold, I do it over the pot. The sprue will fall into the pot if the mold is cool enough then I move over the bucket to drop from the mold.

I used water quenching for rifle boolits, and some handgun stuff. It does toughen the surface of the boolits up. Cast some and air cool, then from the same batch water drop some. Wait a few days, 2 at least then give them the finger scratch test. You will see the difference.

I had problem with 9mm's leading, and they were sized to the bore(.0015 over). Water quenching solved the issue. 9mm are actually fairly high pressure and the air cooled where stripped out in the bore. Rifle loads as well get quenched. 18 grains of 2400 with air cooled range scrap will lead a bit. Water quenching will not. I like to quencher heavy 357 boolits for woods loads.

It is a way to get a liitle more out of a marginally mix, which is usually free from the range. I am saving my lino for the good stuff!

Offline Carl

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2014, 07:59:25 AM »
DDJ,

I water quench if the load needs it. Like res45, sometimes I will heat in a toaster oven to 400ish when quencher in ice water.
The lasc articles are a great resource. As far as the sprue, when I open the mold, I do it over the pot. The sprue will fall into the pot if the mold is cool enough then I move over the bucket to drop from the mold.

I used water quenching for rifle boolits, and some handgun stuff. It does toughen the surface of the boolits up. Cast some and air cool, then from the same batch water drop some. Wait a few days, 2 at least then give them the finger scratch test. You will see the difference.

I had problem with 9mm's leading, and they were sized to the bore(.0015 over). Water quenching solved the issue. 9mm are actually fairly high pressure and the air cooled where stripped out in the bore. Rifle loads as well get quenched. 18 grains of 2400 with air cooled range scrap will lead a bit. Water quenching will not. I like to quencher heavy 357 boolits for woods loads.

It is a way to get a liitle more out of a marginally mix, which is usually free from the range. I am saving my lino for the good stuff!

I add left over plumbers solder to the mix...the silver content should finish off any Zombies,werewolves,and even most aliens..

But usually wheel weights and a bit of additional tin gets the hardness up to acceptable levels,and I have found that powder choice has a lot to do with leading. I use copper gas checks for my rifle loads .

HP38 (same as WW231) has been my choice for 9 mm though my records show I only loaded a bit over 9 million rounds of 9 MM..mostly 125gr LRN at 1150 FPS with 4 inch bbl. I was a commercial loader for years with machines that would run 5000 rounds per hour of stubby 380,9mm,40 S&W,45 acp etc.

Water quench is effective , I would have done it if volume was not my goal,but I had a bunch of shooters to stay ahead of....

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2014, 08:40:09 AM »
... I have found that powder choice has a lot to do with leading. I use copper gas checks for my rifle loads .


There's some wisdom in that statement.  Often times too HARD lead with with too WEAK powder charge can cause leading problem in barrels.  As I understand it, if there's not enough pressure to force the bullet to obturate (swell), then gases will blow past (cut) and make a mess.  Ideally you match the hardness with the charge. 

In practice I find it easier to adjust the powder charge rather than attempt to control the lead hardness.  I mean I can weigh powder, but I'm honestly guessing with lead hardness by scratching my finger nail.

Offline DDJ

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #9 on: August 27, 2014, 11:06:51 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I was looking fro the water as more of a cooling quickly action rather than hardening. 


This thread also convinved me that I have an issue with my molds and need to clean and then smoke my sprew plates, because the sprews must be worked off in many cases.  I typically have my mold open and all of the bullets out then have to grab the sprew with pliers or gloved hands to get them off.

If the sprew comes off as easy as I am reading and you drop the sprew back into the pot do you have an issue with splash?

Thanks again

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2014, 03:14:43 PM »
I use an old drum stick to knock off the sprue into a cardboard box.  Any wood dowel would work, but I was going for style points.
After it collects an amount I melt it again.

Offline Carl

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2014, 03:27:44 PM »
I use an old drum stick to knock off the sprue into a cardboard box.  Any wood dowel would work, but I was going for style points.
After it collects an amount I melt it again.

Doesn't the chicken grease smoke ,or smell a bit?

Offline SnoHam13

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #12 on: August 27, 2014, 08:30:51 PM »
Doesn't the chicken grease smoke ,or smell a bit?

not after you make soup stock out of it  :spit:

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Offline Antman

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #13 on: August 28, 2014, 01:55:53 AM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I was looking fro the water as more of a cooling quickly action rather than hardening. 


This thread also convinved me that I have an issue with my molds and need to clean and then smoke my sprew plates, because the sprews must be worked off in many cases.  I typically have my mold open and all of the bullets out then have to grab the sprew with pliers or gloved hands to get them off.

If the sprew comes off as easy as I am reading and you drop the sprew back into the pot do you have an issue with splash?

Thanks again
I am very careful when I drop the sprues back into the pot, and yes there is a small amount of splatter. It is not a problem and I clean up when I finish up.   I like the fact that the are still hot and don't drop the pot temp much which keeps all thing more consistant temp wise.

If you drop into water, you will harden the boolits. So if you want soft heads, for blackpowder or light loads, whatever, don't drop into water.

I just cast some for my 30-06 two days ago. Water quenched range scrap, nothing added to it but sawdust as flux. It is hard enough that you cannot scratch it with your nail. ( I gotta get a hardness tester). And they are tougher to size after. I dropped them from .310 to 3.085 and it had some resistance.

Offline res45

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #14 on: August 28, 2014, 05:16:38 AM »
As far as lubing bullet molds the first thing I do is throw the instruction from the Lee mold in the paper shredder.  I haven't smoked a mold in many years,instead I use synthetic 2 cycle motor oil.

The instruction can be found here and your mold looks an stays much nicer especially if you own a few of the custom molds made by NOE.

For protecting iron mold like the Lyman or RCBS you can coat the entire mold block and sprue plat in pure USP Mineral Oil and store it in a zip lock bag. When preheated the mineral oil burns off clean and leaves no residue. The mineral oil is also non toxic.


How to lube a mold.
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?137982-Mould-Lube-Instructions-%28works-with-BullPlate-too%29

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #15 on: August 28, 2014, 08:29:17 AM »
As far as lubing bullet molds the first thing I do is throw the instruction from the Lee mold in the paper shredder.  I haven't smoked a mold in many years,instead I use synthetic 2 cycle motor oil.

The instruction can be found here and your mold looks an stays much nicer especially if you own a few of the custom molds made by NOE.

For protecting iron mold like the Lyman or RCBS you can coat the entire mold block and sprue plat in pure USP Mineral Oil and store it in a zip lock bag. When preheated the mineral oil burns off clean and leaves no residue. The mineral oil is also non toxic.


How to lube a mold.
http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?137982-Mould-Lube-Instructions-%28works-with-BullPlate-too%29

Good tip.   I just got a cheapo .314 90gr lee mold for a project.  I'll try the motor oil trick.

Offline Carl

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #16 on: August 28, 2014, 08:38:12 AM »
Good tip.   I just got a cheapo .314 90gr lee mold for a project.  I'll try the motor oil trick.

I use,an think it is the best,Slick 50 with the sympathetic PTFE it is my favorite lube for molds and firearms.

Offline Mortblanc

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Re: Casting into bucket
« Reply #17 on: August 28, 2014, 05:16:10 PM »
Thanks for the feedback.  I was looking fro the water as more of a cooling quickly action rather than hardening. 


This thread also convinved me that I have an issue with my molds and need to clean and then smoke my sprew plates, because the sprews must be worked off in many cases.  I typically have my mold open and all of the bullets out then have to grab the sprew with pliers or gloved hands to get them off.

If the sprew comes off as easy as I am reading and you drop the sprew back into the pot do you have an issue with splash?

Thanks again

Your issue is not as much with the blocks and sprue plate as it is with the lead melt system you are using.  I use a production pot with a bottom pour spout.  The spout fits into the countersunk plate and the lead shoots into the mold cavity with some force.  When the lever is released the block is pulled away from the pot and their is nothing to call a sprue left to deal with.  Might be a little flat divot of lead but no big glob like you get with a dipper pour. 

Bullet edges are also more defined and you get full diameter casts.