How to prepare newly bought bullet molds?

darrowj

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I cast my first bullets the other day. I used someone else's bullet molds. After seeing how easy and fun it was I decided I wanted to buy my own.

So I bought two sets from MidwayUSA today. In the reviews section and on a few scattered forums I see people talking about the need to prepare a mold before the first use. I see the following in no particular order:

  • You need to "smoke" the mold. (How the hell do you do this?)
  • You need to clean the oils from the mold the manufacturer applied
  • You should put the mold in the oven. Heat, cool-down and reheat 1/2 a dozen times before first use
  • Apply lubricant to molds before first use. (no idea what would be used on this one)

Do folks on NES do anything of these things? I had figured on just buying and start using it.
 

DukeInFlorida

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You JUST missed an awesome cast bullet workshop, where we covered all of this subject in pretty good detail.
Sorry you missed it (by just a few weeks)......

1) Clean FIRST
2) Heat cycle about 3-4 times, twelve times is too many, and serves no purpose.
3) Smoking the mold is done using a butane lighter, and allowing the flame to get sooty, while holding it to the cavities. The ultra fine butane soot will act as a release agent.
4) The lubricant hould be some product such as "Bull Plate", which is made for casting molds. I have found that Militec-1 also works well. The idea is that there are the locating pins, pivot points for the handles, sprue plate, and other locations where you need to be able to have the metal to metal functioning happen smoothly, so that the mold opens and closes properly, and the sprue plate cuts the sprue easily.
5) You should also break some of the sharp edges (not on the cavities, but on the outside edges of the mold, where the sprue plate might hang up.
6) Check the sharp edges of the pour holes on the sprue plate, and deburr those as needed. Those could cause the sprue plate to gouge the aluminum mold.
7) Make screw tension adjustments so that the mold opens and closes easily.
8) Make screw tension adjustments so that the sprue plate operates properly.
9) Preheat the mold by immersing the end of it in the molten lead, until it comes up to about the temperature of the lead. You don't just want it warm, you want the mold HOT.

EC, maybe you can move this discussion to the other thread (the sticky)... it would fit in there well....

I cast my first bullets the other day. I used someone else's bullet molds. After seeing how easy and fun it was I decided I wanted to buy my own.

So I bought two sets from MidwayUSA today. In the reviews section and on a few scattered forums I see people talking about the need to prepare a mold before the first use. I see the following in no particular order:

  • You need to "smoke" the mold. (How the hell do you do this?)
  • You need to clean the oils from the mold the manufacturer applied
  • You should put the mold in the oven. Heat, cool-down and reheat 1/2 a dozen times before first use
  • Apply lubricant to molds before first use. (no idea what would be used on this one)

Do folks on NES do anything of these things? I had figured on just buying and start using it.
 
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