Tried a DIPPER today to cast a few and WOW what a Difference in outcome!

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corerftech posted this 2 weeks ago

Been diligently (although the last week or so I have been utterly depressed and w/o drive to get things done) working towards arranging and building the implements needed for my home machine shop and reloading/workrooms here at the house in Germantown. The garage has two extra rooms or adjacent buildings all completely finished to an extent. All connected with doors as well. Ive just finished several massive wood benches in the reloading room for "reloading" and for casting.

 

I hit an estate sale here and came away with a SAECO old model 20 lb pot. A bit rusty and the last owner modified the pot so that the arm stops flow, not starts. IDIOT!! It was full of lead of some sort and I needed to test it. Plugged it in, drained it but before I did that I had a plug at the nozzle and needed to stir it. I grabbed an old Lyman dipper that was rode hard and pulled a mold out of storage. I stirred with the dipper and got the plug flowing. I went ahead and heated the dipper up and used a lee 9mm mold. I poured a few and figured out a bit how to do it. I cast a few more and put them back in the pot. I then on poured 5 lbs of the most beautiful bullets (with a dipper)! 

 

Bottom line is IVE ORDERED the lee magnum pot and a few more lyman dippers and will be pursuing a dipper/ladle rather than many bottom pours I have (from everyone) that clog, drip, leak and piss me off! Only took over a decade to try!!

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Ross Smith posted this 2 weeks ago

Amen, Bro.

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vmwilson posted this 2 weeks ago

Glad it worked out.  But curious as to what was better about the bullets themselves by ladeling as opposed to bottom pouring.  Did they look better somehow or did they pass a more stringent weight test?

Mike

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OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

Veral Smith wrote this:

Re: dip or pour?


I've dipper cast a lot of bullets and liked it just fine till I got a bottom pour pot. I have no interest in dipper casting since, though I would if bullet weight went over 600 700 grains. The big ones need to have the lead dumped in fast, which is where the dipper shines.
The serious negative side of dipper casting is that all the stiring mixes in dross if the pot isn't fluxed very frequently. Contrary to a commonly held notion, lead alloys do NOT seperate, so dippering doesn't keep them mixed unless one is using bearing babbit, which has what could be called floating particles of harder metal. These particles will either float or sink if not stirred regularly.

The down side of bottom pour, and I believe the only two negative points are: 1.The orfices tend to plug up gradually with crud, and 2. the buildup of crud inside the spout tends to make them drip. I cure these two problems by fastening drills into pieces of cold rolled rod, long enough so I'm working well above the melt, to keep from burning my fingers. One drill at the larger diameter where the meter rod fits, and a second which will clean the spout orfice to original diameter. To use these, remove the meter rod, twist the large drill into its hole, then the smaller, using fingers only and going gently enough that steel isn't removed. Keep an ingot mold under the spout while cleaning the spout to catch the running lead. Drop the meter rod back in and you are back to new tolerances. If you cast real large bullets, don't hesitate to open up the smaller orfice a bit. Second, I braze a piece of steel rod to the meter rod, up near the top, at right angle to the rod. When the pot starts dripping, just push down lightly and swing it from side to side to grind out any debris.
To remove junk from just the orfice, use a 1/16 diameter piece of stainless steel welding rod, bent at a right angle for about 3/4 inch. Dip it in lard or bees wax to flux it, push it up into the spout, twist and wiggle it around while raising and lowering the meter rod handle. The flux will loosen the crud quite well and let it squirt out with the first shot of lead out the spout after the wire is removed.
In case you aren't aware of the reason for the bent wire, it is so your hands aren't under the dripped and squirting lead.
I only flux the bottom pour pot occasionally. The longest time I've gone between fluxing is probably 4 months, and this with the pot running 8 to 12 hours a day about half of those 4 months, as I use the pot for checking mold diameter while cutting molds. I can pour perfectly clean bullets with a good inch of crud floating on top, because it isn't stirred up ever, even if more ingots are added.

Wheel weight metal doesn't change so far as castability or hardening qualities when heated for those hundreds of hours. Lino or other rich alloy would lose enough tin to change it some. So, if I want to cast bullets I use the same pot as for checking molds.

Hopefully this will blow a bit of mith away.


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OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

Re: dip or pour?


If your pot has enough clearance, keep an ingot mold or other shallow receptacle under the spout to catch drips. Also, when a bottom pour pot sits idle for more than a couple minutes, the lead hanging on or in the spout will oxidize rapidly. The oxidization will show on your bullets if it is shot into the mold. Give the handle a little jiggle just before putting the mold under the spout, so a squirt of lead sends this oxidized droplet into the waiting recepticle and your bullets will be more shiney.
I think this bit of oxidized lead is one reason many cling to dipper pouring, as there isin't enough time between the dip and pour to oxidize lead noticably with a dipper.
I'm glad you mentioned Lee pots. They have a crooked pour spout so the drill trick won't work from the top only on them. I do it with an RCBS pot and the Lyman and Magma pots I've seen can be cleaned from the top. While on the subject of Lee pots. I used them for several years in my mold business, I believe 9 years in fact, and had to replace them every three months. On the recommendation of a friend, I finally sprung for an RCBS pot, 20 years ago, and it's still working great, with no maintenence except to clean the spout occasionally. I bought a second for a backup after a few months, as I had always kept a backup when using Lee pots, to keep from shutting the mold making down. The backup is always full of pure lead for push through slugs etc. But the original pot, is always full of wheel weight, and just keeps on going and going and going. It shows no sign whatsoever of failure. (The lee pots always oxidized away and started leaking out the side somewhere if the heating element didn't fail first, which it normally did.
Don't take these statements as total damnation of lee pots, because my three months of use equaled about 800 hours running wide open, often being forgotten when I went in to bed. Figgure it out, and you might find that would be a lifetime for your casting.

RCBS have probably monel pots, or maybe stainless steel. At any rate they don't rust. If the pot you use is iron or steel, and shows rust when it collects moisture, be sure to drop in a tablespoon of lard after shutting it down, if it will be stored for some time. Wait till the lead is solidified, and preferably while cooled enough that the lard doesn't smoke. It will penetrate around the lead, seal off any moisture, totally eliminate any rust, and give the alloy a perfect fluxing whenever you fire up the pot again. Use pure lard, not frying grease which has salt in it.


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OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

Re: dip or pour?


I named lard because it is quite cheap and available in all grocery stores. Any animal fat works fine except for some of the musky furbearers which stink to high heaven. (Some would use another term, which might be more accurate.) If beef, mutton, any wild game, or bird fat is available, they all work as well as lard. I've been using bear lard for the last 10 years and like it very much, both for flux and as a cutting oil for everything from hard steel to aluminum and lead. It's the only cutting compound I use when makeing molds.
Best way to render the fat down to grease is chop it fine or grind and lay it on a broiler pan. Heat in the oven at 250 so it doesn't burn and the fat will run down through the broiler cracks. Beeswax is also excellent as a flux if available affordably, and pine pitch collected off wounded trees has no peer. It is in fact rosin, with more turpintine left than if you bought rosin. Melted together with any of the above animal fats puts a bit more punch into the fat or beeswax so far as fluxing power, and makes it stay a bit longer. If you get a mother load of fat, the best way to store it is in canning jars. Just pour it in while still hot, screw the lids/caps on and heat in the oven at 250 for a half hour or so. It will seal and when sealed keep in edible condition for about a year, should you want to use it for cooking. When it turns rancid, as my bear fat has, heat it till it begins to smoke and the rancid smell will leave.

In a pinch, motor oil works very well both for a flux and for preverving the pot, but it stinks something awful and is probably deadly to breath much of the smoke. If you use it be sure you have strong ventilation or set the pot outdoors down wind while it's heating up.

While on the subject of fat, perhaps you'd like to know of a popular gun oil when I was a kid. Clarified bird fat. It can be from any bird, except waterfoul, though it seems that the gun writer whose writing I read, claimed phesant was tops. Render it out at low temp as above, then keep the rendered oil in a warm place till the solids settle out, leaving a clear oil floating on top. Normally about half the fat will be 'clarified' oil. Settling seems to take place fastest at around 100 deg F or so. I used chicken fat for years before I started using the bear lard which I speak of above. It makes an excellent gun oil, if the parts are oiled and wiped clean with a dry rag. Maybe not as good as some of the modering offerings, but still good as it was 55 years ago when I read about how to make it.


Veral Smith

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Ross Smith posted this 2 weeks ago

Veral: That was fascinating folk history, all of the balckpowder-muzzleloader crowd should read this. Thanks,Ross

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BigMan54 posted this 2 weeks ago

Boy Howdy ! 

Guys,  this post brings back memories. I seem to remember my Dad used Lard/Beeswax for a flux & bullet lube. I sure remember the red box of lard & the short green MJB coffee cans full of beeswax. I know he added something else to the bullet lube but can't remember what.

When I mix alloy, I dipper cast 5-10 bullets using an old LYMAN 1cav 452460 mold. Almost every bullet turns out perfect. 

I can't dipper cast worth a darn on a multi-cavity mold. Except for 2cav round ball molds. I do dipper cast pure lead for Black Powder. 1 & 2 cavity round ball for cap & ball revolvers. Single cavity for .50 & .54 caliber MAXI-BALLS for my T/C Hawken & White MTN Carbine.

Every time I've tried, I get frustrated by the SLOWNESS of it. 

More power to those that can. It's just too hard on my arthritis. 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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OU812 posted this 2 weeks ago

I copied and pasted his writing from another forum.

Veral has his on section in the Gray Beard forums. Its fun and interesting to read all his posts.

http://www.go2gbo.com/forums/99-ask-veral-smith-lbt-q.html

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RicinYakima posted this 2 weeks ago

Yep, the myth that a bottom pour pot is better is hard to kill. Read the data sheets from CBA champion shooters over the last 20 years and see how many bottom pour. It is really faster for gang moulds, but that is about it. IMHO

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corerftech posted this 1 weeks ago

My findings today as I experimented with about 100 molds and culled some duplicates and odd ducks from my collection to send to new homes. I used a Lyman master caster today that flows well and with some alloy of unknown crap. 

As I said before, I took an ICE cold mold and poured back to back perfect bullets with the dipper. Tried it again with bottom pour, nope wrinkles, voids, poor fill out, etc.

now I did note that some molds just performed amazing, and some performed for crap, regardless. 

Was able to get perfect bullets from all, just more work for some and no work for others.

 

what I did find---- 4 cavity h&g molds did NOT cast well on a dipper.

rcbs pistol and rifle molds, cast like someone machined a bullet on the lathe. Simply the first dip on an ice old mold produced stunning results, and when ,old came to temp it stayed just as perfect.

lyman and ideal molds, some shined, many didn't. Some preferred bottom pour with pressure and some preferred the dipper but none were happy both ways. And I cast 1000 bullets in test today, easy, maybe 1500.

paul jones, OMg amazing (dipper cold pour)

steve brooks, same (dipper, cold pour)

lee!!!! Dipper cold pour first drop nearly perfect, second drop, absolute perfection. Not so on bottom pour.

winchester (old ones in 32 cal) behaved like the brooks and jones molds. Stunning, first pour perfection. Not so on bottom pour.

i ended up spending a good $500 at NOE today on in stock molds. I culled a huge box of molds to send down the road which were under/un- utilized today. I had H&G molds in 45 cal that won't feed in my pistol and I don't care to make them feed.  35 cal h&g at .3555 (factory labeled) that I don't have a throat to fit, etc.

 

i did find the h&g 51/HP single cavity pours just about as good as anything else that is listed as perfect. Again, dipper is perfect, bottom pour takes several cycles to get perfection and more mold pre-heat.

 

i cleaned up the saeco for sale today as well and vetted its performance. Works well, I don't need another bottom pour. I have a little Lee that I use for pure lead (bottom pour) but it may not get used again. Between the old Lyman master caster XX and the new Lee magnum and several dippers,....... I think the arsenal has been reset as best I can. 

 

Ps... I don't mind the drips. I don't like the FLOWS that drips can turn into. But I DO like the fact that my reject rate when from 50% on some molds to 10% or less and that inside the first 3 drops from a cold mold.

thst is the consideration. The NOE order helped several things. A couple of molds were not sized when I needed them like a 225438 ideal thst I needed to be REALLY fat at 228 for a 22 wcf and another 438 that is beautiful but takes huge work to get perfect bullets. I know the NOE molds will drop like bullets from heaven and I'm no longer in the mood to work hard on casting. The dipper did give me an angle to salvage some molds from sale as I have found a way to produce excellence from a mold that a bottom pour failed to do so.

not setting any rules here, merely my experience in the last 48 hours. An epiphany. Maybe I'm full of crap and it's all my failure to cast well, so be it. I'm happy to use the dipper as my crutch.

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OU812 posted this 1 weeks ago

My 30 and 358 caliber RCBS molds do fine with either method (it must be their venting) , but I have a few other molds that like ladle method best.

Most of my casting lately is 22 caliber and the bottom pour does fine.

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porthos posted this 1 weeks ago

with a dipper my bullets are Perfect... weight is  +- .01 sometimes .02. out of a 10  bullet check there might be one that is .03. none of this is enough to even think about. by perfect as a earlier thread said; they look like they were machined.  of course this is only with 1 and 2 cavity molds. is the dipper slower. probably ; but not by much. does a dipper pour perfect bullets in a cold mold. never. think about it!

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corerftech posted this 1 weeks ago

Porthos: I am aware that a cold mold should NOT cast a perfect bullet but indeed!!!!! I have done so and done so with as many as 30 molds from all mfgrs and I mean from 80 grain to 600. When I say perfect, I mean museum specimens. I have a hot plate on the bench for a reason. But I'll tell you from meehanite to aluminum, I was able to test all and conclude which cast easy and which cast difficult by attempting a cold cast. I'll post pictures of a few tomorrow. Not arguing, simply stating my experiences. I agree, molds don't work cold, well except the 30 or so isolated in my collection of over a 100 tested.

EDIT:

For those following the thread--- the WOW is that I HAD NEVER USED A DIPPER! NEVER. And when I did simply molds that I WORKED at to cast a good bullet dropped in far less than ideal conditions (preheat, nil. Smoking a cavity, not. Release agents, not. Break-in, not. New mold with oil on it, YES. Grimey mold beat to hell dropping a perfect bullet cold, YES!!.)

 

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vmwilson posted this 1 weeks ago

with a dipper my bullets are Perfect... weight is  +- .01 sometimes .02. out of a 10  bullet check there might be one that is .03. none of this is enough to even think about. by perfect as a earlier thread said; they look like they were machined.  of course this is only with 1 and 2 cavity molds. is the dipper slower. probably ; but not by much. does a dipper pour perfect bullets in a cold mold. never. think about it!

Being most if not all of us weigh in grains and most scales I've ever seen only weigh to the 10th (.1) of a grain.  Either I've got a LOT to learn or you slipped a digit there.

 

Mike

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vmwilson posted this 6 days ago

Oh, my digital scale weights to 0.1 grains, so I sort them that way. Depending up how many bullets I need and how big the batch is, I keep 200 yards match bullets within +/- 0.1 grains. Of course it doesn't make any difference I can demonstrate, but it makes me feel good that I am doing the best I can in my reloading practices. laughing

Like I'd said 0.1, a tenth of a grain.  Not 0.01.  I'm suspecting if you're keeping within ± 0.1 gr. you're casting a fairly small bullet, you're an excellent caster, and your by weight rejects have to be fairly substantial.

Getting back to the OP I'm still wondering what the big revelation was though.

Mike

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corerftech posted this 6 days ago

Thank you Ric and Ross for your on topic replies initially. Again as always on the CBA forum, hijacking ensues to form an argument around someones experience which is subjective, always on topic, always accurate and can't be argued. Wanna argue or explain the non-existence of a good dump I took after my morning coffee (in the appropriate sub-forum of course)?? I doubt you can speak into my bathroom activities but here on the CBA forum, someone has some recitation from some SAGE WISE CENTENARIAN which will debunk my bowel movement experience. That sounds ludicrous but its a completely accurate parallel and it made me chuckle.

I really really didn't need a sermon on chicken fat, fat rendering and the lubricating and machining properties of a bears cellulite  pasted for pages in my thread so that I could here that Im WRONG since Veral Smith has written that his "experiences" are correct and mine are faulty. I revere the man for his work and knowledge but HIS WISDOM (off topic almost completely) was a tool used to hijack a thread.

Nothing changes on this forum, nothing changes substantially in the CBA, as I have seen for a few years now. Same bunch of SAGE WISE MEN barfing often all over a thread that is completely subjective and not making any form of patent statement of fact. Wish I had made a STATEMENT OF FACTS or something scientific, then the responders would have an invitation to debunk my thread content.

Unsure why this particular forum must have the same responders always hijacking, thread crapping and the like.

Billy Graham said that "He is like the wind, you can't see the wind, you only see the effects of the wind but you can't see the wind!". Billy doesn't question his faith in something, he just is committed to a belief based on an experience w/o scientific crap or someone like Veral confirming it actually happened. I am a man of faith and am good with the belief that I cast better with some molds using a dipper than a pot pouring from a spout. I too have seen the effects of the wind but haven't seen the wind. My perfectly cast bullets, PERFECTLY cast, 100 percent square filled out like diamonds cut by a hasidic jeweler in Los Angeles, on an ice cold mold on a 50 degree afternoon, those are the evidence of things UNSEEN. Don't really care if YOU HAVENT seen this in your life, maybe the kook-aid I drink is spiked or something.

I SAW/EXPERIENCED/HAD MANIFEST some improvement in formerly poor casting molds; in far less than optimal conditions no less......... DUNNO maybe it was a supernatural event but it was repeatable ad-infinitum. As such, there is no argument regarding my experiences and I really don't care about Veral Smiths dissertation on why bottom pour is best and why chicken fat is the bomb.

Ill see you folks in another year, I believe its a huge time waster in my life to post a thread and then spend 5 days and 10 more posts substantiating ANY CONTENT POSTED on ANY and EVERY TOPIC.

GP thanks for the post regarding the NOE sale, great sale, great product, huge opportunity for me. Watch out, someone may debunk the sale.

The CBA needs not my endorsement, money or membership and further. 

 

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porthos posted this 6 days ago

attn VMWILSON:  i don't have weight rejects  189.9,  189.9,  190.0,  190.0,  190.0,  189.9,  190.0,  189.9,  

   189.9,  190.1,  190.1,  189.8,  189.9,  190.0.             i really don't think that i do anything special. i use  a dipper and all of my pours are at a constitent rate. i have a small fan that is mounted in a box and it blows down on the sprue to cool it. as soon as it frosts i open the mold. i guess that i got lucky with my routine.

 

 

 

 

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porthos posted this 6 days ago

on another note. do you guys  notice that some members have a lot of bitterness in their lives.

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vmwilson posted this 6 days ago

attn VMWILSON:  i don't have weight rejects  189.9,  189.9,  190.0,  190.0,  190.0,  189.9,  190.0,  189.9,  

   189.9,  190.1,  190.1,  189.8,  189.9,  190.0.             i really don't think that i do anything special. i use  a dipper and all of my pours are at a constitent rate. i have a small fan that is mounted in a box and it blows down on the sprue to cool it. as soon as it frosts i open the mold. i guess that i got lucky with my routine.

In my book results like that qualify as excellent casting!

 

 

 

 

Mike

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RicinYakima posted this 6 days ago

coreftech, My apologies if I have offended you on "your" thread. I hope your "utterly depressed" issues pass quickly. Ric

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 6 days ago

hi corerftech

please do us a favor and remain a valuable contributor to the ant hill that is our CBA group . 

note that none of the resulting discussion implied that your results were not valid .... in fact i took the chatter to be a result of the admiration of we ants for the great results you had with your dipper discovery .  cheers and congratulations !!

a good thing you gave us to celebrate; the world has received a gift of joyful knowledge from your report .....  a blessing ... and so valuable and welcome is a nugget of shiny truth that we can all share .... in these days of political absurdity the only way out of the woods is to follow the occasional crumbs of factual truth .... even if they appear in our hobby/passion of casting and shooting .....

please enjoy another coffee and please continue to report your experiences ... this ant hill depends on individual input, even though looking at it from a distance it might appear that we are just a hodge-podge of critters randomly scurrying in no particular order or apparent purpose ...............  getting off the subject, you might say ...................  but then notice that all that scurrying around always results in the bread crumb being delivered back to the colony  ...

the good news is that your little bread crumb survived and reached at least this reader .... and i even enjoyed the scurrying around that it caused ....but then i spent days when i wuz a kid watching ant colonies ....

ken

 

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BigMan54 posted this 4 days ago

Heck, I get off topic almost every time I open my mouth. Guess I should just read these posts and not voice/ type my differing experiences, or like experiences. 

I'll just go away. Didn't mean to offend anyone.

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun.

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