Lead Ball Mold

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ctwo
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Lead Ball Mold

Post by ctwo » Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:19 am

Hey, this seems like a good first dip...

Once I thought I'd get into skeet shooting, then they banned all my clay birds, then they banned lead shot, so now I figure I will convert all of my #7-1/2 bird to #3 buck. I'll make the other side #000 or something interesting.

These would be 1/4" balls and the connecty thing (sprue?) was drilled 1/16". I heated the mold on the gas stove to as hot as it would get. It does not get hot enough to melt the failed pour. The lead was heated in a tin can on the stove as well, and would have to be poured quickly or it freezes on the way out.

Will this leak if I use a propane torch to melt it in place? The surfaces are lapped and the blocks clamped. Is it making an airlock? What do I need to do?
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Disclaimer: I'm just a guy with a few machines...

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10KPete
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Re: Lead Ball Mold

Post by 10KPete » Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:36 am

Yes, there are no vents. The faces of the blocks should be scored minimum of .02" deep and same width. A simple V. Score 2 horizontally across each cavity all the way across the block face. Then the same vertically across each cavity. This gives 8 vent entries into each cavity.

Lyman has always vented the faces of their mould blocks before the last cherry and final lap.

I figure if they do it, I'd be a fool not to try it. That was 50 years ago and I haven't looked back.

I don't recommend heating the block very much. Just enough to hasten the production of a good surface on the balls. Then your casting speed will adjust the just right temp as you continue.

Pete
Just tryin'

Harold_V
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Re: Lead Ball Mold

Post by Harold_V » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:42 pm

My opinion, having built a similar mold many, many years ago. Mine made 9/32" diameter balls, which allowed for three balls/layer for a 20 gauge shotgun. They turned out beautifully, and I still have the mold, although I don't use it these days. Of interest, perhaps, the mold was the first thing made on a Gorton 8½D mill after it was completely rebuilt (inhouse). Not so much as a DRO was used----all done by the screws with excellent results.

It is highly unlikely that you'll enjoy success with that design, although I could be wrong. Here's why.

In order for the bottom ball to fill, the lead must remain molten through the upper balls. Not much of a chance of that happening due to the 1/16" sprue. They're an acceptable size, but not for feeding more than one ball.

My mold pours multiple balls (two per layer), one on each side of a center runner that is (I think) 3/16" diameter. It runs the long way through the mold (top to bottom), and provides a stream of molten alloy to the bottom, so each ball fills independent of the others. I also have vents, although I do not recall the details. My mold is built to mount to Lyman handles.

I'm not suggesting that my way is the only way, but I can assure you that it works.

If it's important for you to see a picture, I can provide one, but I do not have one available right now or It would have been posted. If I do that, I'll also provide better detail of the mold features. Let me know.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

FKreider
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Re: Lead Ball Mold

Post by FKreider » Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:55 pm

Always need a vent.
-Frank K.

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ctwo
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Re: Lead Ball Mold

Post by ctwo » Fri Jan 08, 2021 1:52 am

Thanks All. This was trying to be like a Lee buckshot mold. I noticed they do have grooves so I'll give that a try. I also think that using a tin can allowed the lead to cool too much on the way out, so something heavier may also help.
Standards are so important that everyone must have their own...
To measure is to know - Lord Kelvin
Disclaimer: I'm just a guy with a few machines...

Jon W
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Joined: Tue Nov 24, 2020 1:59 pm

Re: Lead Ball Mold

Post by Jon W » Fri Jan 08, 2021 7:54 am

For whatever it’s worth, graphite crucibles are available on Amazon for fairly short money.
Jon W
Somewhere North of Boston

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