Casting Problems

  • Last Post 21 November 2009
CB posted this 05 May 2009

My BUllets are coming out shaped right with the grooves seeming to be deep enough and all but they are brand new alunimum molds and I've tried heating the mold 1st but havent run but about 30 bullets through so far.  Am i in the right directions.  MY bulllets are the correct shape but are just not smooth and slick some having a lot of crazy shaped cracked lines in the not cracking the bullet just cuts in the bullet if you know what i mean if not i can maybe post some pics if necessarry out of both bunchs i poured.  any suggestions.  thanks

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jake mdw posted this 05 May 2009

the problem seems to be a fairly common one that ive seen before . try starting out cleaning your moulds of all oily residue. next allow the mould to warm on the edge of the pot while waiting for the melt to reach casting temp. wrinkles, are common when the mould is too cold,especially when the melt is a little cool

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CB posted this 05 May 2009

thanks man so much any other help for new casters please add info

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tturner53 posted this 06 May 2009

bhlua, when I use my aluminum molds I always get those wrinkles at first, more or less depending on which mold. Just keep casting until the mold gets hot, you don't have to wait very long to cut that sprue and dump the bullet. It takes a litlle bit of patience to develop your technique, but it'll come. Then you'll be cranking out good bullets.

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Notlwonk posted this 06 May 2009

Lee recommends smoking the mold and from past experience it is necessary. A stick match works, there is a product called drop out that is sold for bullet casting. I've also used a carbide sight smoker but that can go on rather thick if your not careful.

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CB posted this 06 May 2009

i smoked it good today and had better results but still some wrinkles but getting better i heated the mold today too and it seemed to help what else could it be???

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tturner53 posted this 07 May 2009

my solution for wrinkles is always more heat. Most of the bullets I cast are frosty looking, not silver, that's because I get the lead good and hot, especially for aluminum molds. My steel RCBS and Lyman molds sometimes drop the first bullet good to go, but I've cast a lot of Lee bullets that didn't have wrinkles. I coat the mold cavity with 'Mold Prep', but that's just to help the bullets drop out easier. You have to get the molten lead in the mold quick, don't pour it in from way out there. Up to a point, casting quickly will help get your mold hot. What I know about wrinkles is it's usually from the mold not being hot enough, the alloy is hardening before it's filled. Preheat the mold as you know, but then cast like h*## 'til they come out smooth. They will.

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hunterspistol posted this 07 May 2009

:coffee Sounds to me as though you may be ladle casting, which is what I do. I haven't used aluminum molds, just cast iron.  Here's what I do. I preheat the mold on the edge of the pot while the wax (that I flux with) is burning to smoke and heat at the same time.  Pour about a dozen or 18 and drop them into  your sprue pile. Never mind, just throw away the first sets until the mold is hot enough.  Pour as fast as you can with a hesistation when the mold if full of lead, hesitate to let the heat soak in.

   This requires keeping the mold closed as much as possible and pouring fast, wait, then pop it apart and refill as quickly as you can. There's a certain rhythm to it that you'll pick up.

      Don't worry about what percentage you throw away getting it hot. If you discard 3/4 of the batch, so be it.  You're seasoning a mold first.

      If the bullets get frosty and you can tell it's too hot, just hesitate when you open the mold, give the air a minute to cool it.

     Maintain your alloy, if you use wheelweight, use just wheelweight.  Adding Linotype must be done exactly the same everytime and requires a hotter, faster pace sometimes.  A pure alloy pours better so, use it as though you are going to continue to pour twice what you plan on. That way it's all the same.             Good Luck


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canalupo posted this 07 May 2009


I have used dry graphite or high temp teflon grease for a mold release apply with a q-tip lightly in mold. I mean very lightly, graphite can be abrasive in metal to metal applications. You can also smoke mold over pot when you flux. I like to use the smoke with flux routine if possible. One last thing to try carbon soot from wood stove or BBQ, also use lightly and apply with q-tip.

As for crazing on bullet I literally stick the aluminum mold in the hot pot to get it up to temperature. When it is hot enough lead will not stick to outside of mold. I try not to over do it with the heat, dip it in and out until it is warm enough. The first few will be wrinkled from being too hot. As the mold cools your bullets should even out to a shiny surface. The trick is to keep it hot enough for a good pour but not too hot for wrinkled bullets.

This routine works for me. Good luck.

Bob D

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Edubya posted this 13 May 2009

When all else fails, read the instructions.> I think that they say don't put the whole mould into the molten alloy, just a corner of the mould will do. You can set the mould on the pot while it is warming up, using the spue plate to support the mould above the alloy as it's warming up. You might want to cast closer to the 800 degree mark, if you have cleaned the zinc and other unwanted material out first. If you first will make up ingots and carefully keep the lead at a molten level, maybe up to 650 dgrees, fluxing and cleaning up your batch all the while, you will not have to worry much about the zinc contamination during your casting. Some will say that you should flux after, as little as, every 30 bullets. I will throw in a sliver or two of beeswax for fluxing at the beginning and then thereafter, about every 100 or so bullets. Fluxing and stiring the alloy help keeps the alloy consistent and free of any unwanted objects.

I ain't no expert but I've learned what I do know from reading and from experience. Best of luck and happiness to you. EW

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JDNC posted this 14 May 2009

I agree with all above. Myself..I cast at 800 degrees with all moulds. I might add if you are seeing smoke from your mould when your temp is at 800 or so, that's a sign that you still have oils on the mould. When all is well you won't see smoke. When all else fails you might want to look at the mould face and make sure your vent lines are continue into the cavities. Oh and if using a bottom pour furnace you may not be pouring with enough pressure/flow. I don't smoke or use mould releases.


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CB posted this 14 May 2009

Yup, new mold, aluminum, 1st- clean the mold , get all of the traces of machining fluids , etc. out of the molds, soak in mineral sperits if needed.

Preheat the molds. Don't worry about the first 5-6 drops, put them back in the melt. keep a rhythm up and keep the heat up. It sounds like your molds are not hot enough.

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Stimp posted this 02 June 2009

I just had the same problem casting for the first time yesterday. i found that I had two issues causing the problem. First was that I did not have the mold as clean as I should have so I cleaned it better. Second, the melt and the molds weren't hot enough. Give it time, cast hot and have hot molds. After that, Dropped great bullets.

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Dollar Bill posted this 02 June 2009

I never thought of it until I joined the CBA, but after reading a few posts on the subject, a hot plate is a great way to pre-heat the molds and keep them at a good temp, especially if working 2 molds at a time. I got a cheap one from wally world. Using iron molds, I have a mark on the temp control that keeps the mold @ just under 500F, and bullets come out great almost immediately.

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Recluse posted this 12 June 2009

bhlua wrote: MY bulllets are the correct shape but are just not smooth and slick some having a lot of crazy shaped cracked lines in the not cracking the bullet just cuts in the bullet if you know what i mean if not i can maybe post some pics if necessarry out of both bunchs i poured. thanks

It's often a curse one suffers when one fornicates his fellow boolit casters, such as you have on Cast Boolits regarding the piles of unfinished business you have over there. . . and maybe elsewhere as well.

Suggestion? Pay up and settle up.

It's much easier casting with a clear conscience. Boolits turn out so much better that way.


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jmar254 posted this 16 June 2009

Pot just would not get over 300 degrees, jacked with temp dial let it sit nope still stuck at 300, hey dummy what did you unplug so that you could plug in the Hot Plate?? Memo to self when using the Hot Plate, DO NOT unplug the solder pot to plug in the Hot Plate. DUHHHH

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CB posted this 17 June 2009

Oppps! Yeah that may make a difference.

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mikld posted this 17 June 2009

So, that's the !$#*$! bhula that screwed all those people? I just read the posts on a couple other sites and just wish there was something more than banning that could be done!

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Clod Hopper posted this 21 November 2009

Don't be afraid to get it hot enough to frost bullets. Clean new mold with soap and water or mineral spirits. When start casting pre-heat as bove, then run hot lead all over the top the mold when you cast for the first few casts. It'l make a mess, but it will heat it up quick. If using a gang mold you are taking a lot of heat out the pot in a hurry. I usually have a second pot warmed up and ready to go.

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