Mold Mallet Question

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  • Last Post 31 December 2011
Uncertain Tex posted this 06 May 2010

I am about to wear out my beloved mold mallet..I suppose that's the point...it's like a rubber sanding block.... its suppose to wear out ...but out in the dark space of the infinite knowledge of the great casting alchemists...anyone got a decent substitute that won't due any harm to my beloved mold collection :dude:

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Notlwonk posted this 06 May 2010

I've used various hickory hammer handles for striking and heavy leather gloves for twisting the sprue plate. All depends on the alloy and number of cavities.

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Dollar Bill posted this 06 May 2010

Tex, after reading what some of the more experienced casters had to say, I've given up on beating my molds. After 20 years, I've seen the light and changed my evil ways. Now, I open the sprue plate by hand (gloved). The sprue plate can be openned sooner and never a torn bullet base! If you have arthritus, a short handle can be attached to the sprue plate. In any case, give it a try. I think you'll like the results.

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Dale53 posted this 06 May 2010

Dollar Bill wrote: Tex, after reading what some of the more experienced casters had to say, I've given up on beating my molds. After 20 years, I've seen the light and changed my evil ways. Now, I open the sprue plate by hand (gloved). The sprue plate can be openned sooner and never a torn bullet base! If you have arthritus, a short handle can be attached to the sprue plate. In any case, give it a try. I think you'll like the results.

Good for you!! My “knocker” is only used when I have to stop a minute and the mould cools off. It is a 1” round piece of Delrin. It works beautifully.

Dale53

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gnoahhh posted this 06 May 2010

I use a gloved hand also, but my knocker is a piece of dense curly maple that started out life about 1 3/4"sq.x12"long 40 years ago. It's still as long but only about an inch square now!

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mike morrison posted this 06 May 2010

what $BILL said. i started casting in 1961 at that time i got a rawhide mallet. i still use it when needed. don't think it can be worn out. m

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hunterspistol posted this 07 May 2010

      Tex, you can get a mold mallet from Midway USA, product # 317-430, for 11.95. They are even open weekends. I find it convenient to call them and have someone figure shipping and order total for me. 1-800-243-3220 or http://www.midwayusa.com/>http://www.midwayusa.com/

   I've about used up my leatherworking mallet, softwood giving out already. Recently I found Lead Bullet Technology molds, they make the mallet almost useless. These premium molds are so precision that it takes the work completely out of casting. Sounds to good to be true, it isn't.

     Ron

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Joe B. posted this 22 May 2010

Hunterspistol--does Midway carry the Lead Bullet Technology molds & are they available in most popular calibers? :D:cool:

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Dale53 posted this 22 May 2010

I'm not “Hunterspistol” but...

LBT bullet moulds are sold direct:

http://lbtmoulds.com/>http://lbtmoulds.com/

Right now, there is an LBT group buy going on the Cast Boolit Forum:

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=80609>http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=80609

This “Group Buy” is rather unique as you can order the LBT bullet mould of your choice (either rifle or pistol) and still get a serious discount.

FWIW Dale53

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hunterspistol posted this 22 May 2010

   LBT molds are only available from Lead Bullet Technology and Veral Smith, they're a custom mold.

http://www.lbtmoulds.com/>http://www.lbtmoulds.com/

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mtgrs737 posted this 24 May 2010

I went to a rawhide mallet (hammer) after years of using wood of many forms. I only wish I would of gotten the rawhide mallet sooner, it works beautifully. I would not cast without one. You can buy them new on the internet but I got mine lightly used for less than half the new price. The head on mine is about 1 3/4” across the face and about 3” long. They have smaller ones and they would work just fine. Good luck!

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Dale53 posted this 25 May 2010

The Cast Boolit Forum “Group Buy” is authorized by Veral Smith.

I have several of his moulds and they “are as advertised"...

Dale53

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Tom Acheson posted this 25 May 2010

I use the gloved hand method also. But if needed, a rubber hammer is used. The kind of hammer used to tap on wheel covers on a car tire wheel after fixing a flat.

Tom

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argie1891 posted this 25 May 2010

if there was a vote taken i would vote for the leather mallet. they work gread and dont mark the mould. i actually am on my second one. the dog chewed the first one. joe gifford aka argie1891

if you think you have it figured out then you just dont understand

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CB posted this 26 May 2010

Dale53 wrote: I'm not “Hunterspistol” but...

LBT bullet moulds are sold direct:

http://lbtmoulds.com/>http://lbtmoulds.com/

Right now, there is an LBT group buy going on the Cast Boolit Forum:

http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=80609>http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?t=80609

This “Group Buy” is rather unique as you can order the LBT bullet mould of your choice (either rifle or pistol) and still get a serious discount.

FWIW Dale53

Actually Dale that group buy is also on this forum and in the Fouling Shot!

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CB posted this 26 May 2010

hunterspistol wrote:    LBT molds are only available from Lead Bullet Technology and Veral Smith, they're a custom mold.

http://www.lbtmoulds.com/>http://www.lbtmoulds.com/

Partly true Hunter... I run the group buys for Veral and I think I am the only other person authorized to sell his molds in such a fashion.

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Dale53 posted this 27 May 2010

Jeff; I first saw the Group Buy on Cast Boolits, so I went on “auto pilot” when I mentioned it. I am a member and have seen it in the Fouling Shot, also, as you mention.

Didn't mean to lead anyone astray...

Dale53

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tturner53 posted this 27 May 2010

1"x1"x12” stick wrapped with duct tape works for me. The tape reduces the wear and tear. I cut the sprue as early as I can without smearing, don't have to hit it very hard, more of a sudden push than a smack. Casting with gloves on doesn't work for me, too clumsy as it is.

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chasw posted this 07 November 2010

Reading this thread make me realize I too have been beating up my molds for years, hopefully with no ill effects.  When I started bullet casting, I already had a mallet of the kind used with wood chisels.  It has a 10” wooden handle and a yellow plastic head about 2.5” in diameter.  The head is not soft like rubber or rawhide, but it definitely does the trick in opening the sprue plates and coaxing the bullets from the mold blocks.

I always wait until the alloy has completely solidified before knocking off the sprues.  To do otherwise invites unwanted smearing on the plate.  With a 4-holer mold, I tap-tap-tap the end of the plate gently until they start to break free.  Then I hold the mold over a padded drop zone and whack the head of the hinge pin on the mold handle a few times until all the bullets drop free.

Am I being too rough on my molds?  They all seem to be doing well in spite of the abuse.  Should I switch to something with a softer head like rawhide? Thx - CW

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grouch posted this 07 November 2010

A 12-14” piece of old shovel handle will last for years. Actually I open my molds by hand too. Grouch

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hunterspistol posted this 07 November 2010

:coffee Chasw, I do the same on my Lyman and RCBS molds.  It's not really abusive, just what you do with catalog order iron molds.  The LBTs we are talking about are very good premium molds, they weigh less (aluminum), are better vented to fill out easier, and take a lighter touch using a different type of sprue cutter.  You'd just have to try one.

Ron

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CB posted this 08 November 2010

I make a pretty good mold mallet, no mar delrin head, stainless steel handle shaft and a hardwood handle. If you are interested I would be happy to sell you one.. They run $19.95 plus shipping.

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3100Loren posted this 08 November 2010

Just thinking...Tandy Leather sells a wooden mallet for about $5.00.  I have never used one for this purpose, but might be a good solution.

Loren

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Wayne S posted this 08 November 2010

grouch wrote: A 12-14” piece of old shovel handle will last for years. Actually I open my molds by hand too. Grouch

I've used a 14” piece of sledge hammer handle for going on 30 years, , left handed and to clumbsy for the glove thing, I wraped the whacking end in leather

IMHO Midway will rip you off on  their “special handleing charge"

Any piece of “handle” will work, if it feels to light, drill a 1/2 hole and  either fill with your alloy, or a hole to stick some bullets into.

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Steel 13 posted this 08 November 2010

The little soft wood Tandy leather craft mallet is what I'm currently using. I've used this particular one about a year, and guessing it has about 6 months left in it. I used to open exclusively with gloved hand, but the arthritis in my fingers  put a stop to that.

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Joe B. posted this 08 November 2010

Since my first question about a device to jar the casts from the mold & open the sprue plates I have among my casting “tools” a rawhide mallet I bought years ago for my stock making projects. I think it will fill the bill nicely. I still haven't got to the casting stage yet ( too many Dr. bills) but I see light at the end of the tunnel. :coffee

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jimkim posted this 09 November 2010

When my glove wont do it, I use a rawhide mallet. http://www.hammersource.com/Mallets.html>http://www.hammersource.com/Mallets.html

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daboone posted this 14 November 2010

Jeff Bowles wrote: Partly true Hunter... I run the group buys for Veral and I think I am the only other person authorized to sell his molds in such a fashion.

Doesn't Veral require a chamber slug before he'll cut you a mold?  I'm amazed he could offer that custom of a mold at group buy prices.

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32ideal posted this 14 November 2010

I used a broken hickory hammer handle for 40+ years, then I started casting a lot of lead/tin alloy PB bullets and read about using the palm of your hand to open the sprue plate, picked up a heavy duty double palm set of welders gloves and have never looked back. I still have my old trusty hammer handle on the bench for when I first start casting to tap the center joint on the handles for some of the bullets that do not want to drop, after I get rolling and everything is up to 825f or so most of the bullets fall out when I open the mould half's up (90% of my moulds are custom/semi-custom made, MM, B&D, Hoch, P. Jones, NOE) I also use a couple of old Ideal moulds and they drop out of them really well, cannot say the same for new production moulds, most seem to always cause the bullet to hang on one side or the other...

I like the Hand method much better as IMHO it causes less wear & tear on the sprue plates and moulds.

;}

32ideal

 

 

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vmwilson posted this 08 December 2010

Dennis Marshall suggested this to me in a letter years back and I wouldn't use anything else for my Lyman's.  Brought at a TruValue hardware.

Mike

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codarnall posted this 12 December 2010

I love my leather mallets from Saco Me. Charlie

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CB posted this 12 December 2010

I make my own mallets, Delrin head, stainless steel shaft, oak handle. Just for the mold that are designed to be wacked. The rest I open by hand. A bit of warning based on a real life experience: Many molds are designed to be opened by hand, ie: LBT, some lymans etc. If you wait to long and the sprue gets overly hard and you still pop it by hand, you could and most likely will end up injuring your hand either by damaging a tendon or ending up with trigger finger. Or you could end up with Repetitive Motion Injury which results in carpal tunnel problems. How do I know this you ask?? Simple I am going through it right now. I had the carpal tunnel release and 2 trigger fingers surgery done on Nov 30th. I still have the stitches in, they come out this coming Friday. Then the rehab starts and in 6-8 weeks I have the left hand done. I cast a lot of bullets, 500K annually is probably a close estimate. I use mainly LBT 4 cavity molds. The 2 places where trigger fingers had to be repaired line up perfectly with the sprue and the bottom corner of the mold. My Point?? Be careful, dint hurt yourself, if you have to wack the first few to get the mold up to temp, that would be better than going through what I am, or at least it will hurt less..

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Dollar Bill posted this 12 December 2010

Wow! That alot of bullets, Jeff.

I just had a thought (sometimes that happens, I can't help it). I get better bases by openning by hand, but sometimes it takes alittle more force to cut the sprue. I know some guys modify the sprue cutter to get more leverage. How about if you had two 1/4” lag bolts or screws screwed into the top of your casting bench, about 3/4” apart (just enough to get the sprue cutter between them). Then, when you want to cut the sprue, you slide the sprue cutter between the screws and use the mold handles for your leverage. In other words, instead of holding the mold stationary and moving the sprue cutter, you hold the sprue cutter stationary and move the mold.

Has anyone tried this?

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codarnall posted this 12 December 2010

Yes it works when its hot. But what really caught my eye was the “K".

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CB posted this 12 December 2010

As a result of having the problems I have had, I am in the process of developing a different style replacement sprue plate that incorporates the Lee 6 cavity sprue system into a Lyman sprue plate. The prototype works, however I have a couple of issues to work through and add corrective modifications to my design.

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Balhincher posted this 14 December 2010

When I started casting years ago, I bought a cheap rubber mallet.  It was pretty heavy and worked well to cut the sprue but little bits of rubber would be chewed off during a casting session.  Then it was difficult when putting the sprues back in the pot to avoid getting this rubber in there too.  I guess it didn't hurt anything except for making a stink and I put up with it for a long time. 

I switched for a while to a short section of hickory sledge hammer handle and that worked fine except for getting chewed up bits of wood in the pot that smoked.  Since some people say they use sawdust for fluxing, I guess this didn't cause problems except for the stink if I cast in the house.  I wrapped the handle in duct tape and that pretty much solve the chipping problem.

I few years ago I bought an H&G ten cavity mold and found that I needed something with more weight than my hammer handle especially when the mold was cold to cut those ten sprues.  I found a piece of scrap yellow pine about 12 inches long and 1.5"x1” and drilled a few 1/2 inch holes in one end.  These I filled with lead then wrapped that end in duct tape.  This gave enough heft to work pretty well with the bigger molds and was very easy to use on the regular molds.  I haven't tried opening by hand very often but prefer to give the sprue plate a whack and then if any bullets don't fall out, I can tap the hinge to encourage them to fall w/o picking up another tool.  It just seems like I can get a smoother rhythm that way.  I've never seen any evidence on my molds even after many year of use that hitting them with soft mallets or hammers has damaged them.

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CB posted this 18 February 2011

Veral shows a picture in his book of a sprue plate with an added screw in it to allow using a piece of wood as a lever if you need more leverage to break sprues. He seems to take a dim view of people beating moulds, althouh sometimes the mould seems to beg for it.

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mechteacher posted this 15 November 2011

I use a 'Fish Billy' that I bought at Blains Farm & Fleet. It is 15 1/2 inches long 1 1/2 diam. with a knob on the handle end, like a base ball bat. I fing the weight is great and easy to handle. I also use a can of spray on graphite dry lube to 'Smoke' my molds. I like to load and shoot paper target. .38 spl, .357, 45ACP, 30-06, 44 cap & ball.

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parkerhale1200 posted this 28 December 2011

I open them with my hand to, but i have a mould that is somewhat cranky. Just take from your garden trees when you have to trim them, the 1 to 2 inch “wood” pieces or a old chair, saw of the legs, works just as fine. When its old and dry trow them in the woodstove Then you will getting 3 times some heat out of it 1 sawing 2 using as a mallet and 3 burn it LOL best regards

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onondaga posted this 28 December 2011

Hi! I use a leather mallet.

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Uncle Russ posted this 29 December 2011

No one mentioned what I use. A plastic faced hammer. Have used it for thirty years. It is kinda ugly now but the moulds look great. Found the hammer in a bucket of wheel weights. Guess it was just meant to be. ;}

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R. Dupraz posted this 29 December 2011

chasw:

I could sign my name to your post as I have been using the same tools and methods as you since the “60's". As far as I can tell my moulds are still in good shape. My first bullet mould was a Lyman four cavity 358156. As a ,matter of fact I just finished using it this afternoon after it has sat idle for ten years or so. Pretty tough to open the sprue plate with just a hand. Ran about 5-600 of the Kieth style SWC,s and it shelled them out just like it always did.

R. Dupraz

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 31 December 2011

i mostly use a 1 inch round delrin bar 10 in long.  never wears, and can be cleaned often so not to pound grit into mold metal surfaces. since i have it in my hand. i can tap the pivot bolt gently to pop the bullets loose in many molds.  ask for a scrap piece ( uhmw polyethylene is almost as good ) at your local cadillac or olsons or cope plastics dealer. ken in the sticks

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