Cleaning a new mold

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  • Last Post 21 January 2022
Tom Acheson posted this 15 January 2022

I just received a new NEI aluminum mold.

Curious....prior to casting, what are some of the CBA's (Current Best Approach) for treating the mold? In 1997 I can recall Tom Gray suggesting an old toothbrush and Zud cleanser. I found my Zud but am curious about about other possibilities.

Thanks in advance!

Tom

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Tom Acheson posted this 15 January 2022

ooops...NOE mold

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axman posted this 15 January 2022

I would use carb cleaner and dry well. Not any abrasive on a new mold.

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Hornet posted this 16 January 2022

I usually strip them down, put them in a pot with water and a couple of drops of Dawn dish soap and take them to a low boil for a while to clear out any cutting oil that may be soaked into the pores in the metal. Flush with a light boil in clean water, let it dry, lube the sprue plate, bushings, and alignment pin sockets, put everything back together and tune the screw tensions. Should be ready to rock...after preheat, of course.

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OU812 posted this 16 January 2022

Doesn't NOE recommend baking mould in toaster oven before using. I would scrub mould with toothbrush and soapy water before baking though.

 

 

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Tom Acheson posted this 16 January 2022

OU8,

Don't know if that was an NOE suggestion. The current instructions say "to shorten the break-in time wash your new mold with hot water and soap. Use a toothbrush and givie it a good scrubbing".

No idea how I could fit the mold into my toaster.

Tom

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OU812 posted this 16 January 2022

They once advised to burn oils out of mould by baking in toaster oven. Do you know what a toaster oven is? Plenty of room for mould.

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Tom Acheson posted this 16 January 2022

OU8,


Nope, without the word “oven” I didn’t interpret it the way you meant. Never have had a toaster oven but have seen pictures of them and a mold would certainly fit in one.

His current instructions discuss the use of a hot plate which probably gets the same result of “seasoning”.

Tom

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OU812 posted this 16 January 2022

What mould are you referring to? My .225 79 gr. SP mould was shorttened .030" at gas shank. It shoots best in a factory 1/12 " twist 6 groove barrel. Not do good in the 1/9 " twist Shillen 6 groove barrel ?

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Tom Acheson posted this 16 January 2022

OU8,


It’s the same mold as yours. Will be in a 3-groove 1:8 twist.

Tom

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Little Debbie posted this 16 January 2022

I second brake cleaner and wiping the interior surfaces with Qtips. Set it on the hotplate that’s set on low. When my alloy is molten I’ll lightly lube locator pins and sprue plate screw with silver nickel based anti-sieze (never copper based on aluminum) I’ll start casting and once the bases fill out I’ll lube the top of the filled mold with a Qtip with a drop of two stroke oil. I’ll try to scrub all the oil off with dry end of the Qtip. I’ll re-lube the sprue plate/mold top every time I feel any galling when I pivot the sprue plate (I always use my hand). I’ve done this for many years at the start of a casting session and believe it’s why my old single cavity Lee molds still drop good bullets. Do the same routine with all molds actually. Can’t hurt. I do smoke the cavities on a new aluminum mold with wooden match.

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Tom Acheson posted this 16 January 2022

Is brake cleaner the same as carb cleaner? I'm guessing there is a difference but am not sure. Assuming there is a difference, would either one suffice for our needs?

Not having a hot plate, would it work to set the lead pot's PID to the desired low temperature and then set the mold on the edge or lip of the pot?

Tom

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R. Dupraz posted this 16 January 2022

Brake cleaner and a tooth brush. And after filling the pot with ingots, setting the mold on the edge is what I have done for years. After the lead is all melted and up to temp, the mold is usually ready to go after a couple of pours depending on the number of cavities. Works faster with an aluminum mold  

Don't know about any difference between carb cleaner and brake cleaner but for our purposes doubt that there is any. SWAG.

A new aluminum mold gets boiled in water and Dawn dish soap

 

 

 

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Shopdog posted this 16 January 2022

New Lee 358-200 got opened this past Friday. Took it out of the box,hit it with brakleen,wiped it off and put it the mould oven on medium high.

Turned the pot on and then went about some chores.

20 minutes later.... touched a cpl places on the hot mould with a little 2 stroke oil,and started pouring. About 10 casts later,the new mould perked right up and then ran off a hundred or so. Only problems were a cpl self induced,mis pours.

Alloy was pretty "stiff" as it was in there from some HV.... I cut it with some clean range scrap. Cast indoors this time of year. An 8" 90* L fits in our furnace damper. This doesn't impede the damper op at all. The 90 gets turned down,and goes over the pot.... which is on a roll around cart. Works peachy. As did the new mould.

Loading for a 358Win bolt,Ruger M77.

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Ken Campbell Iowa posted this 16 January 2022

brake cleaner is best for mold oil remover ... except that it is really nasty stuff ... 

carb cleaner won't quickly remove as much oil but it also won't cause warts on your hands and melt your toothbrush ...

wear gloves on both, and don't get any on your skin and hands.

i prefer to tooth brush dawn soapy water, rinse, get mold spit hot,  and cast 5 or 10 wrinkly ones ...and i store my iron molds in Remoil ... worst case ...  but i might not use that mold for another 20 years ...

ken

 

 

 

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axman posted this 16 January 2022

I had read somewhere that chlorinated brake cleaner is real nasty if over heated.

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TRKakaCatWhisperer posted this 16 January 2022

To test to see if cleaning was really needed I decided to do the MINIMUM.  Wiped it off, heated it up (propane torch gently) and then cast bullets.  No problems.  My conclusion is that much of the cleaning stuff one reads about isn't really needed.

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Tom Acheson posted this 16 January 2022

Lots of excellent suggestions….thank you everyone!

Long ago I started storing my molds in the gun vault where I have a Goldenrod dehumidifier rod. It’s been years since I left a bullet in each cavity at the end of a casting session. Didn’t make sense. The bullets shrink and there is space between it and cavity for moisture to migrate into.

FWIW

Tom

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Eddie Southgate posted this 21 January 2022

I use acetone to clean .

Grumpy Old Man With A Gun......Do Not Touch .

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