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Rex
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Posted: October 04 2017 at 2:42pm | IP Logged Quote Rex

Anyone drill larger holes in a sprue cutter plate? I have an Ideal single cavity with a large hole in the plate that casts very easily and an Ideal double cavity with tiny holes that can be a bear. Any advice on enlarging those holes?
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Ham Gunner
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Posted: October 04 2017 at 3:08pm | IP Logged Quote Ham Gunner

I enlarged the sprue plate pour holes in a couple of my double cavity molds years ago. I was having trouble getting them to fill out properly. That was back when I was only using clip on wheels weights, so much change in alloy was not really a possibility back then.

My thought was that I needed to get more of the alloy into the mold a bit faster before it started to cool down as the molds just would not stay hot enough. It seemed to work back then with that alloy and those molds.

When I brought the melt temperature up much more, I got really frosted bullets, so quickly getting the alloy into the mold seemed to work better and I got nice filled out bullets that were not frosted.

Of course, back then I was likely using a Coleman stove, iron pot, and dipper and had no temperature gauge. Back in my early casting days, but it worked for that alloy and equipment set up. The molds both still work just fine today with better alloy and much better regulated temperature, so I guess I did not mess them up all that much.

I have a single cavity Lyman 22 mold that is very difficult to keep the temperature up enough for it to drop good bullets and I am thinking of trying that with it as well. That is a lot of mold to keep hot with no more alloy than is required. Even going as fast as I can go with that mold and placing the nipple of the dipper directly into the sprue plate opening, it still needs more heat in order to not have a lot of rejects even when using a decent alloy with plenty of tin.

My only advice would be to only enlarge the holes a small amount and try the mold before enlarging any farther. The worse thing that could happen would be that you would want to replace the sprue plate cutter if you did not like the results or trade out with another mold, etc.

Edited by Ham Gunner on October 04 2017 at 3:18pm


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RECURVE
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Posted: October 04 2017 at 3:28pm | IP Logged Quote RECURVE

You get better bullets with smaller holes not larger the
base is the most important for accurate bullets
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Old Ranger
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Posted: October 04 2017 at 6:02pm | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Agreed. The base configuration is #1 priority. Now I have used a countersink to open and smooth the outer portions of the plate. And of course, replacement sprue plate kits are available too. They're much thicker than the old Ideal plates and often have larger (minute amount) openings and larger, wider countersunk openings. That way if you drill and go too far (it can happen) you won't loose any sleep over it.

I'd smooth the exterior countersinks and with the plate removed from the mould, lay out some 400 or finer wet & dry sandpaper on a very flat surface. Then carefully polish the underside of the plate. This allows for much smoother operations of the plate, and improved confined venting action in and around the hole.

The above actions greatly improved an abused mould and restored it back to efficiency the owner hardly expected.

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Old Ranger
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Posted: October 12 2017 at 4:07am | IP Logged Quote Old Ranger

Rex, what did you decide on the sprueplate dilemma?

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Rex
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Posted: October 12 2017 at 4:51am | IP Logged Quote Rex

I left it alone Wade. It still casts good bullets if the melt is hot enough. I do like the plate on the single hole 358156 though.
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Paul B.
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Posted: October 12 2017 at 3:08pm | IP Logged Quote Paul B.

I have an early Lyman #308291 that didn't cast worth poop. I
remembered an article from an old American Rifleman and made a new
sprue plate from aluminum stock I had on hand. That mold casts like a
dream.
Also, I had an internet buddy that screwed up the plate on a one cavity
mold so I asked for the dimensions of the mold blocks and made him a
sprue plate. Worked like a charm.
Paul B.
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