Tea w your molds?

Discussion in 'Bullet Casting' started by Roger Allen, Sep 15, 2017.

  1. Roger Allen

    Roger Allen Active Member

    I don't know if what I did was what you would call traditional anodizing but I have no base line for what it was before so I have no room to comment on bullet size change other than every one of my noe molds has always been .001-.003 larger in dia. Normally .001 larger on the noses and .003 larger on the driving bands. This mold was right on the money for the most part in length and dia
  2. Ian

    Ian Well-Known Member

    Not actual anodizing, no, but the tea water boil probably thickened the existing oxide layer and saturated the pores with...tea?

    Anodizing is an electrical process by which the surface is first stripped of all oxides via a caustic bath and the parts immediately rinsed and transferred to an electrolyte bath (sulfuric acid, in the case of aluminum) while still wet (aluminum oxidizes instantly when exposed to air), then an anode is placed in the bath and specific voltage and current are applied for a specific time based on surface area. The voltage builds oxide rods on the surface of the metal, just like tightly packed brush bristles sticking straight out of the surface. Once the rods are built, the part is then boiled in distilled water to cure and neutralize the surface. After that, the part can be left alone or can be dyed for appearance.
  3. DHD

    DHD New Member

    I appreciate the tutorial on anodizing. I thought knew what it was, more or less, but not how it was done. I have a lot of anodized aluminum stuff, but never gave it much thought.

    Considering all my aluminum molds drop pretty much what size I desire, it probably won't be a good idea to mess with them. Especially since they all work pretty well after a couple good cycles. I'm always looking for new ways to fill those bullet boxes up......
  4. Ian

    Ian Well-Known Member

    Anodizing does build and I would never recommend it for a proper mould. If you don't remove metal from the block faces before anodizing, you will end up with bullets exactly the same diameter as before across the parting line, but about .002-3" narrower in cross section along the parting line.

    For breaking in ANY aluminum mould, I take it out of the box, soak with brake cleaner, scrub with a soft brush, blow dry, and then re-clean with denatured alcohol to get the brake cleaner residue off. Then I do what Swede Nelson recommends: Give the cavities a whiff of butane soot. Not the Lee chimney-black job, mind you; just a whiff. When I see a faint, caramel or straw-colored deposit all over the cavities, I start casting. Works every time.
  5. DHD

    DHD New Member

    I've taken the lazy man's approach lately. When I get a box from Salt Lake City lately (Tom's molds), I take the halves completely apart and put them in my ultra sonic cleaner as hot as it will get for about 15 minutes and after I pull them out, I wipe them down with the alcohol. I'll admit to smoking them with a butane lighter as you described and find it does help get the whole process started quickly with good bullets from the start.

    I have noticed others mentioning how it takes more cleaning with NOE molds, but I only have Accurate Molds.
  6. DHD

    DHD New Member

    Reread my post and should clarify that I heat the molds on a hot plate while the lead is coming up to temp. Every Accurate Mold hasn't been quite that easy, but that was before I started dropping them in the ultra sonic cleaner.

    I'm just a beginner with the revolver bullets, but cast BPCR bullets for many years. I find casting with the multi gang molds is more technically challenging than casting for the BPCR's. Either way, it is a rewarding experience and it sure is nice to see those shiny bullets piling up.

    I appreciate all of you're experiences on here freely given
  7. DerekP Houston

    DerekP Houston New Member

    That is certainly an interesting technique, I've had much better results with my brass molds since I oxidized them trying to clean the tinning off. They have a definite patina on them now, not as pretty as when I got them but cast MUCH better.
  8. Rally Hess

    Rally Hess Active Member

    I was thinking along the same lines as Chris. Commercial trap dye is just logwood extract and would easily dye a mould. How dark would just depend on how much you added to the water.

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