I don’t ladle cast, and very seldom have metal go off the left side of the mould. Like Ian mentioned a slight raise of the handle directs any excess off the end. When I do have some run off the left side I just wait until I open the mould and pull any off with my gloved hand, usually when that happens it is attached to the spruce anyway, so it makes a good handle. I preheat on a hot plates with the brackets and pins down mostly, then turn it over onto the spruce plate for the last few minutes before I start casting. I have a piece of 1” tubular steel I put under the mould handles while it sits on either side of the mould that keeps the mould flat on the hot plate. I usually don’t even look at billets dropped until about four or five cycles. I just automatically dump them back in the pot. I believe that also brings the nozzle on the Lee pots up to temp some. Works for me.
I have at least 10 of them, and I can get all of them to work. They need to be hot, and the some of the pins have needed a good polishing with steel wool, but eventually they all work. I generally give the pins a good blast with a propane torch before the first pour.
I like the MP molds too, but I can’t cast with them for very long before the arthritis in my fingers objects.
Just a thought from someone with zero HP experience (no preconceived notions, either). Make a pin holder from an aluminum block. Put a small hotplate on the bench with the block and pins on it. When you remove the pin, place it in the heated block. This assumes a hot plate will be hot enough.
I do have a minie-ball mould which uses a pin to create the hollow base. It was given to me along with the Hawken to shoot it. I've never cast with it not shot the Hawken. After reading this thread, I'm a bit better prepared for when that day comes.
I believe the pin polishing and heat to be the most helpful for me. Just takes a few seconds each pin when chucked in a cordless drill. Couple drops of synthetic two cycle oil on the steel wool and preheat both top and bottom of the mould on a hot plate. The longer the hp pin the more time it gets preheating.