How do you store your molds?

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 08 May 2017

I have acquired many molds over the years, some of them, in fact quite a few without their original boxes. So how do you store your molds? In what, with or without preservative, with a bullet in the cavity, etc? The details. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Dale53 posted this 08 May 2017

I have over 80 molds. Iron, aluminum, and brass. When I started out, which was MANY years ago, all summer was a humid environment, everwhere. Almost no one had air conditioning. Leaving a bullet in the cavity gave you nothing but false hope. It was imperative to use a preservative all over iron molds. Even aluminum molds would corode (yeah, who wudda thunk?)

We were early adopters of central air conditioning. Even my basement shop is covered. I have not had a single problem since. My casting is done in my utility barn but I NEVER leave a mold out there.

YMMV

Dale53

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45ACPete posted this 08 May 2017

I built my loading bench years ago from a set of plans that I bought from an ad in a magazine (possibly Precision Shooting)--it is very sturdy, all 2 X 4's and 3/4" plywood.  I added doors of 1/2" plywood at the front which fit pretty closely and with two Goldenrod heaters inside have never had any rust problems with items stored inside.  I did find a plastic two-drawer container at Goodwill which holds my molds--most of which are stored with their handles.  I always wrap the mold itself with a 2" wide strip of rag and tie a piece of string around it.  I write the mold number on a piece of masking tape and stick it on the inside surface of a mold handle.

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onondaga posted this 08 May 2017

I have 6 without boxes but original boxes for the dozens of others. The ones without boxes are wrapped in wax paper and tied with string. Regardless if wrapped or boxed, they are all put away ready to use, they are clean and very lightly just lubed to a shine everywhere with silicone grease. They are all in a standard storage plastic tote with a closing top.  I believe the best way to never open one up and see it needs work before it can be used is to put them all away ready to use every time, every one. A couple of times I have left one out for a few days but cleaned, lubed  and boxed it before I put it back to the storage tote. My father is at fault for teaching me to put away tools cleaned, lubed and ready to use.

 

Gary

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Tom Acheson posted this 08 May 2017

Mine are in my gun vault. I have a Golden Rod dehumidifier thing in the vault. No oil, greases, etc. in them when not in use. They hold up just fine.

Oddly two other things that also have to go in the vault....RCBS Little Dandy powder measure rotors/inserts. If you leave them sit out they rust. The same with anything that L. E. Wilson makes. They rust also if left sitting out.

 

Tom

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 08 May 2017

Well I have more than 60 without original boxes, and some of these are long 4, 5 & 6 cavities. My real problem is finding the right size boxes to store them in on the shelves. I like boxes of some kind so that they can be stacked. I would really like some plastic boxes. I can get the Lyman boxes for the 1 & 2 cavities pretty cheap when you buy them by the case. But the larger molds are the problem. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Brodie posted this 08 May 2017

I don't think that I have but maybe one original box for any of my molds.  When I started casting about 50yrs. ago I lived in Southern Ca. near the ocean, average humidity was about 80%.  Now I live in northern AZ. and average Summer humidity (July, August, Early Sept.) is around 90 to 95%, and it rains nearly every day.  All of my molds-- Iron or Aluminum -- reside in GI Ammo boxes.  The longer four and six cavity molds live in a grenade box the rest in 50 cal BMG boxes with VPI powder scattered inside on the bottom.  Since I began doing this I have never had any issue with rust or corrosion of any kind.  Before I struggled fighting rust.  Brodie

B.E.Brickey

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R. Dupraz posted this 08 May 2017

Well, I don't have 100 or 50 or even 500. But enough to serve my needs. For now anyway.

 

1. clean lead splash off when done casting

2. light dusting inside and out with WD-40.

3. wrap in original wax paper or plastic bag

4. put back in original box, if no box, wrap in paper towel

5. store in 50 cal. ammo cans that have  good air tight seals

 

To use

1. Reverse the above

2. Scrub with tooth brush and brake cleaner

3, heat

4. go to it!

.

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porthos posted this 08 May 2017

 i have about 35 molds; most are iron. until i retired in 2012 i didn't cast a bulet for 21 years. the molds were all stored in a 50 cal. ammo can wrapped in vpi paper. stored in my basement in western pa.  i think that i may have wiped them with  hoppes #9 before storage and wrapping; but, not sure.  NO issues with rust at all; none,0, nada. i think that the sealed ammo can is the secret. PLEASE don't spray your molds with WD-40

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R. Dupraz posted this 09 May 2017

"PLEASE don't spray your molds with WD-40"

And why not!

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 09 May 2017

Many years ago when I attended the S&W armorers school, one of the first things we were taught was what constituted for the majority of revolvers returned for work. It was first dirty guns and second, guns which had been sprayed with Wd-40 and stored. What most people don't know is that Wd-40 has a lacquer content and as it dries overtime, it traps dirt, dust & grit within it. It also gums up the action when sprayed on heavily, repeated over time. So the only thing Wd-40 gets sprayed on around my house is things under the hood. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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Ross Smith posted this 09 May 2017

David: If you know some one who loads those other kind of yellow bullets, they come in nice plastic boxes for 500 or more bullets. They store all kinds of things including molds and of course lots of cast bullets. Ross

ps I have a friend that likes to spray bullets and reloading using 2 Dillon progressive reloaders.I get his old boxes.

pss. I just had a mold that was stuck together,bad. So for long term I use RIG from midway. Developed in WWII for rifles(Rust Inhibitin Grease)

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R. Dupraz posted this 09 May 2017

Yes David, back in the mid sixties, I read an article in a police magazine about when the WD-40 formula back then was used to lube police revolvers it would deaden primers and gum up the guns. I also have seen guns that had never been out of the holster, let along fired or cleaned likely for the life of the gun. And excess oiling of the action or bullet molds over time can also dry and gum both up. I don't dispute that. But the topic is the storage of molds not guns.

For years I have used the procedure that I posted with complete success after the mold is scrubbed good with brake cleaner using a nylon gun cleaning tooth type  brush before use again.  This cuts the mold clean. And the mold casts good bullets as soon as it reaches  the proper temp.

When some one tells me not to do that, I need to know why not.

 

 

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beltfed posted this 09 May 2017

Indeed, for 63+ years of casting, I have stored my (now) 80 or so molds in GI 50 cal ammo cans with GOOD SEALS. I have a couple sheets of VPI paper in each can.  Put away the molds soon after cooling after casting

NO OIL,WD40,etc to have to bother degreasing the molds before use. And, like others who use the ammo cans, w/o oils,etc, I can grab molds out of the cans and use them as soon as hot.

beltfed/arnie

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porthos posted this 09 May 2017

r. dupraz

don't use wd-40 on bullet molds; why??    pretty much what the last couple of responses stated. furthermore; there are better rust preventatives than wd-40. i've tested many (most) under outside conditions. wd-40 is close to the bottom. the silicone in wd-40 can contaminate steel unless scrubbed thoroughly. if you don't get it ALL off; you will have wrinkels in the bullets. and, i think that once lead is poured into the cavity that hasn't been cleaned  thoroughly; that cavity may be  ruined (my thoughts). many years ago a  friend borrowed a lyman 357 mold from me. after getting it back; and casting bullets some time latter; the bullets were awful, i mean really bad (wrinkled)  i did scrub the mold before use. i questioned him what he did to the mold. said that after he was done casting, he sprayed it with wd-40. he bought the mold from me at a fair price. (i had bought it used,cheap). i lost track of him and the mold. i keep wd-40 in my shop for cutting and tapping aluminum; nothing else. THATS why i said do not spray your molds with wd-40. do what you think is best

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 09 May 2017

Wd40 maybe ok for awhile, but if the mold may be stored for several months or a year or more without being used, I would not use it. And molds are made from iron or steel, the same as guns, so the same principal applies. So none for me, but that is my choice. 

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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R. Dupraz posted this 09 May 2017

"Wd40 maybe ok for awhile, but if the mold may be stored for several months or a year or more without being used, I would not use it. And molds are made from iron or steel, the same as guns, so the same principal applies"

 

My experience has shown this not to be the case when used as I posted. even after years or months. Does not apply because my molds, unlike guns,  are cleaned with brake fluid before each use.

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David Reiss CBA Membership Director posted this 09 May 2017

Richard if it works for you, that is fine with me. I have no dog in that fight.

David Reiss - NRA Life Member & PSC Range Member Retired Police Firearms Instructor/Armorer
-Services: Wars Fought, Uprisings Quelled, Bars Emptied, Revolutions Started, Tigers Tamed, Assassinations Plotted, Women Seduced, Governments Run, Gun Appraisals, Lost Treasure Found.
- Also deal in: Land, Banjos, Nails, Firearms, Manure, Fly Swatters, Used Cars, Whisky, Racing Forms, Rare Antiquities, Lead, Used Keyboard Keys, Good Dogs, Pith Helmets & Zulu Headdresses. .

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BigMan54 posted this 09 May 2017

BALLISTOL

I coat each iron or brass mold heavily, then put in zip lock baggie w/rubber band. Into a plastic box & a 40mm ammo can.

If I'm gonna use again within a week I lay them on the dehumidifier rod in a gun safe.  I store my few Aluminum molds in the gun safe too. No oil or anything for them. I spray the "fingers" of mold handles down w/Ballistol too. Then wrap 'em w/plastic wrap & rubber-band them too. They go into 50cal ammo can. 

I have a row of 26 RCBS lil' Dandy powder rotors in a line on back of my reloading bench.  30+years, never a sign of rust on them. Of course now that I've said that I've probably put the bad ju-ju on them.  And I live 3miles from the Pacific Ocean. 

 

 

 

 

Long time Caster/Reloader, Getting back into it after almost 10yrs. Life Member NRA 40+yrs, Life S.A.S.S. #375. Does this mean a description of me as a fumble-fingered knuckle-draggin' baboon. I also drool in my sleep. I firmly believe that true happiness is a warm gun. Did I mention how much I HATE auto-correct on this blasted tablet.

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R. Dupraz posted this 09 May 2017

"Richard if it works for you, that is fine with me. I have no dog in that fight"

                              ?

David, What fight? None here.

 

Simply responding to the topic and explaining the results from my own practical experience. Not looking for anyone's approval.

 

 

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R. Dupraz posted this 10 May 2017

porthos:

Missed your reply during the discussion

"wd-40 is close to the bottom. the silicone in wd-40 can contaminate steel unless scrubbed thoroughly. if you don't get it ALL off; you will have wrinkels in the bullets. and, i think that once lead is poured into the cavity that hasn't been cleaned  thoroughly; that cavity may be  ruined (my thoughts)."

 

I don't have a clue as to where WD-40 is on the theoretical scale of effectiveness but I do know that it works for me. Of course one can get wrinkled bullets if the cavities haven't been cleaned completely. This can happen with oils and other preservatives as well. The first example that comes to mind is when cleaning a brand new mold.  I also know that wrinkled bullets can happen if one heats the mold before all of the brake cleaner has completely evaporated. 

As for the ruined cavities, I should not have a good mold left. What all this really comes down to in the end is using an effective cleaner and method there- of.

 

 

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