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I polish those dies

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OLDGUNNER
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I polish those dies

#1 Post by OLDGUNNER » Sat Nov 18, 2017 10:39 pm

I never see this mentioned so I will. Back in the late 50’s I happened to order some reloading dies from Herter’s at 1.95 a set, and the sizing dies were rougher than a cob. With a 40 power hand viewer the insides looked like a mountain range and sure enough the cases would look very well scratched. I polished the insides with something, I forget what. One doesn’t need to polish the whole rough surface away...just round off the peaks of the those little high points...that’s all that rides on the case anyway. I then learned to polish every sizing die of mine. It really makes a big difference, and I have done this every since. I can make a regular die act like a lightly oiled case in a carbide die.
I called RCBS in California one time way later and the shop foreman told me that they polished their dies with 500 girt on a hardwood dowel. So every since then I make sure that I polish them with some 500 grit and then 800 – just 15 or 20 second worth. I measured the outside diameter of a case one time and saw no difference from before and after. Just the way I do it. And just the other day I noticed that I had not cleaned my inking stamp pad for while, and cleaned it...and reapplied some new 3 in 1 oil – that is all that I have ever used...for 57 years...same pad.

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Re: I polish those dies

#2 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:55 pm

Good idea. If they are cranking out dies non-stop from a CNC, you are bound to have a few rough ones when the tooling dulls and is not noticed. They likely only check with an intramic and don't notice the finish. 500 grit paper on steel removes next to nothing, but can affect the finish. I should know, I'm a machinist and I have actually measured how much sand paper takes off when polishing. If you got a plus or minus one thousands tolerance with a 4-6 micro finish, you have to know this stuff less you crank out scrap.

I'll have to rig up a chopstick with a slot in it to hold some sand paper and polish away with a hand drill. Great post.

Best Regards,

Mark

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Re: I polish those dies

#3 Post by nrobertb » Sun Nov 19, 2017 1:19 pm

Great idea. I'll give it a try.

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Re: I polish those dies

#4 Post by OLDGUNNER » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:30 pm

Yes mark, I have worked with the spit dowel, but larger sizes...almost to inside diameter. I have paper up to 3200 for polishing. I am a retired Metrologist. This covers a large diversed field so my speciality was in electronics. But after I retired I took a machinist course at a local Votec school. I am familiar with tight tolerances with old job, every day standand...plus or minus 1 part in 10,000,000. And with time and frequency, up to 1 part in 10 to the 11th. I have 8 pounds or so of Linde A polishing compound, if you are familiar with that. I'll find a picture of our clock standard and post it in the trivia section. One time at work I heard that the physical measurement section of our lab got in a new scale that could measure the weight of a dot on a piece of paper made by a ball-point pen....I had to see this-sure enough, I did it. Now the scale only cost like 100K.
On your dowel, I have found that the slit dowel falls apart when used in a regular drill press, so usually I would push it say a half an inch or so further down into the slit and tape the end up with scotch tape.
Oh yeah, you will see the difference after polishing your dies.

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Re: I polish those dies

#5 Post by DaleH » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:45 pm

Agreed, I not only polish new dies too, but CLEAN my old ones routinely too ...

OLDGUNNER
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Re: I polish those dies

#6 Post by OLDGUNNER » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:46 pm

SWIHARTMARK wrote:
Sun Nov 19, 2017 12:55 pm
Good idea. If they are cranking out dies non-stop from a CNC, you are bound to have a few rough ones when the tooling dulls and is not noticed. They likely only check with an intramic and don't notice the finish. 500 grit paper on steel removes next to nothing, but can affect the finish. I should know, I'm a machinist and I have actually measured how much sand paper takes off when polishing. If you got a plus or minus one thousands tolerance with a 4-6 micro finish, you have to know this stuff less you crank out scrap.

I'll have to rig up a chopstick with a slot in it to hold some sand paper and polish away with a hand drill. Great post.

Best Regards,

Mark
****************************************************************
Hey Mark, I put a link to our clock standards at my old job in the Trivia section. I see completely new clocks. They are always making new ones - job security. I retired in Jan 94...they just get more accurate with each new one. They may have made maybe a half dozen since then. I worked in the Pacific area for the Navy from Dec 66 until I retired in Jan 94. And for most of that time the Navy there was satisfied with plus or minus 45 milliseconds. They would send out a guy every once in awhile and check my clock. The most that I was ever off I remember was about 1.5 microseconds. But that was just a small part of my general job.
Yes, as you say 500 grit just smooths the very tops off the tooling marks in say 15 or 20 seconds. But that seems to be okay for me on a sizing die. But since I have some 800 handy... Are you familiar with the Green Clover compounds? I have maybe six sizes in that up to 1200 grit. I have up to some 50,000 mesh diamond polish but that is to polish stones.
For at least two years I would give the Navy the time and the Russian's had built a radio station in China just to sabotage this time by a sneaky one second and it fooled some sailors. Because it was an even second they found it hard to detect and it cost the Navy millions of dollars.
Do you know that the earth is slowing down about 1 second every two or three years of rotation and the world has to change their clocks accordingly. I say two or three years because it varies. Some times it takes two years to lose that second and some times it takes three. For the general public the time is just rounded off to the nearest second. The French looks after this and tells the world when to change their clocks by one second - at least they use to. Google 'Leap Second' and it may tell you when to expect the next Leap-Second, or the last one.
I have made all kinds of felt fobs to polish gun parts and other things with a Dremel tool.
Oh, I think I mentioned in the Trivia post that we had a scale that could weigh the dot of a ball-point pen on a piece of paper...which is true....but the size of the paper...Ah-ha, it had to be not much bigger than a quarter of an inch square.

Hang in there,

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Re: I polish those dies

#7 Post by SWIHARTMARK » Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:12 pm

I actually have some clover compound in the garage..... I'm awaiting the right project for that one, but I was thinking about a bolt handle. I've been staring at air grinders as well. There are big plans to put a bench top lathe in my garage and make some reloading tooling there. Those old antiques need special care and tooling from what I see.

Time is extremely important to GPS guided munitions I believe. I know the navy has an atomic clock and I think the GPS system is based on it. Loads of stuff is linked into it and luckily, the USA owns it. I would guess fractions of a second throws off accuracy a great deal.

As far as measuring, I actually warmed up a part in my hands and watched the CMM measure it and watch it shrink in millionths of an inch as it cooled. Today I was messing with the last .0006" of a tolerance and debated correcting .0005" but my hand held gauge and the others were splitting the difference, so I left well enough alone. Total tolerance was .003 or plus or minus .0015. Not bad, but the part had a bow in it complicating matters.

I'll try out your polishing method on a die set I have for 43 Beaumont. CH4D usually does good work and the dies should be hardened, but its worth a try. Take Care.

Best Regards,

Mark

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BOLT POLISHING

#8 Post by OLDGUNNER » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:20 pm

126.JPG
126.JPG
Mark- I just grabbed one...I must have polished this in about 1963 or so. It has been in dry air ever since...in storage until 94. The rifle is dated 1939.
Oh the Navy has a gaggle of atomic clocks. Just in our little group of say 175 covering a dozen labs around the world, had at least two in every lab...usually two, in case one went down. I was never without one from 66 until I retired in Jan 94 These were the secondary types, not like that one in the picture in Boulder Colorado. I am pretty sure that type is just one of a kind. They will have others at various stages of building and testing.

I CAN'T SEEM TO GET RID OF ONE. Once it has both in mind, it sticks to it. I try to start all over again - nope it remembers. :doh:

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Re: I polish those dies

#9 Post by S.B. » Tue Nov 28, 2017 7:50 pm

P;SDGUNNER, I know this is off topic but, I got your email and responded. Did you get my message?
Steve

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