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Temperature and Humidity question

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 4:12 pm
by acman
Hello fellow reloaders.

I am now ready to build a rock solid bench for my loadmaster. Living Here in Florida, we have very humid conditions much of the year. It will get to be in the mid 90s with 90% rh often. I have just finished reading Modern Reloading as well as watched lots of videos and spent lots of time reading on line about the science of reloading. My garage stays relatively cool during the day as I have a insulated garage door that really helps.
I do have the ability to condition the air in the space but of course roll up the door and instantly loose all. I would far prefer to do my set up in the garage as opposed to inside as most of my free time is at night anyways and I can open a damper up for some cooling when it just gets to hot.
As I have contemplated this bench, I could make it just narrow enough that I could move it inside if need be. Of course I will have to allow for the press to clear the door casing and so I may wind up with a skinny bench as opposed to a more square and wider work area.
I am concerned that various humidity and temp. conditions will affect the weight and volume of my load. I have noted that I have not seen this stressed as an important consideration unless I missed that page. (entirely possible for me ! )
I did buy some Win 231 ball powder this weekend and it occurs to me that possibly some powders are not as sensitive as others to humidity. After having read Modern Reloading and looked at the load data for my calibers , I would have done better with v-3N37 as far as the Lee book shows. I am going to try to have one basic powder to work with for 9mm
38 spec. & 357 mag.
I can certainly store my sensitive materials such as primer caps and powder in doors if need be. (I keep all my welding rods sealed up and in the house) I appreciate your time in reading this and thank you for your input.
Happy Fourth of July and God Bless America!!

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 6:37 pm
by customcutter
I would keep it all indoors if possible. Humidity is going to cause rust. Yes the turrets are aluminum, the dies maybe stainless, but even if they are you will get oxidation on the aluminum. Also different metals in contact with each other can cause corrosion (can't remember the term). The press is cast iron, another contact point with the aluminum turret. The ram will rust if not used/lubricated frequently. Most definetly keep powder and primers inside.

I bought an oak bench at Harbor Freight on sale for $127. It's a nice work bench with 4 drawers and a wood vise on the end. Very sturdy and will not flex. I could have built one out of 2x material for a lot less, but it would not have looked good in the house and the wife would have not been happy. I considered it an investment.

Just my .02. Your situation is probably different, but those are possible problems that I see. I wouldn't worry about the humidty as far as affecting your reloads. I'm no expert, but don't remember seeing anything concerning humidty and reloading.

God bless,

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:26 pm
by acman
Hey Custom,
How's going?Nice to hear from you again! Happy Fourth!!!
I may have to install a mini split in the garage. I came across three of them used and snagged them in lieu of payment. As far as work bench's go, I have been building them for a long time for use in my former sheet metal shop.The basic design is very sturdy and we stacked thousands of pounds on them. I scrounge cast aside materials from the job sites and so for the price of two 4X4s I can build a bench from hedoublehockysticks.

I also have a piece of 3/4''thick aluminum that I will thru bolt to the top of the bench and then from the press thru the aluminum and wood.The aluminum is 1/2 a circle of about 14" diameter.

By the way I am casting my first ingots as we speak!!


Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:38 pm
by acman
Oh yeah! The rust, I appreciate what you are saying. I hope it is not an issue, but I did watch one youtube vid with a guy who complained about that.
I also know you have to be careful with lube around your machine. I wonder what works best if in fact I do opt for the garage?

Posted: Mon Jul 04, 2011 7:40 pm
by customcutter
Workbench sounds good, especially with the aluminum plate. Just keep an eye out for corrosion if you put it in the garage. I used a small window unit in the exterior side door of my garage years ago when I was making custom knives.

So you are casting ignots for casting lead boolits? I've been looking at that today also. I don't know if I can afford or have time to get into it. Might look into it more. Where are you getting your lead? Purchasing or free, cost?

God bless,

Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:35 am
by acman
Hey good Morning CC!

The term you mentioned above is a form of galvanics and possibly electrolysis.
Certain metals are more affected by it than others. You have given me pause for thought as i have grade 5 zinc coated bolts for mounting but I may go to stainless what with the aluminum plate and all. Stainless is more brittle than grade 5 steel but will not react with the aluminum over time.
I was considering a piece of steel plate to reinforce the base, but opted for the aluminum as it will not react with the press. The chrome plating should be fine with the aluminum as long as it is lubricated properly.
As for the lead, so far it's been free. I use the same tire shop for years and the owner will save it for me. Some of the big companies have to turn it in as a hazmat thing but the independent shops are pretty cool about it. I have stopped at four places with a 50% score ratio so far.
Casting is not expensive at all the one time investment in molds and a production pot is not to much. Be sure to get handles for your molds if you buy. I like the quality of Lee's 6 cav molds as the sprue plate has a separate handle so you don't have to beat your mold with a stick.
Common sense, protective eye wear and clothing and welders gloves area must. don't breath the stuff either!! Be careful to sort out the zinc weights so as not to spoil your ingots. They are simple to spot , i use a "crush test" with a side cutter The zinc is noticeably harder than the lead.
I have lee's Tumble lube molds and some liquid alox for starters and so I should be able to avoid the sizing dies and lube process. Advanced casting will probably lead me in that direction in time.If you have a camp stove and some simple kitchen utensils it is all you need to start molding ingots. I have a Lee ingot mold but several are available and some guys substitute muffin trays and the like Cast Boolits is another great resource for learning and i will probably join eventually. Good luck, God bless and stay in touch.