Author Topic: Anyone machining their own powder bars?  (Read 5443 times)

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6string

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Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« on: April 28, 2023, 02:05:04 am »
Hi,
Anybody here machining their own powder charge bars?
Seems like this would be pretty easy.  Figure out the volume of a desired powder charge, then convert that value into the appropriate dimensions (H & D) for the cylindrical hole in the powder bar blank that fits your powder measure.  Fabricating the external dimensions of the bar itself, and the installation of the rollers appears quite straightforward.
Is there more to it that I'm missing?

Thanks,
Jim

PS: I just got a "new to me" Universal.  I wouldn't have dove in if it wasn't for the ton of great info on this forum.  Thanks!!

fc60

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2023, 11:45:32 am »
Greetings,

The easiest way is to take an unused powder bar and machine the hole to 0.500".

Then, buy some 0.500" (1/2) brass rod.

Now, bore a hole and part off the newly machine bushing.

Part off slightly long and sand it to the proper length with 220 grit wet/dry paper.

I stamp the side of the bushing with the volume in cubic centimeters.

Research Richard Lee's method of Volume Measured Density (VMD).

Cheers,

Dave

6string

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2023, 05:40:43 am »
Hi Dave,

That's an excellent tip. 
Yes, I can see where boring the .500" rod would be very easy to set up, as opposed to using, say, a four jaw chuck and trying to get the whole bar centered, etc.
I also got a nice PM from Bruce describing the powder bar/bushings he offers.
At this point, I haven't really done much with my new "Universal".  It was rather grimy when I got it.  So, I'm in the midst of a "disassemble and clean" operation.  This is actually pretty enjoyable as the machine is so well designed and built. 

Dave, glad you referenced the Lee VMD chart, and stamping the CC on the bushing.  I started out with a Lee Loader back in the early 80s, and the day I bought it I also got a set of the Lee powder dippers.  The cardboard slide rule chart was, and is, quite handy!

Thanks,
Jim

fc60

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2023, 12:54:39 pm »
Greetings 6String,

When cleaning your Universal, note the orientation of the cam that seats the primer. It is located inside the base.

It is not symmetrical.

Mark it carefully prior to removal for cleaning.

Cheers,

Dave

6string

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2023, 08:52:38 pm »
Greetings 6String,

When cleaning your Universal, note the orientation of the cam that seats the primer. It is located inside the base.

It is not symmetrical.

Mark it carefully prior to removal for cleaning.

Cheers,

Dave

Dave,

Thank you for that advice!
I should probably start another thread in the correct subheading.  But, I seem to recall that there were one or two things that were specifically fitted from one machine to the next.  Using the search feature didn't yield results.  So, I'm not sure if I'm imagining things or just using incorrect terminology.

Thanks,
Jim

tony barone

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2023, 10:00:06 pm »
I use the .500 powder bar with Hornady Powder bushings #1 thru 20. I pick the bushing that produces the closest charge then chrono to see if i need to ream the bushing for more powder. It's works well and was recommended by Bruce Aryers of MA Systems.

varmintpopper

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2023, 11:58:28 pm »
I have home made quite a few powder bars over the years and of many different materials. I've found that a very high density piece of hardwood works well, lasts forever and can be easily fitted to"just right". They make a good carrier for powder bushings. And they are Cheap !!
JM-2

Good Shooting

Lindy

6string

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Re: Anyone machining their own powder bars?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2023, 07:01:00 am »
Thanks for these tips.
I hadn't thought of using wood.  I have a lot of high density exotics such as ebony, various rosewoods, and lignum vitae.  The latter, plus cocobolo, feel like they have a slight natural lubricity that I could see help them run smoothly. 

Jim