Lee trim length cutter

iain b

Well-Known Member
Hi all. I use the lee trim trimmer & lock nut to trim cases. The problem is the case keeps slipping out. Does any one know how to stop it. I’ve seen a 3D printed collar on eBay. Any body make them in the uk?
 

Dr. Strangelove

Well-Known Member
How are the cases slipping out? I’ve been using the 3 jaw chuck and it’s been pretty good but is a bit fiddly to set up each time. I’ve got a regular lock stud on the way to me so will be interested to compare it.

Out of interest, have you found your case length gauge getting shorter? I don’t think I was pushing down too hard but I’ve noticed the pin on the end has worn down!
 

iain b

Well-Known Member
It can do. But only after 00000000000 of rounds. I managed to break the 3 jaw chuck.....
I use a drill. unless I nip it down with a spanner the case comes out as I spin it.
 

Dr. Strangelove

Well-Known Member
It can do. But only after 00000000000 of rounds. I managed to break the 3 jaw chuck.....
I use a drill. unless I nip it down with a spanner the case comes out as I spin it.

Hmmm, I’ve managed to wear mine down after ~250rds!

How did you break it, if you don’t mind me asking?

Ah gotcha. Will let you know how I get on when I get mine.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Hi all. I use the lee trim trimmer & lock nut to trim cases. The problem is the case keeps slipping out. Does any one know how to stop it. I’ve seen a 3D printed collar on eBay. Any body make them in the uk?

Check that the face of the lock nut that the case head and the length stop pin contact is flat and smooth. My one had a machining tit left in the middle which did two things...

It trimmed the cases overlength to 2.009" instead of 2.005"....and the length stop pin on the cutter would sometimes get on the side of it which would make it wobble and loosen the case in the chuck.

I flattened the face of the lock stud with a fine diamond file.

I also welded an M4 nut onto the side of the locking collar so I could use a lever to to tighten and loosen it positively. I think it was the lever that did most to prevent the occasional wobble and loosening. It certainly stops sore fingers when doing a batch, and combined with the spindle lock of the drill makes the chucking a one hand operation.

In the photo you can see the spot in the centre which has been subsequently burnished by the length stop pin.

snip...
Out of interest, have you found your case length gauge getting shorter? snip...

Have you also looked at the surface the pin end registers against in the chuck? It might be worth given that a polish in case it is rough and friction wearing the pin tip.

Alan

IMG_8104.JPG
 
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Dr. Strangelove

Well-Known Member
Have you also looked at the surface the pin end registers against in the chuck? It might be worth given that a polish in case it is rough and friction wearing the pin tip.


This is the pin on my pilot:

2B6703BA-1952-4CA6-8401-C36461484276.jpeg

Here’s the surface it registers against:

4E380A51-1D82-473A-8F4D-3170C77CA8EB.jpeg

Looks like there’s a small dimple - will see if I can smooth it out. Hopefully getting a new case length gauge tomorrow so that should sort it!
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
Yes, that looks like the same problem...It is where the lathe tool that faced-off was either worn or above or below centre height so it tore out the last bit.

It would be worth chamfering off the burr you can see that has been created on the end of the pin as well...I used a bit of P600 Wetordry and just took the wire edge off.

You could also use the P600, or finer, to flatten the dimple/tit and/or raised edge in the centre of the chuck face, if you can get it out of the chuck body. Hold it flat on the paper on a flat surface and make sure you turn it around a bit between each stroke, to prevent the face going out of perpendicular to the axis through the higher abrasion on the leading edge through the stroke.

Just as a final pass, if you can spin it in the drill while holding a flat abrasive (the paper on a board, diamond file or Washita/Arkansas stone)...so much the better. If you try and remove the dimple/tit by spinning in a hand drill against the paper you will tend to crown the face by cutting the edges more....you would be okay using a pillar drill to cut out any rocking/crowning of course...

Sorry if that is trying to teach you to suck eggs...

Alan
 
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caberslash

Well-Known Member
Unsure if my contribution will provide clarity or confusion, but here goes.

There are two companies, Lee Precision (current) and Lee Custom Engineering (now dissolved).

For various reasons, Lee Custom Engineering became MEC (Mequon Reloading Company). Richard Lee went on to found Lee Precision after that and carried his designs over.

A lot of Lee Precision products are simillar but not exact copies of their old Lee Custom counterparts. The trimmers, case length gauge, shell holders and lock studs are just one example.

Lets look at the trimmer and case length gauge first.

The silvery case length gauge on the left is LP (new) whereas the one on the right is LCE (old) is darker. Note the end of the gauge being near flat on one and well bevelled on the other.

DSC01053.JPG

Now onto the lock studs and shell holders; as above, new on left, old on right.

DSC01054.JPG

Personally, I prefer the old setup as the lock stud has a flat base. This allows you to exert *slight* downward pressure whilst holding the locked case with one hand and gently turning the cutter with your other hand. This is a secure way of doing it, but slow. The new method which involves a drill can sometimes result in the case 'camming out' of the shell holder if you don't do things correctly. Don't get me wrong, it still works but not my cup of tea. Hence, @Dr. Strangelove is getting it for free. ;)

The new stud is an assimilation with an older accessory, the case spinner, which would attach to the lock stud and work in the same way.

Screenshot 2020-06-14 at 15.16.03.png

The new shellholder is actually an improvement on the old design, slightly heavier but seems more robust. It is also radiused on the edge to allow a case to slip in more easily. Both threads are the same, so I use a new shellholder with an old cutter and lock stud. Trim length comes out exactly the same on either system.

Hope this is of interest to some.
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
@caberslash interesting the variations...my case length gauge is slightly different from either of yours, the relief section in the middle has the calibre stamped in it and the tip had no chamfer at all when it came.

My lock stud is the later one with the hexagonal shaft but I found it a pain (literally, gave me sore fingers) and a fiddle (fat sore fingers) to open and close the knurled shellholder when doing anything like a batch of cases...hence the added lever...coupled with the spindle lock on the drill it makes the chucking and removal of the case a quick and one-(pain-free)-hand operation! :)

Alan

Autosol after trimming.jpg
 
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Alantoo

Well-Known Member
A friend at the range was telling me that he just uses a steel block on the table of his pillar drill, and with the cutter and case length gauge in the chuck, just hand holds the cases down on the block and then just winds the drill down until the pin touches the steel block. No chucking of individual cases at all.

It still means you have to then do the chamfering as a separate operation though. Once chucked I trim, chamfer (and/or polish if required) very efficiently.

Alan
 

Dr. Strangelove

Well-Known Member
I might pick up the Lyman Ezee Trim today. It seems to be a copy of the Lee but somewhat improved. My only concern is the drill adapter spins the cutting blade - it would mean I’d have to manually chamfer and deburr each case. With my Lee setup I just hold my Lyman deburr and chamfer tool against the case mouth and spin the drill - much easier!
 

Dr. Strangelove

Well-Known Member
Yet another opportunity to make a fortune lost...I am still smarting from two cycling friends telling me that my idea for a retro fit sprung saddle pillar wouldn't work 30 years ago...they were in all the shops 25 years ago :(

Hey Ho! :)

Alan

Ahh always the way! Hindsight is such a wonderful thing :)
 

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