Carteach has a few quirks, one of which is a healthy respect for high quality mechanical devices. Firearms go without saying, but an older car will catch my eye as well. Shucks, even a good, solid, old drill press will get me excited.
Given this, it's a safe bet that elderly reloading equipment will be special to the 'ol fat man. Pictured above, an example.
This Lyman Spar-T press was purchased through an ad on Craigslist. A woman had bought it at auction for her husband and son, but neither had an interest. After that it just became a toe-banger in the workshop till time (and sore toes) prompted her to answer my ad. See, I run a pretty much full time ad on Craigslist as a buyer of reloading and shooting gear. It doesn't produce often, but sometimes I can rescue something good from a poor fate.
The Lyman Spar-T is a turret press, meaning it has a rotating work head into which can be installed multiple loading dies. The operator has only to rotate the head to another position to have an already installed and adjusted die come into place over the ram. The work head rides on a heavy steel shaft, and is detented for positive but easy placement. This Lyman design places a spur from the main body of the press under the back of the work head, opposite the ram. This supports the work head during heavy sizing operations.
Reloading presses bear some resemblance to good firearms in their need for cleaning and maintenance. Reasonable care and lubrication, along with a lack of abuse, and they can last for lifetimes. Just like an older firearm, sometimes a reloading press gets shoved to the back of a closet and forgotten. When that happens, a little work can be all that's necessary to put it back into service.
For this Lyman press, neglected and rusty, what was required was a full tear down. Broken down to it's little bits, each is then cleaned and lubricated individually. There is little difference in how an old firearm might be handled.
A brass bristle brush made short work of the ancient caked on grease and small rusty spots, especially when combined with a good soak in Breakfree CLP. Followed up by scrubbing each part and pin with 'OOOO' steel wool, once again dripping with CLP. A good thorough detailed wipe down with paper towels and Q-tips, and the press was ready for final lube and assembly.
The ram is greased with a light lithium based grease before installation, and the press is assembled to reflect it's old glory. Not fancy, and perhaps not even pretty to most eyes, but it's fully functional and ready for yet another lifetime of service.
That pleases me to no end.
All this work, but it was really done just to see the old tooling treated well and back in use. There is no place on Carteach's bench for this press, but I'm certain I'll run into someone who needs a good turret press at a great price, and then the Old Lyman will be once again cranking out quality ammunition.
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