Nu Finish wax tumbling?


January 23, 2007, 05:18 PM
I have seached Nu Finish Wax and can't find my answer.

Those of you that use Nu Finish Wax in you tumbler, how often do you add more? I have read a capful works but do you add a cap every batch of brass or every time you change your media or once a month or what??

Many thanks,

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January 23, 2007, 05:26 PM
dtalley I add a cap full every time a few minutes before I throw in my brass. I also replace the dryer sheet (cut into 12 pieces) with each batch of brass. My media is 50/50 corn cob and walnut and my brass looks like new after 2 hours. The Nu-finish and dryer sheet was the best advice I have received off this form.

January 23, 2007, 05:30 PM
Idano does it exactly the same as I do. Except I use Lyman treated corn cob media without any walnut.

It's a great method!

January 23, 2007, 05:35 PM
Idano has it right. A single capful, just before you add your brass, let it mix with the media, then insert brass and you're golden.

Remember, the savings comes in from buying it at the local Dollar General store, where it sells for $4.00 a 12 oz. bottle last I knew. (I haven't bought any in a while, since I tend to stock up when I shop, which I hate to do.)


January 23, 2007, 05:41 PM
...and just as an echo, I'll say that I use feed-store 1/8" corncob ($17.00/40 pounds) along with an ounce or so of Turtle Wax "Scratch and Swirl Remover" in my Midway case cleaner..... "tumbler" sounds strange when applied to a vibratory-type machine, but whatever.

Regular Turtle Wax works just about as well, but my thinking was that the S&S Remover MIGHT be a bit more aggressive. I use it when I can find it, otherwise regular TW gets the nod.

Since the ground cob is so inexpensive, I usually only run four or five loads through the process before changing the cob for fresh stuff. I do add another "shpritz" of polish for each loading of the machine. Let it run for a few minutes before putting in the cases, to get it well worked into the medium.

The shine is FAR brighter than new brass right straight from the factory, and it doesn't tarnish in storage, either. Very nice.

January 23, 2007, 06:38 PM
what do the dryer sheets do

January 23, 2007, 06:43 PM
I'm curious about the sheets myself. I can hazard a guess they help with static cling of the media maybe? Or just static in general..

January 23, 2007, 06:58 PM
The dryer sheets do a surprisingly nice job of removing some of the dirt from the media and keeping the dust down. The media still gets dirty, but you get a few more loads out of it.

IMHO, a fine example of some of the great advice this site has to offer.

January 23, 2007, 07:18 PM
Like Gary said the dryer sheet cleans the dust from the media. When I started using the Nu-finish and the Dryer sheets I decided to try it on some media I was getting ready to throw out so if it didn't work out I wouldn't be out much. Well the between the Nu-finish and the dryer sheet and after about 6,000 more cartridges the media now looks brand new. I no longer plan on dumping media only adding as it get crushed up and carried out with the dryer sheets.

January 23, 2007, 07:30 PM
Thanks for the replies. I had been using Lyman's treated cob but purchased some walnut from the pet store the other day. I ran a couple of batches with just the walnut then I mixed in the old treated cob and it worked pretty well. I picked up some Nu Finish the other day to try and the first batch you could almost see yourself in the brass. I just didn't know how often to treat the media with the wax again.

I have been using the dyer sheets for a while. You can even wipe out your powder measure with them and it will cut down on the static cling.

January 23, 2007, 08:24 PM
Richard Lee tells a story of a shooting friend who had elevated lead levels in his blood. They tested all his reloading equipment and the "hot" spot was the tumbler.

Do you guys who are using the dryer sheets take any precautions when handling / disposing of them?

I've got small children in the house and am mildly concerned.

January 23, 2007, 09:13 PM
I will now. I have some hemostats I can use to drop the sheets in the trash. Might not be a bad idea to wear a mask when you dump the old media.

On a positive note, I read that giving blood can lower your lead-blood level. I do it anyway.

I add a cap of Nu Finish about every third tumble. Seems sufficient for me.

January 23, 2007, 09:49 PM
If you are going to use the dryer sheets make sure they are used. If you don't have any used dryer sheets do the same thing with a paper towel.

January 23, 2007, 09:51 PM
why do they have to be used

January 23, 2007, 11:04 PM
You should only need to worry about the lead if you don't wash your hands afterwords or you eat while your reloading. The dryer sheets collect all the dust so there shouldn't be any airborne particlulate. I usually pick the dryer sheets out after I seperate the media from the cases.

January 24, 2007, 07:34 AM
If you have some reason to worry about lead poisoning, you need to go tell your doctor and ask him to refer you for tests.

Here is a link with facts about lead poisoning:

If you don't know anything about the toxicity heavy metals (including lead, cadmium, etc.), you should probably read up on it if you have any reason to suspect you've been exposed. Knowledge is always good, but it's particularly good in a case like this. Heavy metal poisoning isn't like snakebite- the chances are that high levels of lead in the bloodstream are the result of continuing exposure over considerable periods of time. Lead poisoning tends to be very slow and insidious.

January 27, 2007, 03:13 PM
why do they have to be used

If you use a new dryer sheet it will get warm in the tumbler and the stuff on it will get gooey and make a mess in your tumbler. If you don't have used dryer sheets I hear a plain paper towel will do the same thing.

Len S
March 18, 2007, 10:53 AM
Ingestion of lead can occur when you seperate your brass from your media. If you inhale any of the dust through your mouth then swallow = ingestion. Even outside you can get some. Masks are cheap at walgreens. A bandana will do because you are filtering a particulate matter not a gas. You also get it in your hair and on your clothes. How far do you want to go? I use a mask and latex gloves both free. (The ONLY Perk for being a medic are the supplies.) I alway wash my hands and I am usually wearing coveralls that I use for all dirty tasks..


March 18, 2007, 01:25 PM
I would like to try this with some brass I have that is stained.
The only thing I am wondering is aren't you worried about this stuff contaminating your powder?
I had trouble before with my powder getting contaminated by case lube so I am kind of nervous about this.

March 18, 2007, 05:09 PM
Waxes can contaminate powder. Nu-Finish does not contain wax. It is a solvent very similar to mineral spirits with other cleaning agents added.
The use of Brasso which contains ammonia, and Turtle WAX which contains wax should be avoided.
The dryer sheets when new are impregnated with fabric softeners. When used all the fabric softeners have been released to your clean clothing. They become very porous with lots of little places to trap the finer loose stuff floating around in your tumbler.

goon, Try some Hornady One Shot case lube or Imperial Sizing Die Wax and watch your powder contamination problem dissappear.

March 18, 2007, 07:04 PM
Please list the scientific reasons not to use wax!

If Imperial Sizing Die WAX is preferred to be used, why no Turtle Wax?

March 18, 2007, 10:26 PM
Just as a side note, Nu-Finish does a great job on your car.

March 19, 2007, 02:01 AM
I see right through you Wax question. I guess I was really trying to say that the extra ingredients of turtle wax could cause a problem. Imperial is loaded with extra super non-powder fouling ingredients. And you dont put Imperial inside the cases now do ya. I dont.
I guess that means you could polish your bullets with Mothers since it contains Canuba which is the wax coating on factory moly and Neco process Moly coated bullets.

Never thought of using Nu-Finish on a car. Might have to try that sometime.

March 19, 2007, 01:16 PM
mc223 was asked
Please list the scientific reasons not to use wax!
mc223 said
I see right through you Wax question.Say what? It was a straight forward question which you have failed to answer.
mc223 said
I guess I was really trying to say that the extra ingredients of turtle wax could cause a problem.Please list these turtle wax ingredients that cause a problem.
mc223 said
Imperial is loaded with extra super non-powder fouling ingredients.Please tell me what those ingredients are, I am not aware of them, nor are they listed on product literature.

If you are privy to super secret information that we in the unwashed masses are not, please educate us.

March 19, 2007, 03:44 PM
Shoney, Use whatever you want to. Forums are full of opinions. I expressed my OPINION, and replied to your questions as appropriate to your attitude. I will continue to NOT use Turtle Wax in my tumbler.
I may just have Privy info, but now you will never know.
Have a good life and make some lemonaid.

March 20, 2007, 05:28 PM
The problem is that you have made several statements of fact, they are not expressions of opinion
Waxes can contaminate powder---extra ingredients of turtle wax could cause a problem---Imperial is loaded with extra super non-powder fouling ingredientsI asked you to substantiate your calims, and you cannot.

Then you say I may just have Privy info, but now you will never know. Have a good life and make some lemonaid.This resemmbles a temper tantrum a little boy has. Are you going to hold your breath till you turn blue also?

The facts are that you fill your posts with false infromation and cannot man up to say you are wrong when you are called out.

The Bushmaster
March 20, 2007, 10:16 PM
Speakin' of "temper tantrums"....:) You both need to go to neutral corners...:D

March 21, 2007, 12:05 AM
Now boys, let's all step back and take a breath. On the internet, we can't see facial expressions, hear the tone of voice, or tell when someone is joking or having a bad day, so it doesn't pay to get upset with something posted by someone else. Nothing posted here, or any other forum, is gospel, and we all have our opinions, good and bad, true or false, etc. It's up to each individual to decide which advice they choose to follow and which they choose to ignore.

Since you can't shake hands over the internet, please at least agree to not get ugly with your words.

Now I'll turn my collar back around and go back to reloading ammunition.


March 21, 2007, 04:45 AM
OK, I can face reality. I was wrong.

I have requested msds from Turtle wax. I will post it here when received.
In the mean time make some lemonade.

March 21, 2007, 05:10 AM
On a positive note, I read that giving blood can lower your lead-blood level.

I can see it now, when you get up to leav "Hahahha suckers!" :D

March 21, 2007, 05:47 AM
If Imperial Sizing Die WAX is preferred to be used, why no Turtle Wax?

Because Turtle wax in with the tumbler media gets inside the case where it can contaminate the powder. The Imperial sizing die wax goes on the outside of the case, before sizing and after the case has been tumbled. It's much less likely to contaminate the powder when it is on the outside of the case.

mc223's cautioned against Turtle Wax in the tumbler, and then recommended Imperial for use on the outside of the case in response to this:
I had trouble before with my powder getting contaminated by case lube so I am kind of nervous about this.

I can't speak for mc223 but Imperial wax is not as "runny" as other case lubes, and therefore less likely to get inside Goon's cases during sizing. I think it's a good recommendation.

In short:
Wax inside the case = BAD
Wax outside the case = NOT BAD

Many organic solvents (such as those added to car wax) will act upon the nitrocellulose and nitroglycerin in double base powders. In addition, any alcohol in the wax will enhance the action of these solvents. When mc223 gets the data sheets, I'd be surprised if there wasn't something in the wax that can muck with the powder.

March 21, 2007, 07:18 AM
Below is a kink to the Msds, it addresses the main ingredients which are petroleum distillates ie. kerosene and Stoddard Solvent. Either of Which could contaminate powder or primers. The waxes are carnuba and polyethelene. There is water and koalin clay. There is no mention of other, very likely emulsifying ingredients.
The real issue here has now become if Turtle wax should be a no-go then NU-Finish is also a no go. Although Nu-Finish does not contain wax. It does contain Stoddard solvent and Solvent 140(could not find a trade name for the solvent 140)

So now its up to you to decide. In my opinion the NU- Finish is the lesser of two evils, and reason enough to reconsider my own use and perhaps just stick with the commercially availabe media refreshers, which may be the same stuff in a different wrapper.
As a thought, perhaps time between cleaning and loading could influence whether there is enough of a given contaminate to degrade a given powder.
Evaporative time would reduce the possibility of a failure. Powder in the case with residual wax and its by products, stored for a longer period of time could lend itself to the effects of contamination as a latent failure. As the petroleum distillates would have time to leach to the powder.
I have never had a fail to fire or other indication of a contamination problem. Perhaps because I tumble my brass as soon as i get home from the range. when it is done it is seperated from the media and stored in open top containers(sometimes for months) on covered, yet open shelves where there would be some circulation, and evaporation of the residual petroleum distillates.
Imperial Sizing die wax is just wax. perhaps it does not contaminate partially because it is applied to the outside of the case but moreover because it does not contain any emulsants or petroleum distillates.

Thanks for your support EddieCoyle

The Bushmaster
March 21, 2007, 09:28 AM
mc223...That's how it's done...Facts work everytime. Now the others can make a better choice as to what they are going to do...Me? Untreated media as it comes from my supplier...

Doug b
March 21, 2007, 09:45 AM
mc223 thanks for posting Nu finish contains no wax, I've been hesitant to try it as I thought it contained auto wax. I use Lee wax resize lube as it is readily removed from the casing, ever try to remove car wax? My concern here is that nano second between firing and case spring back that the casing needs to grip the chamber.Any thoughts?

March 21, 2007, 09:58 AM
i have been trying brasso.

For the most part the cases do come out really good. however they all have to be wiped down.

So i got a little curious so i took a bottle brush and went through the insides of some of the cases.

what i did find was residue from the brasso.

So no more brasso. im going back to using mineral spirits. or actually paint thinner is what im going to be using

March 21, 2007, 12:53 PM

Brasso contains ammonia, and ammonia makes cartridge brass brittle. A number of years ago, a friend brought me some 7mm Remington Magnum cases that had failed on the first reloading, wanting me to help find out why they had failed. The first thing I noticed about them was the color and I asked him what they had been cleaned in. He had gotten the brass from his uncle, who had cleaned them with Brasso.

The cases cracked when crushed with pliers and were extremely brittle. I know some people put Brasso in their tumblers, believing that the small amount used won't contaminate the brass, but considering the pressures inside the cases when fired, my feeling is this is pushing things, when it's not necessary.

The bottom line is, don't use any metal polish that contains ammonia for polishing cartridge brass. The reason it works on brass buckles, etc. is the mass of the metal. A buckle is thick and isn't subject to extreme pressures, whereas cartridge brass is thin and is subjected to extreme pressures.

Hope this helps.


March 21, 2007, 03:20 PM

As you've been able to get an MSDS for the aforementioned polishes, perhaps you would be willing to go a step further and research the behaviors of the chemicals you mentioned Nu Finish contain.

You say Imperial Sizing die wax contains nothing but wax, but I don't see an MSDS sheet confirming this information.

Before any foolishness starts, let me say I am genuinely interested in your results, as I own and use both products and am in no way interested in yanking any chains here. I simply perceive that you've already been able to locate some MSDS via the internet and are familiar with finding such online.

I suspect, but can't prove, you'll find the solvents in the Nu Finish to have a strong evaporative effect when exposed to open air, thereby extremely minimizing their effect when used as a brass polish and allowing some period of time for the evaporative effect to take hold. I'm basing this theory on the observed behavior of Nu Finish car polish when applied to automobile finishes.

The problem and safety objective would be to determine "how long" it takes for the Nu Finish to have absolutely no effect on reloads and if, in fact, it actually has the potential to do so if the brass is moved from the tumbler to the reloading press immediately.

I also suspect, based on handling, that Imperial Sizing Die Wax also has some sort of solvent in it to cause the wax to soften and become semi-fluidic at a very low temperature (body heat) and allow it to be spread on cases.

I also think, because I use Imperial Sizing Die Wax (and doubt I'm the only one who does so) on case necks in resizing rifle brass, it's a wrong assumption to conclude case lube is only used on the outside of cases when sizing.

I'm interested to hear your further findings and urge you to continue with the research you've started,



March 21, 2007, 04:20 PM
Some secondary thoughts on the use of waxes on cartridge brass.
I have never had any issues with the phenomenen of case head thrust as relates to the grip of the case to the chamber. Although there has been some specific research on the subject. The findings of that research is posted below in the form of a link to Varmintals website. This deals specifically with case head thrust as it relates to a rifle chamber polished to increasingly finer finish. To cut to the chase, scroll down about halfway on the page to a green chart. Then you must make a decision if waxing the brass might relate to polishing the chamber. My thought is that as rounds are fired, residual wax that is left on the cases is deposited in the chamber. After several firings in a given range session the wax might build up enough to modify the chamber finish to increase case head thrust. I do not know this as fact.

DaveInFloweryBranchGA, Here is the Nu-Finish MSDS

Sorry I have not found time to research the Solvent 140. My thoughs are as yours with regard to the evaporative qualities of Nu-Finish, however this quality would be modified in the case as movement of air would be reduced.
Note: MSDS only list ingredients in thier raw form. If a mfg. has a proprietary formulation that may include other ingredients that may be a mutation of the base ingredients through a heating, cooling, dropping or whatever processing, these will not be on an MSDS. I have not researched Imperial as of today.

March 21, 2007, 04:37 PM
The Rest Of The Story
I am a chemist by training, and when I see questionable information, I call attention to it or ask for the reason to use/not-use a certain product/procedure. One such harmful claim is to use Brasso to clean cartridge brass. The scientific reason WHY NOT TO USE any compounds with ammonia is:

Cartridge brass is 70% copper and 30% zinc. Ammonia leeches the zinc from the brass at a rapid rate, the longer the contact, the more that is leeched. A small reduction in the % zinc will cause the brass to be brittle and can cause catastrophic rupture of the case.---Try this experiment: put a dab of Brasso on a case that is trashed. let it sit for an hour, then remove. You will see the brass is now redish. This is the copper showing on the brass that has lost zinc.

The Bad, The Good, and The Ugly
Yes BAD, the solvents/carriers used in Turtle Wax, NU-Finish, and yes even Hornady One Shot are detrimental to powder and primers.

The GOOD, these solvent/carriers evaporate rapidly, and unless you use a grotesque amount in your tumbling media, they are gone long before powder is introduced into the case. Since One Shot is aerosolized, it is gone almost immediately.

The GOOD, NU-Finish and One Shot are silicone based products, while Turtle Wax contains Carnauba Wax and Polypropylene Wax, and there is absolutely no evidence that Silicone, Carnauba Wax, or Polypropylene Wax are reactive with gunpowder or primers.

The UGLY, pulling information out of some orifice and presenting it as Gospel.
EddieCoyle said ”Because Turtle wax in with the tumbler media gets inside the case where it can contaminate the powder.” Carnauba Wax, Polypropylene Wax, and Silicone are classified as inert and non-reactive. If the harmful solvent and carriers are gone, show me the evidence that plain Carnauba Wax and Polypropylene Wax are harmful to powder/primer; and conversely that Silicone NU-Finish or one Shot are not.
mc223 said, “Imperial is loaded with extra super non-powder fouling ingredients”You seem to have ignored the challenge to justify this statement of fact. Please do so.

March 21, 2007, 04:50 PM

I have been monitoring this tread and it has peaked my interest since I have become a believer of Nu Finish and been using it for the past five months with excellent results. I am throughly convince that there is no short term effect of using Nu Finish since I have reloaded and shot over 3,000 casings polished with Nu Finish, some numerous times, without any ill effect. However, if there is an issue it is going to be long term after a round has been reloaded and sit for years. I think it is one of those things that only time will tell. I have come across a few folks that have been using Nu Finish for years without any issues, but I have no idea how fast they turn over their inventory. It would be interesting to hear from some one that has used Nu Finish for years and has inventory that sit in a case tumbled with Nu Finish for years and see if the velocity changed over time. I suspect this will be one of those ongoing debates like polishing loaded ammunition (does the tumbling action breakdown the power). So far I have seen no compelling reason to not use Nu Finish and for that matter none of us know what is the commercial reloading polish; we just all assume is safe and buy it on blind faith.

Keep up the research and I'll keep monitoring this thread.

March 21, 2007, 05:20 PM
This has been an interesting thread, lots of opinions and feedback. As for my .02 worth I'll toss this in, I have an extensive Haz Mat background to the Level of having been a Haz Mat Tech. Simply put when adding solutions such as Nu Finish or a non ammonia based wax or polishing compound remember, you are diluting it when you pour it into your polishing media, the fluid/liquid portion aerosolizes and dissipates. Whatever is left behind is highly unlikely to be at any level of capable of contaminating your powder. Now insofar as the ammonia from brasso etc, that’s a completely different problem. Ammonia and brass as has already been mentioned is a bad mix. I've used polishing rouge in the past and now use Nu Finish. I am also more than willing to experiment with other types and brands of car wax, depending on their list of contents.



The Bushmaster
March 21, 2007, 10:20 PM
Oh-Boy!! Here we go again...:banghead:

March 22, 2007, 12:50 AM
I'm out---10-4
Carry on troops.

Doug b
March 23, 2007, 09:35 AM
mc223 don't give up, lot of food for thought here.Thanks for the link I bookmarked that one.I had issues with case head thrust in a delayed blowback fluted chamber .308 many years ago.
Long story short RCBS resize goo left on max load cases blew primers completly out, 3 smashed flat between bolt and bolt carrier.HK 91 still functioned.

March 23, 2007, 08:19 PM
Now that the weekend has finally arrived, and work is not interfering with my personal interests, i'll get back on task. Imperial Sizing Die Wax. More to come. Tally Ho!

March 23, 2007, 08:47 PM
I had to double check the forum title. Yep. The High Road. That's where I thought I was.

FWIW, I quit using Nu Finish. It did leave a very small amount of greasy residue on the case. Not a big deal but I didn't like getting it on my fingers and in my sizing die. The cases looked nice, though. The bowl of my orange Lyman tumbler got very dirty, black & grimy and was a pain to clean. Now, I just tumble with "Lizard Litter" and it has stayed clean, the bowl is clean and the brass is clean, just not shiney. I do use dryer sheets. And, Nu Finish is great for use on your car.


March 24, 2007, 08:51 AM
Richard Lee tells a story of a shooting friend who had elevated lead levels in his blood. They tested all his reloading equipment and the "hot" spot was the tumbler.

I'm more interested in the lead aspect. I have often wondered about a safe location to use my tumbler. All my reloading is done in the only free space I have, my bedroom. This means that for several hour a week the tumbler is tumbleing away where I spend 7-8 hours every 24. Should this be a concern to me? Should tumbling be done outside? Is this a concern if I only use jacketed bullets, and since the only component in the tubler is the cases how does this become a lead hotspot?:confused:

Johnny Guest
March 24, 2007, 12:35 PM
Once again, a topic opened with a good question - - A quest for knowledge. Some good answers and opinions rendered. But then . . . .

How is it that SOME PEOPLE can't simply swap Q&A, or opinions, without being accusatory or argumentative?

So, another decent thread veered wildly, spun out of control, and ran right off the high road. :mad:


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