Add What? to Tumbling Media


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jjohnson
November 30, 2008, 01:15 PM
Hi, Gents!

Right now I'm using Frankford case cleaning polish (from Midway) as an additive to corn cob media in a vibratory tumbler. I know some of you use Brasso - and I'm not sure I want to use that - but I know some of you guys use an auto buffing compound of some sort - which brand and item do you use? I'm looking for something I can use as an additive without paying Midway big bucks for it...

I seem to recall somebody said Maguire's auto wax or something - I know it's something you can get at Wal-Mart, but when I looked, there were a BUNCH of options at Wally World. I don't want to put a bunch of Carnuba wax on my brass - I want something that's got enough abrasive to clean the grunge off.

Thanks for any info, as always.

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Mt Shooter
November 30, 2008, 01:35 PM
I use a little Nu Finish car wax, I added some every time for a while. Now the media seems conditioned, and I dont add it as often, every third or fourth time.

closetgunnut
November 30, 2008, 01:38 PM
+1 on Nu-Finish!

rcmodel
November 30, 2008, 02:05 PM
Don't use Brasso!

It contains a pretty high ammonia content.
And ammonia is known to cause the sudden death of cartridge cases!

I know some folks are going to say they have used it since the invention of dirt without problems.
But I'm just saying!

In the grand scheme of things, good tumbler polish of known design & quality from one of the reloading companies, or even Flitz, is a very very small percentage of your reloading costs!

rcmodel

ranger335v
November 30, 2008, 02:47 PM
It don't much matter. Use nothing and you still get clean brass, that's what the ammo factories do. Some reloaders want shiney brass but that helps nothing at all. Cob or nut? It really makes no difference to the brass.

Add any polish you wish, if you wish, 'cause polish is polish. Add any liquid stuff, no more than maybe a table spoon full, for each 8-10 loads. After the liquid evaporates that leaves very little actual polish. Add it, let it tumble and mix for an hour or so before tossing in any cases to prevent internal clogging. Most folks use far too much polish and get a lot of polish dust for their efforts.

Liquid ammonia IS harmful to brass so make sure it's had time to evaporate before using it on cases. If you use Brasso, or any other polish with ammonia, let the tumbler run overnight to allow the ammonia to evaporate before adding brass. When the "pee" oder is gone, the ammonia is gone.

R.W.Dale
November 30, 2008, 02:50 PM
A cap full of mineral spirits dumped in when you turn the tumbler on will get you brass that will sparkle.

Erik T
November 30, 2008, 02:55 PM
I use enough rubbing alcohol to make the media slightly damp and some cut up dryer sheets. This keeps the dust, lead and cob, to a minimum. Cases come out sparkling after 1 hour.

It does clog up some of the cases but I'm will to make that trade off if I can prevent a lot of lead dust.

jfh
November 30, 2008, 03:22 PM
Another vote for NuFinish.

Jim H.

GP100man
November 30, 2008, 03:33 PM
+ 1 for mineral spirits

GP100man

SlamFire1
November 30, 2008, 03:41 PM
I tumble to get the dirt off, so I don't add anything to the corn cob.

And I don't tumble off lube.

My media lasts forever.

I do have Lyman treated walnut. The stuff on the wal nut is Jeweler's Rouge. I suspect you could add crumbled Jeweler's rouge to the media.

If you want real shiney brass, I understand from the Blackpowder crowd that ceramic media is the way to go. Might need a Thumler's Tumber, as the stuff is tumbled wet.

jcwit
November 30, 2008, 04:19 PM
I use Nu-Finish. I don't believe the polish actually does any polishing but the Nu-Finish deposits a film on the cases to keep them shiny over a longer period of time. Something like waxing your car ya-think. If you only load small amounts at a time and they are shot up shortly after reloading probably doesn't mean anything however if you reload large amounts at a time might check into putting some polish in the media. Just about any liquid car polish/wax can be used, Turtle Wax, Mcquires, whatever you happen to have.

RustyFN
November 30, 2008, 05:36 PM
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41ELUJpvkeL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

rfwobbly
November 30, 2008, 06:01 PM
Man, I've been adding a teaspoon of Turtle Wax, but I have a bottle of Nu Finish I'll have to try! Thanks for the tip.

Papa smurf
November 30, 2008, 06:05 PM
Used Braso for 23 years,and no problem. NONE!

SlamFire1
November 30, 2008, 06:39 PM
Used Braso for 23 years,and no problem. NONE!

EEK! :what:

Just google "season cracking" or "brass stress cracking" and see the citations about ammonia causing brass cracking.

Under no conditions pour Brasso or any other ammonia based cleaner into your tumbling media. Ammonia causes "season cracking" which effects a number of metals. Cartridge brass (which is 70% Cu and 30% Zn) is one of the weakest alloys in this respect. In time brass exposed to wet ammonia will split or failure. Season cracking occurs when the material is highly stressed and subject to corrosive atmospheres or liquids. Believe it or not, bird poop on a brass prop will cause season cracking! I have a failure analysis book showing the broken prop and a discussion of the failure.

Cartridge cases have lots of residual stresses; are work hardened each time you size them, they are highly susceptible to season cracking.

Keep ammonia the fool away from your brass cases.

http://www.corrosionclinic.com/types_of_corrosion/season_cracking.htm

cdrt
November 30, 2008, 07:11 PM
I asked the question a while back if anyone could document where Brasso used in tumbling media could be attributed to a case failure.

The only example anyone could come up with, was where someone used straight Brasso on a rag to clean some cases and that example is suspect since the cases were pretty far gone and that's why the fellow used it the way he did. No telling what the inside of them looked like.

As stated above, a small amount of Brasso mixed with tumbling media can be used safely to polish cases if you allow the ammonia to disipate over night. I have used it since I began reloading in the 1960s and have never had a case failure.

jcwit
November 30, 2008, 09:23 PM
I've never used Brasso to shine brass, and relize the ammonia is a no-no regarding brass. With that being said I seriously doubt that media treated with Brasso & ALLOWED TO EVAPEROTE will not cause any problems as the ammonia is gone. I still use the car polish/wax as that puts a protective coating on the brass, plus I've lots of the car stuff from always looking for the perfect car wax. hehe

Archie
November 30, 2008, 10:46 PM
I usually add some Hoppe's Number Nine to cut the powder fouling from the inside.

I don't need 'sparkle' so much, but I really like 'clean'.

GP100man
November 30, 2008, 10:55 PM
i used brasso until i read about the ammonia thing , but never had a case to fail or wear any qwiker.

GP100man

Sport45
December 1, 2008, 12:54 AM
I add a splash of mineral spirits. More to limit dust than anything else.

rfwobbly
December 1, 2008, 01:09 PM
...I have a bottle of Nu Finish I'll have to try! Thanks for the tip.

Put about 50 cases in the tumbler with new media and Nu Finish auto wax last night. This morning I was brushing my teeth when I remembered the tumbler was still running! So, on my way out the door I stopped and turned the unit off and peeked inside. The doctors assure me that the sight in my right eye will return by the end of the week.

:what:

rondog
December 1, 2008, 02:14 PM
I tried the mineral spirits last night in some walnut shell media, didn't do anything for me.

I received my ceramic polishing kit today from Cabela's, I'll be giving that a try in the next couple days, I have high hopes for it.

Steve C
December 1, 2008, 03:02 PM
I use a commercial polish/cleaner by Dillon or Frankfort Arsenal, whatever I found on sale last and add it to ground walnut shell litter obtained from the pet supply aisle. Works well at both cleaning and polishing.
http://www.midwayusa.com/midwayusa/staticpages/highres/472108.jpg

leon riverrat
December 2, 2008, 10:30 AM
I once used brasso to clean a bunch of 348 win cases which were hard to find and expensive. Was told by an experienced reloader that I may have damaged the cases. I worried over the cases for a few days and finally disposed of them. Was probably a case of being overly careful. But I still feel "better safe than sorry". I think a good rule for reloaders is to take the safe route if there is any question about a situation.

66GTO
December 2, 2008, 10:56 AM
I was going to use mineral spirits in my media and found that I was out. After pricing it at WalMart, I decided I didn't need it that bad (a quart bottle was over $5!). Instead of mineral spirits I put in a spoon full of GoJo hand cleaner, the kind sold in auto parts stores. I mashed it up and ran it for a while before I put the brass in. It worked great, and eliminated the dust from the corn cob media.

RustyFN
December 2, 2008, 06:12 PM
rondog:
I received my ceramic polishing kit today from Cabela's, I'll be giving that a try in the next couple days, I have high hopes for it.
I have heard a lot of good things about that lately. Let us know how it works for you.
Rusty

rondog
December 2, 2008, 07:29 PM
I have heard a lot of good things about that lately. Let us know how it works for you.
Rusty

I will, but I have to get another tumbler first. I was carrying my tumbler in a box with some other stuff, and fell down the stairs. I'm OK, but the tumbler broke two of the springs loose. They were all just hot-glued in, so I figured I'd re-glue them with JB Weld. Guess I did it too good, now it doesn't vibrate as vigorously as it did, not flexible enough I guess.

Sportsman's Warehouse has Lyman tumblers on sale, I'm headed there right now.

Papa smurf
December 2, 2008, 08:24 PM
Refer to post #14------how hard is it to understad 23 years and NONE!!!!

ar10
December 2, 2008, 08:55 PM
It don't much matter. Use nothing and you still get clean brass, that's what the ammo factories do. Some reloaders want shiney brass but that helps nothing at all. Cob or nut? It really makes no difference to the brass.

What polish does do is give a pretty good wax coating over the brass that lasts a very long time. I've got more brass than bullets, primer, and powder so the cases sit in plastic zip loc bags for a very long time. I can tell which ones go polished and which ones didn't. You're correct in saying they don't need it, but neither does waxing a car.

Ky Larry
December 2, 2008, 09:30 PM
I use a tablespoon of Simoniz white rubbing compound in my walnut hull media.

qajaq59
December 3, 2008, 07:45 AM
Lizard litter and a bit of NuFinish does fine for me.

ar10
December 3, 2008, 09:22 AM
Lizard litter and a bit of NuFinish does fine for me.
It's cheap and works for me also.
I've got two tumblers now, 1 small one that works fine but can't hold the cases I want to run and one of those 18 pounders I got at HF the other day. I've been dumping 200 .308's in that thing and they're done in just a couple of hours. :D My little one takes all night sometimes. :(

jcwit
December 3, 2008, 10:12 AM
ar10 you're right in using car wax/polish. The wax is what keeps the brass from tarnishing. Hope you have good luck with that H/F tumbler, I had 3 or 4 before I got my money back. The motors only had sleeve/bronze bearings and didn't hold up, this was the smaller one tho.

GaryL
December 3, 2008, 11:23 AM
I have found using any kind of wax eventually leads to a dirty tumbler with some tough to clean build-up. Nu-Finish doesn't have wax in it, so that isn't an issue.

jcwit
December 3, 2008, 11:41 AM
Thats why I say wax/polish. BTW a Rag/Cloth dampened with paint thinner, mineral spirts, lamp oil, kerosene, coleman fuel, a little gas, will clean the wax right out of the tumbler bowl. I"ve done it, usually when replacing the media after running it for 18 months and cleaning thousands & thousands of rds.

kelbro
December 3, 2008, 04:15 PM
Anybody that has used Brasso and is afraid that their brass is going to self-destruct, PM me and I will give you disposal instructions. You're better safe than sorry! :)

AMBASSADOR
December 3, 2008, 04:25 PM
I've just ventured into pistol reloading,I have a carbibe sizer die and the mfg recommends not to clean the brass.If the brass is too clean it may gaull the brass.

rcmodel
December 3, 2008, 04:35 PM
Never heard of that before.
Who is the die manufacture?

I always clean my brass, and generally use just a spritz of case lube spray anyway.

But when I don't use case lube, I have never seen a carbide die gall clean shiny brass, never, ever.

rcmodel

jcwit
December 3, 2008, 04:37 PM
You must be joking.

ar10
December 3, 2008, 10:26 PM
I had 3 or 4 before I got my money back. The motors only had sleeve/bronze bearings and didn't hold up, this was the smaller one tho.
I wore my RCBS out, Not sure whether I loaded it too heavy or just put too many cases thru it. It did manage to get through over 30k cases, running pretty much every day. Guess I'll find out on the big one soon enough. I'm maxing the thing out daily. If this one goes South I'm doing the cement mixer.

PCJim
December 3, 2008, 10:43 PM
If you are going to use mineral spirits, be sure to use the unscented version. If you run your tumbler indoors or in an attached garage, you'll quickly understand why not to use the regular stuff as the odor will take forever to dissipate. I add about a tablespoon to the media before tumbling the brass.

Afy
December 4, 2008, 03:57 AM
Flitz...

poco loco
December 4, 2008, 11:48 AM
I just watched my brother brasso his brass frame colt style .36 black powder pistol. Will this harm the frame or finish? I was thinking of doing the same to my Rem style .36 but I can deal with the tarnish if it causes problems.

His did come out pretty as heck though.

Another question and this might be the wrong thread but does anyone have a solution for the hard carbon crusting on the brass besides wearing what little fingernail I have left off?

Papa smurf
December 4, 2008, 01:32 PM
I agree with KELBRO , any brass he dont know how to dispose of I will.

Steve C
December 4, 2008, 04:23 PM
I just watched my brother brasso his brass frame colt style .36 black powder pistol. Will this harm the frame or finish? I was thinking of doing the same to my Rem style .36 but I can deal with the tarnish if it causes problems.


Brasso contains a relatively small amount of ammonia which chemically attacks brass and with cartridge cases can make them brittle resulting in cases cracking before their time. It doesn't really damage the cases that fast but will reduce the number of reloads you get before they crack and have to be discarded.

A black powder revolver frame is a rather large piece of brass and isn't worked by sizing and expanding like a cartridge case that's being reloaded. Using Brasso on the brass frame of a black powder pistol won't hurt it any more than if used on a brass lamp.

Springfield_1911SS
December 19, 2008, 02:13 AM
i use frank ford arsenal brass polish and a bit of nu finish

joneb
December 19, 2008, 02:58 AM
I usually add some Hoppe's Number Nine to cut the powder fouling from the inside.
I wouldn't get a powder solvent any where near my gun powder :eek:

andcam
December 19, 2008, 03:04 AM
anyone tried the birchwood casey liquid case cleaner? I got some the other day and tried it...not too bad! ...Although it didn't work as good as my usual: silicone Taco Red beads used for floor texturing. (We've got about a ton of that stuff in my shop.)

33rowdy
December 19, 2008, 07:35 AM
I believe its the same as Nu-Finish.

jjohnson
December 20, 2008, 03:14 PM
I've just ventured into pistol reloading,I have a carbibe sizer die and the mfg recommends not to clean the brass.If the brass is too clean it may gaull the brass.

What? :what: WHO said THAT? I've been reloading over 40 years, and that's the very first I've heard that. Okay, I don't know everything, but still.... Honest, I'd like to know who said that. Dirty brass doesn't do your dies any favors and certainly don't do the chambers of firearms any favors either.
I don't insist on cleaning to the point of "Bling Sparkle" but I do like to get the crud off my brass before I do anything else with it.

Besides, if you picked it up on the range... ya never know where it's been. :D

The Bushmaster
December 20, 2008, 03:24 PM
With so many good ammonia free products out there that can be used to aid in the cleaning and polishing of brass cases. Why use a product that contains (no matter how little) ammonia that [can] ruin or deteriate brass cases in the first place...Just doesn't make any sense to me...

jcwit
December 20, 2008, 05:13 PM
Very well put, bushmaster

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