Sawdust as a tumbling medium...???


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Furncliff
July 20, 2011, 12:08 AM
Has anyone ever used saw dust as a tumbling medium?

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Lost Sheep
July 20, 2011, 12:41 AM
I don't think it could hurt. I don't think it could help, either.

I suspect it would be like trying to use a wool sweater as sandpaper. A LOT of run time with VERY little result. Sawdust is not very abrasive. However, I would absorb a lot of whatever is on the outside of your brass.

Try it. Sawdust is cheap - free at any home depot or sawmill. Just show up with a a gallon freezer bag and a whisk broom. Ask one of the sales guys and I am sure they would think "Great, less that I have to sweep up".

I think it is an idea without merit. However, the world is full of "ideas without merit" that turned out to make fools of the nay-sayers. Maybe I should delete this paragraph so I don't have to eat it later.

Let us know how it works. I'll have my spoon ready.

Lost Sheep

medalguy
July 20, 2011, 02:22 AM
I can tell you sawdust is an excellent absorbent of moisture. If you wash your brass at any point, you can tumble it in sawdust a few minutes until dry and it won't leave any spots on the brass. Be sure to spread the sawdust out to dry in the sun after use or it will mildew.

ArchAngelCD
July 20, 2011, 02:32 AM
Sawdust has little to no abrasive qualities whatsoever so it probably makes a terrible tumbler media. Try a 50/50 mix of crushed Walnut shells and Corncob media.

GLOOB
July 20, 2011, 03:22 AM
If it's relatively fine, I think it would work good. If it's too fluffy, the brass with just sit on the bottom of a vibratory tumbler, underneath the media. At least that's the problem I had trying to use bird litter corn cob.

bds
July 20, 2011, 10:19 AM
In a snap, dry uncooked rice (cheapest you can buy) does a decent job as tumbling media (works better as it get a bit dirty on the surface) but you can't use any polish with it.

Never tried saw dust. Any issues with resin/sap from it?

Still can't beat walnut/corn cob for tumbling media in vibratory tumblers.

amlevin
July 20, 2011, 10:46 AM
Some sawdusts contain a pitch/resin that you don't want on your brass.

I've moved on from the dusty medias to Stainless Steel media. Don't have to buy any more corncob of walnut shell. No more dust. Inside of cases are now as clean as when they were new with primer pockets cleaned too.

Sam1911
July 20, 2011, 10:53 AM
Not only does saw dust contain some of the resin from whichever tree, some (especially sweepings from a lumber yard) will contain various wood preservative chemicals. You really don't need that in your brass.

How expensive is corn-cob or walnut shell anyway? I know I go years without replacing any...

MtnCreek
July 20, 2011, 10:59 AM
Cob and walnut media is angular; this makes it a good polishing media and also allows it to ‘flow’. I would be concerned that saw dust would get clogged up in bottleneck brass.

Hondo 60
July 20, 2011, 08:49 PM
I don't think sawdust would have the "edges" necessary to clean the brass.
Plus as several have stated the resin/pitch wouldn't be good for your brass.

jcwit
July 20, 2011, 09:07 PM
I can be just about as cheap as they come, but my hypocrisy does have its limits.

Lunie
July 21, 2011, 10:59 PM
Sawdust is definitely abrasive, or can be. Dry dust, in pieces ~.100" X ~.100" X ~ .010" will certainly polish (and eventually wear through) steel. But big fluffy chips like what come of of a planner are probably a lot less abrasive... Honestly though, I don't have a way to compare how abrasive sawdust is relative to corncob or walnut hulls.

Try it if you want, then tell us what you find.

Furncliff
July 21, 2011, 11:21 PM
The only reason I asked was I had not heard about it before. But it was mentioned in a thread somewhere here, when everyone was comparing how cheap their shooting was.

I have to laugh in a way because I spent most of yesterday cleaning out the room where my dust collector lives (I'm a woodworker). I've neglected it and the bags ripped:-(

I'll give it a try and report back.

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