Using a tumbler to clean brass


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nambu1
October 15, 2011, 08:20 PM
I have 3 vibrators, 1 ultrasonic and just bought a tumbler. I am trying to figure out how to remove the stainless pins when draining the cleaned batch. I bought a mesh colender, but the mesh is too large. It was the finest mesh I could find. I need your help.

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JohnM
October 15, 2011, 08:31 PM
Clean it in a bucket of water so all the media is saved into the bucket.

Seedtick
October 15, 2011, 11:19 PM
You need one of these.

Berry's Rotary Sifter and Media Separator for Case Tumblers $24.00 (http://www.eabco.com/store/products/Berry_s_Rotary_Sifter_and_Media_Separator_for_Case_Tumblers-2059-58.html)

Someone (? thank you) posted this link a few days ago and I ordered one. I haven't used it yet but it's from Berry's so I know it will do a fine job.

I bet you won't lose any of those itty-bitty pins using this one.

Seedtick

:)

bigedp51
October 16, 2011, 12:00 AM
Watch the videos.

Brass Cleaning with Stainless Media

http://www.accurateshooter.com/technical-articles/reloading/brass-cleaning-with-stainless-media/

STM (Stainless Steel Media)

http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/

Shmackey
October 16, 2011, 12:31 AM
I have a Thumler's but still use corn. Haven't moved up to stainless yet because there's no sink near my loading bench. At any rate, this problem seems like a good place to introduce a magnet somewhere, somehow.

Twiki357
October 16, 2011, 12:45 AM
The one that seedtick linked works like a charm. MidSouthShooters.com has the exact same one in a different color for about the same price. I have had mine for a couple of years and my only complaint is that the mold edges on the latch is sharp enough to cut a finger and needs to be smoothed out. Otherwise, excellent.

JohnM
October 16, 2011, 08:23 AM
Haven't moved up to stainless yet because there's no sink near my loading bench. At any rate, this problem seems like a good place to introduce a magnet somewhere, somehow.

Stainless steel and brass. A magnet isn't going to do anything for you.

Mxracer239y
October 16, 2011, 08:47 AM
Stainless steel and brass. A magnet isn't going to do anything for you.

Brass, no, but there is enough iron content that these stainless pins do stick to a magnet. The use of a magnet is likely shown in the videos.

JohnM
October 16, 2011, 08:51 AM
i watched some videos of using this stainless media, never saw any mention of recovering the stuff with a magnet.
be a pretty low grade of stainless if it has much magnetic property.

Canuck-IL
October 16, 2011, 09:22 AM
The ss media from PelletsLLC.com is magnetic but does not rust. I use a cheap rotary spinner (Franklin maybe?) whose bucket is sitting in one of the large plastic storage bins from Wallyworld, Target, etc.

Pour all but 1/2 cup of the water out from the bucket and dump the remainder with the pins back into the tumbler. Maybe 10 pins per use will end up in the storage bin where a fridge magnet is quite adequate to grab them all.

BTW, the sink I pour into when rinsing is porcelain over iron (big old set tub). Every now and then a pin will stick in a primer hole and not come out until the rinse. To keep those out of the drain I cut up yet another flat, wide fridge magnet (2008 local Democratic candidates I think) into a few thin strips that stick on the sink bottom and "guard" the drain.

/Bryan

Mxracer239y
October 16, 2011, 09:27 AM
While it's true the stainless may be low grade, it doesn't matter in the least. I have been using mine for a while (definitely over a year), and I have never seen any rust. I use a 'mechanics magnet' (I think 1lb?) from an auto parts store to pick up any stragglers.

JohnM
October 16, 2011, 09:39 AM
There are well over a hundred different types of stainless.
If this media exhibits magnetism it's one of the ferritic cr steels, strange choice.

I had wondered how this media was used, when I saw it needs a wet method it gave me second thoughts, I'm not sure I want to deal with the additional step of drying all that brass.
And one video I looked at recommended some pretty small amounts of brass per load.

I'm going to get that big old 15 pound tumbler my Dad had running today and toss in 400 cases with walnut media and see how it does compared to my old vibrating bowl type.

Canuck-IL
October 16, 2011, 09:59 AM
The Model B Thumler recommends 15# max ... some push it a bit beyond that. Figures below are tumbler case capacities with various common case weights ... personally I use 3/4 gal H2O, 5#s ss media and run 3-4 hours. Primer pockets are done at that point and those (at least for rifle) are the main reason I use the wet cleaning.

I get most of my cases tumbled in the summer for winter reloading ... they dry very quickly sitting in a collander atop the air conditioner exhaust.

http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e346/Canuck-IL/Thumler_brass.jpg

/B

JohnM
October 16, 2011, 10:13 AM
A colander full of wet cases would dry out in the sun here pretty fast during the summer.
Our humidity is usually less than 20%, but the summers are pretty short :D

I'm sure I'm going to end up ordering 5# of that media just to try it. Expensive, but not prohibitive. I don't know anyone around here who has tried it.

ferggie
October 16, 2011, 10:50 AM
300 series stainless steel is not magetic.

Canuck-IL
October 16, 2011, 12:08 PM
I'm going to end up ordering 5# of that media just to try it. Expensive, but not prohibitive
PelletsLLC.com - call them, tell them it's for case cleaning - 5#s = $25 of the recommended .041*.25 rods. Shipping was reasonable - $7-8 IIRC. Seeing as it's a lifetime+ supply, seems a decent price ... half what the "mystery man" on the Hide charges or the web site devoted solely to ss cleaning.

/B

JohnM
October 16, 2011, 12:21 PM
5# for 25 bucks, now that's way less than what I've looked at.

How about those tiny pins finding places to lodge inside cases, an issue?
Or will the shaking when separating out the media always get everything cleared?
When cleaning a lot of cases it would be a pain to have to do a special look into each case to check for a jammed pin.

HK SD9 Tactical
October 16, 2011, 12:35 PM
I use a colander with a old cotton T-shirt in it. It catches all the SS pins and lets the cleaning solution through. I then spray the SS media with some clean water and return the SS pins to the tumbler.

You could also get a geologist sieve. They are expensive but would work for a very long time. If you got two, one to catch the brass and one under it to catch the pins, you'd be done in no time at all.

HK SD9 Tactical
October 16, 2011, 12:38 PM
Never had a problem with straight walled cases or 357 Sig cases. Havn't tried bottlenecked rifle cases yet.

Canuck-IL
October 16, 2011, 01:09 PM
Once in a great while I've had a pair of pins lodge together in the flash hole on 45 cases, maybe twice in 4000. Same happened once in about 3k 223s. Since they're protruding somewhat, else they wouldn't be stuck, they're very easy to see/feel. With all the shaking around cases get during the rinse and while drying, I haven't found one left in a case yet.
/B

JohnM
October 16, 2011, 06:07 PM
I just finished giving this old tumbler a test drive.
With the Dayton motor I used and the pulleys, I ended up with 50RPM.
I was surprised the motor got as warm as it did, but it's 40 years old or more too.
I had 400 not too tarnished and dirty 30 Carbine cases and put them all in along with the walnut and Dillon's Rapid Shine.
The whole drum loaded up was 18#.
After 1 hour I had a better job than I've ever gotten with that bowl vibrator after 2 hours.
I was surprised even the insides of the cases were pretty clean.
Usually they're only fairly clean down about an 1/8 inch or so into the neck.

cdan1
November 6, 2011, 01:32 AM
Wild billz posted about going to HF to look at cement mixers to use as a tumbler. I bought one today, put it together and left out the paddles. Turned it on and held some heavy grit metal sandpaper inside to rough it up. I'm planning on using stainless media /water/ soap and 500+ pcs of .45 brass. The surface of the tub is too smooth to us 'as is'. I was thinking of using the mig and welding on 6 - 8in pcs of steel rod, spacing them around the tub, then coating with 'dip it' to give a nice rubbery surface. If anyone has used a cement mixer and has any tips...i'd love to hear from you.
cdan1

Blue68f100
November 6, 2011, 11:14 AM
If you just want them clean use Hot Citric Acid, 3-4 tbs/gal will clean a lot faster. I cleaned 2000 9mm with 1 gal only takes a few minutes if the acid is hot >150F, hotter better. I looked at the ss/tumber but the capacity is way to small for my needs. A crock pot will be a good heat source to heat the solution in. Just need some kind of screen mesh bucket for your brass. Once out of the acid I did a backing soda rinse then a final rinse in the sink. If you want them shinny just throw them in the tumbler with corncob media and polish for 30min to 1 hr.

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