Some experimenting with SS tumbeling media


PDA






FROGO207
January 30, 2012, 07:12 PM
I have been trying to find a fast reliable way to clean my brass with SS media and a Thumblers model B. I have tried many cleaners, hot water ,cold water, various water levels, and several different quantities of brass. This has been going on for the last few months. My best results were as follows.

I use 5 lb SS media in a Thumblers model B.
I clean 3 heaping 16 0z containers (old cottage cheese containers) of brass at a time.
I use 1/8 cup IOSSO case cleaner and a small squirt of Dawn for a cleaning solution.
I fill the tumbler 1/2 full of hot water.

Tumbling time 20 - 30 minutes for cases that are clean inside and out (not brown to start with). If the cases are really brown and dirty/tarnished I will dip them in the IOSSO for a couple minutes before putting them in the tumbler and cut my IOSSO added in half. This has resulted in completely clean cases but not highly polished ones. I will polish the finished rounds in corn cob with NU Finish car wax for the protection from tarnishing I need.

Anyone else find something that works well other than the Lemmishine and Dawn combo that works as well and costs a reasonable amount?? Lets figure out what is best/fastest for cleaning our brass.
The fun continues------------:cool:

If you enjoyed reading about "Some experimenting with SS tumbeling media" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Mr.Revolverguy
January 30, 2012, 08:13 PM
I have found nothing faster than crushed walnut and corn cob 60/40 with two cap fulls of mineral spirits. I only tumble once about 25 minutes and the mineral spirits cut down on the dust. I have found I can achieve same type results with my 223 and 270 rounds.

http://www.dayattherange.com/weapons/45ARBrass.jpg

This 45AR brass was smut black due to low power reloads.

NeuseRvrRat
January 30, 2012, 08:17 PM
^sure, the outside is clean, but let's see the inside and the primer pocket

FROGO207
January 30, 2012, 10:24 PM
I do agree that for outside cleaning it is hard to beat the walnut media. But if cleaning the insides and the primer pocket SS media is lots better as well as faster.

ArchAngelCD
January 30, 2012, 10:32 PM
I've been meaning to change over to SS cleaning but i just don't have the money for all the equipment I need to start. The media itself and the tumbler are expensive!

Striker Fired
January 30, 2012, 10:50 PM
I use my Lyman twin1200 vibratory cleaner with the pins,You have to watch your weights and can't do huge numbers of brass at once,but it cleans them quiker(between 10 to 25min) in a tumbler so you do more batches, it comes out close to the same amounts in time, plus I didn't have to buy a pricey tumbler.Even if my Lyman burns outeventually ,I'll buy another and continue the same way.

dsb1829
January 31, 2012, 06:46 PM
I've been meaning to change over to SS cleaning but i just don't have the money for all the equipment I need to start. The media itself and the tumbler are expensive!
Never know. I stumbled on a Thumler's model B for $30 at my local pawn shop. Just keep an eye out and you may find something cheaper than you'd think.

rjrivero
January 31, 2012, 07:15 PM
Frog: You have great timing. I just took delivery of a Tumbler and Stainless steel media this week. I plan on using it for "other" gun accessories, but I'll follow this thread and see where we end up!

blarby
January 31, 2012, 08:31 PM
"environmentally friendly"

This implies to me that you have a solution that is comprised of a simple surfactant, along with a very mild naturally occurring acid or base.

The biggest difference between commercially offered products and home brews is the addition of oversudsing agents.

Most of these combinations can be formulated much in the way you've described you don't want to use ( lemishine and dawn, etc), so what exactly would you like to use ?

In tumbling vs ultrasonic, the biggest difference here is mechanical action.

Most of the work done in your pin tumblers is accomplished with the pins, not the solutions.

I would ask this :

After tumbling in simple water and a dash of dish washing detergent to suspend the errant dirt, what is present on your cases after cleaning ?

RustyFN
January 31, 2012, 09:10 PM
I use my Lyman twin1200 vibratory cleaner with the pins,

That has got to be loud.

targets from us
January 31, 2012, 09:58 PM
We have been tempted to try our big steel and aluminum tumblers pictured to the left here.http://pictures.targetsfromus.com/files/converted-images/shop/med_IMG_20111217_190607.jpg
Just never enough time.

blarby
February 6, 2012, 02:16 PM
I would ask this :

After tumbling in simple water and a dash of dish washing detergent to suspend the errant dirt, what is present on your cases after cleaning ?

Well gents, what of this ?

I'm very eager to know.....one of the biggest differences between ultrasonic and pin tumbling is actually the mechanical action. Us ultrasonic users are beholden to specialized formulations ( if even of our own creation) to substitute for abrasive mechanical action.

I'm very curious as to the answer to this question !

918v
February 6, 2012, 09:54 PM
I use a teaspoon of lemishine, half the recommended amount of water, half the recommended amount of brass, and a drop of palmolive. I tumble overnight.

Why? Too many cases and not enough media will give poor results. You dont want the brass banging against eachother. You want the stainless media to separate the brass. You don't need a drum full of water, just enough to lubricate the media and brass. I pour in enough to cover the mix and that's all.

blarby
February 9, 2012, 06:00 AM
Quote:
I would ask this :

After tumbling in simple water and a dash of dish washing detergent to suspend the errant dirt, what is present on your cases after cleaning ?
Well gents, what of this ?

I'm very eager to know.....one of the biggest differences between ultrasonic and pin tumbling is actually the mechanical action. Us ultrasonic users are beholden to specialized formulations ( if even of our own creation) to substitute for abrasive mechanical action.

I'm very curious as to the answer to this question !

Frog, anyone.....still really wanna know on this one !

Reason being, when this whole tumbler bit came out....one of the biggest reasons hailed as a selling point was that you DIDN'T need crazy formulations to make them work.

I'm starting to see a lot of feedback here and elsewhere that perhaps that is not an entirely true statement....

I don't mean to poo-poo on your thread, but I'd like to hear it from someone who obviously does enough tumbling in their pin tumbler to start this thread in the first place.

I went the way of ultrasonic because the startup was much cheaper.

The blast from everyone was that the long term costs for pin tumbling were less.

We've already pretty much debunked one being "better" than the other in terms of quality/results, so its kinda down to a cost thing.

Now this thread pops up, and I'm wondering if this info wouldn't be relevant to someone choosing one option or the other !

Walkalong
February 9, 2012, 08:17 AM
I've been meaning to change over to SS cleaning but i just don't have the money for all the equipment I need to start. The media itself and the tumbler are expensive!Yea, I hate to scrap two perfectly good tumblers and buy a new set up. When the tumblers die, that might be the time to change. But I am not unhappy with my set up now either.

Lloyd Smale
February 9, 2012, 08:41 AM
never tried it but just bought some once fired 7mag brass of a guy and he tumbled it in stainless and the brass looked like new inside and out and even the primer pockets.

NeuseRvrRat
February 9, 2012, 04:37 PM
We've already pretty much debunked one being "better" than the other in terms of quality/results, so its kinda down to a cost thing.

Now this thread pops up, and I'm wondering if this info wouldn't be relevant to someone choosing one option or the other !

i've used the harbor freight (same as lyman) ultrasonic with several different cleaning solutions, both homemade internet recipes and commercial solutions made just for cleaning brass in an ultrasonic. it got all the fouling out of the inside of the case, primer pocket, and flash hole. the brass was certainly clean if i ran it through enough cycles. it would come out looking about like new remington or winchester brass. i was pretty happy with that, but i didn't like having to walk in there every 480 seconds or whatever it is to reset it. i began to look at other options. the high dollar ultrasonics have longer timers, but then you're getting up near the price of a thumler's model B. there were 2 deciding factors for me. first was the fact that an ultrasonic transducer is eventually going to fail. i'm sure my thumler's model B will eventually burn up its motor or wear out its belt, but those items are easily/affordably replaced. they're not the expensive parts anyway. thumler's tumblers are made for rock polishing, where you run your tumbler 24/7 for weeks at a time. i don't think i'll be making an repairs to it soon. on the other hand, i don't think it'd be worth it to replace a transducer in an ultrasonic. they may last a long long time, but if the money is about the same, i think i prefer the more mechanical nature of the thumler's. second was that i like the shine that's put on by the mechanical action of the SS pins. i could not achieve that shine with the ultrasonic solutions i tried. my brass looks better than new. a lot of reloaders do not value that, but i do. it's a matter of personal preference.

i still held onto the ultrasonic. it is great for cleaning all sort of gun parts, carburetors, pocket knives, etc etc.

918v
February 9, 2012, 05:39 PM
Reason being, when this whole tumbler bit came out....one of the biggest reasons hailed as a selling point was that you DIDN'T need crazy formulations to make them work.

You don't. Alls you need is water, soap, and a dash of lemishine.

NeuseRvrRat
February 9, 2012, 05:50 PM
^yep, that's all i've tried and i don't have a reason to try anything else. i figure the guys selling the SS media have done plenty of experimenting, so i'll just stick with what they suggest. it's cheap.

Walkalong
February 9, 2012, 06:18 PM
one of the biggest reasons hailed as a selling point was that you DIDN'T need crazy formulations to make them work. You don't with corncob either. Corncob, a little polish, tumble. Easy peasy. :)

Canuck-IL
February 9, 2012, 06:27 PM
I went wet SS for the clean pockets on rifle brass and the lack of dust when tumbling indoors all winter. 3/4 gal of H2O, a little detergent (Dawn really is best!) and a dash of Lemishine does it with proportionally more brass than using a full gal ... effectively the same results in a 4 hour run.

No magic formulae needed ... just rinse extremely well or the cases do tend to tarnish after a week or so. Not an issue, just not what most folks want.

The vibratory won't get tossed as it's still useful for quickly getting the lube off of pistol rounds.

/Bryan

FROGO207
February 9, 2012, 09:31 PM
As I am typing this I just put some 45 ACP brass (one heaping cottage cheese container), water , SS pins, and a bit of dawn into the Thumlers and started it. We will see what happens in a couple hours.:)

parker51
February 9, 2012, 11:54 PM
I just received mine today and if the first load is any indcation of what this setup will do I will never go back to a standard tumbler. I had a 1 gallon bag almost full of 7mm Magnum brass that looked like it had spent the winter outside (very dark). I ran this brass in my regular tumbler for almost 5 hours in walnut with Framlfprd Arsenal brass polish and a teaspoon of Nu Finish Auto polish and it came out looking just a little better than what it did before I tumbled it. I thought for sure this brass was stained permanently but after 2 hours tumbling with the steel pellets, water, Ajax (lemon scented) dishwashing liquid and a teaspoon of Lemi Shine this brass looks like new. The only drawback I see so far is wet brass and my wife says this tumbler is a lot louder than my Dillon tumbler.

parker51
February 9, 2012, 11:58 PM
Frog,

Is it okay to leave the brass and stainless pins in the washing mixture overnight with the tumbler not running?

NeuseRvrRat
February 10, 2012, 12:01 AM
i roll my wet brass around on a towel and then throw them in a mesh bag made for washing lingerie and other delicate stuff. i zip it up and sandwich one end of it in the dryer door. run it on the delicate cycle for 20-30 minutes. brass is dry as a bone, doesn't get banged around, and i don't have to let it sit out overnight to dry.

rondog
February 10, 2012, 12:24 AM
i zip it up and sandwich one end of it in the dryer door.

Now THAT is one of the better ideas I've ever heard! Pure genius!

918v
February 10, 2012, 12:33 AM
Is it okay to leave the brass and stainless pins in the washing mixture overnight with the tumbler not running?

No it isn't. It will turn dark, like you left it outside in the rain.

Fishslayer
February 10, 2012, 12:44 AM
^sure, the outside is clean, but let's see the inside and the primer pocket

I just use walnut & Nu Finish. The insides are "clean enough" and cleaning primer pockets isn't really necessary with pistol brass.

A half hour in cob & Nu Finish when I want the finished ammo to look really nice. :D

When I start loading rifle ammo I'll probably invest in a SS setup. Can't really beat it for making used brass look new.

parker51
February 10, 2012, 12:56 AM
No it isn't. It will turn dark, like you left it outside in the rain.

Thank you, they are out drying now. I am very pleased with the results. Wish now I had taken before and after photos.

blarby
February 12, 2012, 04:55 PM
Allrighty Frog, whats the results ?

Striker Fired
February 12, 2012, 06:17 PM
I have let/forgotten my brass in my pin/soap/water setup for a couple days and they didn't turn dark,but if they aren't submerged in the water they will.Because I'm using a vibratory setup with the pins,the brass stays submerged(unless I really forget about the batch for a week or more)so it isn't critical to take them out right away,I usually start a batch before bed or going to work and set the timer for 40min,somtimes I take them out in the morning and start another batch,or I just wait till after work.
PS:Rustyfn = no it isn't any louder than the normal corncob or walnut shell setup,actually its a little quieter.

blarby
February 13, 2012, 09:09 PM
We're waiting........... :)

FROGO207
February 13, 2012, 11:22 PM
Some days I get a little side tracked but-------------:banghead: Anyway the soap and water only took 3 1/2 hours to get the same clean as they did with the IOSSO and small amount of Dawn for 30 minutes. They do look like new brass however. I left them sitting in the water/Dawn mixture over night and part of the next day and they stayed as clean as they were when I stopped tumbling. No tarnish at all. I would not leave it soaking with anything other than the plain soap and water for fear of hurting the brass however. Now it is time to clean some brass.:D

blarby
February 14, 2012, 01:20 AM
So soap, water, pins, and time do work.

Good to know.

Sad to learn that it takes about the same time with an ultrasonic and homebrew formula, as a pintumbler and commercial formula. That's a hard sell for me, given the price of a pin setup.

Someone really handy with a calculator should do the energy math vs formula price.

I got a little feedback on IOSSO formulary too.... looks basically like powdered citric acid and detergent from the MSDS. If that really is the case.....that's some pricey soap and vinegar ya got there -.-

I'll keep diggin on that one.... ill get ya the answer.

parker51
February 14, 2012, 01:54 AM
I just started using the pins and I am no expert, but I just finished cleaning 185 pieces of 30-06 with and it took just about 3 hours. I have tried several of the ultra sonic cleaners and there is no way I could clean 185 pieces of brass in this amount of time. To clean this brass with the pins I used a teaspoon of Lemi Shine, a squirt of Ajax dishwashing liquid and filled the drum up with hot water until it was about 2 inches from being full. There really is no comparison as far as I'm concerned. Especially since most of the Ultra Sonic cleaners require constant resetting of the timer numerous times when cleaning a small quantity of brass.

Canuck-IL
February 14, 2012, 08:16 AM
Is that a Thumler's Model B you used for the '06 cases? Seems a large load for the 15# max rated Thumler.
/Bryan

blarby
February 14, 2012, 11:46 AM
If its any consolation, that amount of brass would fit in my ultrasonic quite nicely.

I believe its possible you may have been loading it incorrectly.

If you are using the same formula in your tumbler that you were in your ultrasonic, I can understand your frustration in the results.

I've actually tested all of the commercial ultrasonic cleaners I could find. None of them were as good as homebrew.

The only commercial cleaner i've used in my ultrasonic worth a hoot is K+N filter cleaner....just a degreaser , really... but works very well on gun parts caked in lubes and soot....it works no better on brass than anything else. I happen to have plenty of it available, and its multi-use. I returned for refund every commercial ultrasonic fluid I have purchased.

parker51
February 14, 2012, 01:21 PM
Is that a Thumler's Model B you used for the '06 cases? Seems a large load for the 15# max rated Thumler.
/Bryan

If my bathroom scales are correct, this load was just under 15 lbs. There was approximately 6 lbs of brass, 5 lbs of pins and 4 lbs of water. I don't fill the drum full of water, just enough to cover the brass.

parker51
February 14, 2012, 01:25 PM
If its any consolation, that amount of brass would fit in my ultrasonic quite nicely.

I believe its possible you may have been loading it incorrectly.

If you are using the same formula in your tumbler that you were in your ultrasonic, I can understand your frustration in the results.

I had just tried Lemi Shine without any other detergent. It would clean the brass, but I could only fit about 70 pieces of brass in the basket and I had to keep moving them around to get them to clean.

blarby
February 14, 2012, 11:11 PM
No basket........

It dont hurt, but it dont help.

thump_rrr
February 15, 2012, 01:57 AM
I don't bother with the 15lb limit of the Thumler Model B.
The motor has a thermal overload in it. if it overheats it will stop.
I've loaded it to 19lbs without it ever stopping.

I use 5lbs of pins, 1 gallon of water and fill it between 1/2 and 3/4 full of brass.

I use 1/4 teaspoon of lemishine and a 2 second squirt of Ajax liquid dish washing detergent found at wallyworld.

The Ajax detergent costs less than 1/2 the cost of Dawn and does just as good a job.

If your brass turns too yellow for your liking due to tumbling it too long all you need to do once you remove it from the pins is dump it in a gallon of hot water with another 1/4 teaspoon of lemishine and stir it up and your yellow brass will go back to a nice pale color right before your eyes.

918v
February 16, 2012, 01:16 PM
Don't do the lemishine without soap. Your brass will develop a sticky film on it which will make sizing more difficult. The soap makes the brass shinier and slicker to the touch. They go in and out of the sizer easier.

capreppy
February 17, 2012, 12:34 PM
If your brass turns too yellow for your liking due to tumbling it too long all you need to do once you remove it from the pins is dump it in a gallon of hot water with another 1/4 teaspoon of lemishine and stir it up and your yellow brass will go back to a nice pale color right before your eyes.

Thanks for this. I'll give this a try next time I have this issue.

Danco411
February 17, 2012, 05:33 PM
I am a relatively new reloader. I read everything on the net about cleaning brass before buying anything. I went the ultrasonic route first buying a Hornady unit. Tried every concoction on the net. The brass gets clean but never shiney. I then bought a Lyman 1200 tumbler and tried every concoction on the net. Varying levels of shineyness depending on the concoction, length of time and number of casings. I was out of media and considering a big bag of corn cob when I was in a Gander Mountain and saw a container of Lyman Tuffnut treated walnut. I bought it thinking I could get some brass done while my big order came in.

Well I have to tell you this stuff flat out works! It does not care how much brass you have in the tumbler. I tumbled 250 .223 cases filled to the top with the Tuffnut and they came out shiney like new. The coating they put on has no dust. NONE! I wear gloves taking out the brass to keep the red additive off my hands.

I now have two tumblers. One has older Tuffnut that the really dirty range brass goes into. Once out it gets resized, deprimed, trimmed and camfered. Then back into the other tumbler with newer media. When the new media starts to wear out it gets rotated to the dirty tumbler. Volume is not as important as time. The more brass in the tumbler the longer it needs to go which is not a problem for me. I prefer to do larger batches over night than doing smaller batches in shorter intervals. I know many will say why pay the price for Lyman stuff when you can do it cheaper with Nufinish. Been there and tried that. IMO the Lyman Tuff nut just works better. Dump it in and start tumbling. It also lasts much longer. I can do several thousand cases before rotating.

If you enjoyed reading about "Some experimenting with SS tumbeling media" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!