Cleaning up after wax lube - towels or tumbler?


March 12, 2012, 06:30 PM
After using wax for resizing lube, do people usually dump the rounds back in the tumbler, or clean them up one at a time by hand?

I've been doing this with paper towels, but its just one more step in my case prep process that I'd like to streamline.

For those that use a tumbler, do you use the same batch of media that you use for polishing, or do you use 'dedicated' media or a separate tumbler for the job?

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March 12, 2012, 06:34 PM
I vclean mine in a large metal coffee can with about i/2 inch of white gas, aka Coleman fuel, aka naptha. It evaporates quickly and using a little common sense is no more dangerous the filling my gas mower. From there it goes to the tumbler, by doing it this way it keeps my media cleaner much longer, don't have all that lube clinging to the media.

March 12, 2012, 07:37 PM
I load them and then tumble them after they are loaded to clean the lube off.

March 12, 2012, 08:52 PM
I tumble finished rounds in clean white rice for 10 minutes.

March 12, 2012, 09:37 PM
I selected "Re-tumble with polishing media" but I actually wipe the brass with a rag first then re-tumble it in corn mixed with a cap full of Nu-Finish.

March 12, 2012, 09:56 PM
Actually, I wipe the excess lube off the cases with paper towels to minimize clogging the tumbling media. Then I tumble them.

I do not spend alot of time with the towels or try to get the cases completely dry from lubricant. Just wipe them to get off some of the lubricant.

March 12, 2012, 10:04 PM
After rereading the OP, I believe I should have referred to fully loaded cases. My post #2was ment to mean deprimed resized cases. Sorry folks for the misunderstanding.

March 12, 2012, 10:06 PM
I selecting wipe them down with paper towel but I really just use a red shop rag. I don't use enough wax to have to tumble them again.

March 13, 2012, 08:08 AM
I've tried both. For just a few cases I'll use a shop rag. If it's a hundred or more, I tumble again before loading. I'm just not comfortable tumbling live rounds. I suppose I will eventually get a dedicated tumbler for this purpose, media is cheap.

March 13, 2012, 11:44 AM
I tumble once through the entire reloading process.

1) Lube with imperial wax.
2) FL size.
3) Tumble in stainless media. (removes all wax, and ends with perfectly clean brass)
4) Trim on giraud.
5) Prime.
6) Charge and seat bullet.

March 13, 2012, 12:07 PM
It tumble everything after I load it 15-20 minutes in Walnut & Flitz.


March 13, 2012, 12:28 PM
Still working on a process, but here it is so far:
0) If the brass is filthy, I tumble it first (actually, I wash and dry it if they are packed with mud, etc) If it's reasonably clean and shiny already, I just wipe it down good with a cloth.

1) Lube the case body and inside the neck with castor oil. I'm using my fingers to apply the lube, but I need to try a lube pad and see if that's faster. I've got one somewhere that came in a box of reloading stuff that I bought years ago.

2) Size and decap.
3) Tumble overnight to clean and polish so they sparkle and shine annoyingly.
4) Trim with a Lee trimmer (this also removes any media from the primer holes.
5) Put them in a ziplock freezer bag for loading later.

David Wile
March 13, 2012, 12:29 PM
Hey folks,

For bottle necked cartridges, I lube them and load them, and then I rinse the lube off them in a three pound size coffee can half filled with gasoline. I take a handful of cartridges (perhaps five or six at a time), swish them in the gasoline, and then place them on a terry cloth towel to dry while I continue with the rinsing the rest of the cartridges. After rinsing the last cartridges and placing them on the towell, I lift the towel full of cartridges with two corners in each hand, and then lift one end and then the other end a few times in each direction to insure they are dry. I then put the loaded cartridges in my vibrtory cleaner to polish them. I pour the used gasoline back in a closed metal gas container to be used again and again.

Safety is not an issue if you use common sense as to where you rinse the cartridges and the manner you do it. As JC mentioned, no more dangerous than filling your lawn mower if you think about what you are doing and how you are doing it. Never had any problems with cleaning loaded cartridges in a vibratory cleaner.

Best wishes,
Dave Wile

March 13, 2012, 02:13 PM
@Orkan. Just curious. Why not tumble after trimming? To keep lube out of the Giraud? I only ask because I'm considering investing in a similar set up and that's the order I had in my head.

March 13, 2012, 02:48 PM

March 13, 2012, 03:17 PM
I shoot low quantity of rifle loads and elect to just wipe them down. The Imperial Sizing Wax is probably one of just a few that is not sticky or wet. If I did a large number I would clean in the tumbler.

March 13, 2012, 05:11 PM
To keep lube out of the Giraud?

Dealing with a slippery dirty case around a electric motor with high RPM spinning carbide cutters doesn't really appeal to me.

That, and firm grasp on the case with a controlled spinning motion is one of the key factors in getting the giraud to trim properly.

March 13, 2012, 06:31 PM
^ Gotcha. Thanks for the reply.

March 14, 2012, 11:03 AM
Thanks for the info guys!

Kevin Rohrer
March 14, 2012, 12:06 PM
Work smart, not hard.

March 14, 2012, 02:58 PM
I usually put the loaded rounds on a big old towel, lightly spray with nitro solvent, then rub them down en mass with the towel. I can do a hundred at a time in about a minute like this. I have heard that tumbling loaded rounds can cause higher pressure if the deterrent coating on the kernels of gunpowder rubs off.

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