Tumbler: brass going around in circles and not cascading - what to do?


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IMtheNRA
August 9, 2013, 09:49 PM
Can't figure this out. Sometimes, my brass and media have a great cascading action, which gets the brass clean and shiny in a very short time. Usually, however, the media and brass just go around and around, which I think results in significantly less brass/media contact than cascading and takes three times longer to get it real pretty.

I tried to add and subtract media and brass, but I can't seem to hit the magic weight ratio. I just randomly get good effect, but usually I don't.

What's the secret to cascading? :banghead:

I use a cheap Frankford Arsenal tumbler and three types of media - Lyman Tough Nut walnut, corn cob, or sometimes, a combination of the two.

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CMV
August 9, 2013, 09:53 PM
I use the HF crushed walnut so don't know if that makes a difference but I have the same tumbler.

Mine has an uncovered threaded rod down the center that I worried about scuffing up the cases. I inverted a funnel over it to keep the brass from touching it. This also seemed to change the flow inside and make everything move a little faster. Might want to try that. The one I used is a medium sized kitchen funnel. Maybe 2.5-3" along the top.

I've never noticed mine not "cascade" what's inside but it got the funnel on day 1. They still move around in a circular pattern, but also move top to bottom - like a spiral/corkscrew type deal is best I could describe it.

Hungry1
August 9, 2013, 09:54 PM
Do you add any type of dust collector? Something like dryer sheets or paper towels.

Might help.... IDK,,, maybe just let it run.

Good Luck :)

IMtheNRA
August 9, 2013, 10:05 PM
No, no dust collection. I can see how a funnel might help...

myFRAGisFUBAR
August 9, 2013, 10:36 PM
I use the same setup as you and mine cascades almost every time. I shoot for a 60/40 ratio of media to brass. I just use the bare minimum for media that I can get away with.

rondog
August 9, 2013, 10:55 PM
Frankford Arsenal, there's the problem. I started with one, I was happy when it crapped out. It did OK if I didn't load it too much, but choked if I did.

Is the bottom of it flat like a mixing bowl? My Lyman has a raised center, the inside is shaped like an inverted bagel, and it churns like mad.

That funnel idea sounds like a good one! You might try a 3" or 4" funnel slid down the rod, it might work great. If it does, maybe you could glue it down or use a nut on the rod to hold it down. Try it and report the results.

rfwobbly
August 9, 2013, 11:08 PM
My small Dillon unit is sensitive to the amount of brass and media. The more brass, the more media that's needed. Still, 223 brass seems to circulate freely while most pistol brass (if in the same tumbling load) will not rise high enough to be seen. From this I understand that it's no good to mix longer bottleneck cases with shorter pistol brass and expect to see the same circulation.

I now install the brass, turn the unit ON, then add media until I get the amount of "churn" deemed best.

HOWARD J
August 9, 2013, 11:16 PM
As things get old I have a habit of moving them around.
I have for one unit a Lyman base--a Hornady bowl & a RCBS cover--works great.
My other unit is a Lyman--lyman bowl & cover--unit is 30 some years old--still working good.
Try a Lyman unit--you will like it.

IMtheNRA
August 9, 2013, 11:26 PM
I wondered if I don't have enough media, so I added more - the bowl is probably a little more than half full now. This helped a lot. The media and 100 .45 cases are now cascading, but slowly. I'm going to add more media to see if it speeds things up.

The motor doesn't seem to like this heavy load - I now hear frequent fluctuations in the rattle/hum of the machine. Mostly rattle...

32_d3gr33s
August 10, 2013, 01:05 AM
i make sure my tumbler is completely full...

blarby
August 10, 2013, 03:42 AM
Lots of media is the key in most of the operations.

It sure works that way in my cabelas....

2nd one btw- I thought that first one would never go out. When it did it sounded like it was breaking concrete !

rfwobbly
August 10, 2013, 05:30 AM
The motor doesn't seem to like this heavy load - I now hear frequent fluctuations in the rattle/hum of the machine. Mostly rattle...

Thanks for reminding me.... I pour media in until the rattle stops. The rattle is brass against the bowl of the unit. In the case of my Dillon, when it has enough media to lift the brass off the bottom, then the circulation seems to be maximized.

mdemetz
August 10, 2013, 08:09 AM
My Lyman sorta does that if you leave the sieve top off. Attach the top and you can see the churning increase.

ole farmerbuck
August 10, 2013, 08:25 AM
My Hornady is smaller than my Lyman but will 'churn' the brass 3 times faster.

CMD-Ky
August 10, 2013, 10:16 AM
That signature is priceless.

Tommy Van Alen
August 10, 2013, 11:06 AM
you guys probably know this already, but lizard litter from like Petsmart is crushed walnut shells. works just the same and is priced cheaper than anything sold for guns or reloading.

I would rather have way too much media when compared to brass. Not enough media gives it like this log jam effect.

higgite
August 10, 2013, 11:08 AM
I agree with rfwobbly, the rattle is probably brass against the plastic tub and/or brass on brass. As you have already discovered, more media is better than less. It circulates better, cleans better and is quieter.

myg30
August 10, 2013, 11:14 AM
I took the cover off my frankford and found the counter weight on the motor shaft was loose. It took me 30 seconds to fix it and 45 mins to find my off set screw driver !
My lyman is smaller but has never given me any trouble. The cyclonic action is way better in the lyman too !

Mike

steve4102
August 10, 2013, 11:26 AM
There is a counter weight on the motor shaft inside the base housing. Take the bottom of the tumbler off and make sure the weight is still in the proper position on the motor shaft and secured tight with the set screw.

Also make sure all other motor mounts and bowl mounts are tight and secure.

ole farmerbuck
August 10, 2013, 01:25 PM
That signature is priceless.
lol Thank you.

ole farmerbuck
August 10, 2013, 01:27 PM
There is a counter weight on the motor shaft inside the base housing. Take the bottom of the tumbler off and make sure the weight is still in the proper position on the motor shaft and secured tight with the set screw.

Also make sure all other motor mounts and bowl mounts are tight and secure.
On one of my Hornady tumblers I JB welded another small nut on the weight. Makes the stuff move!

rcmodel
August 10, 2013, 01:28 PM
the bowl is probably a little more than half full now.It needs to be 3/4+ full to work properly on my Dillon.

I want it to be about 1" short of the lid when the cases are added.

rc

Match10
August 10, 2013, 03:58 PM
Quoting above... "There is a counter weight on the motor shaft inside the base housing. Take the bottom of the tumbler off and make sure the weight is still in the proper position on the motor shaft and secured tight with the set screw."

This. The counter weight may even be lose and rotating. Without it, the bowl spins the media.

ConcernedCitizen
August 10, 2013, 05:57 PM
With my Frankford Arsenal tumbler, it took me a while to find the proper ratio. I have found that filling the media until it's even with the wingnut in the middle of the bowl, and then adding brass to the very top of the bowl seems to work well.

Once the tumber is turned on, it sucks the brass down to the bottom and rattles for a minute or so until the media can fill the empty cases. After that, it seems to churn quite nicely. I can run full loads of 9mm or .223 this way without much trouble.

I am to the point where I need to replace my corn cob media, though. It was getting pretty saturated, so I added some mineral spirits to it, which must have reactivated all of the old polishing compound in the media. Now it seems kind of sticky and sluggish, and it won't churn nearly as well as it used to. The odd thing is it runs fine with the lid off, but once I tighten the lid it slows down considerably.

Not to hijack the thread, but how often does everyone replace their media?

Elkins45
August 10, 2013, 05:59 PM
Quoting above... "There is a counter weight on the motor shaft inside the base housing. Take the bottom of the tumbler off and make sure the weight is still in the proper position on the motor shaft and secured tight with the set screw."

This. The counter weight may even be lose and rotating. Without it, the bowl spins the media.

This sounds like something worth investigating, but it seems like there wouldn't be much movement at all in this case. Adding more media might also help.

meterman
August 10, 2013, 06:52 PM
Fill it 75-80% full of walnut, and you will have no problems. At least that is how my old Lyman works.

Magnum Shooter
August 10, 2013, 10:23 PM
I find the finer grind media (like RCBS) works better in my Frankford tumbler than the larger grind Lyman.

GLOOB
August 12, 2013, 09:57 PM
I had the same problem with my tumbler. I eventually noticed the entire bowl was slowly spinning. After tightening a nut, it went back to normal.

I always fill the tumbler to the top, with corncob, even on a small load. That seems to clean faster. But that doesn't sound like your problem.

dickttx
August 13, 2013, 12:21 PM
As gloob said, make sure the nut holding the bowl on is tight. Having this nut tight also eleminates most of the noise.

Hondo 60
August 13, 2013, 02:08 PM
I use a cheap Frankford Arsenal tumbler

Well, I'd say right there's your problem.
I know lotsa people have 'em & they work, but there's a reason they're cheap.

I've had a Lyman 1200 Turbo for over 4 years.
And I've never had a problem with it.
knock on wood (knocks on own head) - sheesh :o

1KPerDay
August 13, 2013, 02:57 PM
I just went from a Lyman Pro Turbo!@#!@#! 2500 EXTREEEEM! tumbler (loved it but it broke after a year... I could put a RIDICULOUS amount of brass in there and it cascaded wonderfully) to a cheap Frankford arsenal. I now wish I'd just paid the extra 30 bucks and got another Lyman.

The frankford is pathetic. It will only cascade with a light load of brass, and the ratio of media to brass has to be great. Like a couple handfuls of brass will overwhelm it.

I hate it with a burning white hatred.

TEAM101
August 13, 2013, 03:16 PM
Are you adding mineral spirits and/or polish to the media or running it dry. I run Berry's Tumblers and the only time I have ever had trouble with circulation was when I added too much mineral spirits and polish to the media. Brass amount (too much or too little) has never been an issue.

IMtheNRA
August 14, 2013, 12:57 AM
Problem solved!!! Tonight, I borrowed a friend's Lyman 1200 tumbler to run a side by side comparison. The difference is incredible!!!!

I put the clear lid from Frankford on the Lyman to observe material flow. The Lyman is FAST! Several times faster than my Frankford ever was. Great cascading, and it will cut my cleaning time by about 75%!

The Lyman is only a fraction as loud as the Frankford. It is amazingly quiet and it makes a steady hum instead of the annoying rattle of the Frankford.

The bowl on the Lyman is somewhat smaller, probably about 80-85% of the Frankford's volume.

This machine is incredible! I'm ordering one as soon as I finish this post :what:

Edited to add: I ended up ordering the giant Lyman Pro Magnum. Can't wait to load it up with a thousand 9mm cases.

zaphar
August 14, 2013, 06:08 AM
I have this same tumbler and actually had the same issue tonight when loading it up with 300 cases of 40 S&W. The media and brass were moving in a circular motion until adding more media, which started the cascading effect. The funnel idea sounds interesting, I'll have to try that :)

lostviking
January 8, 2014, 04:42 AM
Please find all details here:

http://www.brianenos.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=187957

RealGun
January 8, 2014, 07:36 AM
Mine sits on a concrete floor, so none of the vibration is lost.

Corn cob is lighter and cascades more freely.

When carrying a good load of brass, it takes a few minutes for the contents to "boil".

I have a new Frankford and one of the previous design. The newer one is quieter and has a better tumble. One has used, treated corncob, and the other has virgin or near virgin plain corncob. One removes oxidation and imparts polish and the other shines 'em up. All my brass is liquid cleaned before handling. What I am doing with the sonic wash produces clean brass but not the appearance I want.

Since starting a sonic wash I stopped using the heavier walnut, which doesn't "boil" as easily as the lighter corn cob.

If I was doing higher volumes, I would get a larger capacity, heavy duty machine and pay some attention to warranty or optional service plan.

LeftyTSGC
January 8, 2014, 09:57 AM
I use a Berry's 400, the one thing i have noticed is that Temperature and Humidity play a big role in your media's ability to tumble. I tumble in my shop that only has a window AC. I have noticed with high humidity and very cold temperature the media appears to be thicker and not as loose to tumble freely. The weight of the brass mixed with the thick media will cause it to only spin until it can start the cascade process. Just my two cents worth.:scrutiny:

jcwit
January 8, 2014, 10:45 AM
Frankfort tumbler? Toss the Chinese junk away and buy a Berry tumbler made right here in the U.S.A., it even sells at the same price point.

Your problems will be over.

Rule3
January 8, 2014, 11:20 AM
Wow a zombie thread with a link to a nothing thread.
At least it has movies, gee watching 6 minutes of a tumbler:rolleyes:

higgite
January 8, 2014, 11:36 AM
Would the tumbler that is turning clockwise in the video turn counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere?

tyeo098
January 8, 2014, 04:43 PM
Mine used to do that.

Then i realized the bolts that went though the motor to the plastic pedestal the bowl sat on top of were loose.

2 seconds with the right size wrench tightened up the bolts. Cascading motion was back!

If your tumbler is SUPER loud (mine was) this is your problem. It was so quiet afterwards I could listen to music with it running.

Rushthezeppelin
January 9, 2014, 04:56 AM
My FA tumbler cascades beautifully and as fast as any videos I've seen online. I always keep the media about 4/5ths full in the bowl and never have put more than about 350 cases in at a time (sometimes 223 mixed with 9mm). I might try the funnel mod eventually but it's working so well right now I don't know if I need to. I think others might be on to something when they mentioned temp/humidity affecting your tumbler. Do you have yours in a garage? I keep mine inside so it never sees hardly any temp variance and low humidity thanks to the A/C.

Gage
January 9, 2014, 09:18 AM
Since I started wet tumbling I don't think I'll ever go back to vibratory tumblers.

The initial investment was high, but the media lasts as long as you don't lose it. The results are very very good.

I bought a Thumlers Tumbler, but you can build your own as these folks did on the attached link:

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/344986_How_i_built_my_own_rotary_tumbler.html

Ifishsum
January 9, 2014, 12:36 PM
FWIW, my FA tumbler started doing the same thing after the first few uses because several the motor mounting screws and the counterweight had vibrated loose. I took it apart and locktited everything that I could, that was 5+ years ago and it hasn't given me any trouble since. I know you ordered a new one already but might as well try and fix it for a backup....

tcoz
January 9, 2014, 05:35 PM
I also use the FA tumbler. I just put a few drops of brass cleaner in, let it tumble or a minute or so to spread it around, add my .45 cases and let them tumble alone for a minute so they fill with media to prevent my 9mm cases from getting stuck in them, then add a whole bunch of 9mm cases and let em go for 4 hours or so. I've never had a problem. It sounds like a mechanical issue with the tumbler.

If you enjoyed reading about "Tumbler: brass going around in circles and not cascading - what to do?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!