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Add What? to Tumbling Media

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by jjohnson, Nov 30, 2008.

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  1. jjohnson

    jjohnson Member

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    Hi, Gents!

    Right now I'm using Frankford case cleaning polish (from Midway) as an additive to corn cob media in a vibratory tumbler. I know some of you use Brasso - and I'm not sure I want to use that - but I know some of you guys use an auto buffing compound of some sort - which brand and item do you use? I'm looking for something I can use as an additive without paying Midway big bucks for it...

    I seem to recall somebody said Maguire's auto wax or something - I know it's something you can get at Wal-Mart, but when I looked, there were a BUNCH of options at Wally World. I don't want to put a bunch of Carnuba wax on my brass - I want something that's got enough abrasive to clean the grunge off.

    Thanks for any info, as always.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2008
  2. Mt Shooter

    Mt Shooter Member

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    I use a little Nu Finish car wax, I added some every time for a while. Now the media seems conditioned, and I dont add it as often, every third or fourth time.
     
  3. closetgunnut

    closetgunnut Member

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    +1 on Nu-Finish!
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Don't use Brasso!

    It contains a pretty high ammonia content.
    And ammonia is known to cause the sudden death of cartridge cases!

    I know some folks are going to say they have used it since the invention of dirt without problems.
    But I'm just saying!

    In the grand scheme of things, good tumbler polish of known design & quality from one of the reloading companies, or even Flitz, is a very very small percentage of your reloading costs!

    rcmodel
     
  5. ranger335v

    ranger335v Member

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    It don't much matter. Use nothing and you still get clean brass, that's what the ammo factories do. Some reloaders want shiney brass but that helps nothing at all. Cob or nut? It really makes no difference to the brass.

    Add any polish you wish, if you wish, 'cause polish is polish. Add any liquid stuff, no more than maybe a table spoon full, for each 8-10 loads. After the liquid evaporates that leaves very little actual polish. Add it, let it tumble and mix for an hour or so before tossing in any cases to prevent internal clogging. Most folks use far too much polish and get a lot of polish dust for their efforts.

    Liquid ammonia IS harmful to brass so make sure it's had time to evaporate before using it on cases. If you use Brasso, or any other polish with ammonia, let the tumbler run overnight to allow the ammonia to evaporate before adding brass. When the "pee" oder is gone, the ammonia is gone.
     
  6. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

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    A cap full of mineral spirits dumped in when you turn the tumbler on will get you brass that will sparkle.
     
  7. Erik T

    Erik T Member

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    I use enough rubbing alcohol to make the media slightly damp and some cut up dryer sheets. This keeps the dust, lead and cob, to a minimum. Cases come out sparkling after 1 hour.

    It does clog up some of the cases but I'm will to make that trade off if I can prevent a lot of lead dust.
     
  8. jfh

    jfh Member

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    Another vote for NuFinish.

    Jim H.
     
  9. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    + 1 for mineral spirits

    GP100man
     
  10. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    I tumble to get the dirt off, so I don't add anything to the corn cob.

    And I don't tumble off lube.

    My media lasts forever.

    I do have Lyman treated walnut. The stuff on the wal nut is Jeweler's Rouge. I suspect you could add crumbled Jeweler's rouge to the media.

    If you want real shiney brass, I understand from the Blackpowder crowd that ceramic media is the way to go. Might need a Thumler's Tumber, as the stuff is tumbled wet.
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I use Nu-Finish. I don't believe the polish actually does any polishing but the Nu-Finish deposits a film on the cases to keep them shiny over a longer period of time. Something like waxing your car ya-think. If you only load small amounts at a time and they are shot up shortly after reloading probably doesn't mean anything however if you reload large amounts at a time might check into putting some polish in the media. Just about any liquid car polish/wax can be used, Turtle Wax, Mcquires, whatever you happen to have.
     
  12. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

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  13. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Man, I've been adding a teaspoon of Turtle Wax, but I have a bottle of Nu Finish I'll have to try! Thanks for the tip.
     
  14. Papa smurf

    Papa smurf Member

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    Case Cleaner

    Used Braso for 23 years,and no problem. NONE!
     
  15. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    EEK! :what:

    Just google "season cracking" or "brass stress cracking" and see the citations about ammonia causing brass cracking.

    Under no conditions pour Brasso or any other ammonia based cleaner into your tumbling media. Ammonia causes "season cracking" which effects a number of metals. Cartridge brass (which is 70% Cu and 30% Zn) is one of the weakest alloys in this respect. In time brass exposed to wet ammonia will split or failure. Season cracking occurs when the material is highly stressed and subject to corrosive atmospheres or liquids. Believe it or not, bird poop on a brass prop will cause season cracking! I have a failure analysis book showing the broken prop and a discussion of the failure.

    Cartridge cases have lots of residual stresses; are work hardened each time you size them, they are highly susceptible to season cracking.

    Keep ammonia the fool away from your brass cases.

    http://www.corrosionclinic.com/types_of_corrosion/season_cracking.htm
     
  16. cdrt

    cdrt Member

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    I asked the question a while back if anyone could document where Brasso used in tumbling media could be attributed to a case failure.

    The only example anyone could come up with, was where someone used straight Brasso on a rag to clean some cases and that example is suspect since the cases were pretty far gone and that's why the fellow used it the way he did. No telling what the inside of them looked like.

    As stated above, a small amount of Brasso mixed with tumbling media can be used safely to polish cases if you allow the ammonia to disipate over night. I have used it since I began reloading in the 1960s and have never had a case failure.
     
  17. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I've never used Brasso to shine brass, and relize the ammonia is a no-no regarding brass. With that being said I seriously doubt that media treated with Brasso & ALLOWED TO EVAPEROTE will not cause any problems as the ammonia is gone. I still use the car polish/wax as that puts a protective coating on the brass, plus I've lots of the car stuff from always looking for the perfect car wax. hehe
     
  18. Archie

    Archie Member

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    I usually add some Hoppe's Number Nine to cut the powder fouling from the inside.

    I don't need 'sparkle' so much, but I really like 'clean'.
     
  19. GP100man

    GP100man Member

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    i used brasso until i read about the ammonia thing , but never had a case to fail or wear any qwiker.

    GP100man
     
  20. Sport45

    Sport45 Member

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    I add a splash of mineral spirits. More to limit dust than anything else.
     
  21. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Lo! What light from yonder tumbler shines?

    ...I have a bottle of Nu Finish I'll have to try! Thanks for the tip.

    Put about 50 cases in the tumbler with new media and Nu Finish auto wax last night. This morning I was brushing my teeth when I remembered the tumbler was still running! So, on my way out the door I stopped and turned the unit off and peeked inside. The doctors assure me that the sight in my right eye will return by the end of the week.

    :what:
     
  22. rondog

    rondog Member

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    I tried the mineral spirits last night in some walnut shell media, didn't do anything for me.

    I received my ceramic polishing kit today from Cabela's, I'll be giving that a try in the next couple days, I have high hopes for it.
     
  23. Steve C

    Steve C Member

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    I use a commercial polish/cleaner by Dillon or Frankfort Arsenal, whatever I found on sale last and add it to ground walnut shell litter obtained from the pet supply aisle. Works well at both cleaning and polishing.
    [​IMG]
     
  24. leon riverrat

    leon riverrat Member

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    I once used brasso to clean a bunch of 348 win cases which were hard to find and expensive. Was told by an experienced reloader that I may have damaged the cases. I worried over the cases for a few days and finally disposed of them. Was probably a case of being overly careful. But I still feel "better safe than sorry". I think a good rule for reloaders is to take the safe route if there is any question about a situation.
     
  25. 66GTO

    66GTO Member

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    I was going to use mineral spirits in my media and found that I was out. After pricing it at WalMart, I decided I didn't need it that bad (a quart bottle was over $5!). Instead of mineral spirits I put in a spoon full of GoJo hand cleaner, the kind sold in auto parts stores. I mashed it up and ran it for a while before I put the brass in. It worked great, and eliminated the dust from the corn cob media.
     
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