Corn cob media question

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by presspuller, Apr 17, 2020.

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  1. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    What do you go by to determine when it's time to change it?
    When I bought my reloading stuff I got it from a widow who's husband had died. The tumbler was full of media already and looked decent enough so I assumed it was fairly new. I've always cut up a dryer sheet and put it in and that keeps the dust out. I noticed today that it is starting to stick to the sides of the bowl, I didn't know if that was a sign I put in too much polish or maybe if it was time to change.
    Thanks guys.
     
  2. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Yes, when the bowl gets scummy I figure it's done for.
     
  3. SlowFuse

    SlowFuse Member

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    Sticking seems like it may be too much polish.

    When the bowl turns black I dump and clean out with something that will cut through the crud. Alcohol works. I use the used dryer sheets as well and think it makes a difference on media longevity.

    If you have a new unused bag of media of the same type look at how light colered it is compared to what you're running. If it's a good bit darker in the tumbler thats another possible sign, along with how well its doing it's job cleaning/polishing cases.
     
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  4. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I don't change my corncob at all, but then again I don't clean brass in my tumblers, I use an ultra sonic for that. I just use my tumblers for polishing only.
    My vibratory tumbler has corncob from the 1990s in it mixed with old wallnut. It still works well.
    My rotary has new wallnut in it for more aggressive tarnish removal.
     
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  5. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    Agreed! The media will always keep polishing your brass. The buildup is most likely polish and the excess grit building up. Dump it only if cleaning time is extended. That means the sharp corners are worn off and will not clean as fast. If it is still cleaning OK just dump it into something and clean the bowl. In the future adding some mineral spirits to the moving media and letting it mix before adding the brass will rejuvenate the media so less polish will be needed over time. I add a cap full of polish about every 5 loads. Do this while running the tumbler as well. Drizzle it in and let things mix for 5 min before adding brass regardless.
     
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  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Funny... I change my media quite regularly... but I use walnut. I've found the dirtier it gets, the less effective it is for cleaning and, particularly, polishing (with Dillon polish.)

    There is also the issue of hazardous dust. If you think about it, that media is full of lead dust (assuming you shoot lead bullets, but also exposed lead base jacketed bullets) and other stuff that probably isn't very good to breathe. A big honkin' bag of walnut is only $20 or so, it's not like I have to get a 2nd mortgage or anything...
     
  7. 45 long

    45 long Member

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    Frog, how much mineral spirits are we talking about...…..
     
  8. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I just sprinkle a bit into the moving media. Probably aboutwhat would half fill a small pill bottle. Might be a bit more.
    As Charlie 98 states the actual cleaning properties slow as the sharp edges are worn off the media. Some add crushed walnut to keep the mix deep cleaning longer. That walnut cleans better but does not shine like corn cob does.
    Also these days I use SS media and wet clean my brass. I have relegated my tumbler to running finished ammo in it to add a polish coating to the rounds to delay tarnishing if I plan to store the ammo for more than a month. Just dont try that with hollow points or alox coated bullets.;)
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    When it gets too nasty filthy it doesn't clean any more. That can take a long time if you aren't cleaning up nasty range brass a lot.
     
  10. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    I tried corncob once and thought it didn't clean very well, so I went back to walnut. Hmmm... maybe a hybrid 50/50 mix is what I need! :)
     
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  11. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    I buy corn cob by the 40 pound sack and don't try to stretch the use out. I change it when it looks too dirty, doesnt seem like its cleaning as well, seems like it's taking longer than normal or I just feel like it.
     
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  12. mdi

    mdi Member

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    It's sorta a "whenever" thing. If you think it's taking too long to get the finish you want on your brass, try a fresh batch of media. Many will "refreshen" the media with a bit of mineral spirits and a piece of paper towel. Most corn cob media isn't too expensive (I buy blast media in 40 lb bags), so if in doubt, just toss the old and use some new. And don't put too much polish in the fresh media.

    If you're really cheap you can wash the corn cob media (I saw a video of a very high volume shooter that use a cement mixer for cleaning brass and it would have been too expensive to change out media when it got "dirty" so he added a bunch of water, a 1/2 cup or so of Dawn and ran the media for a while. Dumped soapy water, rinsed and spread the wet media out on a tarp and allowed to dry for a few days. Worked for him)..
     
  13. jhansman

    jhansman Member

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    I find that the old dryer sheet trick works wonders to keep my walnut and corncob clean. The sheets come out of the tumbler filthy.
     
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  14. mdi

    mdi Member

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    FWIW; besides the dirt/gunk in old media some media looses it's ability to clean (aka it wears out). Cheap pet litter often degrades to the point where it has lost most of it's cleaning ability, becomes too soft. This is one reason I prefer blast media. It is designed for use cleaning metal and is much better quality controlled. Pet litter is designed, and made with very little if any quality control, for containing pet urine/feces...
     
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  15. High Desert Pete

    High Desert Pete Member

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    I must say I've been using the old stuff in my tumbler for sometime now and started thinking it maybe wasn't doing as good of a job as it should so dumped it and added new walnut media and DANG GINA that made my brass look like store bought.
    Theres a lot to be said for changing that old stuff out. The dryer sheet works good too. HDP
     
  16. Dudedog
    • Contributing Member

    Dudedog Contributing Member

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    It will work but you lose the corn cob polish.
    Think two different grits of sandpaper on the same sanding block.
    The fine makes it smoother but then the coarse comes along.

    Walnut cleans better, corn cob polishes better, wet tumbling is the best of all.
    (corn cob has more bling than wet but even though I like bling I don't need that much)

    409 works well for cleaning the bowl.
     
  17. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Me too, take it out of the paper bag and put it in plastic buckets.
    Corncob 14-20 Grainger 2.JPG
     

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  18. mmb617

    mmb617 Member

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    I use walnut but was wondering the same thing. I've never changed the media yet and haven't noticed any difference in it's cleaning ability. I've run about 8k pieces of brass through it so far. I have a big bag of media so changing it isn't an issue but I see no point if it's still doing the job. I don't add anything to the media as all I want is clean, I don't care if it isn't super shiny, but it does look pretty good to me after 2-3 hours.
     
  19. PWGUNNY

    PWGUNNY Member

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    This works for me also. Plenty of spent dryer sheets floating about and each new load of brass gets a fresh change of dryer strips. I change the media every few years.
     
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  20. 1willi4

    1willi4 Member

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    Where are you getting 40 pound bags of corncob?
     
  21. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    No, dryer sheets don't keep the dust "out". The gooey substance on the sheets adheres the dust onto the sheet and the bowl.

    If you stop adding goo, it'll stop being gooey. I use a vacuum while pouring into the sifter and back to handle the dust.
     
  22. Big Wes

    Big Wes Member

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  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    You are searching for Blast Media, comes in 4 mesh sizes. The 40/20 is the finer grit that will go through flash holes. Amazon and others carry it, even the HF has it.
     
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  24. ericuda

    ericuda Member

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  25. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I change my media when I start getting black splotches left on the cases. The splotches are a combination of case lubricant, polish, and dust.

    When I was shooting 4000-5000 rounds a year, the media would last about a year.
     
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