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keep the tumbling media clean!

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sauer1911, Nov 15, 2013.

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  1. sauer1911

    sauer1911 Member

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    After a couple of times emptying the tumbler, and doing it outside, standing up wind from the dust, I got an idea.

    I use walnut shells for cleaning my brass. In it goes some polishing compound, shells, brass. Tumble for about 3-5 hours, and all is good.

    NOW, after a batch or 3, the walnut media gets dark gray. So now, what i do is in the beginning of a brass cleaning run, I add about 5x8" patch of towel, damp to attract the black dust, cut in about 2x2" squares. run it for 20 minutes in the beginning and it gets alot of the dust and particulate. I even notice the walnut media color is back to brown! After taking the dirty patches out, I add a polish refresher to get the shine on!

    For me this cuts down on the airborne dust when I start to sift the shells out, and dont have to wash the media as often.
     
  2. CZ9shooter

    CZ9shooter Member

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    I learned about used dryer sheets from some threads around here. Rip one or two of them into four or five piecess and simply toss them in with the brass durring normal tumbling. I've been doing this on every cycle now. The dust has gone down a lot.
     
  3. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    I just throw in some cleaning patches any time I run mine. Helps with the polish.

    btw. If you using the pet store stuff it's the reason for all the dust. Bottom of the food chain in usage. Regular blast media has very little dust.
     
  4. Taterhead

    Taterhead Member

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    Media is one of the areas where I splurge a bit. I like the green Lyman media. Very little dust. Cleans very well. Expensive at 15 bucks per jug, but I like it so much better than some of the other walnut and corncop solutions out there. Some of the cheaper solutions are WAY dusty. Others are very scratchy on brass. I like smooth, clean, and slick feeding brass. I don't like the red Lyman media as much. They put too much polishing rouge, and it makes a mess.
     
  5. tightgroup tiger

    tightgroup tiger Member

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    I use old dryer sheets also. I didn't think they worked at first but if you tumble for a couple hours you will see all the dust trapped in the dryer sheet. Most everyone uses them and it give me another use for them instead of just throwing them away.

    I save my old towels for other things.
     
  6. Dr.Zubrato

    Dr.Zubrato Member

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    Yup, that's a great idea used by a bunch of reloaders here. Another trick to keep down the dust is using a capful (lol, not a cup full) of Odorless Mineral Spirits.
    I find it helps keep down dust, and cuts down on tumbling time as well. There's a thread around here about tips and tricks learned from more skilled reloaders, forgot the full name of it but keep an eye out, spent a day or two reading through all the pages myself :D
     
  7. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    All the "tricks" to keep dust down such as USED dryer sheets (which I use sometimes as we do not use them much in the dryer) I use the blue shop paper towels with some spray car wax.

    Actually found something looking at the Lyman FAQ for something else.

    A few drops of mineral oil! (Baby oil) or Ballistoil if you use that.

    Yes right there in the FAQ and never seen it mentioned.:)


    Q: My media is getting quite dusty. How can I keep the dust down?
    A: Add a few drops of baby oil to the media and run it to evenly distribute. Older media which is becoming dusty will indicate that the media is wearing out.
     
  8. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Tater to Tater here:

    Glad to hear it. Bought my first jug at Gander last night but hadn't tried it out yet.
     
  9. Ex

    Ex Member

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    Started poishing about 5 yrs ago... bought a 25# box of course walnut from Harbor Freight.
    Have run probably 200 runs of tumbling and am still on 3rd fill of walnut in 5 lb tumbler. Use occassional dryer sheets to absorb dust and occasional 'blurbs' of Turtle Wax" metal polish.

    Media is still clean. Biggest thing about any additives is to insure no ammonia!

    Have fun, stay safe!
     
  10. plmitch

    plmitch Member

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    I got fed up with the dust and switched to stainless tumbling media. Never looked back.
     
  11. Bexar

    Bexar Member

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    Yep...red walnut leaves everything pink. Don't like it.
     
  12. photosaurus

    photosaurus Member

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    Lots of reloaders find used dryer sheets effective in absorbing dust from tumbling media. An empty Kleenix box atop the dryer or in the laundry room makes a great repository for collecting them. When the box is full, just swap it for the one beside your tumbler.
     
  13. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    Maybe a dumb question but does "new" dryer sheets work OK?? I don't use dryer sheets but it sounds like they are the hot ticket.
    Or would just pieces of shop towels with baby oil on them be just as good?
    thanx!
     
  14. bds

    bds Member

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    No. New dryer sheets have fabric softener on them and black fouling won't stick to them.

    If you don't have access to used dryer sheets, a trip to the local Laundromat will get you enough for a year's supply. ;)

    You can always use cut up paper towel too as they work well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  15. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    Not only do the new ones not collect dust they leave a sticky film on the brass which a pain to remove.
    We do not use them either. Just a paper towel or the tougher blue shop paper towels and some spray car wax on them works fine. A damp paper towel will work also, not wet!.
     
  16. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    Thanx guys. I think I'll try the shop towel thing with some spray wax. I have ever used anything with the media but, I would like to get the media cleaned up a bit.
    I appreciate it!
     
  17. Potatohead

    Potatohead Member

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    Glad you asked. I wondered the same thing but was afraid to ask!
     
  18. Jcinnb

    Jcinnb Member

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    Stop that nonsense. You can be wet tumbling with SS media for less than $100. No dust, no nothing. Every time I tumble, I set the two hoppers on a bench, stick the hosepipe in them and flush them out, drain out the water and good to go. No dust, no nothing.

    Don't want to offend anyone, but it is beyond me why anyone is still dry tumbling. Good luck.
     
  19. Skulptor

    Skulptor Member

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    I guess I just do it that way.
    BTW, nice town, New Bern. I was there last fall and rode bicycles. We looked at buying the "Haunted House" :) down town. Great court yard!!
     
  20. RainDodger

    RainDodger Member

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    Ok, I probably polish in the least money-saving way. I buy Sinclair's media that has some kind of polish in it. No dust. Nothing is left on the shells. It works great. Really great. Yep, I pay a little bit more, but it lasts me a long time and I use the tumbler a lot. When it starts getting dirty, I put in some of Dillon's liquid polish. It works for another few months just fine.

    A couple of bucks more, but far, far easier than messing with it all the time. I know it works because I can see the reflection of my front teeth in most of the polished cases. :)

    That's how the D.I. used to check the polish on our shoes... it's adequate if you can see the reflection of your teeth. I digress... but you get the idea. No hassle; polished cases. No time spent messing with it.
     
  21. stubbicatt

    stubbicatt Member

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    There are issues which arise with sonic cleaning and steel pin cleaning that don't arise when using good old vibratory media. Some of these include metal to metal "cold welding" when using brass cases and gilding metal jacketed bullets, and scratching of the rifle bullets upon seating. There are remedies for these issues, such as graphite lubing the necks etc of rifle cases to provide a barrier of sorts between bullet and case mouth, or seating your long term storage ammo (stored more than two weeks or so) buillets "long" and reseating the bullets to final depth the night before a tournament.

    Not saying that your cases get cleaner in a corn cob tumble than they do in a pin wash, as all I have read suggests that the pins and water method get the cases cleaner, inside and out. Just saying that there are issues that arise when using this method that the astute hand loader would want to be alert for.
     
  22. USSR

    USSR Member

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    Umm, because it works well?

    Don
     
  23. moxie

    moxie Member

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    Yes it works very well.

    I get dozens of runs from my media before changing. I use 50/50 corn/walnut with a dollop of Nufinish. I do rinse brass in water and dry before cleaning to remove sand and grit.

    Never have any dust problems. Don't know where that comes from. I use an old Midway 1088 that uses sealed Rubbermaid hoppers, and a Cabela's Model 400 that has a plastic cover that tightens down with a wingnut.

    No dust.
     
  24. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    I feel the same way I why anyone uses the wet system with stainless pins.;)

    Wash, rinse, dry buy and expensive wet tumbler, now they are selling re purposed food dehydrators.

    My brass comes out just as clean and shiny after 2 hours in the dry media. No rinsing and drying.

    I would get the dry heat autoclave it's only $992.00!;)

    http://www.quickmedical.com/graham-field-grafco-dry-heat-sterilizers.html

    But variety is what makes the world go around.:)
     
  25. TfflHndn

    TfflHndn Member

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    I use both the green and red Lyman's media. Occasionally mix a handful of red into the green, and that's plenty to get the brass shiny.
     
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