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Powder Pick-Up

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by lizziedog1, Jan 4, 2012.

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  1. lizziedog1

    lizziedog1 Member

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    How do you all clean up powder spilled on the ground?

    Do you think a shop-vac is safe?
     
  2. john16443

    john16443 Member

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    Conventional wisdom says not to use a vacuum to pick it up. Is it in a garage or other area with a bare floor? If so, just sweep up as much as you can, collect in a dust pan, spread around in your yard or garden. What's left can be picked up with a wet sponge which should neutralize it, and then the sponge rinsed out in the yard. Once done with the sponge, dispose of it properly.

    If the powder is spilled on a carpeted surface, you may not have any choice but to use a shop vac. If that's the case, I suggest you pick up as much as you can by some other means, shop vac the rest. Once all picked up, carefully clean out the shop vac and then pick up some water through it to neutralize any remaining flakes in the shop vac. Never had to do this myself, so the above is opinion only.
     
  3. Metal Tiger

    Metal Tiger Member

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    Spilled powder is best used as fertilizer for your favorite plants. Getting it there is the problem. Shop vac is best and should not be a problem. Spilling primers now that is a different story and requires a bit more care.
     
  4. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    WHOSE wisdom?

    Folks, myself included, have been using a shop vac for decades to suck up the occasional powder oops that occurs now and again - all with ZERO issues

    Thanks for the personal experience.............

    Even primers, if the vac has no rotary brush to crush the primers, will do nothing more than suck it into the drum. Personally, I pick those up by hand as they are getting to expensive to discard. Used spent primers, OTOH, get sucked up regularly
     
  5. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I been sucking it up in a shop vac for about 40 years now.

    I always use a dry-wall dust bag in my shop-vac, so it's not like it ever gets sucked through the impeller or anything.

    Never had a problem.

    If your shop-vac can gets more then 5 pounds of powder and 300 primers in it at one time, it might become a concern though! :D

    rc
     
  6. Kevin Rohrer

    Kevin Rohrer Member

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    I use a broom and dustpan, but that's because I am too cheap to buy a Shopvac. All my money gets spent on guns and reloading stuff. :D
     
  7. x_wrench

    x_wrench Member

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    i just use the house vacuum. the motor is buried so deep, and none of the air going thru the vacuum part of it ever gets to the motor anyway. but i do empty the bin as soon as i am done. not because of a fire risk, but because i am not sure what the powder will do to the plastic.
     
  8. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    I have an old canister vac that is dedicated to gun room and bathroom (post DITY haircut) use. I suck up powder bits, brass shavings, primer residue, etc. regularly. When the bag is full it gets dunked in a bucket of water for a day then dried on the backyard deck before disposal.
     
  9. john16443

    john16443 Member

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    To answers oneounceload's question "whose wisdom" suggests not using a vacuum for powder, I refer all to the powder manufacturers warnings. Sorry, but I tend to read and heed them.

    Here's the info from Accurate from their Edition 3.5 load guide.

    POWDER WARNINGS
    Smokeless powder is intended to function by burning. Therefore, it
    must be protected from exposure to flame, sparks, high temperatures
    and the sun's rays. When ignited, smokeless powder will normally
    continue to burn (and generate gas pressure) until the powder is entirely
    consumed. With this in mind:
    1. NEVER MIX OR SUBSTITUTE powders with other powders;
    2. Avoid open flames, combustible agents, and any spark-producing
    tools when handling powders;
    3. Store powder in its original container in a cool / dry place;
    4. Do not keep or use old or salvaged powders;
    5. Check powder for deterioration on a regular basis. Deteriorated
    powder is detected by its noxious odor (not to be confused with
    solvents such as alcohol or ether).
    6. Pour out only the amount of powder necessary for the application
    being conducted;
    7. If you accidentally spill powder, use a broom and dust pan to clean it
    up. DO NOT VACUUM the spilled powder;
    8. Do not stockpile powder - store and utilize the amount of powder
    necessary for your current reloading needs;
    9. Be certain that the powder container is empty prior to discarding.
     
  10. Win1892

    Win1892 Member

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    I use a shop vac and have for 2 decades. Sucked up a quarter pound of trail boss last week, don't ask.

    I keep the filter clean and empty it regularly.
     
  11. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Many years ago vac motors where not sealed and protected from dust. All modern shop vac and vacuum cleaners made within the last 20 yrs are. Now the warning is there just incase you have a hole in your filter. A few flakes will not even be noticed if they are ignited. Primers are a different story, you will hear and notice them. But with todays prices I keep up with all of them.
     
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    Thanks for the insult - then you must also not reload, because every one of your gun makers will void any warranty and all tell you NOT to use reloaded ammunition

    So who are you going to heed? The gun makers whose warranty is now null and void?

    Grow up, and learn what is lawyer speak and try gaining some real world experience before slamming me and everyone else over 6 years old.................

    and don't forget - don't use the top step of the ladder, or have a TV near the bath tub, or drive without your seatbelt fastened.......
     
  13. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    The sweet aromatic oder that one smells on good powder might be an organic solvent, or something similar, flashing off.

    If so, if the concentration gets high enough in a shop vac, it becomes flammable.

    But, then again...
     
  14. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I use a "Dust Buster" handheld vac for primers & powder.

    I have 2 dogs, so spilled powder can't be reused - I get dog hair with the powder.
     
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