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Sawdust as a tumbling medium...???

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by Furncliff, Jul 19, 2011.

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  1. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    Has anyone ever used saw dust as a tumbling medium?
     
  2. Lost Sheep

    Lost Sheep Member

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    I don't think it could hurt

    I don't think it could hurt. I don't think it could help, either.

    I suspect it would be like trying to use a wool sweater as sandpaper. A LOT of run time with VERY little result. Sawdust is not very abrasive. However, I would absorb a lot of whatever is on the outside of your brass.

    Try it. Sawdust is cheap - free at any home depot or sawmill. Just show up with a a gallon freezer bag and a whisk broom. Ask one of the sales guys and I am sure they would think "Great, less that I have to sweep up".

    I think it is an idea without merit. However, the world is full of "ideas without merit" that turned out to make fools of the nay-sayers. Maybe I should delete this paragraph so I don't have to eat it later.

    Let us know how it works. I'll have my spoon ready.

    Lost Sheep
     
  3. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I can tell you sawdust is an excellent absorbent of moisture. If you wash your brass at any point, you can tumble it in sawdust a few minutes until dry and it won't leave any spots on the brass. Be sure to spread the sawdust out to dry in the sun after use or it will mildew.
     
  4. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Sawdust has little to no abrasive qualities whatsoever so it probably makes a terrible tumbler media. Try a 50/50 mix of crushed Walnut shells and Corncob media.
     
  5. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    If it's relatively fine, I think it would work good. If it's too fluffy, the brass with just sit on the bottom of a vibratory tumbler, underneath the media. At least that's the problem I had trying to use bird litter corn cob.
     
  6. bds

    bds Member

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    In a snap, dry uncooked rice (cheapest you can buy) does a decent job as tumbling media (works better as it get a bit dirty on the surface) but you can't use any polish with it.

    Never tried saw dust. Any issues with resin/sap from it?

    Still can't beat walnut/corn cob for tumbling media in vibratory tumblers.
     
  7. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    Some sawdusts contain a pitch/resin that you don't want on your brass.

    I've moved on from the dusty medias to Stainless Steel media. Don't have to buy any more corncob of walnut shell. No more dust. Inside of cases are now as clean as when they were new with primer pockets cleaned too.
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Not only does saw dust contain some of the resin from whichever tree, some (especially sweepings from a lumber yard) will contain various wood preservative chemicals. You really don't need that in your brass.

    How expensive is corn-cob or walnut shell anyway? I know I go years without replacing any...
     
  9. MtnCreek

    MtnCreek Member

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    Cob and walnut media is angular; this makes it a good polishing media and also allows it to ‘flow’. I would be concerned that saw dust would get clogged up in bottleneck brass.
     
  10. Hondo 60

    Hondo 60 Member

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    I don't think sawdust would have the "edges" necessary to clean the brass.
    Plus as several have stated the resin/pitch wouldn't be good for your brass.
     
  11. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I can be just about as cheap as they come, but my hypocrisy does have its limits.
     
  12. Lunie

    Lunie Member

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    Sawdust is definitely abrasive, or can be. Dry dust, in pieces ~.100" X ~.100" X ~ .010" will certainly polish (and eventually wear through) steel. But big fluffy chips like what come of of a planner are probably a lot less abrasive... Honestly though, I don't have a way to compare how abrasive sawdust is relative to corncob or walnut hulls.

    Try it if you want, then tell us what you find.
     
  13. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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    The only reason I asked was I had not heard about it before. But it was mentioned in a thread somewhere here, when everyone was comparing how cheap their shooting was.

    I have to laugh in a way because I spent most of yesterday cleaning out the room where my dust collector lives (I'm a woodworker). I've neglected it and the bags ripped:-(

    I'll give it a try and report back.
     
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