Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Some experimenting with SS tumbeling media

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by FROGO207, Jan 30, 2012.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,139
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    I have been trying to find a fast reliable way to clean my brass with SS media and a Thumblers model B. I have tried many cleaners, hot water ,cold water, various water levels, and several different quantities of brass. This has been going on for the last few months. My best results were as follows.

    I use 5 lb SS media in a Thumblers model B.
    I clean 3 heaping 16 0z containers (old cottage cheese containers) of brass at a time.
    I use 1/8 cup IOSSO case cleaner and a small squirt of Dawn for a cleaning solution.
    I fill the tumbler 1/2 full of hot water.

    Tumbling time 20 - 30 minutes for cases that are clean inside and out (not brown to start with). If the cases are really brown and dirty/tarnished I will dip them in the IOSSO for a couple minutes before putting them in the tumbler and cut my IOSSO added in half. This has resulted in completely clean cases but not highly polished ones. I will polish the finished rounds in corn cob with NU Finish car wax for the protection from tarnishing I need.

    Anyone else find something that works well other than the Lemmishine and Dawn combo that works as well and costs a reasonable amount?? Lets figure out what is best/fastest for cleaning our brass.
    The fun continues------------:cool:
     
  2. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2007
    Messages:
    1,168
    I have found nothing faster than crushed walnut and corn cob 60/40 with two cap fulls of mineral spirits. I only tumble once about 25 minutes and the mineral spirits cut down on the dust. I have found I can achieve same type results with my 223 and 270 rounds.

    [​IMG]

    This 45AR brass was smut black due to low power reloads.
     
  3. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,098
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    ^sure, the outside is clean, but let's see the inside and the primer pocket
     
  4. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,139
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    I do agree that for outside cleaning it is hard to beat the walnut media. But if cleaning the insides and the primer pocket SS media is lots better as well as faster.
     
  5. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2006
    Messages:
    21,663
    Location:
    Northeast PA, USA
    I've been meaning to change over to SS cleaning but i just don't have the money for all the equipment I need to start. The media itself and the tumbler are expensive!
     
  6. Striker Fired

    Striker Fired Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    467
    I use my Lyman twin1200 vibratory cleaner with the pins,You have to watch your weights and can't do huge numbers of brass at once,but it cleans them quiker(between 10 to 25min) in a tumbler so you do more batches, it comes out close to the same amounts in time, plus I didn't have to buy a pricey tumbler.Even if my Lyman burns outeventually ,I'll buy another and continue the same way.
     
  7. dsb1829

    dsb1829 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2010
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Huntsville, AL
    Never know. I stumbled on a Thumler's model B for $30 at my local pawn shop. Just keep an eye out and you may find something cheaper than you'd think.
     
  8. rjrivero

    rjrivero Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,064
    Frog: You have great timing. I just took delivery of a Tumbler and Stainless steel media this week. I plan on using it for "other" gun accessories, but I'll follow this thread and see where we end up!
     
  9. blarby

    blarby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,144
    Location:
    Calapooia Oregon
    "environmentally friendly"

    This implies to me that you have a solution that is comprised of a simple surfactant, along with a very mild naturally occurring acid or base.

    The biggest difference between commercially offered products and home brews is the addition of oversudsing agents.

    Most of these combinations can be formulated much in the way you've described you don't want to use ( lemishine and dawn, etc), so what exactly would you like to use ?

    In tumbling vs ultrasonic, the biggest difference here is mechanical action.

    Most of the work done in your pin tumblers is accomplished with the pins, not the solutions.

    I would ask this :

    After tumbling in simple water and a dash of dish washing detergent to suspend the errant dirt, what is present on your cases after cleaning ?
     
  10. RustyFN

    RustyFN Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    3,170
    Location:
    West Virginia
    That has got to be loud.
     
  11. targets from us

    targets from us Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2011
    Messages:
    18
    We have been tempted to try our big steel and aluminum tumblers pictured to the left here.[​IMG]
    Just never enough time.
     
  12. blarby

    blarby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,144
    Location:
    Calapooia Oregon
    Well gents, what of this ?

    I'm very eager to know.....one of the biggest differences between ultrasonic and pin tumbling is actually the mechanical action. Us ultrasonic users are beholden to specialized formulations ( if even of our own creation) to substitute for abrasive mechanical action.

    I'm very curious as to the answer to this question !
     
  13. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    I use a teaspoon of lemishine, half the recommended amount of water, half the recommended amount of brass, and a drop of palmolive. I tumble overnight.

    Why? Too many cases and not enough media will give poor results. You dont want the brass banging against eachother. You want the stainless media to separate the brass. You don't need a drum full of water, just enough to lubricate the media and brass. I pour in enough to cover the mix and that's all.
     
  14. blarby

    blarby Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    5,144
    Location:
    Calapooia Oregon
    Frog, anyone.....still really wanna know on this one !

    Reason being, when this whole tumbler bit came out....one of the biggest reasons hailed as a selling point was that you DIDN'T need crazy formulations to make them work.

    I'm starting to see a lot of feedback here and elsewhere that perhaps that is not an entirely true statement....

    I don't mean to poo-poo on your thread, but I'd like to hear it from someone who obviously does enough tumbling in their pin tumbler to start this thread in the first place.

    I went the way of ultrasonic because the startup was much cheaper.

    The blast from everyone was that the long term costs for pin tumbling were less.

    We've already pretty much debunked one being "better" than the other in terms of quality/results, so its kinda down to a cost thing.

    Now this thread pops up, and I'm wondering if this info wouldn't be relevant to someone choosing one option or the other !
     
  15. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    45,599
    Location:
    Alabama
    Yea, I hate to scrap two perfectly good tumblers and buy a new set up. When the tumblers die, that might be the time to change. But I am not unhappy with my set up now either.
     
  16. Lloyd Smale

    Lloyd Smale Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,949
    Location:
    Munising MI
    never tried it but just bought some once fired 7mag brass of a guy and he tumbled it in stainless and the brass looked like new inside and out and even the primer pockets.
     
  17. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,098
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    i've used the harbor freight (same as lyman) ultrasonic with several different cleaning solutions, both homemade internet recipes and commercial solutions made just for cleaning brass in an ultrasonic. it got all the fouling out of the inside of the case, primer pocket, and flash hole. the brass was certainly clean if i ran it through enough cycles. it would come out looking about like new remington or winchester brass. i was pretty happy with that, but i didn't like having to walk in there every 480 seconds or whatever it is to reset it. i began to look at other options. the high dollar ultrasonics have longer timers, but then you're getting up near the price of a thumler's model B. there were 2 deciding factors for me. first was the fact that an ultrasonic transducer is eventually going to fail. i'm sure my thumler's model B will eventually burn up its motor or wear out its belt, but those items are easily/affordably replaced. they're not the expensive parts anyway. thumler's tumblers are made for rock polishing, where you run your tumbler 24/7 for weeks at a time. i don't think i'll be making an repairs to it soon. on the other hand, i don't think it'd be worth it to replace a transducer in an ultrasonic. they may last a long long time, but if the money is about the same, i think i prefer the more mechanical nature of the thumler's. second was that i like the shine that's put on by the mechanical action of the SS pins. i could not achieve that shine with the ultrasonic solutions i tried. my brass looks better than new. a lot of reloaders do not value that, but i do. it's a matter of personal preference.

    i still held onto the ultrasonic. it is great for cleaning all sort of gun parts, carburetors, pocket knives, etc etc.
     
  18. 918v

    918v Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2006
    Messages:
    3,931
    You don't. Alls you need is water, soap, and a dash of lemishine.
     
  19. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,098
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    ^yep, that's all i've tried and i don't have a reason to try anything else. i figure the guys selling the SS media have done plenty of experimenting, so i'll just stick with what they suggest. it's cheap.
     
  20. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2006
    Messages:
    45,599
    Location:
    Alabama
    You don't with corncob either. Corncob, a little polish, tumble. Easy peasy. :)
     
  21. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    I went wet SS for the clean pockets on rifle brass and the lack of dust when tumbling indoors all winter. 3/4 gal of H2O, a little detergent (Dawn really is best!) and a dash of Lemishine does it with proportionally more brass than using a full gal ... effectively the same results in a 4 hour run.

    No magic formulae needed ... just rinse extremely well or the cases do tend to tarnish after a week or so. Not an issue, just not what most folks want.

    The vibratory won't get tossed as it's still useful for quickly getting the lube off of pistol rounds.

    /Bryan
     
  22. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    6,139
    Location:
    Mount Desert Island Maine
    As I am typing this I just put some 45 ACP brass (one heaping cottage cheese container), water , SS pins, and a bit of dawn into the Thumlers and started it. We will see what happens in a couple hours.:)
     
  23. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Virginia
    I just received mine today and if the first load is any indcation of what this setup will do I will never go back to a standard tumbler. I had a 1 gallon bag almost full of 7mm Magnum brass that looked like it had spent the winter outside (very dark). I ran this brass in my regular tumbler for almost 5 hours in walnut with Framlfprd Arsenal brass polish and a teaspoon of Nu Finish Auto polish and it came out looking just a little better than what it did before I tumbled it. I thought for sure this brass was stained permanently but after 2 hours tumbling with the steel pellets, water, Ajax (lemon scented) dishwashing liquid and a teaspoon of Lemi Shine this brass looks like new. The only drawback I see so far is wet brass and my wife says this tumbler is a lot louder than my Dillon tumbler.
     
  24. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,161
    Location:
    Virginia
    Frog,

    Is it okay to leave the brass and stainless pins in the washing mixture overnight with the tumbler not running?
     
  25. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,098
    Location:
    Wilmington, NC
    i roll my wet brass around on a towel and then throw them in a mesh bag made for washing lingerie and other delicate stuff. i zip it up and sandwich one end of it in the dryer door. run it on the delicate cycle for 20-30 minutes. brass is dry as a bone, doesn't get banged around, and i don't have to let it sit out overnight to dry.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page