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Thumbler tumbler

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by arthury, Jun 14, 2012.

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  1. arthury

    arthury Member

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    Besides the $500+ top of the line model, are their smaller models just as good and durable?
    Which model do you use?

    Thanks!
     
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    None of them.

    I use an old Dillon vibratory I bought years ago when I stopped using a drum tumbler.

    The drum tumblers take forever to polish brass compared to a vibrator tumbler.
    Unless you want to use liquid cleaner in them, I see no reason for them.

    rc
     
  3. esheato

    esheato Member

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    I've got a several vibratory and a Thumlers rotary (model B). Vibratory is faster, rotary is quieter. I would say the rotary polishes better, but that's because it's so quiet I forget it's running for days at a time.

    There's nothing you need to be doing that can't be done with a cheapie Frankford Arsenal vibratory tumbler.
     
  4. arthury

    arthury Member

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    Actually, I was thinking about the vibratory Thumbler tumblers but since you mentioned the rotary model B, it does sound more efficient.

    Since it is horizontally positioned, I am assuming the opening is on the side of the drum? Are they using rubber seal? Does it last?
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2012
  5. PCCUSNRET

    PCCUSNRET Member

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    The Thumler's rotary only opens on one end. The one I have has been running for about 15 hours a day almost non-stop since February and the only signs of wear I've noticed is the rubber seal that goes under the lid and it's not leaking, just showing wear. Once I cleaned my first load of brass with this system I ended up cleaning all the brass I have in reserve. I used corn and walnut for many years without a problem but as mentioned the rotary tumbler is quieter and it does and excellent job of cleaning the inside of the cases and the primer pockets (I hated using that little brush on a thousand 223 cases).
     
  6. Otto

    Otto Member

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    Yes they are. Thumler's sells an Industrial line but that's really overkill for brass cleaning.
    I have a UV-18 and a Model B. Both are very quiet and of exceptional quality.

    I've also owned Dillon, Midway and Frankford Arsenal...all were junk in comparison.

    Yes and Yes. Thumlers are made to tumble rocks 24/7 for months on end.
     
  7. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    There are many vibrating tumblers on the market aimed at the reloading business that work well and cost alot less than $500. Beryy Mfg, Frankfort Arsenal, RCBS, Lyman, and Dillon to name a few. I believe Harbor Freight sells a vibrating tumbler. But it is Harbor Freight.

    The Model B rotary tumbler from Thumler is kind of the main tumbler for wet cleaning with stainless pins.

    Thumler used to make a rotary tumbler that used two small drums. I believe they still do. It cost less than the Model B but has less capacity. I used one for many years before vibrating tumblers were reasonably priced and available.

    I am not familiar with any vibrating tumblers from Thumler.
     
  8. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    I've got an ancient Thumlers Model B. My Dad gave it to me about 30 years ago and it was at least that old when he got it.
    It's a little different inside the drum in that it has 2 sections so both ends have to be removed to use it.
    Also have a vibrator sold by Gemstone Equipment, I bought it new sometime in the 80s. It's all American made and I doubt I'll ever wear it out.
    I think if I was going to get a new one now I'd go with the vibrator type, quite a bit faster I think.
     
  9. Jersey Devil

    Jersey Devil Member

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    I just bought 5lbs of stainless pins to clean brass. Works great. I cleaned brass in 2 hrs. and it never weakens. Love it.
     
  10. arthury

    arthury Member

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    Yea, I have been reading that more people are using the SS pins; especially, those reloading 5.56/223.
    They are like $45 a bag?
    I know they work faster but would they damage the cases in any way?
     
  11. JohnM

    JohnM Member

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    Won't hurt the cases.
    I had thought about it, then decided why bother. I don't need the brass to look like a piece of jewelry.
    Walnut get off any grit I want gone and all my cases need a quick trip to get the lube off after resizing. Too much fuss with the wet process, especially when you consider the drying.
    And I can load up that old Thumlers I have with way more brass using walnut than I could with the SS pin media.
     
  12. jgh4445

    jgh4445 Member

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    I use an RCBS vibratory cleaner. No issues. I place it on a 1/4 " rubber mat to help with the noise and let it do its thing. I use walnut and cobb. No complaints.
     
  13. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    [​IMG]
    http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/344832_Wet_tumbling_with_SS_media__lots_of_pics__New_info_second_post_1_18_2012_.html

    The moderator (dryflash3) that posted this picture over at AR15.com said it takes 4 hours to get this bling using a Thumler B Model (the high speed model) and 8 hours using the low speed Model B. He uses a 2 second squirt of Dawn Dish Soap, a .45ACP case full of Lemishine (both from Walmart) and 5 lbs of Stainless Steel pin media from Buffalo Arms.

    My wife ordered me the same high speed Thumler B, for father's day from Midway USA. ($180) What can I say, I couldn't think of anything else I wanted.:rolleyes: I also ordered the 5 lbs of SS media ($35). I resisted this fad for a year. We'll see if its worth it. If not, I've also wanted to try polishing rocks!:D I'll bet you can afford the $4 Lemishine, and $2 Dawn Dish Soap. $500???? No way. Buffalo Arms sells a $700 one that has twice the capacity.....I'll pass. People are making their own big ones for less than $200.

    I will say that tumbling with cob or walnut in my Lyman 2500 with or without Dillon polish will not get you bling inside the cases or pockets. Tumble two weeks and you won't get it.

    Whether its important to get it clean is another thing entirely. I daresay that any kind of tumbling is no better for quality reloads than wiping them off with a rag. Just makes you feel better. And from what I've been witnessing with the recent resurrection of WET Tumbling due to SS media, Bling seems to be very addicting.:uhoh::)

    [​IMG]
    http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=6&f=42&t=367332
    Try doing that on a Vibrator.

    RC.....you will be assimilated!....eventually.;) Heck! I resisted vibrators for 30 years. That bling sure looks great to my tired old eyes!
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2012
  14. Otto

    Otto Member

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    I'm old school and still use ceramic...I have stainless steel pins too but don't really care for them.

    Before and after....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    Correctly done wet tumbling is great. (but I don't use it)

    I bought a very used Dillon 500 about 7 years ago and it lasted about 4 years before the motor let go. I replaced it with a Cabela's Model 400 tumbler and I'm happy I did. It's quiet and works very well. It is actually a Berry's 400 tumbler which is considered one of the best available. (and the Cabela's cost less) You actually send the Warranty card to Berry's.
     
  16. Hopkins

    Hopkins Member

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    I have a 6lb Thumlers which came with 2 1 quart paint cans to tumble stones in. It must be 30 years old. 1 1/2 pounds of SS pins a squirt of Dawn and and 1/2 tsp. Lemi shine ,enough hot water to cover 100 45acp per can and an hour run time will produce the results displayed in other photos in this thread.
    Removing the pins from bottle neck rifle cases can be tedious but there is no dust to contend with.
    I was running a Lyman 1200 next to the Thumlers yesterday and that decided it for me once and for all. The Lyman will be gifted soon.
    A downside that does need consideration is the need to dry the cases after wet tumbling. I rinse them in scalding water and shake them out in a wire colander and blow dry them dry.
     
  17. arthury

    arthury Member

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    That's a good point.

    So, how did you guys dry them after the cleaning/polishing?
     
  18. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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    I wipe the outside of the cases with a rag and let them sit to air dry overnight.

    I agree with others -- wet stainless tumbling probably doesn't to squat for accuracy or anything else, but clean and shiny brass just looks better and is nicer to work with. I feel like I can also better assess any problems with the cases if they are that clean, but it's probably just psychological.

    I use a Thumler's Model B.
     
  19. activsean

    activsean Member

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    Do not purchase a vibratory tumbler from Harbor Freight. The media removes some of the black drum contaminating the media with black dust...sucks! I wil be ordering another cheapie frankford arsenal which lasted 4 years.
     
  20. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    Just checked prices!

    Why not get the Berry's tumbler which is made right here in the U.S. with U.S. components except for the motor "which no mfg. makes here BTW", with a less expensive price line, better guarantee, and further if you purchase it from Cabelas it comes with a lifetime satisification guarantee.

    Beats 4 years, chinese made tumbler for sure.
     
  21. Bush Pilot

    Bush Pilot Member

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    Avoid the vibratory tumblers from Harbor Freight, IMO they're pure junk. For some unknown reason I purchased one and it didn't work from the get go. The unit I got would shake and vibrate across the floor until it hit the end of it's cord. Harbor Tool said that was normal and refused to refund or exchange. I gave it to a friend and after tinkering with it for a couple of hours it sort of worked.
     
  22. GW Staar

    GW Staar Member

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    Keep your Lyman 1200 to clean the lube off your finished ammo....only takes 10 or 15 minutes.

    I have a question for Otto. The ceramic media you show in your picture is not much smaller in diameter than the primer pockets. That media cleaned those pockets?
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2012
  23. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    I recommend the Thumblers UV-18. It is what I use and works great.
     
  24. tekarra

    tekarra Member

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    I have been using a Thumblers Turbo 1200 for a lot of years now and it still works well.
     
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