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Thumler's tumbler questions

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by solman, Nov 9, 2012.

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  1. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I have both.

    The Buffalo Arms steel pin + detergent outfit cleans well but does not polish much.
    Maybe if I used the Lemishine mix or some of the stuff that came with my ceramic media.
    I'll try that next batch of black powder .38-55.
    It is easy to separate, just shake the brass to sling the clinging pins off. What you sling on the floor or let run out when you drain the tumbler on the ground (I'm not running that stuff in the sink in the new house.) can be recovered with a magnet in a plastic bag.

    I followed recommendations and ran the pins alone before putting in brass. The water was nasty and the first batch of brass still came out with a gray film. It took a while to get the pins clean enough to clean the cases well. A friend had no such trouble, one pass on the pins alone and he was cleaning cases. I don't know what I did differently.

    The Dave Maurer ceramic + solution combo polishes the dickens out of the brass, it looks great. The larger ceramic pellets are prone to hang up in cases. Not too bad in .40-65 or larger, awful in .38-55. I am told it will work in smallbores if you use a lot less ceramic than seems adequate, like a cupfull.

    I dry my brass in the oven at 225F. Since brass does not anneal until over 400F, I have an ample safety margin. I am too impatient to depend on the sun.
     
  2. Otto

    Otto Member

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    For me, ceramic is faster, cheaper, less abrasive, easier to handle and produces an higher shine. My main beef with stainless is that the pins are messy and get everywhere due to their small size. However, stainless steel pins bridge less in bottleneck cases (bridging causes the media to get stuck inside the case).

    PB190329.jpg
     
  3. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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    Otto,

    Where do you buy your ceramic media? If there are different sizes, which works best?
     
  4. Clark

    Clark Member

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    There are zillions of kinds of ceramic media, but those look like the moly coat media from Lyman.

    I had a hard time separating .224" bullets from .200" media. That is when I went to BBs a magnetically separated. Now I am not using media for moly.

    http://www.kramerindustriesonline.com/tumbling-media.htm
     
  5. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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    Great site. Thanks, Clark.
     
  6. solman

    solman Member

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    Tumbler arrived two nights ago sooner than I expected. I set it up and tumbled the pins alone for about two hours to clean them up. Did my first load of brass last night about 3 1/2 hours with a squirt of dish soap and a shake of Lemi shine. Results are great, comes out like new brass.
    It does knock off some of the burr from trimming but it's not as good as using the the right tools. Still I am very satisfied with the results. Need to come up with a system for separating the pins from brass. I was shaking them out one by one. I wonder if the dillon media separator will work.
     
  7. Krogen

    Krogen Member

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  8. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

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    To separate brass/muck/media ... I pour out 90% of the tumbler liquid into a fairly flat bottomed sink with a couple of flat fridge magnets around the drain to catch any pins. Rinse and dump 2-3 times in this manner.

    I then dump pns and brass into a spin media separator that's standing in one of the inexpensive, tall storage bins that you can get from Walmart/Target/etc. All the media thrown off by spinning that misses the media bucket ends up inside the bin. You need a fairly large, tall bin to fit in the media spinner and its bucket.

    I then rinse very thoroughly through the separator while it's sitting atop another bucket. The better the rinse, the less the tarnish 2 weeks later. A fridge magnet picks up the pins that are loose in the bottom of the large bin.

    I use 3/4 gal H2O, a little Dawn and a little Lemishine...3-4 4 hrs. Below is a chart to bring loads to 15#s ... I usually add a little more than that and give the barrel a running start - no issues about 60 loads. 1/2 gal won't do it and I saw no improvement with a full gallon.
    Thumler_brass.jpg

    /Bryan
     
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