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Tumbler: brass going around in circles and not cascading - what to do?

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by IMtheNRA, Aug 9, 2013.

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  1. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    Can't figure this out. Sometimes, my brass and media have a great cascading action, which gets the brass clean and shiny in a very short time. Usually, however, the media and brass just go around and around, which I think results in significantly less brass/media contact than cascading and takes three times longer to get it real pretty.

    I tried to add and subtract media and brass, but I can't seem to hit the magic weight ratio. I just randomly get good effect, but usually I don't.

    What's the secret to cascading? :banghead:

    I use a cheap Frankford Arsenal tumbler and three types of media - Lyman Tough Nut walnut, corn cob, or sometimes, a combination of the two.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Member

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    I use the HF crushed walnut so don't know if that makes a difference but I have the same tumbler.

    Mine has an uncovered threaded rod down the center that I worried about scuffing up the cases. I inverted a funnel over it to keep the brass from touching it. This also seemed to change the flow inside and make everything move a little faster. Might want to try that. The one I used is a medium sized kitchen funnel. Maybe 2.5-3" along the top.

    I've never noticed mine not "cascade" what's inside but it got the funnel on day 1. They still move around in a circular pattern, but also move top to bottom - like a spiral/corkscrew type deal is best I could describe it.
     
  3. Hungry1

    Hungry1 Member

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    Do you add any type of dust collector? Something like dryer sheets or paper towels.

    Might help.... IDK,,, maybe just let it run.

    Good Luck :)
     
  4. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    No, no dust collection. I can see how a funnel might help...
     
  5. myFRAGisFUBAR

    myFRAGisFUBAR Member

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    I use the same setup as you and mine cascades almost every time. I shoot for a 60/40 ratio of media to brass. I just use the bare minimum for media that I can get away with.
     
  6. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Frankford Arsenal, there's the problem. I started with one, I was happy when it crapped out. It did OK if I didn't load it too much, but choked if I did.

    Is the bottom of it flat like a mixing bowl? My Lyman has a raised center, the inside is shaped like an inverted bagel, and it churns like mad.

    That funnel idea sounds like a good one! You might try a 3" or 4" funnel slid down the rod, it might work great. If it does, maybe you could glue it down or use a nut on the rod to hold it down. Try it and report the results.
     
  7. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    My small Dillon unit is sensitive to the amount of brass and media. The more brass, the more media that's needed. Still, 223 brass seems to circulate freely while most pistol brass (if in the same tumbling load) will not rise high enough to be seen. From this I understand that it's no good to mix longer bottleneck cases with shorter pistol brass and expect to see the same circulation.

    I now install the brass, turn the unit ON, then add media until I get the amount of "churn" deemed best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2013
  8. HOWARD J

    HOWARD J Member

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    As things get old I have a habit of moving them around.
    I have for one unit a Lyman base--a Hornady bowl & a RCBS cover--works great.
    My other unit is a Lyman--lyman bowl & cover--unit is 30 some years old--still working good.
    Try a Lyman unit--you will like it.
     
  9. IMtheNRA

    IMtheNRA Member

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    I wondered if I don't have enough media, so I added more - the bowl is probably a little more than half full now. This helped a lot. The media and 100 .45 cases are now cascading, but slowly. I'm going to add more media to see if it speeds things up.

    The motor doesn't seem to like this heavy load - I now hear frequent fluctuations in the rattle/hum of the machine. Mostly rattle...
     
  10. 32_d3gr33s

    32_d3gr33s Member

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    i make sure my tumbler is completely full...
     
  11. blarby

    blarby Member

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    Lots of media is the key in most of the operations.

    It sure works that way in my cabelas....

    2nd one btw- I thought that first one would never go out. When it did it sounded like it was breaking concrete !
     
  12. rfwobbly

    rfwobbly Member

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    Thanks for reminding me.... I pour media in until the rattle stops. The rattle is brass against the bowl of the unit. In the case of my Dillon, when it has enough media to lift the brass off the bottom, then the circulation seems to be maximized.
     
  13. mdemetz

    mdemetz Member

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    My Lyman sorta does that if you leave the sieve top off. Attach the top and you can see the churning increase.
     
  14. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    My Hornady is smaller than my Lyman but will 'churn' the brass 3 times faster.
     
  15. CMD-Ky

    CMD-Ky Member

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    ole farmerbuck

    That signature is priceless.
     
  16. Tommy Van Alen

    Tommy Van Alen Member

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    you guys probably know this already, but lizard litter from like Petsmart is crushed walnut shells. works just the same and is priced cheaper than anything sold for guns or reloading.

    I would rather have way too much media when compared to brass. Not enough media gives it like this log jam effect.
     
  17. higgite

    higgite Member

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    I agree with rfwobbly, the rattle is probably brass against the plastic tub and/or brass on brass. As you have already discovered, more media is better than less. It circulates better, cleans better and is quieter.
     
  18. myg30

    myg30 Member

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    I took the cover off my frankford and found the counter weight on the motor shaft was loose. It took me 30 seconds to fix it and 45 mins to find my off set screw driver !
    My lyman is smaller but has never given me any trouble. The cyclonic action is way better in the lyman too !

    Mike
     
  19. steve4102

    steve4102 Member

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    There is a counter weight on the motor shaft inside the base housing. Take the bottom of the tumbler off and make sure the weight is still in the proper position on the motor shaft and secured tight with the set screw.

    Also make sure all other motor mounts and bowl mounts are tight and secure.
     
  20. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    lol Thank you.
     
  21. ole farmerbuck

    ole farmerbuck Member

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    On one of my Hornady tumblers I JB welded another small nut on the weight. Makes the stuff move!
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    It needs to be 3/4+ full to work properly on my Dillon.

    I want it to be about 1" short of the lid when the cases are added.

    rc
     
  23. Match10

    Match10 Member

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    Quoting above... "There is a counter weight on the motor shaft inside the base housing. Take the bottom of the tumbler off and make sure the weight is still in the proper position on the motor shaft and secured tight with the set screw."

    This. The counter weight may even be lose and rotating. Without it, the bowl spins the media.
     
  24. ConcernedCitizen

    ConcernedCitizen Member

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    With my Frankford Arsenal tumbler, it took me a while to find the proper ratio. I have found that filling the media until it's even with the wingnut in the middle of the bowl, and then adding brass to the very top of the bowl seems to work well.

    Once the tumber is turned on, it sucks the brass down to the bottom and rattles for a minute or so until the media can fill the empty cases. After that, it seems to churn quite nicely. I can run full loads of 9mm or .223 this way without much trouble.

    I am to the point where I need to replace my corn cob media, though. It was getting pretty saturated, so I added some mineral spirits to it, which must have reactivated all of the old polishing compound in the media. Now it seems kind of sticky and sluggish, and it won't churn nearly as well as it used to. The odd thing is it runs fine with the lid off, but once I tighten the lid it slows down considerably.

    Not to hijack the thread, but how often does everyone replace their media?
     
  25. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    This sounds like something worth investigating, but it seems like there wouldn't be much movement at all in this case. Adding more media might also help.
     
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