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Tumbler Scum

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by sublimaze41, Jan 5, 2016.

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  1. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Member

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    Does anybody know what this tough film is in my tumbler?? I usually get some degree of it after tumbling fired brass. Cleans up with simple green after a 10 minute soak and some elbow grease. Black part is waxy somewhat.

    Tumbled 250 cases in .caliber .38 for 24 hours.
    Brass primed and previously fired
    Used Dillon Rapid polish (same result with Frankford Arsenal).
    Corn Cob was the media
    NEW dryer sheet split in thirds.
    cool basement @ 52 degrees and 63% humidity.

    Any details I left out? Just curious as brass looks good even after 5-10 years but I always had this unanswered question. Many Thanks!
    [​IMG]
     
  2. bds

    bds Member

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    You are supposed to use USED dryer sheet which helps pick up dirt/carbon away from the media. ;)

    If you don't have used dryer sheets, then you can use paper towel cut up in pieces.
     
  3. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Member

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    I have tried both or none, same result. But the new sheets make'em smell meadow fresh:)
     
  4. bds

    bds Member

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    I used to use Dillon and FA brass polish.

    Now I use NuFinish liquid polish (along with used dryer sheets) and seems to clean faster with fine grit walnut media (24 grit from Harbor Freight) and polish better with corn cob media too. With indoor brass, I only need to tumble for around 20-30 minutes with walnut to clean my brass.

    The residual polymer on the brass surface helps with resizing of brass and keeps brass shiny without tarnishing for months/years.

    Many posted about using mineral spirits and I will be testing it this year and see how it compares to NuFinish polish.
     
  5. Reefinmike

    Reefinmike Member

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    24 hours!!!!! I dont see my brass get any cleaner after two hours. Use USED dryer sheets to collect dust. The film in your tumbler is likely fabric softener residue
     
  6. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    You WASH the black gunk out of your tumbler?????

    I bet you wash your seasoned cast iron skillets too don't you?? :D

    It isn't hurting anything.
    Leave it be!!

    It comes from using too much tumbler polish.

    And corn flakes --- errr? Corn cob media.
    (And new dryer sheets.)

    I use walnut media, and never see it unless I go overboard on the liquid polish before I needed to add any more.

    rc
     
  7. witchhunter

    witchhunter Member

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    Mine is black, like RC's. Doesn't hurt nothing. I run mine overnight too.
     
  8. sublimaze41

    sublimaze41 Member

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    RC,

    When I heard from you I knew I would have an answer and I knew the I should have known the answer myself (no disrespect to other posters). The Scum felt greasy and felt just like the first time treated media.

    The directions said treat the media with 3 or four cap fulls so of course I just keep treating further tumbling sessions just the same. Makes sense as I just started using fabric sheets and the scum was there irrespective of said dryer sheets.

    Is the bottom line that I am just using an excessive amount of media treatment????? My magic eight ball points to YES.

    I will say however, my brass was always the best looking....scum accumulation not withstanding.

    Tip..... save money use less treatment on your brass, after all the Dillon Rapid Polish is $9.00 per bottle.

    Thank You all
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Yes.
    The four caps is for initial treatment of new untreated media.

    After that, just a little dab will do ya each new session.

    rc
     
  10. evtSmtx

    evtSmtx Member

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    I've got nothing to add to what's already been said except that "Tumbler Scum" would be great name for a grunge band.
     
  11. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    I read this @SUBJ and, for a brief moment thought that someone had slipped over the THR line into pejorative/invective ...

    ... like, maybe, sublimaze41 thought that some Tumbler Dude insulted his mom and, therefore, looked down upon the whole tribe.

    :D
     
  12. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    The NEW dryer sheets will contribute to the problem along with too much additive. The new sheets add a gunk/scum to the brass also, surprised you have not noticed that. We do not use dryer sheets so a piece of paper towel with some nu finish or other polish works just as well.

    Use used ones, trust us.:)
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Built up crud consisting of polish, primer compound residue, broken down corncob, and any other trash that gets in there.

    Over use of polish makes it worse/happen faster.
     
  14. Rule3

    Rule3 Member

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    If you really want to remove some of it (hard to get rid of all) wear some nitrile gloves and wash out the tumbler with rags and mineral spirits.
     
  15. joem1945

    joem1945 Member

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    When my tumbler gets nasty dirty I pour in some liquid Tide and hot water, let stand and scrub out with a pot scrubber.
     
  16. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    Walnut media. Strips of used dryer sheets, or paper towel. A couple hours in the tumbler. Brass is plenty clean to keep my dies in good condition, and plenty shiny to toss lead downrange and get dirty again. And, my tumbler cannisters (2 barrel HF tumbler) have NEVER gotten scummy, nor even skanky or smutty. If I ever feel the need to clean them, I'll probably just rinse the dust out with plain ol' water.

    I ain't making jewelry, I'm making ammunition. I refuse to get hung up on all the money, time, labor, angst and anguish that people put themselves through washing, rinsing, tumbling, drying and buffing to get a mirror sheen on something that will be dirty after a thousandth of a second's work.
     
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