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

Using a tumbler to clean brass

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by nambu1, Oct 15, 2011.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. nambu1

    nambu1 Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2008
    Messages:
    337
    Location:
    West Virginia
    I have 3 vibrators, 1 ultrasonic and just bought a tumbler. I am trying to figure out how to remove the stainless pins when draining the cleaned batch. I bought a mesh colender, but the mesh is too large. It was the finest mesh I could find. I need your help.
     
  2. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    Clean it in a bucket of water so all the media is saved into the bucket.
     
  3. Seedtick

    Seedtick Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,049
    Location:
    Central Arkansas
  4. bigedp51

    bigedp51 member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2011
    Messages:
    701
    Location:
    Pennsyltucky
  5. Shmackey

    Shmackey Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    1,477
    Location:
    Colorado
    I have a Thumler's but still use corn. Haven't moved up to stainless yet because there's no sink near my loading bench. At any rate, this problem seems like a good place to introduce a magnet somewhere, somehow.
     
  6. Twiki357

    Twiki357 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,940
    Location:
    Prescott Valley, AZ
    The one that seedtick linked works like a charm. MidSouthShooters.com has the exact same one in a different color for about the same price. I have had mine for a couple of years and my only complaint is that the mold edges on the latch is sharp enough to cut a finger and needs to be smoothed out. Otherwise, excellent.
     
  7. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    Stainless steel and brass. A magnet isn't going to do anything for you.
     
  8. Mxracer239y

    Mxracer239y Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    Brass, no, but there is enough iron content that these stainless pins do stick to a magnet. The use of a magnet is likely shown in the videos.
     
  9. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    i watched some videos of using this stainless media, never saw any mention of recovering the stuff with a magnet.
    be a pretty low grade of stainless if it has much magnetic property.
     
  10. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    The ss media from PelletsLLC.com is magnetic but does not rust. I use a cheap rotary spinner (Franklin maybe?) whose bucket is sitting in one of the large plastic storage bins from Wallyworld, Target, etc.

    Pour all but 1/2 cup of the water out from the bucket and dump the remainder with the pins back into the tumbler. Maybe 10 pins per use will end up in the storage bin where a fridge magnet is quite adequate to grab them all.

    BTW, the sink I pour into when rinsing is porcelain over iron (big old set tub). Every now and then a pin will stick in a primer hole and not come out until the rinse. To keep those out of the drain I cut up yet another flat, wide fridge magnet (2008 local Democratic candidates I think) into a few thin strips that stick on the sink bottom and "guard" the drain.

    /Bryan
     
  11. Mxracer239y

    Mxracer239y Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2008
    Messages:
    108
    While it's true the stainless may be low grade, it doesn't matter in the least. I have been using mine for a while (definitely over a year), and I have never seen any rust. I use a 'mechanics magnet' (I think 1lb?) from an auto parts store to pick up any stragglers.
     
  12. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    There are well over a hundred different types of stainless.
    If this media exhibits magnetism it's one of the ferritic cr steels, strange choice.

    I had wondered how this media was used, when I saw it needs a wet method it gave me second thoughts, I'm not sure I want to deal with the additional step of drying all that brass.
    And one video I looked at recommended some pretty small amounts of brass per load.

    I'm going to get that big old 15 pound tumbler my Dad had running today and toss in 400 cases with walnut media and see how it does compared to my old vibrating bowl type.
     
  13. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    The Model B Thumler recommends 15# max ... some push it a bit beyond that. Figures below are tumbler case capacities with various common case weights ... personally I use 3/4 gal H2O, 5#s ss media and run 3-4 hours. Primer pockets are done at that point and those (at least for rifle) are the main reason I use the wet cleaning.

    I get most of my cases tumbled in the summer for winter reloading ... they dry very quickly sitting in a collander atop the air conditioner exhaust.

    Thumler_brass.jpg

    /B
     
  14. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    A colander full of wet cases would dry out in the sun here pretty fast during the summer.
    Our humidity is usually less than 20%, but the summers are pretty short :D

    I'm sure I'm going to end up ordering 5# of that media just to try it. Expensive, but not prohibitive. I don't know anyone around here who has tried it.
     
  15. ferggie

    ferggie Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    Messages:
    88
    Location:
    GREENSBORO, NC
    300 series stainless steel is not magetic.
     
  16. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    PelletsLLC.com - call them, tell them it's for case cleaning - 5#s = $25 of the recommended .041*.25 rods. Shipping was reasonable - $7-8 IIRC. Seeing as it's a lifetime+ supply, seems a decent price ... half what the "mystery man" on the Hide charges or the web site devoted solely to ss cleaning.

    /B
     
  17. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    5# for 25 bucks, now that's way less than what I've looked at.

    How about those tiny pins finding places to lodge inside cases, an issue?
    Or will the shaking when separating out the media always get everything cleared?
    When cleaning a lot of cases it would be a pain to have to do a special look into each case to check for a jammed pin.
     
  18. HK SD9 Tactical

    HK SD9 Tactical Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Florida
    I use a colander with a old cotton T-shirt in it. It catches all the SS pins and lets the cleaning solution through. I then spray the SS media with some clean water and return the SS pins to the tumbler.

    You could also get a geologist sieve. They are expensive but would work for a very long time. If you got two, one to catch the brass and one under it to catch the pins, you'd be done in no time at all.
     
  19. HK SD9 Tactical

    HK SD9 Tactical Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Messages:
    117
    Location:
    Florida
    Never had a problem with straight walled cases or 357 Sig cases. Havn't tried bottlenecked rifle cases yet.
     
  20. Canuck-IL

    Canuck-IL Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    Messages:
    1,590
    Once in a great while I've had a pair of pins lodge together in the flash hole on 45 cases, maybe twice in 4000. Same happened once in about 3k 223s. Since they're protruding somewhat, else they wouldn't be stuck, they're very easy to see/feel. With all the shaking around cases get during the rinse and while drying, I haven't found one left in a case yet.
    /B
     
  21. JohnM

    JohnM Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    1,640
    Location:
    Down there by the river
    I just finished giving this old tumbler a test drive.
    With the Dayton motor I used and the pulleys, I ended up with 50RPM.
    I was surprised the motor got as warm as it did, but it's 40 years old or more too.
    I had 400 not too tarnished and dirty 30 Carbine cases and put them all in along with the walnut and Dillon's Rapid Shine.
    The whole drum loaded up was 18#.
    After 1 hour I had a better job than I've ever gotten with that bowl vibrator after 2 hours.
    I was surprised even the insides of the cases were pretty clean.
    Usually they're only fairly clean down about an 1/8 inch or so into the neck.
     
  22. cdan1

    cdan1 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Wild billz posted about going to HF to look at cement mixers to use as a tumbler. I bought one today, put it together and left out the paddles. Turned it on and held some heavy grit metal sandpaper inside to rough it up. I'm planning on using stainless media /water/ soap and 500+ pcs of .45 brass. The surface of the tub is too smooth to us 'as is'. I was thinking of using the mig and welding on 6 - 8in pcs of steel rod, spacing them around the tub, then coating with 'dip it' to give a nice rubbery surface. If anyone has used a cement mixer and has any tips...i'd love to hear from you.
    cdan1
     
  23. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,437
    Location:
    Piney Woods of East Texas
    If you just want them clean use Hot Citric Acid, 3-4 tbs/gal will clean a lot faster. I cleaned 2000 9mm with 1 gal only takes a few minutes if the acid is hot >150F, hotter better. I looked at the ss/tumber but the capacity is way to small for my needs. A crock pot will be a good heat source to heat the solution in. Just need some kind of screen mesh bucket for your brass. Once out of the acid I did a backing soda rinse then a final rinse in the sink. If you want them shinny just throw them in the tumbler with corncob media and polish for 30min to 1 hr.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page