Vibratory Tumble media

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by ctgrizzly2hunt2, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. ctgrizzly2hunt2

    ctgrizzly2hunt2 Member

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    How would you know it’s time to replace vibratory tumble media?
     
  2. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    When it turns to dust.
     
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  3. Nature Boy
    • Contributing Member

    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    If it’s corn cob, when it turns black
     
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  4. Howa 9700

    Howa 9700 Member

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    Few months back, I was offered a small collection of reloading equipment from a guy who had two of everything. One of the pieces I got was a vibrating tumbler, which came with charge of walnut shell media. Although it looked a bit dirty, I used it and got OK results. More recently, I dumped that and replaced it with new walnut media, with a charge of Nu Finish auto polish. Don't know it made that much difference, but certainly worked.

    BTW, because this is in an isolated shop, I let it run overnight. Retrieve brass from media, dump out surplus, wipe it down and off you go.


    dry tumbled.jpg
     
  5. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    It stops holding more crud and doesn't work as well.
     
  6. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    When it takes too long to get the brass clean. I have a max time I will run my tumbler. If it has to run longer than I like I replace the media.
     
  7. lightman

    lightman Member

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    I use a combination of what the guys above posted. I buy large bags of media from someplace like Granger, like 50# at a time. I might not ever have to buy another bag!
     
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  8. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    Mine was getting kind of grey, so I added a bit of Lyman TuffNut (walnut with rouge) and topped off with some fresh corn cob. I let it run and mix and I added NuFinish to it. The brass comes out better than new now.

    Funny thing is I was scrounging through the shop and I found 2 ziploc bags full of corn cob media. as infrequently as I tumble or change media this should be a lifetime supply.
     
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  9. wst38tx

    wst38tx Member

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    The secret to removing the black crud is dryer sheets. They clean your media, stuff sticks to them like a magnet. I add torn strips to my 50/50 mix walnut/corn cob and use the media forever. Brass is beautiful and I never add polish or anything else.
    I clean newly fired brass about 30 minutes, then decap on a universal decapping die. Then I can use my caliber die to size (no decapping station required) without cruding them up. I run through vibrator again about 30 min to an hour to clean the flash hole and remove lube. I inspect every piece of brass when I hand prime and punch out any media in the primer pocket (1 or 2 every hundred shells). The advantages to this are 1) Although media is cheap, dryer sheets are the easy way to get rid of crud (they turn black - not the media), 2) I don't get crud on my caliber dies, 3) don't use any additives (which may have ammonia). 4) Keeps my loading bench cleaner.
    While this may not be for everyone, it works for me. On the rare occasion, I get range brass, I use some old media I keep separate just for that purpose.
     
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  10. GeoDudeFlorida

    GeoDudeFlorida Member

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    I follow pretty much the same routine but use paper towels wet with MEK instead of dryer sheets. I kind of like the smell of MEK. :) It works just fine for cleaning and my tumbling area is well ventilated so the fumes aren't a problem. I also tumble after decapping in just corn, no polish, then finish tumble after resizing in walnut with polish.
     
  11. mdi

    mdi Member

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    When it takes twice as long to get the results you want, then replace it. Tumbling brass is one of the most talked about but least important aspect of reloading, and is mainly personal choice. You will see many, many formulas, components and methods and all work, some better than others, some with easy to find media/additives, but they work for the individual using it. Use the media of your choice with whatever additive you feel is needed until it doesn't clean/shine as you think it should. Then replace it (One well known Shootist uses corn cob in a cement mixer and when it gets "dirty" he washes it)...

    I use corn cob blast media with a scant amount of auto wax in my rotary tumbler. Blast media because it is better quality then pet bedding (blast media is made to clean metal, pet litter is made to contain pee), is harder, relatively inexpensive and lasts. I add a little auto wax to leave a very thin film on the brass to retard tarnish...
     
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  12. ctgrizzly2hunt2

    ctgrizzly2hunt2 Member

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    A lot of useful informations, thank you all for your input.
     
  13. snowman357

    snowman357 Member

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    Adding a cap full of nu finish every other time and used dryer sheets to pick up the dust a little. When it takes a long time to clean is all dependent on brass condition and the person. Best thing is dont let brass get dirty clean them when you get home from shooting.
     
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  14. EMC45

    EMC45 Member

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    I'm not a fanatic about tumbling myself. 2 reasons why I do it. 1. It helps my brass stand out from all the weathered brass on the ground at the range. 2. It is easier on my flare die spud when the innards of the brass is clean.
     
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