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Wet tumbler worth the $$$

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by kostner, Jun 7, 2014.

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  1. kostner

    kostner Member

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    Wet tumble brass cleaning worth the cost?
    Have been watching videos on the new Frankfort wet tumbler from MidwayUSA for $199. And wondered if any of you used a wet tumbled type cleaning method. Have been using the walnut/corncob type for years but never got the results that I'm seeing on youtube vids. Is it just another toy or a real break through in cleaning brass. This will be used mostly for 223/5.56 brass.
     
  2. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    If you get a lot of winter brass and it bothers you I would say yes. Otherwise I've gotten pretty much the same results from hot water, bucket, lemi shine and stirring it around a few times.
     
  3. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Lots of us use the wet method and are happy with the results. I don't use either the FA or Thumler's machines, I use a small cement mixer. I just prefer to run larger batches in one run rather than several small batches. Same recipe, same amazing results.
     
  4. judgedelta

    judgedelta Member

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    Depends on how you like your brass. Some don't clean at all; some are satisfied with a vibratory with corncob; some like it to shine like new. I like to deprime then wet tumble about two and half hours, gets about 95% of everything, or go three hours and get it all. The Thumbler will hold 2 pounds of brass with 5 pounds of stainless and about a gallon of water.
     
  5. dredd

    dredd Member

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  6. judgedelta

    judgedelta Member

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    I've got my last batch lying on the deck in the sun on a dark towel (after an alcohol rinse). 15 minutes and too hot to touch...
     
  7. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Alcohol rinse? Does that displace the water and promote quicker drying? Water spotting and quick tarnishing is my biggest problem. I have to blot them with a couple of towels to get the excess off first before spreading them out in the sun.
     
  8. osage48

    osage48 Member

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    alcohol mixes with water and evaporates quickly. You can reuse what you pour off.
     
  9. brody

    brody Member

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    +1 on the food dehydrator. Gets the job done quickly and without spots. Although, here in Arizona the sun is now quicker, faster and cheaper.
     
  10. 1066

    1066 Member

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  11. judgedelta

    judgedelta Member

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    Alcohol also has no minerals to leave spots on your brass like your water most likely has. I just sort of roll it around in a towel and spread it out in the sun. The alcohol will pick up some water in the process, so it doesn't last forever. 90% lasts longer than 70%...
     
  12. cfullgraf

    cfullgraf Member

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    I do both wet and dry tumbling. I wet tumble when the cases are really dirty or I have a bunch of purchased once fired.

    Most of the time, i dry tumble.

    I will dry tumble a small quantity of cases but will not drag out the wet tumbler unless I have a full drum worth of brass to process.

    Wet tumble does get the cases clean!
     
  13. dredd

    dredd Member

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    If water spots bother you, rinse with distilled water before drying.

    Learned about that from a guy that used to have a show bike.
     
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I use both, like everything else "it depends" is the correct answer. You don't need wet or dry tumbling to keep your dies happy. All you need are cases free of grit and you can do that with a rag.
     
  15. FROGO207

    FROGO207 Member

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    I like the results of wet tumbling with SS media. I size/decap then wet tumble. Then I roll the brass in a towel to get the spots off the outside. after that I put them on an old cookie sheet to finish drying in the sun if possible. After that I tumble in corn cob/Nu-Finish for 15 min to stop tarnishing.
     
  16. judgedelta

    judgedelta Member

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    Frogo: do you use Nu-finish polish or wax? Googling, it appears that they make both. How much to a vibrator of cob? thanks...
     
  17. Capybara

    Capybara Member

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    As long as you are okay with running small quantities, I have been very happy with the Harbor Freight dual canister rock tumbler and some cheap SS pins I got from a guy off of Calguns names Stilly. Keep an eye out and you can get the Harbor Freight tumbler for under $50.00 and it does a fine job. Just not for the high volume shooter.

    http://www.harborfreight.com/dual-drum-rotary-rock-tumbler-67632.html
     
  18. GLOOB

    GLOOB Member

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    Squeaky clean pistol brass can gall your expanders. Squeaky clean rifle brass needs inside neck lube. Squeaky clean brass also tarnishes, quickly. If you are going for squeaky clean, you might want to use a little shot of lube on your pistol brass. Or dry tumble it with some NuFinish, afterwards. Dry tumbling is a pretty nice way to dry your brass, anyhow.

    So yeah, if you like really shiny and bright primer pockets and interior case walls, then you have your work cut out.
     
  19. Steve2md

    Steve2md Member

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    In the plus column though, Squeaky clean brass is more easily recovered in the grass and desert when shot outdoors...
     
  20. tarakian

    tarakian Member

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    I have the Frankford tumbler and think it is worth every penny. It easily handles large amounts of brass and gets it very shiny. I run 5 lbs of 9mm with the 5lbs of pins that come with it for an hour and they are prettier than new. It can actually hold more as the weight limits of all ingredients is 30lbs, with the brass, pins and water, my loads run ~17lbs including the drum.
     
  21. Edgy01

    Edgy01 Member

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    I've been using a small rock tumbler for decades for 'wet' case tumbling. I used to use walnut shells as my polishing media but switched awhile back to metal media. Metal media consists of many small mechanical-pencil thickness pieces of magnetic stainless steel which can tumble thoroughly in and around spent cases. I always deprime my cases and resize them befor tumbling. The media actually is small enough to fit through the primer hole. With water and a bit of dish washing soap (I use Dawn) it thoroughly cleans and polishes even the most severely tarnished and aged brass.

    Once processed (a 10-12 hour process) I dry the cases with a food dehydrator for a few hours. I don't get spots, per se, from the water.

    Dan
     
  22. Steve2md

    Steve2md Member

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    Wow... I do 1.5 hrs in my rock tumbler with the ss pins, water, dawn, and a pinch of lemishine and my brass looks like I hit it on the buffing wheel with rouge....You might be going a bit longer than you need to...
     
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