Wet tumbling with stainless media

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Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Thu Jul 30, 2020 12:31 pm

What’s up guys? Hope you guys are having a good summer so far in spite of the nonsense going on. But I have a question. I haven’t wet tumbled my brass since 1988. I’m fixing to start again. But this time I’m gonna be using stainless steel pin type media. The manufacturer recommends using their brand only cleaning solution a couple of capfuls to prevent damage to the rubber seal. My question is what do you guys use if you do not use the Frankford brand cleaner? I really don’t need to be spending $17 a bottle for soap if that’s all it is. I really don’t need to be spending $17 a bottle for soap if that’s all it is. I do have some Hornady solution, but it’s supposed to be for the ultrasonic cleaners. Does that stuff work just as well? Will it hurt the rubber seals on the Frankford Tumbler?
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby Al in Mi » Thu Jul 30, 2020 2:19 pm

I have a Frankford and all I ever used was a shot of Dawn and sometimes a dash of Lemishine.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby offrink » Thu Jul 30, 2020 6:09 pm

Al in Mi wrote:I have a Frankford and all I ever used was a shot of Dawn and sometimes a dash of Lemishine.


I do the exact same. I tried the hornady ultra sonic cleaner solution and it didn’t do as good of a job. I just cleaned 500 44 mag in an hour and a half. Came out extremely clean and shiny. Better than factory new.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Fri Jul 31, 2020 1:16 am

Excellent. Thank you. That’s all I needed to know. I already have Dawn dishwashing liquid and I have lemishine.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby plant_one » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:05 am

i have a Thumblers tumbler, i think the AR12 model.

my tumbler is rated for 12 lbs total so i use the following for cleaning


5 lbs pins
5 lbs brass
1qt (2lbs) water
approx 1 tbsp dawn (i do a big squirt - you cant have too much but you can have too little... your goal is bubbles visible when you open the container at the end)
0.5cc lee powder scoop of lemi-shine (1/10th tsp)

spin for 90 mins.

i do plan to do some testing with less pins to see if i still get a good result and can increase the brass quantity. i'm thinking 2½ pins / 7½ brass lbs will be my tester when i try it out. but this above has worked for several years for me and produces factory blingy clean brass - even in hard water.


rinse well after tumbling - both to finish separating the pins out of the cases and to neutralize any of the lemi-shine thats left active after the tumbling process.


HTH!
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby plant_one » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:09 am

if you dont put enough dawn in all that will happen is all the schmoo (yes thats a technical term!) will get redeposited onto your brass and it'll come out looking gunmetal grey.


the good news is - all is not lost!

just give a quick rinse, add some more soap and lemi-shine and throw back in for about 30 mins. all that schmoo will come right off

the soap is what keeps all that carbon and crap emulsified in solution and not getting re deposited onto the brass. so dont skimp on the Dawn. if you dont have bubbles when your tumbling cycle is done, you didnt use enough.




with the lemi-shine i used to use a TON more - i started out with a full teaspoon of it. i was getting bad water spots though. so i started reducing and kept cutting in half until i got to where i am now. i could probably go lower but i'm getting great results and no spots so i'm leaving it alone.

Less is more when it comes to the lemi-shine is the takeaway.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:31 am

Excellent. I have a lot of brass that needs to be cleaned inside and out. Thousands of rounds of 9 mm especially. I’m still waiting on the media and the magnet. I’m still waiting on the media and the magnet.But I have 120 µm bag that I will dump the treated tumbled brass into so as not to lose the pin media. And of course, my final touchup will continue to be the vibrating tumbler with a corncob media before loading.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby plant_one » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:43 am

i use an old tupperware bowl in the sink. no magnet necessary. ok well almost no magnet necessary... i have a small neodymium magnet in a bottle cap that i put in the sink drain to catch any stray escapee's (i get maybe 2-4 every batch that try to get away)


pour the whole mess into the tupperware ( i have a big tupperware bowl, it only fills up about half way), and start rinsing with cold tapwater. once the water runs clear, i start to mix the brass up like if you were tossing a salad or mixing meatloaf. the water helps lessen the surface tension on the pins inside the cases and you end up with >80% of the pins in the bottom of the bowl.

then i go into a rotary separator for the final drop of pins to shake the last few out and knock most of the rest of the water out.

you can put your pins back into the tumbler wet - they're stainless so no harm done. have been doing that for several years now without any damage to my pins. i drain most of the water off, but dont worry about the last little bit - it'll evaporate (i leave the cover loose, cuz i'm brave/stupid like that :mrgreen: )




i like to knock my primers out before wet tumbling with a lee universal decapper - that way my primer pockets get cleaned by the pins AND theres no corrosion for a bit of moisture being trapped in the primers after drying too.



what did you plan to use for a dryer? i have an old Ronco jerky dehydrator i use that i picked up at a yard sale. takes about 90 mins to dry 5 lbs
(pic from da web)
Image

i also dump my "wet" brass onto an old towel and roll them around before going into the dehydrator to get the big droplets off it to speed up the drying process a bit.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby plant_one » Fri Jul 31, 2020 10:46 am

also - you probably wont need the corncob. i'm not saying it'll hurt, but judge for yourself afterward. testing and all that :) i use hornady one-shot, so case lube isnt powder harmful in any way.

i still have my vibratory tumbler, but i use it for pre-cleaning to knock big debris off so that my case feeder doesnt get gummed up with range schmoo from the ground when going thru the decapper.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless media

Postby Texas Sheepdawg » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:12 pm

I’m not sure yet. I’m still experimenting. But I do know that I will be using the corn cob process for the final polish and drying.
So far I’m planning to try it in the following order.
1. Fired brass will go in the sonic cleaner first. 480 seconds. Rinsed and then spin dried in a salad spinner.
2. Hand dried in a towel then resized/decapped.
3. Primer pocket inspection and flash hole uniforming.
4. Measurement and trim if needed. (Trimming usually not needed for 450 Bushmaster.)
5. The wet tumble with pins. I think this will also help smooth the deburred the case mouth edges
after I trim them.
6. Rinsed and then Separation process brass gets towel dried then thrown in the corncob tumbler
for final polish and drying. I really like how the corn cob media finishes out the color of the brass.
I’ll see how this works out.
I’ll have two Franklin tumblers eventually to speed things up a bit.
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