Tumbler or vibrater

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Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Multiracer on 4/7/2017, 5:11 pm

What is the consensus for cleaning brass ? Machine type, what does it hold, wet recipe, dry media etc., etc.
I am gearing up piece by piece.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by mspingeld on 4/7/2017, 5:17 pm

If you have a really well ventilated area, like outdoors, then dry is ok. I had issues with elevated blood lead levels so switched to wet. Tumler model 17 (I think). Fill half way with brass, 1" from the top with water, 3 tablespoons Dawn, 1/2 teaspoon Lemishine. Tumble 2-3 hours. Great results, no dust.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Wobbley on 4/7/2017, 5:54 pm

I agree with Mike.  Unless you're outdoors and take precautions, wet is best due to the lead dust.  As for his formula I add a bit more lemi shine.  And I only add water to cover the brass plus an inch or so.  The ratios aren't really all that important.  Tumble for two hours minimum.  Rinse three times.  Pins are optional as is decapping first.  Drying is best done in a repurposed food dehydrator or in the sun if you have such a thing.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by fc60 on 4/7/2017, 5:58 pm

Greetings,

Read up on wet-tumbling your brass with stainless pins.

I will never use corn cob media nor walnut shells again.

Cheers,

Dave

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by troystaten on 4/7/2017, 8:26 pm

I use a RCBS ultra sonic cleaner and Hornady one shot case cleaner and that seems to work really well, not polished but very clean

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Aprilian on 4/7/2017, 8:53 pm

Troystaten, Just to be contrarian I use a Hornady ultrasonic with RCBS concentrate.   I find it works better than the one shot.
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by kjanracing on 4/7/2017, 9:31 pm

I use a Lyman ultrasonic with Lyman brass cleaner. Works great!
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by jglenn21 on 4/8/2017, 9:22 am

and I still use dry corn media with a capfull of car polish in it.. add a anti static laundry cloth and it will eat the dust up.. so much simpler than most any other method for me.
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by carykiteboarder on 4/8/2017, 9:26 am

I switched to wet tumbling.  Three things that might be obvious but you should know:
1) If you don't decap, the old primer can retain water. Be sure to get them dry.
2) If you do decap, the flash hole will retain a small drop of water.  Get them dry.
3) They end up so clean, sizing works best with a very light lube mist.  I use RCBS "Case Slick".

When I switched, I started decapping which adds to the total work.  Fortunately, I was also switching to a Dillon 650 so the total reloading time went down.
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by LenV on 4/8/2017, 10:49 am

I do both. I run the brass thru two 30 minute cycles in the sonic vibrator with a 30 minute pause between cycles. Then I rinse the brass in very hot water and shake excess water out of case. Still wet cases are then dumped into tumbler and let tumble for 2-3 hours until shiny and dry. Brass is now ready to re-load. Using a progressive that de-primes and primes on the same stroke I have not seen (except for inspection) a primer pocket in years. I obsessed about primer pockets years ago but realized I was wasting my time and now can load a batch in no time. That is how I do it. YMMV

Len
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Multiracer on 4/8/2017, 12:28 pm

Thanks again guys, there is plenty of knowledge here. I picked up a tidbit from each reply post.
My plan is for a Dillon 550C. I just want all the ancillary pieces to be here before the machine.
Ron

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by tonyg on 4/8/2017, 12:51 pm

Multiracer wrote:Thanks again guys, there is plenty of knowledge here. I picked up a tidbit from each reply post.
My plan is for a Dillon 550C. I just want all the ancillary pieces to be here before the machine.
Ron


HI Ron, pick up on this; a rotary tumbler with stainless steel pins is superior

 to any vibratory cleaner with dry media.  First of all, deprime with a stand-alone

die such as Lee's depriming die($9.99), then clean the cases, then resize...etc.

If you properly dry the cases after cleaning, you do not have to worry about

wet primer pockets.  A stainless steel cleaned case is so shiny clean, that it

makes visual close up inspection for case flaws very simple. 

As for drying the just cleaned wet cases, I live in Riverside County(Calif),  and

we have very warm(hot) dry climate. I just put the wet cases into a large towel,

gather the edges and give a few shakes; then open the towel onto a small table

table in the outdoor sun. The cases are bone dry, and hot in 20-25 minutes. Cool

Tony Smile


Last edited by tonyg on 4/8/2017, 12:52 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : smiley)

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Multiracer on 4/8/2017, 5:26 pm

Tony G,
Are you saying the Lee die needs to be in a one step machine to get the primers out before cleaning or part of the Dillon 550C ?

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by willnewton on 4/9/2017, 7:07 am

Lots of folks deprime as a separate operation.  The main reason seems to be for pre-cleaning cases before they get to the press. Some folks just like keeping anything to do with primers off the main press and de-prime and prime off the press.

 The cases may have grit and crap from landing on the ground.  The primers can trap water in the case if you wet clean and they can deposit crud into your machine during depriming.

It is not a huge deal to do it all at once or separate the operations. It depends on your machine and how you like to do it. Whatever works for your schedule and quality control.

I deprime with a Lee hand press or turret press. Clean cases in the ultrasonic, then in a tumbler with shells and car polish. Then hand prime. Then size, powder/expand, seat, and crimp in a progressive press. It takes a bit longer, but I am seldom in a hurry about it.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Mac2 on 4/15/2017, 9:33 pm

9mm, deprime with a Lee simple press while doing something else and store in glass containers.  Sometimes I catch 380 or 40 cases from somewhere.

Use about 1400 cases with 4 L of water, a drop of liquid soap, and a 45ACP full of Lemonshine.  A few hours rotating with Ss pins and the cases, and the primer holes, are clean inside and outside.  Put through a spinner and water rinse, recover the pins, and then into a five layer dryer.  All of the needed parts come as a set and are reboxed for the next session.  Extra parts are a common 5 gal. pail and a grid to cover the top of pail (stock item).  The first dump of pins, cases and water goes into pail with grid catching the pins.

This is done only in good weather outdoors when everyone is away.  Do two batches a day.  Cases are eventually sorted by major manufacturer - that takes time.  wet SS-pin method is work, but the results are worth the effort.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Jack H on 4/15/2017, 9:58 pm

What do you do with the dirty water after cleaning brass.  It probably has the same lead as the dusty residue.
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Multiracer on 4/15/2017, 10:17 pm

I did my first batch today. 200 once fire Starline brass, primers removed, 
I washed the pins several times in the tumbler per their directions.
Then it was five pounds of pins and the 200 cases, along with a touch of Lemishine and a drop or two of Dawn.
After an hour the cases were good but the primer pocket still showed a powder mark.
Maybe after everything gets worn in I will like the results better.
Very easy to load, run and clean up when done, ready for the next batch.
Thank you for the info all of you.
Ron

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by jmdavis on 4/15/2017, 10:50 pm

If you wt tumble with a doll up of car wash and a teaspoon of lemishine, you do not need to lube before loading. Before I did this I had trouble with the belling after sizing in my Dillon. Some lube solved the problem but added another step. The carwash eliminated the need for the lube.
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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Wobbley on 4/16/2017, 1:43 am

Jack H wrote:What do you do with the dirty water after cleaning brass.  It probably has the same lead as the dusty residue.
Pour it down the drain or flush it in a toilet.  It is 99 % water and the lead will deposit in the sludge.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by mspingeld on 4/16/2017, 8:11 am

I believe the directions say 2-3 tablespoons of Dawn, not a drop or 2. I use 3 tablespoons with great results.

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Soap and lead

Post by Mac2 on 4/16/2017, 9:34 am

I found that more than a tiny amount of liquid soap just increased foam, made water-spots worst, and complicated the cleaning.  Soap is just to decrease surface-tension.  

Lead in water?  Primers are gone and probably did not contain lead.  Brass does not contain lead.  SS does not contain lead.  Liquid soap and Lemmonshine do not contain lead.  Our water does not contain lead.  Only bullets fired are entirely encased by copper.  Powder and its residue are not expected to contain lead.  However, the waste water from SS pin cleaning goes into 5 gallon pail and then is used to water trees.  

Additionally:  I have used ultrasonic cleaning.  It is more work and does not result in anywhere near as good a result.  US cleaning also ended up using a bit more energy and water, and a lot more time.  

One of the old (was in Berlin airlift and WW2) local competitors shoots (extremely well) a 1911 in 45ACP.  He contends that he does not clean cases at all and the fired cases look as if they have not had any cleaning.  Wow.  Note with care: 1911 and 45ACP.

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Jwhelan939 on 4/16/2017, 11:17 am

I have seen this debate many times. I have 2 dry media tumblers, 2 sonic cleaners, and I just sold off my wet tumbler. They all do a good job, but imho the sonic cleaner is by far the quickest/easiest. 

The thing I dont understand is that people always say that the sonic cleaner doesn't work as well because it doesn't polish. Are there any benefits, besides esthetics, to polishing over simply cleaning?

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Re: Tumbler or vibrater

Post by Magload on 4/16/2017, 11:41 am

Ok I been holding off on posting this as it is a little extreme and not pistol brass either.  When doing 223 brass for my benchrest AR this is what I do.

1.  Brass goes in the corn cob mix with Turtle Wax added.  All pistol brass gets this just a lot longer.
     The brass vibrates for a hour or two.
2.  Now that it is some what clean a a little polished it gets resized and deprimed.
3.  Now it is into the wet tumbler with SS pins and citric acid and Turtle Wax Wash and Wax added to the water.  It can stat tumbling   
     for 5 hours sometimes.  
4.  Then it is into a old food dehydrator till dry.  At this point it doesn't have the shine I want and would need case lube for reloading.
5.  So it is back in the corn cobs ans Turtle Wax for at least 4 hours maybe 8 if I forget it's in there.

New brass doesn't look this good and due to the wax it stays that way.  I had a ultra sonic cleaner in the process for a while but it is not needed with wet SS pin tumbling.

Does all this help? Would it increase your X count?  Doth it but it sure looks nice.  Don
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