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Proper way to clean powder from a reloading press

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dronning
kjanracing
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Post by mikemyers 6/1/2019, 8:45 pm

What I've been doing to clean up a press after reloading, is to wrap my hand around the base and use a brush to move any errant powder particles into my hand, from which they go down the toilet.  I read long ago that one should never use a vacuum cleaner (which would work much better).  Any advice on how to do this better than brushing powder into my hand?

Sorry if this is too simple a question to be asking here, but nobody has yet given me a better answer.  Maybe there's something I haven't yet thought of?????

If there is a good answer, I need to pass it on to a relative in a couple of weeks.
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Post by zanemoseley 6/1/2019, 9:16 pm

A shop vac is fine for small amounts. I wouldn't go sucking up a pile of it but fine for small spills. I reload in my basement and usually just use compressed air to clean off my presses. I also use microfiber rags and denatured alcohol to clean presses and my stainless work bench top.

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Post by james r chapman 6/1/2019, 9:38 pm

I think the issue with vacuum cleaners comes from a century ago with the motors then in use creating enough heat to ignite the powders. I’d use the shopvac.
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Post by mikemyers 6/1/2019, 9:41 pm

maybe this?

https://www.amazon.com/BLACK-DECKER-HHVI315JO42-Dustbuster-Cordless/dp/B01DAI5BZ2/ref=sxin_2_ac_d_pm?gclid=Cj0KCQjwxMjnBRCtARIsAGwWnBM8j9WG3NrK0dIgNZscJBgBl9j6XqtNhuRj6fAzcy_axiT_bJGf_4YaAm0pEALw_wcB&hvadid=323086235500&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9011918&hvnetw=g&hvpos=1t1&hvqmt=b&hvrand=8093438008452939102&hvtargid=kwd-314820098612&hydadcr=16481_10307800&keywords=cordless+hand-held+vacuums&pd_rd_i=B01DAI5BZ2&pd_rd_r=9e6a5985-2ce3-4664-99a6-1a0c85f29318&pd_rd_w=bnxhQ&pd_rd_wg=5TGGz&pf_rd_p=64aaff2e-3b89-4fee-a107-2469ecbc5733&pf_rd_r=28DNAMBCT537ER5WKB71&qid=1559443026&s=gateway
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Post by Wobbley 6/2/2019, 12:02 am

Also in the old days, the filters weren’t very good and you’d get the fines all over the place.

Rather than air to blow powder alloverdamplace, maybe use the air to power this. Then wash the bag out in the laundry.

https://www.amazon.com/Steelman-99978-Pneumatic-Vacuum-Blower/dp/B00LB5PCLU/ref=asc_df_B00LB5PCLU/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312153125665&hvpos=1o4&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4002468852418817500&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=t&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9061211&hvtargid=pla-569458816983&psc=1
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Post by kjanracing 6/2/2019, 8:25 am

Speaking of vacuum cleaners, and a little off topic is a story my mother still likes to tell.  When I was in my teens I was very into shooting, mostly .22. Deep shag carpet was very in in the 70s. My mom was vacuuming and vacuumed up an unfired  .22lr. It went off in the vacuum cleaner! She says the headlines would read: “Mother shot by vacuum cleaner.” !
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Post by dronning 6/2/2019, 11:43 am

If you use a vac just make sure it has a HEPA filter so it captures very fine dust.  Also over time I start to be concerned about powder accumulation in the filter and blow it out with an air hose.
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Post by desben 6/2/2019, 1:49 pm

I use a paper towel with some WD-40 sprayed on it. Leaves my press clean and shiny!
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Post by LenV 6/2/2019, 2:11 pm

I don't do any of that. When thru loading for the day or the batch I remove the hopper and funnel the powder back into the can it came out of. I then tap it (upside down) a couple of time on the bench to knock any loose flakes and set hopper aside for the next time I need it. Did I miss any flakes? Probably. Will it make any difference? No. I used to clean after each use but after cleaning no matter how squeeky clean I tried to get it I would always have powder clumping and clinging to the sides. Only by not cleaning was I able to keep it dry and non-clingy. The loose flakes on the bench get swept into the trash.

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Post by mikemyers 6/2/2019, 2:54 pm

Len, if I'm done reloading, I put the powder back in the bottle and try to clean up, but if I'm going to continue reloading the next day, I often leave things set up.

On my press, the RCBS Pro2000, there is a spring loaded ball under the shell plate which locks everything into position.  Unfortunately, when this happens, I can often see a few specs of powder come flying out of the case.   That is the powder I want to get rid of, and right now I do so by placing my left hand alongside the shell plate at the end of the session, and brushing any loose debris onto my hand.

The hand held vacuum I am most interested in has a clear plastic "shell" so I can look inside at any time, and at the end of the day, dump any loose powder particles down the toilet.  

Proper way to clean powder from a reloading press Screen55


kjanracing, after an incident like that, I'm surprised all your shooting gear wasn't banned. :-) 
I assume your mom was less than thrilled about the whole incident!!
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Post by kjanracing 6/2/2019, 5:00 pm

Actually she thought it was pretty funny and still laughs when she tells that story.
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Post by joy2shoot 6/2/2019, 5:58 pm

On my Dillon press I have switched to glass powder hoppers (that I learned about from this forum).  If initially cleaned with warm soapy water and let to air dry without rinsing, it has eliminated powder clinging to the sides of the hopper.  The company, Dram Worx, makes glass hoppers for other presses also.

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Post by LenV 6/2/2019, 6:37 pm

Mike, If you have to clean up some loose flakes a tool similar to my old solder sucker works perfectly. I suppose a turkey basting tool would work as well.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bulb-Solder-Sucker/113603227022?hash=item1a7347ad8e:g:nswAAOSwRfxcT3dt

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Post by mikemyers 6/2/2019, 6:59 pm

Thanks; I ordered the hand vac.  If I use it, I'll clean it out the same day.  Will let you know how it works out.  

I like things being nice and clean, and having old powder sprinkled around annoys me.
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Post by SteveT 6/2/2019, 11:12 pm

This will get all the powder residue, coarse, fine. Never clean a HEPA filter again.

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