Cleaning brass, tumbler question

Discussion in 'The Ammo & Reloading Forum' started by rocklinskier, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. rocklinskier

    rocklinskier New Member

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    How much media do you need to use in a tumbler?

    Any rule of thumb? How do you know if you are using too much or too little?

    Bought a second hand tumbler, so no specific instructions are included, kinda flying it blind.

    BTW, it's actually a vibratory (bowl type) cleaner, not a rotating drum
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  2. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    You know you've used too much by it falling all over your tabletop if you turn it on with the top off. Too little? The brass isn't covered.

    Rough guesstimate is 1/2 to 2/3 filling of the bowl? I use a 60/40 mix of corncob and ground walnut (Lizzard Litter from Petsmart) with a capfull of liquid car polish blended in. I also throw in a few cut up used dryer sheets to control the dust.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  3. rocklinskier

    rocklinskier New Member

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  4. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    I drop in the brass, then fill the bowl almost full with media. My tumbler runs quieter with more media. +1 to throwing in the used dryer sheets.
  5. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    You might also want to try and find one of those plastic shower caps that will fit over the top of the bowl to help keep most of the dust inside the bowl while it's running. Those things can kick up quite a bit of dust sometimes. You can also put in a couple of capfuls pf mineral spirits to help clean the crud, but only if you run it outside or in some well-ventilated place. Nu-Finish car polish is the best, 1-2 capfuls to polish the brass.
  6. rocklinskier

    rocklinskier New Member

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    Mine doesn't have a vented top, but thanks for the tip.

    Will do on the dryer sheet.

    Bought some media (lyman) that supposedly doesn't require polish, but may try a little just to see if it makes a diff.

    Thanks all.
  7. RandyP

    RandyP Member

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    From the desk of "I'm too cheap to go 'fancy' -lol" -

    My Lyman Turbo tumbler came with a highly vented top cover which allowed spill over and dust to go everywhere. My 'frugal' solution was to simply tape over all the slots with clear plastic shipping tape (Duct Tape roll was MIA - lol) and use the lid that way. Works great, costs almost nuthin'.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  8. Over The Hill

    Over The Hill New Member

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    This discussion raises another question for me - another beginner. How often should you replace the media? I'm betting the answer depends on the type of media being used. I am using the green stuff that came with my Lyman 600 but I also plan to experiment with others . I've cleaned four batches of 9MM with 175 to 200 per batch so far.
  9. Oneida Steve

    Oneida Steve Active Member

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    OTH, I change my media when it stops cleaning my brass after 90 minutes of tumbling. This occurs after roughly 75 loads of brass. I help the media along with dryer sheets and an occasional capful of liquid polish.
  10. Gearheadpyro

    Gearheadpyro New Member

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    I usually fill my bowl about 2/3 of the way. Only use cob right now, but I'm going to try the walnut soon. I hear it has more of a cleaning effect while cob does more polishing.

    As for replacing it, I usually dump it when I notice it stop cleaning as well. It normally take 45-75 minutes to get a load of brass sprakling, when it gets up to 120 minutes or so I dump it. That took almost 5 months last time, but I am picky about keeping my brass clean so the media doesn't get much other than carbon.
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