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Tumbling with Sand

This is a discussion on Tumbling with Sand within the Reloading forums, part of the Gunner Forum category; Anyone use sand to clean brass? The media I sue gets jammed into the cases and needs to be dug out one case at a ...


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Old 04-01-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
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Tumbling with Sand

Anyone use sand to clean brass? The media I sue gets jammed into the cases and needs to be dug out one case at a time. I'm thinking about trying sand. Or I could get finer media.



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Old 04-01-2009, 03:20 PM   #2
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Sand would be very abrasive. I use walnut shell. You can get it in course or fine grades. If you want very fine walnut shell get the stuff they sell to sprinkle on wet paint to give painted floors and steps traction. Finer than that you can go to corn cob but it is much slower than walnut shells.
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Old 04-01-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

I'm using the pet bedding from walmart right now. I'm cheap and I'm paying for it now.



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Old 04-01-2009, 04:01 PM   #4
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Us dry powder polish and not the liquid kind, it may help stop the clumping in the shell. I have used walnut and corn cob and much prefer the walnut. I also bought a 25# bag of the corn cob so I have enough for years of use. Maybe I should get a hamster and buy some walnut for the machine.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:03 PM   #5
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Walnut shell lasts a long time. When some gets dirty I add jeweler's rouge to it and use it for dirty or tarnished cases. Then I tumble in cleaner media for a short time to clean them. It's not very expensive, especially when you factor in the stuff you will throw out the window when you are pissed and have no one to punch in the face.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:04 PM   #6
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

It doesn't clump, Terry. It's just a lrger size because it's made for rodent bedding.

Oh and I hate when I have no one to punch in the face.



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Old 04-01-2009, 04:09 PM   #7
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

And do you put this rat litter in a rotary tumbler or a vibratory one?
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:20 PM   #8
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Got any flower beds? Dig it into them and let it compost. Look at it first to see if it has any nasty chemicals. Thats what I am going to do with my stuff put it in my vegetable garden and just lose it. The other problem I have with corn cob is the fines as it is probably a lot dustier as pet bedding. They may treat the stuff for reloading but I'm getting the walnut it's quicker so it does the job with less electricity and aggravation.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:33 PM   #9
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist
And do you put this rat litter in a rotary tumbler or a vibratory one?

Vibratory.

I'm going to get the Walnut next time.



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Old 04-01-2009, 04:44 PM   #10
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Rat litter and a vibrator. No wonder your brass hates you. It probably wants to punch you in the face!

As Terry P says, the walnut is faster, better, and cleaner. It mostly pours right out of the cases. The only place it ever jams is in the flashholes. That is why I use a second decapping pin in my belling die after tumbling. If you tumble before decapping then that will take care of it. Did you see my suggestion about a pin to support your decapping pin? It will keep it from pushing back into the holder.
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Old 04-01-2009, 04:55 PM   #11
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Yeah I got that figured out. I just stopped trying to pop out those stupid primers.



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Old 04-01-2009, 05:59 PM   #12
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

I use both walnut & corncob but not at the same time. I got rid of my vibrating tumbler (hated that vibrating bastard) & converted two old ice cream makers into rotary tumblers (they hold just as much, work just as well & don't get on my nerves half as bad). I run the brass for 2-3 hrs in the walnut to get them clean, then another 2hrs in the corn cob to polish (you can use less time depending on how clean & shinny you want them). I use Wally World corn cob litter & pet store walnut lizard litter. I run them with primers to keep media out of primer holes (running W/O primers doesn't clean primer pockets that good anyway). The corn cob will also help knock any stray pieces of walnut out of primer holes. Corn cob will not be dusty if you will put a couple of used dryer sheets (cut into 1/4s) in the pot (they'll keep corn cob media clean also).

Here's some pics of my set up:

Cut fins off of dasher & riveted them inside to help agitation.

The results.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:38 PM   #13
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

That's a very nice looking setup. Like you, I did not like the noise of the shakers. I can leave the Lortone running all night and not hear it in the next room. I have the large drum, 12 lb I think. Being meant for lapidary work it can run wet but I never do so and don't need that. I used a large plastic calender in a plastic dish pan to separate the cases from the media. Most will come out when the strainer is shaken. I wanted to make one like yours before I got my big tumbler. It looks fast and easy to load and unload.

The rubber drums do help make it quiet.
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Old 04-01-2009, 06:52 PM   #14
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by Machinist
That's a very nice looking setup. Like you, I did not like the noise of the shakers. I can leave the Lortone running all night and not hear it in the next room. I have the large drum, 12 lb I think. Being meant for lapidary work it can run wet but I never do so and don't need that. I used a large plastic calender in a plastic dish pan to separate the cases from the media. Most will come out when the strainer is shaken. I wanted to make one like yours before I got my big tumbler. It looks fast and easy to load and unload.

The rubber drums do help make it quiet.
The ice cream makers are quieter, but still a little loud. But they make a rhythmic humm instead of that damn nerve rattling vibration. The motors on them are so low torque that they run nice & cool.

Here's some pics of another type I designed. The coffee cans are separated so you can run two different calibers at once. It works but gotta find different motor, drill gets too hot.



Here's the first ice cream maker I converted. I named it the "Brass-O-Matic".
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:20 PM   #15
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Hot damn, another fine piece of equipment from Deadeye Engineering. Am continually amazed at the things you build.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:21 PM   #16
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

I like the auto tensioning device! As you say, drills are not meant for continuous duty but they work well to prove the concept. A low cost gearmotor would work well and be quiet. I suspect the cases in the drums are what make the noise. Your ice cream conversions are clever and seem like the right kind of speed and duty service for this.
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:12 PM   #17
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Quote:
Originally Posted by chance
Hot damn, another fine piece of equipment from Deadeye Engineering. Am continually amazed at the things you build.
Thanks Buddy! My exwife always said I wasn't happy unless I was building something.
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Old 04-02-2009, 01:31 AM   #18
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Those are pretty cool, Deadeye. I don't care much for the one I have but it'll work for now. I don't have the patients to build something like that. It would end up a lawn ornament, and my next project would be replacing a window.



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Old 04-02-2009, 08:24 AM   #19
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

Well its given me an idea to buld one, I have viberate type checking right now with wally world to see what they sell for new so the next yard sale I'll know what to pay.
BH does the wally world corn cobb clean the brass as well as the lyman stuff? I clean my primer pocket with a tool I got from Midway and a cordless drill motor works pretty good but it time consumming.
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Old 04-02-2009, 11:05 AM   #20
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Re: Tumbling with Sand

It works ok. The price is much cheaper so even if I go thru a little more I still come out on top.



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