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Tumbler media question

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Folks, I used Brasso by hand, with a rag, and polished cases for years, before

I found something better. Never had any issues with cracking, splitting, or smelling bad in wet weather, LOL. My guess, someone had an issue, gave the blame to Brasso. JMHO  FWIW.

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Use spent dryer sheets before throwing them out. As the media ages add more sheets. I'm using 8 in 5 year old media. It takes about 3 hours to clean brass instead of an hour. Walnut media for cleaning brass, corncob with Nu Finish to polish.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been using the Zilla Lizard bedding media (ground walnut) along with 4-6 used dryer sheets same @gregintenn and @DeepSouthsuggested for a couple of months now.

I'm impressed. I toss out the old dryers sheets and add freshly used ones each run. I usually run about 400-500 pieces of brass per cycle ,so once every other week, Run time is generally 3-4 hours.

The used dryer sheets keep the Lizard bedding much cleaner and the brass is downright clean, shiny, and much brighter than the products I previously used (Frankford Arsenal or RCBS walnut).

There's also definitely less dust in my reloading area.

Just wanted to say thanks!

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31 minutes ago, chances R said:

Jamie, time to switch over to wet tumble and pins....no dust.  Buy once and done.

It's gonna happen LOL

My wife just recently picked a dual chambered rock tumbler at Harbor Freight for her "projects".

As soon as I pick up some pins and she's not looking...

But just in case, do you have a spare couch at your place @chances R? 😉

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On 3/20/2021 at 10:03 AM, expendable said:

I use Nu Finish polish. 

I thought Brasso had ammonia in it that can cause your brass to crack? 

When I first started reloading,  way back before tumblers, wet or dry, I used Brasso & a rag to polish brass. Never had one to crack, or anything else bad. It worked, but slow.

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1 hour ago, Ray Z said:

What kind of ratio of corn cob to other stuff?

Corn cob media, tumbler about half full. Squirt of Nu Finish car polish, and a used dryer sheet. Tumble 3-4 hours. When that doesn’t produce desired results, dump in trash and start with clean media. It isn’t an exact science.

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I wet tumble using a Lyman Cyclone tumbler with a tablespoon of Lyman cleaning solution (I'm gonna try some Dawn detergent next batch) and a pinch of Lemishine.  I've recently stopped using the pins because of the hassle of separating them and because they do a great job of cleaning the inside of the brass.  I think that the carbon inside the case is actually beneficial as the carbon lubrication seems to help the cases run through the press easier.  I have the tumble time down to about 1.5 hrs and the brass comes out so shiny, its almost blinding. 

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I've used the pet bedding before and it worked ok, but wet tumbling is much better.  I first started with one of the HF tumblers and a PVC pipe to tumble with pins, Dawn, and Lemishine.  When the Frankfort Arsenal tumblers came on sale I got it and been using that ever since.  I must say it is the cleanest my brass has been in a long time and though not entirely necessary, it makes it much easier to spot bad brass.  Here is my process:

Step one is to separate my brass and deprime it.  It isn't completely necessary to deprime, but if you do, it cleans the primer pockets quite well.


I tumble for about and hour with 5lbs of Pins, 1 TBS of Dawn and about 1/4 tsp Lemishine then dump most of the water and then the rest goes into the media separator.


It take a bit of trial and error as to how fast to turn the handle, but I find if you go a bit slow most if not all of the pins come out.


I have had had a couple get stuck in the necks of my 30/06 cases, (one was a 25/06 that was mixed in).


So I got different media for bottleneck cases, the straight wall ones were never a problem.  The smaller media is more aggressive so I tumble for 30 minutes with that one.



I use a magnet to transfer the pins back into the tumbler, or a towel to dry if not doing another batch.



I put the cases on an old towel and let air dry while the next batch is running.  I pick up the towel by the corners and move the cases back and forth, it gets most of the water out and makes drying much faster.  I usually have too many for the dehydrator, but that is an option for smaller batches.


There is a big difference between ones dry tumbled and the wet, the dry is on the left and wet on the right, except for the middle cases are opposite.


And even though I deburr and chamfer after forming my brass I still get a bunch of brass shavings in the tub.


If you use a little carwax in the water, it leaves a bit of wax on the cases and the shine lasts much longer.





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