Author Topic: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.  (Read 3353 times)

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Offline m1a_scoutguy

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Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« on: September 16, 2023, 06:58:42 PM »
I always said I would never mess with one of these things but "maybe" I will depending on what I hear from the guys that have them. Yea,yea,super shiny, I never was that concerned about it but I like the idea of the primer pockets being cleaned out. So, with that said what is a good choice in brands, types etc? I am not looking to spend a ton for a super heavy-duty one but one that can do a few rifle cases, mostly 223 for my precision Tikka bolt gun. Open to any thoughts and ideals. Thanks.

Offline lewmed

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2023, 08:41:02 PM »
I got feed up with all the dust from my 30 year old Dillon CV2001 vibratory case cleaner so I've been using the Frankford Arsenal rotary wet tumbler for several years with good results. I didn't like the SS pins that came with the unit so I switched to Southern shine SS chips and cut my cleaning time in half. The Frankford wet/dry media separator also works very well. The equipment from Frankford not only works better than my Dillon dry tumbler it takes up about 1/3 as much space in my reloading room.

Offline Ron IL

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2023, 09:35:36 AM »
If you want cases that shine on the inside like the outside I think the liquid cleaning is the way to go.  Dry media won't clean the inside of the cases as good and especially something like a 223 case.  I only do pistol cases and don't care about the inside of them.  They will just get dirty again.  I never wanted to have to do all the washing, rinsing, and drying.  As for the dust, all I do is take a paper towel sheet and rip it into about 4 or 5 strips and add it to the tumbler and there is no dust.  Some people use dryer sheets but paper towel works just as good too.  It keeps the media pretty clean and lasts longer.  Zero dust.
Ron
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Offline Wobbly

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2023, 10:09:55 AM »
I also have 2 vibratory cleaners which I got fed up using.

I also like the Frankfort Arsenal tumbler and use it almost exclusively. BUT first, there are some things you SHOULD understand about "wet tumbling"....

• Unlike vibratory tumblers, you need to have a minimum number of case or you won't get the tumbling action inside. So for 223 that's a minimum of around 80 cases; for 9mm that's a minimum of around 200 cases. Do you have that many cases in the cleaning stage ? An average load for me is 400-500 9mm cases.

• FA has 2 sizes of rotary tumbler. In order to promote the tumbling action, MOST people will be very, very happy with the 3 Liter version that's in the $100 range. I've seen reports of people buying the bigger 7L model and being very disappointed because they can't meet the gargantuan minimum case requirements to generate the internal tumbling action.

• Obviously you'll need to pop the primers out to clean the primer pockets. THINK FIRST of what this will do to your reloading process! It means every case flows through the press twice; once to de-cap and then a second time to load. This is only "not an issue" if you have a press with a case feeder. Otherwise, you'll be paying your children to sit there and de-prime hundreds of cases. It may even call for buying a Lee APP press and doing all your de-priming on that press.

• Your cleaning solution will be liquid car wax (like WashNWax by ArmourAll) with a teaspoon of powdered Lemi-Shine. The Lemi-Shine actually does most of the brightening, while the tumbling media does the scouring. Being a chemical cleaning process means that you cannot walk away and come back at some point the next day. You need to remove the chemicals from the brass with a 3 times rinse at a fairly precise time, or else the chemical process continues and the brass turns black.

• The rinse process means you'll be splashing water loaded with traces of lead and mercury all over the place. Does your home or shop have one of those utility sinks so you can keep all those poisons away from your food prep areas ?

• Then you'll need to separate the pins from the cases. To do this you'll need more equipment in the form of a rotary basket spinner. And to get all the pins, you'll need to agitate at different speeds and reversing directions for about 5 minutes.

• Finally, you'll need to leave your brass in the sun or bake at 200°F in an oven to thoroughly dry the brass. Again, is your spouse going to allow poisonous "heavy metal" products into her food prep area ?

Things to think about.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2023, 08:20:15 AM by Wobbly »
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Offline Wobbly

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2023, 10:14:00 AM »
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Offline timetofly

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2023, 10:39:40 AM »
I have a frankford arsenal large tumbler and a smaller thumblers tumbler.  Both work very well,but  for small batches, I prefer the tumblers. as far as the extra step depriming, I’m ok with that, I find it relaxing, I’m able to vegetate and be productive at the same time.  When it comes to drying the casings, I first put them in a pillow case with small squares cut from an old tee shirt, I’ll tie the opening shut and roll on the driveway to blot off most of the water, then I’ll put the casings in a food dehydrator I bought at the good will.  With the extra step in the pillow case, water spotting is greatly reduced. 
« Last Edit: September 17, 2023, 05:05:26 PM by timetofly, Reason: Spelling »
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Offline Wobbly

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2023, 11:03:45 AM »
TFF -
Oh man, that sounds like work !  O0

I bought a $3 used hair dryer at Goodwill. Cut a hole in a old plastic 5gal bucket to accept the dryer. Then pour the wet brass into a sieve with 1/4" mesh which sits atop the bucket. The warmed air from the dryer works its way over the brass, thoroughly drying it in about 20 min.

Of course the one downside is all the noise from the hairdryer. But I'm doing the entire operation (tumbling, triple rinse (with the garden hose), spin pin separation, drying) outdoors due to all the noise and polluted water anyway.


Diagram


Photo

Link: Source for the 13" sieve

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 09:42:28 AM by Wobbly »
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Offline david s

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2023, 12:47:45 PM »
I use a 40-year-old Thumblers Tumbler, 3 pounds of steel pins, Dawn dish soap, Lemi Shine and water. Tumble two hours, then dump into a rotary media separator. The separators green so I think it's an RCBS unit. Spin for a few minutes to get most of the pins out and then into an old towel where the brass gets rolled back and forth to get most of the water and a few more pins out. Then on to a towel lined cookie sheet and into a closed car parked in the sun, this dries the brass in short order. The brass gets rolled around in another dry towel one final time to shake loose whatever pins are still with the brass. The only things I have to look out for are my pins will fit the flash hole on some brass cases and bridge in 25 caliber case necks. Lemi Shine is one of those things where less is more. A little amount like 1/4 teaspoon works better that a bunch of Lemi Shine.

Offline m1a_scoutguy

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2023, 10:15:17 PM »
Thanks, everyone for the info, much appreciated. I will probably still do this but you are all reinforcing the reason I "have NOT" done it yet, too much messing around! Tumble here, add this, dry there, yikes. The clean primer pockets are the main drive behind it all, super shiny brass is not the key, I get that or darn close to it with my old-school tumblers. I have used a mix of 2/3 green media with 1/3 of the red (both Lyman) media for years and it works the best, cleans fast, and lasts much longer than just normal corn cob, I also use dryer sheets but will try the paper towel trick. I will start looking around for a wet tumbler and go from there, it could be used/new/big or small but I will be on the lookout and will go from there. Thanks again guys for all the info and help. Have a great week.

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2023, 10:03:45 AM »
It's not the mess it sounds like. Obviously, there is a great deal of potential for a huge mess should you knock something over. This is why I do everything outside. But then, I live in a place where we can go outside most any day, and even in the dead of winter, noon temps are usually around 40°F.

One lesson I'll share is where you dump your wash and rinse water. My first time was at night and so I simply slung the bucket in a wide arc. About 2-3 days later there was a crescent of dead grass on the rear lawn and the significant other got really mad. So the combination of detergent and filth from the cases is not something you want kids, pets, or your garden dealing with.

I'm not sure you can do better than the FART Lite. 1) That seems to be a very rugged unit, and everything is well protected. I've run the unit outdoors when it was sprinkling rain with no ill effects. 2) Also note that the sealing is easy and complete. In the 4 years I've been using it, there has not been 1 drop of leakage.

• At a minimum you will need a detergent and Dawn will do great.
• If you want to retain the clean look, then a "wax" is needed. You can get both the detergent and the wax in the liquid Wash & Wax solutions.
• If you want to remove brownish stains from the brass, then you'll need Lemi-Shine.

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2023, 10:17:42 AM by Wobbly »
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Offline david s

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2023, 03:11:00 PM »
The Lemi Shine brings the night crawlers up if you want fish bait.

Offline newageroman

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2023, 03:50:07 PM »
I have the Lyman tumbler and it does very well. I normally hot wash with no pins for about 15/30 mins. I think for rifle the main decision is decapping before cleaning or not. It helps for ventilation /drying for sure.

Here is a vid of my full Match Brass process:
https://rumble.com/v2p8tu8-match-rifle-brass-prep.html
Ricky Ace Range Review: https://rumble.com/c/c-1388111
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Offline M1A4ME

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2023, 04:54:55 PM »
I only do the really nasty brass.

I run my brass through the vibratory cleaners with crushed walnut shell media.  If 3 or 4 hours doesn't get the brass nice and shiny I pick out the stained/nasty looking stuff and accumulate it till I get enough for a run.  I probably only run the SS pin cleaning set up 3, maybe 4 times a year for a few batches till I get all my stuff cleaned up.

Don't fun 9MM and .40 S&W together.  Same for .40 S&W and .45 acp.  You think crushed walnut shell media can stick two different sized pieces of brass together, wait till you do that with SS pins.

I bought one of the cheap double drum rock polishers from Harbor Freight several years ago.  It was still working the last time I used it. 

Usually the walnut shell media does what I need.  But, every now and then some brass out toughs the walnut shell media.
I just keep wasting time and money on other brands trying to find/make one shoot like my P07 and P09.  What is wrong with me?

Offline m1a_scoutguy

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2023, 05:32:13 PM »
One lesson I'll share is where you dump your wash and rinse water. My first time was at night and so I simply slung the bucket in a wide arc. About 2-3 days later there was a crescent of dead grass on the rear lawn and the significant other got really mad. So the combination of detergent and filth from the cases is not something you want kids, pets, or your garden dealing with.


LOL, funny about the grass, :o good to know that's for sure. Yeah, I could/would run it out in my garage, I would just move my reg tumblers over a bit. It's away/detached from the house so safety would be good. I'll start looking for deals, maybe even hold out for Black Friday stuff, there is always good deals around then. I'll keep ya posted on how/what I buy and how it goes. Thanks a ton for all the help & info!  ;D ;D
« Last Edit: October 08, 2023, 09:14:33 AM by Wobbly »

Offline Wobbly

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Re: Stainless Steel Tumbler Question.
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2023, 08:34:54 AM »
I'll start looking for deals, maybe even hold out for Black Friday stuff, there is always good deals around then. I'll keep ya posted on how/what I buy and how it goes. Thanks a ton for all the help & info!  ;D ;D

About the cheapest I've ever seen the FART Lite is around $95.

Find some sort of stainless media on sale.

The lowest cost rotary basket separator is the Berry Mfg brand, which feels flimsy... but has held up very well.

For a dedicated de-priming press (unless you have a case feeder on your regular press), the Lee APP has completely captured that market. It's very fast and the spent primers are fully captured.
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