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Tumbling brass with pins

This is a discussion on Tumbling brass with pins within the Reloading forums, part of the Firearm Forum category; I have a rotary tumbler, actually a rock polisher tumbler. I would like to try cleaning my brass with stainless steel pins. What liquid is ...


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Old January 30th, 2017, 06:45 AM   #1
 
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Tumbling brass with pins

I have a rotary tumbler, actually a rock polisher tumbler. I would like to try cleaning my brass with stainless steel pins. What liquid is used? I assume water. What do you use?



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Old January 30th, 2017, 07:23 AM   #2
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Major Tom View Post
I have a rotary tumbler, actually a rock polisher tumbler. I would like to try cleaning my brass with stainless steel pins. What liquid is used? I assume water. What do you use?
I use a Thumlers Model B high-speed. I typically use 5 pounds of SS pins (0.047" diameter), 5 pounds of brass and enough water to cover the brass and over about 1 inch or so. The recipe I use is 1 ounce of auto wash and wax, any variety, and 1/4 TSP of Lemi-Shine.

Tumbling time depends on how shiney you want the brass and how tarnished they are to begin with.

You can try tumbling for 1-2 hours to see how you like the results.

Good luck,

Bayou
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Old January 30th, 2017, 11:20 AM   #3
 
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+1 for Mcguiares Auto wash and wax, I used to use Dawn liquid detergent. Dawn got the brass clean however they tarnished fairly quickly afterwards. I also put in a 1/4 teaspoon of Lemishine with 1 gallon of cold water. This formula with the stainless steel pins is a lot cleaner results in an "AR" Thumblers rock tumbler than with a vibrating tumblers . In winter times I also use another rock tumbler with Lyman Tufnut to ensure the brass is totally dry and it places an extra sheen to the brass. I highly recommend this is you are finicky like me with clean shinny brass.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 02:43 PM   #4
 
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What the fellers mentioned is the way to go.
Just wanted to make sure you deprime your cases prior to tumbling since this will save you from the time consuming task of cleaning primer pockets.
That and the superior shine of the cases made me switch to this cleaning method.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 03:17 PM   #5
 
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From my silver smithing days I use 1/4 cup Simple Green and water to cover all brass, Just checked my brass that I cleaned last July, but have not reloaded and they are still shiny.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 04:14 AM   #6
 
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Thanks for all the advice! I pick up a lot of range brass that is really dirty. So, I need to clean the brass before I run it thru the sizing die to knock out the primers.
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Old January 31st, 2017, 04:36 AM   #7
 
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Thanks for all the advice! I pick up a lot of range brass that is really dirty. So, I need to clean the brass before I run it thru the sizing die to knock out the primers.

Suggest that you use something like a Lee Universal Decapping Die. The idea is to decap first, then wet tumble the brass with empty primer pockets so they get cleaned as well, then size the brass.

https://www.midwayusa.com/product/13...-decapping-die

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Old January 31st, 2017, 07:12 AM   #8
 
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Yes, a dedicated depriming die is a great thing to have. I have mine permanently mounted in a little cheapo LEE press, but you can use it in whatever press you wish. I just like not having to install it each time, and the small amount of crap that falls out with the spent primer doesn't wind up in my "main" press.

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Old February 1st, 2017, 11:32 AM   #9
 
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After charging the pins and cartridges, I cover with water, put a small squeeze of dish detergent, and a pinch of LemiShine. I use a Harbor Freight rock tumbler, and tumble for 1.5 hours. Filter, rinse, dry, and you're done! I'm a relative newbie and this sounded easier than the dry tumbling. I have been pleased with the results.
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Old February 1st, 2017, 01:21 PM   #10
 
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And if you have an old food dehydrator , no longer in use , it makes a handy-dandy case drier. Load up the racks and turn it on.
Gary
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Old February 23rd, 2017, 09:43 PM   #11
 
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I use 1 teaspoon of Dawn and 1/2 teaspoon of lemmi shine, and fill the can to the top with water. Runs quieter, and really shines the brass. I don't rinse the brass, and the Lemmi shine prevents tarnish and water spots. A quick spin in a salad spinner, and let them air dry the rest of the way. They look nicer than new brass.
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Old February 24th, 2017, 10:08 AM   #12
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Actually, plain water will work. But the brass is left nekkid (bare metal) and will tarnish rather quickly. A bit of dish soap will help and a bit of auto polish will leave a light protective coating. Some add a little Lemoshine (citric acid) to help shine/clean. Many wet tumblers using pins want the primer pockets clean so they decap first, usually with a universal decapping die (or a hand tool/punch).
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Old February 27th, 2017, 12:14 PM   #13
 
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I bought a harbor freight dual drum rock tumbler. But I ditched the 2 rubber drums it came with and made 1 long one out of 4" pvc..glued a cap on one end and use a 4" test plug on the the other. I had to glue some little wood strips inside to give the brass something to hit and bounce around otherwise they would just roll inside the smooth pipe. I fill with water just over the brass and put a cap full of mean green and a casing full of lemi shine with 2lbs of steel pins and tumble for around 2 hours...brass comes out looking new
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Old February 27th, 2017, 04:44 PM   #14
 
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Made the the same setup as laglass69. I use dawn instead of mean green and dry brass with food dehydrator.
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