Author Topic: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases  (Read 631 times)

Offline Little Dalton

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Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« on: August 19, 2020, 09:26:51 PM »
Just finally got me a rotary tumbler (Lyman cyclone package) and though I've done some searches, I wanted to start a new thread and get some input here. Best recipes for wet rotary tumbling dirty, nasty, sometimes old black powder fouling and corrosion from cases using stainless steel pins? And yes, I'm one of the nuts that would be happy with blindingly shiny cases. ;D One other question too: SS pins vs. ceramic media? Or a third option for wet media?
Jordan Goodwin

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Offline Little Dalton

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2020, 10:19:57 PM »
I'm also curious to see how y'all separate and dry your cases and media. Thinking I'm gonna want one of them fancy rotary separators.
Jordan Goodwin

Blacksmithing, woodworking, history nut, entrepreneur, and work at home.

Hand forged gun hooks over on the website:
www.axe-and-anvil.com

"Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight." (Ps. 144:1)

Reckon so.

Offline Cap n Redneck

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2020, 05:15:37 AM »
For really dirty cases with corrosion / verdi-gris I add a couple of table-spoons full of citric acid powder (E330) in the water.  You can also use household vinegar (24% - 35%) or Windex with vinegar.
Don't leave your cases overnight in these solutions; they will eat away at the brass where it's not fully submerged.

Also be sure to tighten the lid of the rotary drum securely.  I have experienced leaks that could potentially short-circuit the tumbler.  If you open it at "half-time" to inspect the contents, be sure no stainless steel pins have migrated under the rubber gasket.

My Lyman kit came with two black plastic trays that are used to separate cases from media.  One has slits molded into the bottom that will stop the cases and let the stainless steel pins pass through.  The other has a fine steel mesh that will stop the pins but let the water and most of the gunk pass through.

When tumbling all-brass 12ga shotgun shells I found it was convenient to just pick them directly out of the plastic drum and shake the pins out while they were still submerged.

Wet tumbling with stainless steel pins will often leave the cases somewhat dull.  I let them air dry in a cardboard box overnight or in an electric kitchen-stove at low heat for half an hour if I'm in a hurry.
I then dry-tumble them in a vibratory-tumbler for a few hours.  I prefer the Tuff-Nut / walnut-shell media over corn-cob media for this job.

When separating dry media from cases in a vibratory tumbler I place a large round plastic sieve (made for separating blueberries from leaves and debris) over a large cardboard box, and shake the sieve around some.   Frankford Arsenal and others make a rotary sieve contraption that will do the same job at a higher cost...
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Offline August

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2020, 06:04:01 PM »
The Formula is:
1. Dawn Dishwashing Liquid -- about a table spoon full.
2. Lemi-Shine Dishwasher additive -- about a quarter of a teaspoon.
3. Water level BELOW the level of the brass in the tumbler.

The most common problem people have is using TOO MUCH water, which reduces the effectiveness of the media.  You should just be able to see the top of the water -- well below the top of the brass.

More is NOT better with the Lemi-Shine.  Just enough to change the PH of the environment is plenty.

I've used both ceramic and pins.  I greatly prefer pins because they are easier to separate, they don't get stuck in the cases, and they do a better job of cleaning primer pockets.  I separate the pins by QUICKLY pulling the cases from the water with the case mouths pointed DOWN -- two or three cases at a time.  I usually have some running water going into the tumbler vessel while removing the brass to help wash out any pins that might remain (few do).  You'll get the feel for it once you start doing it.

Brass gets pretty much clean in three hours of tumbling, brass looks new after six hours of tumbling.

Offline wildman1

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2020, 07:45:48 AM »
The Formula is:
1. Dawn Dishwashing Liquid -- about a table spoon full.
2. Lemi-Shine Dishwasher additive -- about a quarter of a teaspoon.
3. Water level BELOW the level of the brass in the tumbler.

The most common problem people have is using TOO MUCH water, which reduces the effectiveness of the media.  You should just be able to see the top of the water -- well below the top of the brass.

More is NOT better with the Lemi-Shine.  Just enough to change the PH of the environment is plenty.

I've used both ceramic and pins.  I greatly prefer pins because they are easier to separate, they don't get stuck in the cases, and they do a better job of cleaning primer pockets.  I separate the pins by QUICKLY pulling the cases from the water with the case mouths pointed DOWN -- two or three cases at a time.  I usually have some running water going into the tumbler vessel while removing the brass to help wash out any pins that might remain (few do).  You'll get the feel for it once you start doing it.

Brass gets pretty much clean in three hours of tumbling, brass looks new after six hours of tumbling.
For BP brass I use a little less Lemishine, about half that much Dawn and water just covering the top of the brass. Tumble 3 hrs for really shiny brass. If you want bright clean brass give it a quick rinse with 1/4 cup of vinegar and a half gallon of water BEFORE you tumble it. In a hot dry climate it goes into the backyard in the sun for an hour to dry, otherwise into the oven at 255 degrees for 1/2 hour.
wM1
PS Between my wife and I we shoot 70+ lbs of BP a year.
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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #5 on: Today at 04:40:03 PM »

Offline Ranch 13

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2020, 08:47:29 AM »
 Prewash the cases , I use a sprinkle of oxyclean in warm water, in a coffee can, roll them around a bit and the rinse with clean water.
 I use about a cup full of ceramic media in my Thumblers model B, 2 drops of dish soap with lemon, about a teaspoon of Lemishine, fill the tumbler until the cases are just barely covered.
Eat more beef the west wasn't won on a salad.

Offline sail32

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2020, 01:28:07 PM »
I have a Thumblers Tumbler and I use.

1. 30ml of a dish washing soap.

2. concentrated lemon juice.

I full length resize and decap before cleaning the cases and I use " Lyman Quick Spray Case Lube", as it's water soluble.

I air dry and the cases, the cases look like new and are ready to reload.


Offline Cliff Fendley

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2020, 02:32:13 PM »
I use stainless pins with dish soap and lemishine and they come out looking better than new when the pins are new. I've noticed after a while the pins don't shine the brass as well. Still clean but not as shiney. I think the ends of the pins get dulled. I haven't tried the ceramic.

To separate I put them in the regular rotary case/media separators just like I would with corn cob or anything else. Then give them a good rinse while still in the separator cage.
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Offline Coffinmaker

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2020, 09:03:05 AM »

 ;)  Ha!!   ::)

I don't use/do/need any of that stuff  ::)   After a hard day at a gas match I rinse my brass in water with some White Vinegar.  Dry it inna oven.  Tumble in Lizard Litter.  DONE   ;D

I well understand this missive provides no assistance to the OP whatsoever.  None.  Nada.  Oh well, it's Saturday morning.  I'm bored, NO match today.  Needed something to do.  So . . .  should you choose to ignore my contribution, I shan't be offended.  In fact, I'd probably ignore it myself.

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Offline Lucky R. K.

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2020, 09:21:30 AM »

Definitely a lot of ways to skin the cat but I like "simple" best. I put the brass in a bottle of soapy water when I come off a stage. When I get home I rinse with clear water and put into a walnut media filled tumbler wet. I add 2 teaspoons of paint thinner (mineral spirits) and 2 or 3 teaspoons of water. Plug it up and let dance for about 4 hours or so.  They come out slicker and shiner than new.

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #10 on: Today at 04:40:03 PM »

Offline sail32

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 10:19:37 AM »
If the brass from your tumbler is not " Like New ", you need to clean the tumbler.

Run the tumbler as normal but without any brass to clean it.

It may take more than one cleaning run depending on when you last cleaned your tumbler.

Also if the brass is really dirty you may need 2 cleaning tumbles.

Offline 1961MJS

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2020, 10:48:43 AM »
Hi

I'll take a crack at this.  I bought the Franklin Arsenal wet/dry tumbler from Midway along with a magnet, some and some extra steel pins.  Works great, prettiest brass I've ever seen, like Cliff said, they looked better than new.  I had to buy a colander lined with an old t-shirt to drain the pins out.  I now also own the wet separator from Franklin Arsenal from Midway and a Franklin Arsenal drier / jerky maker from Amazon (same toy really, but won't get used that way).  Things go MUCH MUCH better, the separator has a pouring spout with an integral strainer.  The directions said to put keep the load under 30 pounds, and I had about 25 pounds of brass, pins, and water in the tumbler.  I used the cleaner that came with the tumbler, but I haven't looked at the ingredients yet. 

If you're doing to wet clean your brass, get all of the toys, otherwise you won't like the setup.  Steel pins and the garbage disposal are probably not going to be friends.  I don't have a nice big sink right now so cleaning brass is a pain.

I'll try to remember to post part numbers etc.

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Rotary Case Tumbler
Product #: 713881 Manufacturer #: 909544 UPC #: 661120095446

Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series Wet/Dry Rotary Media Separator
Product #: 271904 Manufacturer #: 507567 UPC #: 661120075677

Frankford Arsenal Brass Cleaning Solution 32 oz Liquid
Product #: 918233 Manufacturer #: 878787 UPC #: 661120787877

Frankford Arsenal Media Transfer Magnet for Stainless Steel Media
Product #: 375973 Manufacturer #: 909271 UPC #: 661120092711

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Mike
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Offline Little Dalton

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2020, 09:25:14 PM »
Thanks for all the input fellas!
Jordan Goodwin

Blacksmithing, woodworking, history nut, entrepreneur, and work at home.

Hand forged gun hooks over on the website:
www.axe-and-anvil.com

"Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight." (Ps. 144:1)

Reckon so.

Offline Jack Spade

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Re: Best Wet Tumbling Recipe for BP Cases
« Reply #13 on: October 20, 2020, 08:20:06 AM »
When I shoot BP I bring a container from home, I use one of the big plastic mixed nut containers from costco.  I put in a squirt of dawn dish soap and fill it about half way with water.  After shooting I dump the cases in and drive home.  Once home I shake the container.  Dump out the dirty water and do a couple of shake/dump/repeat with clean water.  Then I put them in my Franklin wet tumbler with 1T Dawn and 1/8 tsp of rinse aid.  Tumble for 3 hours.  I put the strainer cap on and let water run into the tumbler barrel until all soap is rinsed off.  You can drain most of the water out without losing any pins.  Then I dump everything into a plastic dish pan.  Cases are picked out, dump out pins and put the cases in a jerky dehydrator (get this from a yard sale or thrift store/goodwill for 10 bucks or less) and dry the cases for a few hours.  I then dump as much water out of the dish pan as I can without losing pins then dump the pins onto a towel and spread them out with a fan blowing on them to dry them.  Once dry use a magnet and put them back in the bag.  A "release" magnet works very well for this. 

 

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