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Old August 31, 2005, 11:30 AM   #1
jasonc84
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help on new tumbler

I'm looking to buy a new tumbler and need some opinions on tumblers. I've never had a tumbler, so whats the difference in the corn cob media and walnut shell media.
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Old August 31, 2005, 02:36 PM   #2
tjhands
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I have the little one from Cabela's. I think it was about $49 or so.

I'm sure that some people prefer corn cob or walnut, but they really do the same thing.

Do a search in this forum about different media choices. A good bit of advice that I found was to go to PetSmart and buy a 10lb bag of lizard litter for $9.99 It's ground up walnut shells - same as what you'd pay over $20 for at a gun shop.

You can also add things to the media to make it shine the brass more. Some add car polish, some add rubbing alcohol. I've used the latter and it does make them more polished.
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Old August 31, 2005, 05:23 PM   #3
RERICK
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Frankfor arsenal

I have a Frankford Arsenal and I have found It to be a good product and as tumblers go It is a fairly quiet running machine.Thay sell them at Midway as a kit for around $69.00
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Old August 31, 2005, 11:09 PM   #4
rwilson452
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corn vs walnut

Walnut will clean faster but will not put as good a polish on the brass as corn. unless your a nut for really bright shiney brass, walnut is the way to go. Heck, I have used rice as media.
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Old September 1, 2005, 12:42 AM   #5
BigSlick
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As rwilson452 said, walnut does a great job. As far as additives, some work better than others. One of the pretreated brands is Lyman's TufNut. It works well. It is walnut, with red rouge polishing additive.

Lately I have been using various concoctions to try to find the best cleaning method.

Some of the more popular additives are NuFinish car polish, mineral spirits, citric acid and a host of commercial additives. People have their own opinion as to what works best.

I have recently been using a mix of mineral spirits and NuFinish, since I had heard so many good things about it. I use it with walnut from the pet store. So far, it does seem to work well. Two hours from grungy to shiny, a couple of hours more until bright and new looking.

In my opinion, the brass cleaner from Cabela's and the Lyman brass polish sucks, Dillon works pretty well but it is expensive. I haven't tried any others.

The best brass cleaner I have ever seen/used is Sagebrush ceramic cleaner. One capful and one quart of water and a load of ceramic media makes the nastiest brass look great in about an hour. No dust, no spilling cob or walnut and the ceramic will last forever, just rinse it and it's like new again. The only downside is initial cost. Ceramic media costs about $49 for a gallon bucket (8 lbs.) and comes with the cleaner - enough to make 16 gallons of wet cleaner.

This, compared to replacing cob or walnut ever so often might make sense for you, depending upon how often/much brass you clean.

For hardware, I use a Lyman 2500 Magnum, a Berry's model 400 and a Thumlers Tumbler Model B.

The Lyman is very, very good. It has a strong motor and will handle a bunch of brass at one time without straining. I typically dump 1000 40SW brass in it at once and run it for about three hours in TufNut. It's probably the best bang for the buck for a larger capacity tumbler right now.

I use the Berry's 400 to tumble finished rounds to clean any excess One Shot lube left from sizing. It has a smaller capacity and a smaller motor (of course) but it runs a bit quieter and was cheap.

I use the Thumlers to clean up BPCR and 500 SW brass. It is MUCH quieter than any vibratory tumbler, has a thermal reset and will run 24/7 without a problem if that's what you want to do. I use it with the wet ceramic only.This combo gets the inside, outside and primer pockets completely spotless - perfect for black powder.

I am currently working on a really large capacity tumbler project. I have the bearings, the pony keg, and the frame, I'm just waiting on the shafts, motor and pulleys to arrive. If everything works out as I hope, I will be able to clean a 5 gallon bucket of brass at a time

HTH

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Old September 1, 2005, 07:52 AM   #6
jasonc84
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Are there any cheaper ways to get the corn cob media? I actually have a corn grinder that we use to grinde the corn for the cows. It comes out pretty fine but do you think that would work?(We grinde corn still on the cob not just shelled corned)
Does car pollish cut the tarnish and grime off the brass or would I need some other cleaner?
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Old September 1, 2005, 11:02 PM   #7
Smokey Joe
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Corn grinder!

JasonC84--Now that's a new one--feed grinder to make case polishing medium! When my parents-in-law were dairying they ground their own--now why didn't I ever think to ask 'em for a 5-gal bucket of cow feed???

IIRC it had about the same texture as expensive "Specially Prepared Corn Cob Case Polishing Medium"

Can't see it hurting yr brass--try it, it'll probably work just fine! If it doesn't work what have you lost besides the time and $0.05 worth of electricity?

BTW, FWIW, I don't believe in using any polish or cleaning compound in the case tumbler. That stuff coats the outside of the brass, so it coats the inside of the brass, too, where I am going to cause a very hot, carefully controlled chemical reaction. How does the polish affect that?? Now, OTOH, the folks that use polishes and cleaners don't report any ill effects, but nevertheless....

If I want shinier brass I just leave the tumbler running longer.
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Old September 2, 2005, 01:40 AM   #8
kcoop9999
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Any of the vibrating tumblers do a pretty good job. Walnut or cob media both work real well also, with the nut hulls lasting a little longer. When the media needs refreshed, I've never spent money on the high priced media treatments. A Tbl spoon of Brasso into the tumbler with it running always worked wonders for me. It all just depends on how picky you are on your shine!
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Old September 2, 2005, 07:43 AM   #9
jasonc84
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I just thought of something. When we grinde the corn up we mix a little dried mollasses and soy bean meal with it. Would that hurt anything. If nothing else it will make 'em smell good!
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Old September 2, 2005, 07:47 AM   #10
jasonc84
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Actually that just gave me another idea. Soy bean meal by itself. It is about the same size and texture of other media.
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Old September 2, 2005, 09:59 AM   #11
zeisloft
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Anyone tried cat litter?
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Old September 2, 2005, 10:40 AM   #12
Smokey Joe
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Kitty, kitty, kitty

Zeisloft--Ordinary kitty litter is made of bits of clay, sometimes with an additive. Now, the particles of clay I am sure are harder than brass, however, my guess is that since the clay particles are so small that while they'd give the brass a fine polish, it'd take next to forever, and be dusty as all get out.

But, be my guest--sounds like an interesting experiment. Pls let us know if it works or doesn't, and the cost relative to using other brass polishing media.

BTW, kitty litter works as oil absorbent off the garage floor, and vice versa--oil-dri compounds are the same clay bits. In my area, kitty litter is the cheaper of the 2 so I use that for oil-dri.

I understand that some buyers of C&R weapons where the wood is soaked in cosmoline, use kitty litter to remove the cosmo from the wood: Place the wood with kitty litter in black plastic garbage bag, put in car, and leave car in the hot sun. Change kitty litter when it gets full of cosmo.
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