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Old May 24, 2013, 03:46 PM   #1
Once Fired
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Need suggestions for a massive media separator

Hey all

I now have my cement mixer up & running, and processing my LC brass. I can get up to about 5,000 in one session with dry media.

I am strongly considering going to stainless steel pins, as soon as I move in about a week. I need better access to water instead of just electricity where I am currently setup with the mixer. Can't be too close to people - they tend to get irritated with the mxier running all the time since it's noisy.

But on to my question.

I need to craft a bulk media separator. I would prefer to be able to separate an entire mixer load of brass & material at once, if at all possible. As far as I know, the Dillon media separator is the biggest one, and it won't handle that much at once, by a long shot.

So, I have been thinking about getting a 30 gallon or 55 gallon drum, and converting that over to a separator with hardware cloth & slots cut into the barrel. Similar to the compost tumblers I have seen on YouTube, but designed to drop material instead of designed to hold it in.

I am thinking a 30 gallon would be better for weight, but a 55 gallon would be better for surface area and free fall tumbling action.

Has anyone gone down this road previously?

ZAG
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Old May 24, 2013, 06:45 PM   #2
big al hunter
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You might try building a screening table. I would go with a 2x12 Douglas fir frame with 1/4 inch wire fabric bottom. About 4 ft by 4 ft should hold more than a concrete mixer.( that calcs to over 100 gallons.) Then hang it in a rack so you can swing it back and forth. Put another box with a plywood bottom under it so you can reclaim the media.
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Old May 25, 2013, 01:54 AM   #3
medalguy
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That's pretty much what I did. I made a frame 4 x 4 feet out of 1 x 6 boards, and then nailed 1 x 2 all the way around the outside, about 2 inches from the bottom of that frame, which has been covered with 1/4 inch galvanized hardware cloth on the bottom. The inside dimension of the lower part is about 1/4 inch larger than the outside dimension of the top frame so the top will fit inside the bottom portion and the 1 x 2 holds the top on the edge of the bottom.

I simply drop brass and media into the top frame, shake it a bit to get the media out of the brass, then tip the top over and pour the brass out. Simple and very useful. I can screen about 2,000 7.62 cases at a time although it's easier to shake if I only put 1,000 or so in the top.
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Old May 25, 2013, 02:12 AM   #4
Newton24b
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do you want to seperate inside the mixer, or outside the mixer? and do you want to increase mixer capacity? if the above applies, send me a pm.

other wise youll be relegated to a sifting table. nothing else will actually work well for volume. unless you send a pm.
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Old May 25, 2013, 03:22 AM   #5
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Sweco vibrating sifter.
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Old May 26, 2013, 12:47 PM   #6
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I built a hardware screen out of 2x4's and hardware cloth. Pictured here.


080 by ZombieApoc, on Flickr


072 by ZombieApoc, on Flickr

It was built to overlay on a 27 gallon tote that mostly fits underneath the mixer - it will fit lengthwise, but not across the front width-wise. That tote is a good match to the volume of dry media that the mixer can contain when full.

The problem is the screen frame is just 4" deep. That limits me to about 4,500 pieces of 223/5.56 at once. And it is very hard to move the screen with that weight in the tray.

What that means is the dust is hard to get off the brass. So, currently I am resorting to either collecting the brass in a bucket and re-pouring it into the hardware cloth tray multiple times, or re-processing it in the mixer again without media, like a tumbler for a few rotations.

Since it's walnut media, it's dusty to begin with. So, I am very motivated to fix this problem with a mass approach.

I considered tripling the capacity of the tray. Add a course of 2x4 on top, and then another tray inverted on the top of that. This would allow me to put in support beams in the middle, and drill a rotation rod through the center course without disrupting hardware cloth anywhere.

The problem with this approach is that it is too big for the tote. If I set this up as a rotary sifter, it will fling media well outside the tote.

Any ideas on how I could use the mixer directly? I plan to get it sprayed with bed liner to protect the brass from the steel.

ZAG
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:57 AM   #7
big al hunter
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Build a frame with 2x4's that fits around the tote. It has to be taller than the tote and screen by a few inches. Then hang the screen on the frame, with rope or cable, so it sits about an inch off the tote. Leave room between the screen and the frame to allow shaking the screen.
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Old May 29, 2013, 11:55 AM   #8
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My space is very limited, and this is making things difficult. It's not the area - it's the height that is a problem.

The 27 gallon tote + 2x4 frame underneath the mixer fits there pretty nicely, and does a good job holding all the media from a full load. I have to orient the tote a bit diagonally to get under the mixer for near-vertical pour out, but it works pretty well.

However, putting a separate frame under there will be very tight.

I am thinking I may need to elevate the mixer a bit (would need to be a big strong & stable platform) or switch to a different style tote if I want to pursue the frame idea.

ZAG
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Old May 29, 2013, 12:10 PM   #9
Jimro
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Your sifting table is a good idea, but what you need to increase your speed is a slanted seperating table that feeds into your sifting table.

Then when you pour the media/brass onto the slanted sifting table the brass and media will slide down. Attach a solid bottom to the slanted table that makes the walnut media slide down into the tote. Hopefully by the time the brass makes the journey down the slant table all the media has been seperated and your sifting table just becomes a final check station.

We use a slant table in the Army for mass brass turn in ops. It really helps seperate out the rocks/twigs.

Jimro
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Old June 1, 2013, 08:05 AM   #10
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This is how Jerry does it...

How to clean your brass
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