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Old June 11, 2014, 11:11 AM   #26
Oldgoat03
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Just ran 1st batch in FA Tumbler with SS

I just ran my first batch of 45C (Black powder) through my new Frankford Arsenal Platinum Series tumbler with SS media. These cartidges were filthy after shooting BP loads and never really came clean with cobb/vibratory cleaning. Now they truly look like new after wet tumbling with SS.

After my fist experience I have a few questions for those that wet tumble with SS.

How do you store your media between uses? The FA instructions say to rinse clean and dry the media to avoid rusting!? I expected to rinse but had assumed that SS wouldn't rust so had thought I could just drain off the water and store it in the rubber lined tumbler drum. Is it better to leave one end open to allow air to circulate?

What is your cleaning solution recipie? (how much Dawn and Lemishine?)
I used the package of cleaning solution that came with it for the first batch so will need to get some lemishine and dawn dish soap.

Any other tips for wet tumbling?

The results of wet tumbling even filthy brass are fantastic! The FA unit is well made and runs pretty quiet (I would recommend it) ... but the clean up instructions are more than I had thought. I will do what I need to preserve the investment of course but wanted to hear from you experienced wet tumblers out there.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.
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Old June 11, 2014, 11:20 AM   #27
Magnum Wheel Man
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I got my pins off E-Bay, & they are non magnetic, I always leave mine in the tumbler, with the rinse water, ready for the next batch of cleaning solution... I've never had any rust, but the iron content must be lower ( hence the non magnetic ) but my buddy has the magnetic pins, & keeps his the same way, is a newer wet tumbler, but hasn't had any rust issues so far ( actually the acid / Lemishine should pasivate the stainless, so it's less prone to corrosion

BTW... I use granular Citric acid, because it's easier & cheaper, & does just as good a job ( I use it at work, & have a lifetime supply )... I've never measured how much dish soap... usually just a "squirt" is enough...
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Old June 11, 2014, 04:39 PM   #28
Nick_C_S
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I live in a very warm, dry climate (northern California central valley). I just leave them in the bottom of my media separator and they're dry after 36-48 hours. After that, I pour them back in the tumbler. Since they're stainless steel, I assume that they would be highly rust resistant - even in a moist climate. Mine have yet to rust. No matter what, I'd leave the tumbler open for the air to circulate. I can't think of many scenarios where trapping moisture inside a container is a good idea.

I use Dawn and LemiShine. I caution to not use too much of either. In the case of Dawn, its function is to put dirt particles in suspension. Once its concentration is strong enough to do that, adding more has no further benefit. LemiShine is an acid. Now I'm not a chemist, but I know that just because a little is good does not mean that more is better. If your brass is coming out shiny, then that's probably the right amount to use. I'll let people smarter than me give you the exact concentration necessary. In my little 3Lb tumbler, about 2/3 of a 380 case is how much trial n error told me to use.

The only other tip that comes to mind is to not heat dry. I've tried it a couple time (225 degree oven) and they tarnished. Now, I air dry in the house on an old towel (old towels absorb moisture better than new ones). I let them sit out - on their sides, so the primer pockets are exposed - for 2 to 3 days (probably overkill on the timeline there). That seems to work nicely.
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Old June 14, 2014, 06:28 PM   #29
mnoirot64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S View Post
Well mnoirot64 - I pulled the trigger on a FA tumbler today. My little Harbor Freight unit told me what I needed to know, but it was just too small. I'm pretty sure this post put me over the top, so I did the deed on MidwayUSA today.




Did you get it yet, Nick?
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Old June 14, 2014, 06:53 PM   #30
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The Thumler's Tumbler is about the best you can get in this price range.

They have been around since the 50's and some of those made in the 50's are still running strong. I have been heavily using mine for about 3+ years well beyond the 15lb weight limit without issue.

There are better/bigger tumblers but not in the $200 price range.
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Old June 14, 2014, 07:23 PM   #31
Nick_C_S
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Did you get it yet, Nick?
Not yet. I'm at work right now. It either showed up today, or it will Monday. Either way, I won't use it 'till Monday.

I won't have any brass to tumble until after my steel shoot tomorrow
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Old June 17, 2014, 11:36 AM   #32
Nick_C_S
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Got it.

I got it yesterday. And I have a little over 200 rounds of 38 brass (from my steel shoot Sunday), and about 50 rounds of 9mm (A guy at the steel shoot was giving it away). It looks like those will fit in the drum with little cramping

Now I just need the time to tinker with it. Yesterday, I took it out of the box and inspected it - that's all. Didn't even plug it in. Looks really cool though.
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Old June 17, 2014, 01:43 PM   #33
Magnum Wheel Man
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don't cram too many in there... ( kinda like washing clothes, your clothes get cleaner, & don't wrinkle as much if you have a "proper" load ) I don't physically fill my Sidewinder more than 50% of tumbler volume with cases, pins, & water... find better polishing / tumbling at about 50% capacity
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Old June 17, 2014, 04:05 PM   #34
Nick_C_S
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Tumblin' now

I've got 'em tumblin' now, as I compose this

The entire contents - with the 5lbs of pins, and 250 rounds of brass, and the water - is filled to about 60% of the internal volume. So there's lots of room for sloshing around.

I added a 45 ACP case of LemiShine, and two squirts of Dawn. It came with a trial packet of some liquid stuff that I'm sure is great. But I want to stick with Dawn/LemiShine. So for now, the included liquid packet is sidelined.

This FA is quite a tumbler. I can already see that. I like the clear end caps - the view is entertaining I'm rather surprised at the rotation speed - maybe 75 rpm or so. I thought it would be slower. And although the inside is rubber lined, it's still quite noisy - mostly from the motor and the rolling resistance. Not so much the contents.

Done tumblin' now:

After 1-hour; 45-minutes of tumbling, the brass looks superb. No hiccups. No unforeseen drawbacks. This Frankford Arsenal tumbler works like a champ. Pretty awesome. The brass is now drying on the old towel, looking all shiny and new. And I could have easily doubled the payload. I'm very pleased.
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Last edited by Nick_C_S; June 17, 2014 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Additional information
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Old June 17, 2014, 10:56 PM   #35
mnoirot64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S View Post
I've got 'em tumblin' now, as I compose this



The entire contents - with the 5lbs of pins, and 250 rounds of brass, and the water - is filled to about 60% of the internal volume. So there's lots of room for sloshing around.



I added a 45 ACP case of LemiShine, and two squirts of Dawn. It came with a trial packet of some liquid stuff that I'm sure is great. But I want to stick with Dawn/LemiShine. So for now, the included liquid packet is sidelined.



This FA is quite a tumbler. I can already see that. I like the clear end caps - the view is entertaining I'm rather surprised at the rotation speed - maybe 75 rpm or so. I thought it would be slower. And although the inside is rubber lined, it's still quite noisy - mostly from the motor and the rolling resistance. Not so much the contents.



Done tumblin' now:



After 1-hour; 45-minutes of tumbling, the brass looks superb. No hiccups. No unforeseen drawbacks. This Frankford Arsenal tumbler works like a champ. Pretty awesome. The brass is now drying on the old towel, looking all shiny and new. And I could have easily doubled the payload. I'm very pleased.

I knew you would like it! I load mine up much more than you're describing. I'm actually looking forward to shooting a bunch, this weekend, so I have enough dirty brass to tumble some more.
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Old June 18, 2014, 10:04 AM   #36
Nick_C_S
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Previously, I was using the Chicago Electric rock tumbler from Harbor Freight. It has a 1Lb payload capacity - right around 100 38-Special rounds (90+% of what I shoot). Keep in mind, I purchased it because I wanted to see for myself what all the hub-bub was about wet tumbling w/ss pins, without a large investment. So it was never intended to be the end game with me and tumbling.

This Frankford Arsenal unit can handle at least 5Lbs. I'm pretty sure it could handle double what I put in it yesterday (208 38's; and some 50-ish 9mm). With the Chicago Electric unit, I would have had to have done yesterday's payload in three batches.

Even in the summer shooting season, I figure I'll only need to run this Frankford unit every 3 weeks or so.

And I love the timer. The timer and this post is what made my decision over other units I've seen out there (re: STM units). So thank you for that mnoirot64. TFL comes through again.
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Old June 18, 2014, 12:48 PM   #37
mnoirot64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_C_S View Post
Previously, I was using the Chicago Electric rock tumbler from Harbor Freight. It has a 1Lb payload capacity - right around 100 38-Special rounds (90+% of what I shoot). Keep in mind, I purchased it because I wanted to see for myself what all the hub-bub was about wet tumbling w/ss pins, without a large investment. So it was never intended to be the end game with me and tumbling.



This Frankford Arsenal unit can handle at least 5Lbs. I'm pretty sure it could handle double what I put in it yesterday (208 38's; and some 50-ish 9mm). With the Chicago Electric unit, I would have had to have done yesterday's payload in three batches.



Even in the summer shooting season, I figure I'll only need to run this Frankford unit every 3 weeks or so.



And I love the timer. The timer and this post is what made my decision over other units I've seen out there (re: STM units). So thank you for that mnoirot64. TFL comes through again.

Nick - I'm sure you will really like your FA tumbler. I've tumbler just shy of 400 45 ACP brass and was nowhere near the 30# capacity of the unit - and that was filled totally with water and 5# of SS. I read somewhere that it's capacity is over 1,000 5.56. I ran mine for nearly 2.5 hours and the brass looked better than some new brass I have purchased. Glad to be an enabler!
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