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Old August 24, 2004, 04:41 PM   #1
Join Date: August 12, 2004
Posts: 16
Newbie reload questions: Tumbler

I've receintly started shooting IDPA, and am thinking I should try some reloading. I have collected several hundred brass in 9 mm. The only thing I have thus far is an old Lortone Compact Lapidary Tumber, without a drum. Can I just get a cylindrical plastic bottle to use to tumble in?

The motor says: "#20 NON-DET OIL EVERY 3 MO." I'm assuming that means I should oil the motor every 3 months. What do they mean by #20 non-det oil? Where could I get it? Where should I oil?

How much media vs how many brass should I use? How much empty space should I leave? I'm planning to start with either rice or walnut media purchased at the pet store. Any preferences?

A non tumbler question: Are dies interchangeable between the different brand presses? I have a family friend with a press that I can probably use if I were to buy the dies. Would I be locked into that brand of press?

Thanks for your advice,

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Old August 24, 2004, 05:35 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 12,161
Well, the FIRST thing you need is a good handbook. Lyman is good.

I don't know about the care and feeding of a Lortone, except that #20 non-det oil means SAE 20 non detergent motor oil. I'd try it about 1/3 full of walnut media and some brass.

Almst all loading dies are the same 7/8x14 thread (and T-slot shellholder) introduced by the old Pacific company many years ago. The only modern exception is the Dillon Square Deal B. There might be a few old Lyman presses with the little 5/8 inch dies still in use. Ask the friend, he ought to know what he has. If he doesn't, do you really want to be working with him?
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Old August 24, 2004, 06:22 PM   #3
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Posts: 2,135

Your rock tumbler will work, but it's gonna be kinda slow. Enough media to fully cover all the brass is the right amount. Not sure what a replacement drum will cost you, but has new tumblers for around $50. They come with a lifetime warranty and work great.

Good Luck...

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Old August 27, 2004, 10:51 PM   #4
Paul Fitz Jones
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Location: Sacramento California
Posts: 266

I was a LORTONE DEALERa long time ago and if it is the 12 pound size they are the quietest made and used wet in tide soap or dry. Look up Lortone on the internet as they still exist and I love mine.
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Old September 2, 2004, 09:06 AM   #5
.45 Vet
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# 20-Non-Det

20 Weight, non detergent oil. A few drops'll do ya...
For those who've never fought for it, the price of freedom shall never be known...
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Old September 5, 2004, 10:35 AM   #6
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as to the 'where' - oil the bushings (or bearings, as the case may be).
look for some little oiling holes at the ends of the motor case where the armature (spindle) passes thru.
If you would have Liberty you must accept that individual security
is not the responsiblity of government. You must. - XAVIER ONASIS
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Old October 24, 2004, 04:22 AM   #7
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Join Date: October 24, 2004
Posts: 2
Inexpensive NEW tumbler

The last Harbor Freight catalog I looked at had a 3lb rock tumbler for (I think) $19.95.

I think a double-tumbler was $29.95 ...

Look at

I've bought a lot of great stuff from them.
Shipping on orders over $50 is free but, they use something like 4936th-class mail and delivery usually takes 2-1/2 - 4-1/2 weeks.

However, you can buy a 50lb anvil for $25 - add a couple of things to make up $50 and, they will ship it free!

If you're in a hurry and, just need a tumbler or two, you might want to pop for postage

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Old October 24, 2004, 04:33 AM   #8
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Both tumblers are $29.99

I went and looked (which I shoulda done in the first place )

The 3lb is $29.99 and the dual drum (two 3lb drums) is on sale - also for $29.99.
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