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Old April 7, 2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Tidying up after a powder spill

Being new to reloading and knowing that there are people in this forum who have been reloading for a long time, I was hoping to see if the vast experience in this forum had any creative ways to clean up powder after any minor or major spills. Just thinking that someone out there may have a tip that wanders outside of the obvious ways.
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Old April 7, 2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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I have a drafting brush left over from my mapmaking days that I use with a dustpan. I normally sweep up the area (my reloading room is tile) and then I just sweep up at the end of the session. Normally all that is in the dustpan is powder which frankly I just dump in the measure and use. I use a straw to blow around the press and use the same drafting brush to sweep up the bench.

The key is to clean up before you start and clean up again after you finish. Then you know the powder is safe to use over. Otherwise, trash can.
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Old April 7, 2012, 05:25 PM   #3
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Brush up or sweep up. I wouldn't reuse. Makes good garden fertilizer. Small amounts of residue can be vacuumed.
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Old April 7, 2012, 10:14 PM   #4
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Never need to

Dropcloth catches all. Take outside and shake off on the lawn. The high nitrogen content is good for greening up.

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Last edited by Lost Sheep; April 7, 2012 at 11:19 PM.
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Old April 7, 2012, 10:26 PM   #5
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All of the above works for me.
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:07 AM   #6
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3” or 4” throw-away paintbrush cleans off the bench. Broom and dust pan cleans up the floor and into the garbage it goes.
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Old April 8, 2012, 02:44 AM   #7
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Compressed Air

A can of compressed air from a stationary store works
very well. $8-$10.
Good for dusting entertainment centre as well!!

I just vacuum up small spills.

Brush up the big piles and throw it into the toilet and flush.

PS Iwas looking at the City of Burnaby sticker on the front of the
Smithrite and it lists 14 things you cannot throw into the garbage
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Old April 8, 2012, 07:21 AM   #8
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I just drop a match.

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Old April 8, 2012, 08:38 AM   #9
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I use a small acid brush for cleaning up my prograssive shot gun shell reloader. I don't use a brush when useing my single stage press as everything is easy to get to. The powder that gets on the floor and table get swept into a dust pan when I am finished and put into foil and burned on the grill. it's not as fun as black powder but still entertaining.
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Old April 8, 2012, 09:22 AM   #10
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Old April 8, 2012, 11:02 AM   #11
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Im with Mike........I dropped a bunch on the floor not long again and
torched it.......made for quite the show , was on a concrete floor on my garage .......was not a big deal really stuff burns slow but makes pretty colors
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Old April 8, 2012, 12:21 PM   #12
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Use a broom, and dust pan for the floor. On the bench I use a shop vac.
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Old April 8, 2012, 10:26 PM   #13
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Vacuum cleaner?? Really?????? C'mon guys!!!!!
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Old April 9, 2012, 01:56 AM   #14
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Spilled gun powder...No problem.

Little sparks and years of gun powder accumulation behind the corners of you reloading bench corrects itself after 8 to 12 years.

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Old April 9, 2012, 05:22 AM   #15
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Broom and dustpan for floor, and 3" paintbrush and dustpan for the reloading bench. I have not spilled enough to bother reusing it. The small amount gets thrown out on the lawn.
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Old April 9, 2012, 09:40 AM   #16
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Big spills on floor or in carpeting, use shop vac, but first go suck up some water, then suck up the powder. Water stops the static. Then clean out vac before it dries.
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Old April 9, 2012, 04:47 PM   #17
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I have one of the girlfriend's old makeup brushes. The big kind. I sweep the bulk up then run the vacuum all over.

Last edited by praetorian97; April 10, 2012 at 02:26 PM.
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Old April 10, 2012, 08:07 AM   #18
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my big bench's top is carpeted

While one may successfully vacuum spilled powder for a while, one may also find flames shooting out of said vacuum at some point, too.

I tuck a hankerchief into the vacuum's nozzle, poke it in deeper with a finger, then rubber-band it onto the nozzle.
The hanky traps the sucked-up powder, eliminating the flames, and often allows me to reuse the powder.
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Old April 10, 2012, 08:52 AM   #19
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The hanky traps the sucked-up powder, eliminating the flames, and often allows me to reuse the powder
Now that's cool, but haven't spilled that much powder YET. I use a small shop vac (8 years no flames) if you have a concern then an inch of water on the bottom of the shop vac will prevent any combustion. I do use a 4 inch dust pan and brush that you can buy from any dollar store and yes it costs one dollar.

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Old April 10, 2012, 01:01 PM   #20
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Compressed air, vacuum, broom... whatever it takes.
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