The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > Handloading, Reloading, and Bullet Casting

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old October 6, 2013, 11:17 PM   #1
Louca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 174
Variable Stainless Tumbling Recipies

Do any of you guys that use stainless steel pins in a wet tumbler ever vary the amount of pins you use or when you do and don't use them? The pins of course being in addition to the now "famous formula" of Dawn dishwashing detergent and Lemi-shine granules.

I have read posts that say if cases are tumbled too long with a large amount of SS pins, the brass can become dull clean instead of shiny clean. It sounds like the SS pins clean dirt off brass up to a point of them being clean, and beyond that they just pit the brass making it look dull. Or is that just when a lot of them are used?

I have read other posts where they say they don't even bother using the SS pins at all and just use the famous formula.

Have any of you come up with variable recipies like: Use the famous formula with SS pins on really old tarnished grungy brass, or when clean shiny brass becomes that way; otherwise just use the famous formula?

I would like using something like the recipe above, but if SS pins aren't used every time, how can their amazing job on primer pockets get done (maybe by hand?).

Maybe I should have just asked do any of you guys who use SS pins every time eventually get dulled brass, or do they always stay shiny?

Lou
Louca is offline  
Old October 7, 2013, 09:51 AM   #2
schmellba99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2008
Posts: 596
I've always used the 5 lbs of pins, 1 gallon of water and up to 2 lbs of brass.

The biggest thing I learned is to not use the liquid Lemi Shine rinse aid - use the powdered Lemi Shine detergent. The liquid gives a dull brown finish, whereas the powdered gives the "almost new" brass shine that we all love as reloaders.
schmellba99 is offline  
Old October 7, 2013, 11:43 AM   #3
WSM MAGNUM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2006
Location: Maryland
Posts: 746
Using 2 pounds more of the SS media than the brass will give the best results.
__________________
Henry - Life NRA Member, USCCA Shield Member

If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
WSM MAGNUM is offline  
Old October 7, 2013, 03:53 PM   #4
Louca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 174
Quote:
Using 2 pounds more of the SS media than the brass will give the best results.
Wow, I guess I really lucked out! I just weighed things and found out I had been using only 7.89 ounces (about half a pound) of pins, and I had been tumbling sometimes 250 cases or more (.45 ACP) in a batch.

250 .45 ACP cases (without primers) weigh about 2.9 lbs, let's say 3 lbs. That means according to the formula above, I should have been using 5 lbs of SS pins, but I was only using about 1/10 of that amount!

Makes me want to dirty up a bunch of cases and try it again with more pins.

In one of my other threads, surf 'rett mentioned:

Quote:
In the small tumbler, I run a 3:2 ratio of pins to brass by weight; 24 ounces of pins to 16 ounces of brass
If I used that formula, my small batch of pins should have been able to adequately do about 28 cases; 50 cases should need about 1 lb of pins; 250 cases should need about 4.5 lbs of pins.

Thanks for all the info!

Lou

Last edited by Louca; October 7, 2013 at 04:08 PM. Reason: Added another person's formula
Louca is offline  
Old October 7, 2013, 08:57 PM   #5
jepp2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 24, 2008
Location: Loveland, CO
Posts: 1,347
I don't wet tumble. If I did, I have considered going with the Biggdawg system. His website lists his recipe and can be found here.

Granted the scale is much larger, but the ratio should be similar.
__________________
NRA Benefactor member
jepp2 is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 07:12 AM   #6
Mavrick79
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2013
Posts: 85
I've been having great results using 1/4 teaspoon of LS and 2 tablespoons of Dawn in my Thumler Model B. I typically put in around 300 9mm at a time, 200 .45acp, or about 150 .223. For the most part my brass stays nice and shiny for quite a while until I start handling it, especially .223. Using Imperial sizing wax on it really dulls it up.

I'm going to try using a separate rinse after the initial rinse using Turtle Wax Zip Wax and see how that goes, I'm also going to try putting a little in the tumbler and see if thats makes a difference.
Mavrick79 is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 07:40 AM   #7
Louca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 22, 2013
Location: Michigan
Posts: 174
Mavrick, are you using any pins? You don't mention any.

Lou

Last edited by Louca; October 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM.
Louca is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 08:32 AM   #8
NWPilgrim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 29, 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,152
Variable Stainless Tumbling Recipies

I just follow the STM site instructions that came with the Model B kit. 5 lbs pins, 2 lbs brass (about 120 .308 cases, max), 1 gal cold water, 1.5 Tbsp Dawn, 1/4 tsp Lemishine.

Tumble for 3 hrs, rinse well, then I dry on baking sheet in 150F oven for one hour. Shiny!
NWPilgrim is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 02:38 PM   #9
tangolima
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 28, 2013
Posts: 646
I tried Lemi Shine last night. It surely shines the brass. Before that I have been using lemon juice. It cleaned the brass but just not as much shine. Apparently Lemi shine has more than just lemon juice there, or the citric acid concentration is much higher. It is all fine, but I just don't want to have the brass weaken in any way. Are we sure Lemi Shine is kosher to use? Thanks.

-TL
tangolima is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 03:22 PM   #10
schmellba99
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 8, 2008
Posts: 596
Citric acid has no detrimental effects on brass.

Stay away from any products with ammonia though - that will weaken the brass with repeated exposure.
schmellba99 is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 06:37 PM   #11
907arcticcat
Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2013
Location: Eagle River, AK
Posts: 18
I've been wet tumbling for over 2 years and never change the pin or water amount. The information online is a little misleading! The drum alone weighs 7#! By the time you add 5# of media, you only have enough capacity for 32oz. of water before you reach the 15# listed rating. Realistically, you will be in the 22-24# range when you add your brass and water within 2" of the lid. I regularly tumble 250 pieces of 223 and the combined weight is about 24 pounds. I do run mine longer than most, something like 5-6 hours. The brass is 90% clean after 3 hours, so that is probably good for most, but the last couple hours shine it up a little more and get the last bits out of the primer pockets.
907arcticcat is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 09:16 PM   #12
Mavrick79
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2013
Posts: 85
Mavrick, are you using any pins? You don't mention any.


I'm sorry, yes I do and am using 5lbs. I've been running the smaller .041 pins and have been getting them stuck two at a time in flash holes, especially on Winchester brass. Out of about 300 9mm cases I usually have to poke out about 15~30 of them and 95% of the cases are Winchester. I did just order some of the bigger pins at .047 from bullseye reloading and I'll see how that goes.
Mavrick79 is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 09:21 PM   #13
Mavrick79
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2013
Posts: 85
BTW, for drying I just pour them out on a towel and roll them around to get most of the water off then I put them on a second towel and do the same until I cant see any water on the outside of the cases. After that they just air dry for at least a day or longer. I have enough brass now so I don't have to worry about getting them dry super fast.
Mavrick79 is offline  
Old October 8, 2013, 11:36 PM   #14
BigCheese
Junior Member
 
Join Date: June 17, 2012
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 12
Increasing tumbling capacity

In reply to #11, quote:
"I've been wet tumbling for over 2 years and never change the pin or water amount. The information online is a little misleading! The drum alone weighs 7#! By the time you add 5# of media, you only have enough capacity for 32oz. of water before you reach the 15# listed rating. "

Capacity of the Thumler's tumbler is for the load added, not counting the drum weight itself. The Model B is a high capacity unit for rock tumbling. It will take 15 lbs. inside the drum.

I use 3-1/2 quarts of water (measured) = 7 lbs. A full gallon is 8 lbs. To this I add 3 lbs (weighed) of brass, the 5 lbs. of pins, 1/4 tsp of Lemishine and a measured tablespoon of Dawn detergent. By reducing water by a pint the capacity can be increased by 50% over the standard load of 2 lbs. brass. Results are great!
BigCheese is offline  
Old October 9, 2013, 11:12 AM   #15
907arcticcat
Member
 
Join Date: January 15, 2013
Location: Eagle River, AK
Posts: 18
You are correct! Capacity is more like 2 pounds with 1 gallon of water and 5# of pins and reducing the water by a quart doubles your capacity to around 4 pounds. I have never had any issues with running twice that much brass...just takes a little longer to get them clean.
907arcticcat is offline  
Old October 9, 2013, 08:33 PM   #16
Mavrick79
Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2013
Posts: 85
Twice I tried running only 50 .223 cases and the results sucked to say the least, both batches came out tarnished.
Mavrick79 is offline  
Old October 9, 2013, 10:32 PM   #17
oley55
Member
 
Join Date: September 6, 2013
Location: JAX, FL
Posts: 33
home built tumbler

my home made tumbler made out of schedule 80 PVC pipe 8.25" x 21.5" powered by a 1/2 HP two speed Whirlpool/Kenmore washer motor easily handles 1,000 cases (223/44 mag) using 15# of pins. Regardless of how many cases I'm cleaning I use all the pins. More pins doesn't hurt and the drum is the best place to store them any way. Tumbling time is 3-4 hours.

With a full load of brass, 15# pins, and 3-4 gallons of water, the total weight must be about 50 pounds. No way the Thumler could handle that much weight.

For what ever reason the 1/2 tsp of Lemon Shine with the dish soap makes a big difference. without Lemon Shine dull brass, with it the brass is cleaner and shinier. The original powdered Lemon-Shine is available at most local grocery stores for 2 or 3 bucks. Way cheaper than the on-line sources.

drying process: after media separation/rinsing, I tumble the brass in the media separator for a bit to bounce the water out of the primer pockets, spread it out on an towel, and set out in the sun for an hour or so, or put a fan to it. Sun drying is faster. I do not have any problems with water spotting. I do however have a water softener for my Florida (sulfur) well water. (if that makes a difference).

I have about $200 invested in the rig with most of the cost going for the SS pins.
oley55 is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:33 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.09859 seconds with 7 queries