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Old December 9, 2017, 03:30 AM   #1
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Tumbler media

Newbie here was wondering using Lyman treated corn media would like some feedback on how to tell when to change it note adding bout cap of nu finish per batch.
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Old December 9, 2017, 03:51 AM   #2
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There is no time limit, when it doesnt clean well its time to change.
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Old December 9, 2017, 08:26 AM   #3
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I would not use it for small bottle necked rounds. It can get stuck inside. I use it for finished rounds to remove case lube. For that it works great, and does not take all that long. Round come out super shined. For bottle necked rounds I like using super fine walnut blasting media from Harbor Freight. A $30 or so bag has lasted me a few years. I glob the car polish on cleaning patches, and then run the media for at least 20 minutes until there are no lumps. Cut up used dryer sheets will help keep you media from turning dirty so fast as well.
No matter how many times you do it and nothing happens it only takes something going wrong one time to kill you.
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:34 AM   #4
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a sea sponge works far better than dryer sheets.
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:56 AM   #5
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"Treated" tumbling media doesn't need any additives. (that's why it's called "treated" ). Depending on what you put in your media and how dirty the brass is the best way to tell if your media is worn out is the time needed to get the desired results. If you feel it's taking too long to get your brass clean, change the media....
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Old December 9, 2017, 11:58 AM   #6
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Not a big fan of corn cob, but that's just me. Also, you can save some money by buying generic media instead of box, name-brand stuff like Lyman.

Personally, I use reptile bedding (crushed walnut shells) from one of the pet stores around, and add a cap or so of Dillon brass polish. It's inexpensive and I don't mind turning it over as it gets dirty.

Beware of generic polishes... many of them use ammonia as an ingredient. Ammonia will weaken brass.
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Old December 9, 2017, 12:56 PM   #7
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After 50 years of fooling around with different media's, rice, kitty litter, lizard bedding, sandbox type sand, metal sandblasting media , ground corncobs and any other product we thought might work....The best is..... treated walnut shell media, made specifically for tumbling brass cases (correct size media) and treated with the correct brass polishing compound.
Lyman is fine I have been using Midway's the last few years.
Want to rejuvenate it when it start slowing down ...then add ISSO Case Polish according to's made to do the job.
Whatever you do stay away from kitty litter...bad idea trust me. Rice , sand and everything else is not made for case cleaning , it might do OK at first but wears out and breaks down rather fast. Nut hull media last the longest and ISSO case polish will effectively extend the media's life. Other additives, liquid automobile polish clog the media and it gets ineffective rather quickly.
And properly treated nut media is not dusty...if it is somethings wrong with it....not enough polish in the treatment. The stuff from Midway isn't dusty.
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Old December 9, 2017, 02:37 PM   #8
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I have my corn cob media divided into two batches. One for cleaning and one for polishing. When my cleaning batch gets almost black I will wash it with Dawn dish washing soap. Rinse it until there is no longer any soap bubbles and the water stays clear. The strain it through an old tee shirt, add/mix in some liquid car polish, and lay it out in the sun to dry.

The batch that had been my polishing batch now becomes my cleaning batch. The recently cleaned batch becomes my polishing batch. Lately I have cleaned my media every two to three months and I am cleaning/polishing about 1500 to 2000 pieces of brass a month. I have had this media for over 2 years.

Everybody has their own preferred methods.
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Old December 10, 2017, 12:30 AM   #9
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Welcome newbie!

I'll tell you something that took me 3 decades to learn...

1. A closed container with soap & water rolled around about 10 minutes will get the sticky crud off the brass and NOT plug up your POLISHING media.
Soap & water for cleaning, Polishing media for polishing.
Dish washer soap doesn't foam up as much as Dawn, but it often doesn't remove heavy crud like Dawn.

2. When the brass is really corroded/tarnished, or the powder left a really greasy residue, use a little acid.
Something like vinegar or 'Lemi-Shine' works good, but don't go overboard.

3. With crud removed, shake water off, throw directly in the tumbler with dry POLISH media.
Everyone freaks out when I say that, but the very small amount of moisture keeps dust down.
Your brass will POLISH much faster since the crud isn't plugging up the pours in the media.

4. If the dry polish media gets too wet, or too dirty, it's perfectly acceptable to wash it.
Simply dry it in the oven, break up clumps & reuse.

Separating dust can be done effectively by pouring from one container to another outside when there is a gentle breeze, or laying on an old window screen & shaking.
Dust pads the abrasive from the brass and slows down polishing, so when it gets bad I screen the dust out.

I wash brass in a cement mixer, dump out water, flush the brass with clean water, dump again and tumble out the water the brass holds,
Then dump dry media right in the mixer & tumble again for polish, sometimes adding wax.
The brass turns out great, no clumping or sticking in the cases like most will tell you will happen.
Small scale, a gallon can with water tight lid works fine.

Last edited by JeepHammer; December 10, 2017 at 12:37 AM.
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Old December 10, 2017, 12:35 PM   #10
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I concur with m&p45APC+1, very fine crushed walnut shell is the bomb. You can also purchase it as "reptile bedding" from Pet Smart, $16.00 + change. I also tried the corn cob and you will spend an inordinate amount of time "picking", "blowing", and "digging" it out of your necked down cases. Largest I reload is .308 Win. and it gets "vibrated" in and jambed up.
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Old December 11, 2017, 11:16 AM   #11
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FWIW; Blast media, both crushed walnut shells and ground corn cob media is much better than the pet litter varieties. Blast media is more uniform in size and hardness. A good all around bast media is plain ground corn cob, 14-20 grit size. A bit more expensive than pet litter, cheaper than dedicated "brass cleaning media"...

As for cost, I bought a 40 lb. bag of corn cob blast media about 5 years ago (longer?) for about $40.00 and still have 1/2 bag left (counting spills, it's really cheap). So I don't think it's worth the trouble and lack of performance to buy extra cheap, bottom of the line media to save $.50 per year...
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