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Old April 26, 2013, 06:41 AM   #101
Beanie-Bean
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gdawgs

Woo Hoo, here's my first batch. This system is great. I have my second batch going now with the ceramic beads. We'll see what that does.

When I started up the tumbler for my second batch, the thing squealed like crazy. At first I thought it was the belt slipping but it ended up being the bushings and rods. I put a little silicone spray on those surfaces and it took care of that. Anyone else have that problem?

Beanie, I like those knobs you put on too. I ordered up a set. Thanks for sharing!

Oh, and no pins stuck in the primer holes for me. Sounds like some people were getting that.
Looks great, GDawgs! Glad I could help out with the knob info for you. Looking forward to seeing how the ceramic media does for you.

I'm hooked on this thing, for sure. My first batch was 10mm, after which I loaded up some 9x19, and last night I ran .45GAP. All of the brass looks good so far. I am getting some pins stuck in the flash holes, but just a few cases in each batch. No big deal, though--it's better than having all that gunk in the primer pockets. I've noticed that after a few loads, that stuff just doesn't come off, no matter how long I would tumble in the dry tumbler, or how many cycles I ran the ultrasonic cleaner. This setup gets the job done, and without a lot of dust, either.

I'll be running mine every day until I run out of brass to tumble
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Old April 26, 2013, 06:42 AM   #102
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I think you've discovered what belt dressing is for. Any automotive shop has it in a spray can.
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Old April 26, 2013, 07:13 AM   #103
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No it's definitely not the belt. It's the bushings. The Squeal came back. Another little shot of silicone and it disappeared for a while again. Going to have to use something else.

So my hypothesis on the ceramic media was 1) it wouldn't clean dirty brass as well or at least as quickly as the pins 2)Once clean, it would polish better than the pins.

I was incorrect on 1, correct on 2. I put both batches (pins and ceramic) in for just over 2 hours. They are both perfectly clean inside and out, but the ceramic media gets the brass even shinier. It's brighter and more glossy. It's not a huge difference, not even sure if a camera will pick it up, but I'll try later.

The biggest down side to the ceramic media (besides cost) is that its a real pain to handle. The beads clump when wet and get everywhere. And unlike the pins, you can't pick them up with a magnet.
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Old April 26, 2013, 07:32 AM   #104
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So my hypothesis on the ceramic media was 1) it wouldn't clean dirty brass as well or at least as quickly as the pins 2)Once clean, it would polish better than the pins.

I was incorrect on 1, correct on 2. I put both batches (pins and ceramic) in for just over 2 hours. They are both perfectly clean inside and out, but the ceramic media gets the brass even shinier. It's brighter and more glossy. It's not a huge difference, not even sure if a camera will pick it up, but I'll try later.
Thanks for the update. Did the ceramic media do as well as the stainless pins on the primer pockets? I was wondering how 1 mm round media would do in tiny cracks & crevices.

As for the bushings, I wish I knew more non-petroleum lubricants off the top of my head to suggest. But I can vouch for the Frog Lube - I've probably got 75 hours of tumbling time since the last time I applied it, and there's no noise at all, and the ends of the metal rods stay cool to the touch. Even the one-ounce bottle will probably last forever, too.
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Old April 26, 2013, 09:03 AM   #105
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Belt dressing is a lubricant that won't hurt rubber. That's why I suggested it. But I think have a better idea:

Try popping the snap rings off the ends of the shafts and removing the bushings to look for rust or dirt in them. If there's some crud embedded, it will be impossible to get out completely and you should get new ones. If there's corrosion on the shafts, you want to remove it in the bearing area and polish the metal with Flitz or the like.

At that point I would apply either the Ultra Lube 4X lithium grease sold at Lowe's, or the spray can lube they make if you want something thinner. These are vegetable oil-based lubes that are plastic compatible. They are polar, so they tend to bond to the metal surface to help them last.
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Old April 26, 2013, 09:28 AM   #106
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This is a brand new tumbler. These things have been around for decades, you think they would have figured this out by now.

The ceramic media cleaned the primer pockets as well as the pins. I also thought the beads wouldn't clean that area as well as the pins, but they did just fine.
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Old April 26, 2013, 10:14 AM   #107
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I'm amazed at the results you achieved, Scott. Much better than my wonder ultrasonic cleaner which, well...basically doesn't do much of anything.

I was wondering what the effect would be if you tumbled only with the pins for the first two hours and then used the soap mixture for the last two hours.

Last edited by csmsss; April 26, 2013 at 10:19 AM.
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Old April 26, 2013, 05:18 PM   #108
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Some 9x19 ready to go:

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Old April 26, 2013, 10:47 PM   #109
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Ok, one more show and tell, then I'm done. So here are some dirty 460 brass. They are so dirty because these were wussy loads loaded up with Trail Boss. So you get lots of blow by due to the low pressure.




And after. I did a 2 hour tumble, then changed water and gave them two more hours. This is using the ceramic media. I tried to get a closeup to show how well the ceramic media polishes. Upon closer inspection of the primer pockets, I'm thinking the pins do a better job there.



This is kind of fun. Well I'm off to try another batch using the pins.
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Old May 24, 2013, 12:13 AM   #110
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How much SS pins for a cement mixer?

Hey all

Have to say I am impressed with the SS pin method of cleaning. Currently, I am using corn cob and/or walnut, and frankly the dust is killing me.

Particularly since I am now using a cement mixer, the volume of dust is insane especially with brand new media as it "breaks in"

I am thinking rather than spend $20 a pop on crushed corn cob or walnut every time I need a new bag of it, I can switch to the pins for a single up-front cost. Right now I am renting, and don't have a great place to fill the mixer & empty it of water. But once that changes in another week or so, I will have an excellent opportunity to switch over.

Question is this - for a 3.5 cu foot mixer, how many pounds of pins will be enough? I run that mixer a lot, and want to run it as full as possible. I can already see that I'll be tearing through the dry media if I continue down this route at the same pace.

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Old May 24, 2013, 05:39 AM   #111
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Quote:
Question is this - for a 3.5 cu foot mixer, how many pounds of pins will be enough? I run that mixer a lot, and want to run it as full as possible. I can already see that I'll be tearing through the dry media if I continue down this route at the same pace.
Well, one "batch" for my Thumler's is one gallon of water, five pounds of pins and two pounds of brass, and that takes up about 255 cubic inches (about 0.148 cubic feet).

So, if 3.5 cubic feet is the working capacity for your mixer, that's almost 24 batches. You'd need 120 pounds of pins, 48 pounds of brass, and 24 gallons of water. The total weight would be about 360 pounds, if that matters.
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Old May 24, 2013, 05:42 AM   #112
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Gdawgs, I don't know how I missed your updates and pics - that 460 brass looks amazing!
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Old May 24, 2013, 05:47 AM   #113
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I was wondering what the effect would be if you tumbled only with the pins for the first two hours and then used the soap mixture for the last two hours.
I'd have to give it a try, but my gut instinct is that the results wouldn't be as good. I think the chemical action of the soap and Lemishine is almost as important as the mechanical scrubbing action of the pins.

Once the soap/Lemishine gets depleted, the brass doesn't get much cleaner, no matter how much longer I tumble it. So unless you have a lot of loose crud on the brass that you just want to knock off, I can't see a reason to skip the soap/Lemishine for the first two hours.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:41 AM   #114
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buy your pins in bulk

ZombieApocGames, If you're serious about using such a big tumbler, you'll need to buy your SS-pins in bulk from here.

http://www.pelletsllc.com/CutWireShot/CutWireShotSizes

Good Luck!

...bug
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Old May 24, 2013, 03:33 PM   #115
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Stainless steel pins for a cement mixer

Yeah, I saw Pellet LLC were the folks who supplied Thumlers, so I was going that route mentally already.

3.5 yards is the total capacity of the cement mixer, but in reality you're only getting a portion of that since you cannot work the mixer fully upright. It won't agitate that way.

So I am figuring I need half at most of the prescribed 24x recipe. I think.

Midway is having a sale right now on the pins - 22% off so 5 lbs is $34.95. But that's still $420 + shipping for 60 lbs. Maybe Pellet LLC will have a better price direct.

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Old May 24, 2013, 05:09 PM   #116
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Quote:
3.5 yards is the total capacity of the cement mixer
3.5 yards?? That's a lot bigger than I thought; your earlier post said 3.5 cubic feet.

Still, I'd just start off with a hundred pounds or so of pins, and experiment to see how much brass that will allow you to clean. Unless you literally have tons of brass to clean, you probably don't have to run the mixer at capacity.
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Old May 24, 2013, 06:30 PM   #117
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Has anybody tried a combination of the pins and the ceramic media? I wonder if you would get the best of both worlds in cleaning, polishing and getting the primer pockets clean by a combination (say 50/50, or 75/25 pins to ceramic?)
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:16 PM   #118
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I have not tried a mixture of the pins and ceramic. I don't think I want to mix them together. I have pretty much given up on the ceramic. It polishes really well, but it's such a pain to deal with. The pins are much easier to handle and the results are almost as good.
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Old May 25, 2013, 08:21 PM   #119
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I'd have to give it a try, but my gut instinct is that the results wouldn't be as good. I think the chemical action of the soap and Lemishine is almost as important as the mechanical scrubbing action of the pins.

Once the soap/Lemishine gets depleted, the brass doesn't get much cleaner, no matter how much longer I tumble it. So unless you have a lot of loose crud on the brass that you just want to knock off, I can't see a reason to skip the soap/Lemishine for the first two hours.
My thought was that tumbling first with the pins would knock loose the bigger hunks of crud mechanically and fouling which, once removed, the second run with dish soap and lemi-shine would work more quickly on the remaining crud.
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Old May 25, 2013, 11:02 PM   #120
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottRiqui
Once the soap/Lemishine gets depleted, the brass doesn't get much cleaner, no matter how much longer I tumble it. So unless you have a lot of loose crud on the brass that you just want to knock off, I can't see a reason to skip the soap/Lemishine for the first two hours.
I'll have to agree with this. I just did a batch & I didn't put in enough soap & after 5 hrs the brass was clean, but not very shiny. No soap bubbles when I opened. Drained, fresh water more soap & lemishine then 2 more hours & all was good.

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Old May 26, 2013, 01:38 PM   #121
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And to clarify my mixer is only 3.5 cubic feet. Not yards. Brain fart, sorry.

ZAG
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:08 AM   #122
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Yeah. I got 3 yards of concrete one time. They had to send a truck with the mixer built-in. That'd be one way to start a portable brass cleaning service, I suppose, but separating one customer's brass from the others would be no fun.

My Thumbler B's belt broke. Those polyurethane belts are strong but can get brittle with age, and I've had that tumbler over 20 years. A quick call to Tri-Square and a new belt was on the way (about $6, IIRC). I also thought to order new Nylon bushings (I have to old white Delryn ones) and retainer rings.

I'm going to polish up the ends of the shafts where they go through the bushings. I may even chuck the shafts in the lathe and groove the outside ends to accept normal snap rings to make removal of the bushings for lubrication easier.
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Old May 27, 2013, 10:26 AM   #123
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I was able to buy a LARGE quantity of pins some time back, I've got 4sale post up here 5 pounds at XXX free shipping. Don't thuink you'll find them cheaper


M


I member of the board staff was kind enough to send me a less than pleasent PM reminding me of the rules and making accusations, so I guess your on your own to find pins. Best of luck gentelman.

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Old May 27, 2013, 03:28 PM   #124
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I had the brass factory running yesterday. This is 9mm range brass that I've picked up over the years. It wasn't super dirty, just average stuff you find laying around at the range.

I knocked the cycle time down to 1 hour, and it looks great. So here's what I've come up with for a formula.

1) Fairly clean brass = 1 hour
2) Moderately dirty brass = 2 hours
3) Really nasty stuff that you want pristine = 2 hours, water change, 1 hour. (may be able to knock the first stage down to 1 hour, I'll have to try that sometime)

The thing I really like about the wet cleaning is that it gets the insides of the cases clean. I don't use a progressive press. I load 50 at a time, and after I do my powder charge step, I take my reloading block under a light and inspect the powder level in all the cases. The shiny insides makes that part much easier.

The other positive aspect is no dust like you get with the vibrating bowls. Dealing with the water is a bit of a hassle at first, but once you get a system down, it works really well.



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Old May 28, 2013, 07:17 AM   #125
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Nice, Gdawgs! I decapped a thousand or so rounds (maybe more) and started running them through the rig...came out looking like new. These were some crusty old cases which were in need of cleaning, and the STM didn't disappoint.

I need a bigger bottle or jug of Dawn...

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