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Old April 9, 2001, 10:21 PM   #1
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Location: Athens Ga area
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A guy at the range last Saturday said somebody in Alabama was cleaning brass in one part vinegar to 3 parts water in a barrel tumbler. Ha said the brass was coming out cleaner than any regular tumble/media system he had ever seen and that it took 12 minutes per load to do. Anybody heard or seen this?

Also, while I'm at it, has anybody tried that stuff advertised in Sinclair called IOSSO? It's a liquid cleaner.
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Old April 9, 2001, 11:58 PM   #2
Ala Dan
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Greeting's Mesa,

I'm in central Alabama myself, but I've never heard of or
tried cleaning brass in vinegar and water. Just tonight I
purchased some liquid car polish to mix with corn cob media
in my tumbler, for the very same purpose. I came here looking for the ratio of mixture to get started. Have you
got any idea's? Thanks in advance for any input.

Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member

PS: I do know that car polish cannot contain any ammonia; as
it will affect the coloring of the brass.
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Old April 10, 2001, 12:17 AM   #3
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I've tried the vinegar and water routine (along with salt) and it does get the brass fairly clean, but then you have to worry about drying it. I used to place the brass on a cookie sheet and throw it in the oven for a few minutes, which worked but then the brass would come out looking kind of tarnished and dull. I finally broke down and bought a Berry's tumbler. Corn cob and some Flitz and my cases look as good as new.
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Old April 10, 2001, 12:17 AM   #4
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I use three capfuls per pound of media. Seems to do good.

BTW: Ammonia will weaken the brass. The color might change too, but the most important concern is the brass will be weaked.
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Old April 10, 2001, 08:36 AM   #5
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Use as intened

After years of tumbling brass in bare media, this past week I decided to purchase some Dillon Rapid Polish 290. I had heard that Brasso fouls primer, I heard that glass beads in the tumbler work well, and I've heard many other wives' tales about polishing media. You know, it just makes sense to by a product made for what you're doing.

I was told to treat the media first, then after tumbling several thousand rounds add a capfull every so often. I used about half the bottle to "treat" the walnut media. I have tumbled over 4000 rounds in the past few weeks, and I still haven't needed to add more polish. I started out tumbling about 2000 brass that I picked up at the range (working a big match). The brass came out so pretty that I began retumbling brass that I previously tumbled withou the polish - what a difference.
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Old April 10, 2001, 09:35 AM   #6
neal bloom
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Being new to the field of reloading a friend and I tried several methods to clean brass. We are using my son's lapidary barrel tumbler.

1. Picked up some pecan shells from a pecan processing plant and crushed them.

2. Bought some Lyman treated corn cob media.

3. Used a mixture of Dawn dishwashing detergent and lemon juice. Tumbled for 15 minutes.

4. Used a mixture of Dishwasher detergent and lemon juice. Tumbled for 15 minutes.

Option 4 cleaned the brass better. I mean it really cleaned it. It wasn't polished but it was clean.

Option 3 also cleaned the brass but not as good as option 4.

Option 1 cleaned the brass after a couple hours of tumbling but each case had to be wiped by hand to get dust off. Inside of case was still dirty.

Option 2 covered everything with a green layer. Must be the treatment of the media. Tumbled for 4 hours and still had a green layer on it. Had to remove media from flashhole on a lot of the cases. Don't know if the media will work better in a vibratory tumbler vs. a lapidary tumbler.

Options 3 and 4 required drying the cases. We let them sit for 24 hours. They went through the press just fine as did those from option 1 after wiping them with a cloth. Haven't even tried the cases used in option 2. They are still covered with a green layer.

I have ordered a vibratory tumbler to test the treated media. Since our objective was to clean brass option 4 and 3 did what we wanted. As for polishing brass we will wait on the tumbler. I am sure that many prefer to run polished brass throught their presses.

We are going to try ISSO this weekend.

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Old April 11, 2001, 09:43 PM   #7
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Or you could just buy brass polish.

[Edited by ramairbrc on 04-12-2001 at 09:07 AM]
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Old April 12, 2001, 04:50 PM   #8
Join Date: January 4, 2001
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another way of getting walnut media is at the pet store. They sell it in 5 or 10 lb bags for pretty cheap (2 or 3 $). I think they use it for birdcages. I understand machine shops use something similar which you can buy in 100lb bags.

I just use a dab of rubbing compound in a batch and refresh as needed. I will try the Bounce sheet,though. I may have to explain to the wife why I want brass that smells springtime fresh, though.
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Old April 12, 2001, 07:53 PM   #9
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Vineger and water works.You can allso add a little dishwasher anti spot solution.Had a pro reloader that used a clotheswasher( Small RV type)with the brass in a net bag.The brass came out like new both inside and out.As said in a above post drying them is a problem.He laid his out on cookie sheets and placed it in a oven with just the pilot light on.
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Old April 12, 2001, 11:52 PM   #10
neal bloom
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Finally tried a vibratory tumbler. Very quiet while running. After 3 hours the brass still had a light coating of 'dust' from the green treated media. Wiped it off with a clean rag and they were very bright and shiny. Looked real good. Just got to figure out why the Lyman treated media leaves a green 'dust' on the brass. Maybe once the media is broken in they will come out looking like new. Even though it is not as quick as dishwasher detergent and lemon juice the brass did look good once I cleaned them off with a rag and no need to dry them. Gave me time to inspect the brass more closely as I cleaned them.
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Old April 13, 2001, 07:47 PM   #11
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I always rinse off my brass after tumbling. You will be suprised that alot of times there will be media in the case, even if you aggressively shake/tumble the media out. I do this as a safety precaution and to rid the brass of dust.
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