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Old August 10, 2014, 09:09 AM   #1
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Zilla crushed walnut media question

I've just purchased my first case tumbler and Zilla crushed walnut as the media. I had read a numder of threads in discussion of using dryer sheets to cut down on dust as well as adding various polishes to the media as well. Some say these are necessary, others say they are not. I wanted to get input from those of you who use the pet product I have purchased. What are your suggestions, based upon experience with Zilla lizard bedding?

Last edited by RickCoop; August 10, 2014 at 09:57 AM.
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:03 AM   #2
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I've used the crushed walnut "lizard bedding" that I bought at a pet store although I don't recall the brand.

I mixed in about a teaspoon of Flitz metal polish for use in my Lyman tumbler. If you are using the paste form of Flitz, you need to premix it with about 2/3 cup of the media. Use a spoon to mash and blend into the walnut until you see no more lumps. Then add this mix to the rest of the media in your tumbler bowl. Unless the paste Flitz is premixed, it will simply form round lumps and not disperse throughout the media.

Never had a dusting problem, but since the Lyman has a top that seals the bowl, I wouldn't expect one anyway.
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:21 AM   #3
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I use a mixture of crushed corn cob and crushed walnut shells and I use dryer sheets. In my opinion, the dryer sheets are optional but cheap so I go ahead and use them. Most people say to use "used" dryer sheets but I use new ones. A box I bought from the grocery store for a couple of bucks will last 6 months to a year. I find the dryer sheets leave a very faint film on the brass which makes it easier to cycle through my reloading equipment.
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Old August 10, 2014, 11:23 AM   #4
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Zilla crushed walnut media question

Pet Store walnut comes in many granular sizes, powder form up to the larger
grains. the powdery stuff is dusty and sticks to the cases, not good. Use the
larger size for best results. Dryer sheets are helpful in collecting dust, But are
most useful to help keep static electricity to a minumum. With the machine
running, and prior to adding cases,pour a couple spoons of liquid car wax into
the media and let it run for awhile to mix the wax into the media, this will
help keep the brass shiney after reloading. Hope this Helped.

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Old August 10, 2014, 11:58 AM   #5
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Personally, I prefer the dark coarser walnut lizard litter. The Zillia I bought worked/cleaned no better than the corn cob media I have. I would suggest you first tumble with just media, no additives, then observe the results. Then add one of the suggested additives and see if you like the results...
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Old August 10, 2014, 12:06 PM   #6
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The light Brown stuff, A squirt of NuFinish and some dryer sheets. Good to go.
Don't need dryer sheets,but can use them. I just drape a cloth over the top of my tmbler and by pass the dryer sheets. Works great,no dust flying around

Another tip- When done tumbleing,just find a Pie Pan,turn tumbler upside down ,hold over pan and let run for 30 or so seconds. 90% of media comes out and the rest is easy.
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Last edited by 4runnerman; August 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM.
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Old August 10, 2014, 02:05 PM   #7
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Depending on the grit size (and no one seems to put theirs on the package) you will end up with media in flash holes. Use a stiff wire or large paper clip end to push out. When adding auto polish add it to the media first and let run 10 minutes before adding the brass. I used to add the polish to the media and brass at the same time; this causes clumps inside case necks of bottle neck cases that look like rabbit food and get stuck inside cases. Much better to run the media with the polish before adding the brass. I use corn cob media mixed with walnut at around 50:50.

Google this: NGW 10" Mesh Pot Bucket Lid
for a 10" basket that fits 5 gallon buckets to separate media. Then the 5 gallon bucket will also hold your media for reuse They are $3.19 each and I like to use one for each caliber and they are also useful for storing loose brass. You can slip a plastic shopping bag under them to catch any remaing media that may dribble out.

I will have to try new dryer sheets. The old ones do catch an impressive amount of nasty crud.
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Old August 10, 2014, 02:34 PM   #8
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Gunnels I find the dryer sheets leave a very faint film on the brass which makes it easier to cycle through my reloading equipment.
Maybe you, but I like that nice fresh smell of my brass.
I have used dryer sheets (used) for over 5 years and I find it amazing how long it extends the life of the medium. When you see them come out black and full of dust and since they are good for nothing other than dumping them in the garbage its putting them to good use.
I cut them into roughly 1 by 3 inches which seems to work better in the vibrator for me. I put about 2 sheets in each load.
I use Frankford Arsenal brass cleaner. It works well for me and it leaves citrus scented brass.
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Old August 11, 2014, 06:40 PM   #9
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I use walnut without the sheets or additives and deprime before tumbling. I tried several different pet store varities of corn and walnut but never found the right size that didn't plug the flash hole or brass. The walnut I use is from Lyman and works perfectly...only one or two flash hole plugs per 100. The dust comes off by just handling the brass and doesn't pose a problem to me. 15lbs of walnut has lasted me 10+ yrs and goes a long way. My tumbler is a small rotary and I only do a couple thousand a yr.
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Old August 11, 2014, 07:25 PM   #10
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If you don't want media plugging the flash hole you need to use the 20/40 sieve size. If you prefer corn cob, it is available from Zoro, if you like walnut get the fine walnut blast media from Harbor Freight.

I find two sources of dust. The first is fines that are present with the new media. The second is the result of what tumbling removes from the brass. I don't have a good source of used dryer sheets since we don't use them. The used dryer sheets work much better at capturing the dust IMHO. So instead I use strips of paper towels. They seem to work just as well and I have a ready supply.

I use OMS (odorless mineral spirits) with the media for just cleaning or removing sizing lube. For polishing I normally use NuFinish or Meguiar's polish. Both result in a much quicker shine to your brass. Clean is all you need, but I like the shine personally. If you add to much, it will accumulate on the inside your tumbling bowl.
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Old August 13, 2014, 08:03 PM   #11
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Walnut media from pet store, no other additives.
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Old August 13, 2014, 09:03 PM   #12
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Thanks for your help

I want to thank everyone who responded to my request for information. I ran the brass tonight for about 1-1/2 hours with only the cut up dryer sheets mixed in the media. The brass came out clean and fresh smelling. Thanks again to everyone for your help.
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Old August 13, 2014, 09:09 PM   #13
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I use the walnut lizard bedding but I ordered it on amazon, don't remember the grit size. I dribble in a bit of brasso to make the casings purty. Never tried the dryer sheet thing, I will have to give that a shot.
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