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Wet tumbling with SS pins

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I've had my Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler for two to three years now and love it. Have a system that has worked great and end up with shinny clean brass.  Been noticing although the brass is clean I'm not getting the bright finish I use to. What I'm thinking is with all the batches that have been tumbled and drained I'm loosing my pins a little bit each time and probably substantially less than when I started.

I start by loading all my brass into the tumbler, filling the barrel completely full with HOT water and THEN add my Dawn detergent. If the Dawn is added before filling get way to much foam for those that are new to the concept. I tumble for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours, drain, fill half way, swish and drain, repeat two to three times. Fill all the way and tumble again for about 10 to 15 minutes, drain.Using the media separator I then load up the Nesco food dehydrator with the clean brass and dry for about half hours to so. Good to go for sizing and decapping.

After resizing I repeat the tumble process with the Dawn for about 30 minutes to remove the case lube, rinse, swish two to three times and then fill barrel with hot water again but add some Armour All Wash & Wax plus a bit of Lemi Shine. I all ready have soft water. Back in the dehydrator after wards.

So far this process have been giving my shinny, spot free brass but some batches are clean but less shinny. As mentioned, I think I'm running fewer SS pins for the polish portion.

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You should be using Lemi Shine during your initial tumble with pins, not as your final process.  The Lemi Shine contains citric acid that must be removed from the brass. 

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Just ordered a wet tumbler. When you use brass juice do you include some detergent?

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I to get the occasional batch that is not shiny.  I do not measure how much armor all and lemi shine I use though.  A splash and maybe a teaspoon.  Maybe only 1 in 10 batches is dull.  I am interested in the answer as well.  

 

As a note, 2.5 hours is crazy.  For me; 1st wash no pins, 30 mins, double rinse, spin, air dry.  Lube, process.  2nd wash, pins, 45 mins, spin, air dry.

 

As I type this out, the dull batches may be over lubed.  I usually use one shot for pistol and home brew for rifle but I am out of one shot.  Probably over lubed pistol with lanolin.

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I ditched the pins a while ago. They are a pita. Dish soap, citric acid and 1.5hrs. Done. 

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13 hours ago, chevrofreak said:

You should be using Lemi Shine during your initial tumble with pins, not as your final process.  The Lemi Shine contains citric acid that must be removed from the brass

Interesting point. I started off using Lemi Shine with my initial wash but kept hearing it was mainly to help soften the water and I already have premium soft water (long story). I've tried some batches using it with the rinse and some batches don't use it at all. Time to start logging the process and see which one works best.

I don't lube pistol cases and use One Shot for rifle loads.

Length of tumble is variable and sort of how large a load and how dirty. If I'm tumbling a large load of dirty brass I tumble 2 to 2-1/2 hours, 1-1/2 for small batch. I think the really full batches may also be part of the issue. With four quarts of brass I don't think they get to tumble as much and more like roll around.

Definitely interested in the Brass Juice.

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For my soap, I use ArmorAll Car wash/wax along with Lemi-Shine. It gets the dirt and the brass doesn't dull at all over time.

 

 

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With the overly lubed brass I doubled the armor all and that helped.  Washed some lightly lubed brass with original mix and its bright.  My conclusion is heavily lanolin lubed brass will come out dull without extra cleaning solution.

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I deprime first and then tumble with pins and vinegar with Dawn.  After tumbling dump in separator and rinse and then separate pins from brass, pour pins back in tumbler and dry brass on old bath towels on floor.  Dry in a few hours and then ready to prime and store until ready to load.

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What’s the biggest wet tumbler on the market. Thinking of getting one and go with brass juice so I don’t have to use pins. 

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Well.......... Jerry Musclek uses a cement mixer.

😁

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Frankford Arsenal Tumbler was on my wish list and got it for Christmas. Love that thing.

Used to use the SS pins when I had the harbor freight tumbler, but after a couple of times in the FA tumbler, thought I would try without the pins.Never looked back

 

I use Dawn, hot water and a smidge of Lemi-shine. Like I said, no pins. I then pour off the cruddy water in into a 5 gallon bucket,  I constantly rotate the drum to make sure as much of the dirty water is out as possible. 

I  then rinse off using a second 5 gallon bucket 2/3 filled with clean water having swapped out the endplates on the FA tumbler.  Just keep dunking and turning the tumbler drum. 

 

I then do a final drain (keep turning that drum to get as much water out as possible), then empty the brass into one of those FA media separators that looks like a colander. 

 

Then a rough dry in a towel, second dry in a pillow case and into the food dehydrator for 30 mins to an hour.

 

They are PLENTY shiny. I honestly thought the brass looked shinier than with the pins. I think effective rinsing and draining helps a lot towards a shiny finish. But hey, maybe thats just a bit of conformational bias. 

 

I will say that not having to deal with the pins is definitely a plus. 

 

As I am not concerned about primer pockets on pistol brass, these brass are now good to go.

 

 

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20 hours ago, Jay1957 said:

Just ordered a wet tumbler. When you use brass juice do you include some detergent?

 

No, just clean, save the mix, rinse your brass and dry. 

Edited by HesedTech

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Anybody know what "Brass Juice" is composed of ???

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Brass Juice is the best, stopped using ss media a while ago and will never go back. Less time consuming not having to sort out the ss media.

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11 hours ago, Dirtchevy841 said:

What’s the biggest wet tumbler on the market. Thinking of getting one and go with brass juice so I don’t have to use pins. 

 

http://www.biggdawgtumblers.net/biggdawg-tumblers.html

 

I don't know if he is still building tumblers but this is where I got mine a couple years ago. Mine is a dual drum setup and I run almost a full pail of 5.56 brass each batch. With pins 😉

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On 2/11/2019 at 5:22 AM, mcracco said:

 

http://www.biggdawgtumblers.net/biggdawg-tumblers.html

 

I don't know if he is still building tumblers but this is where I got mine a couple years ago. Mine is a dual drum setup and I run almost a full pail of 5.56 brass each batch. With pins 😉

 

I'll second this.  While I didn't buy from him, I used plans he posted online when he was starting out.  I only went with a single vs a dual drum setup, but can do about a 1/4 to 1/3 5 gallon bucket of 45 brass at a time.  I use Armor All Wash/Wax and Lemishine.  Comes out spotless and stays that way.  I'm loading 9mm now using brass I cleaned last year.  It still looks like it did when I took it out of the drum.

 

If you can weld or know someone who does, it wasn't too expensive going this route.  I want to say right around $300 if I remember correctly.

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I've had my Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler for two to three years now and love it. Have a system that has worked great and end up with shinny clean brass.  Been noticing although the brass is clean I'm not getting the bright finish I use to. What I'm thinking is with all the batches that have been tumbled and drained I'm loosing my pins a little bit each time and probably substantially less than when I started.
I start by loading all my brass into the tumbler, filling the barrel completely full with HOT water and THEN add my Dawn detergent. If the Dawn is added before filling get way to much foam for those that are new to the concept. I tumble for about 2 to 2-1/2 hours, drain, fill half way, swish and drain, repeat two to three times. Fill all the way and tumble again for about 10 to 15 minutes, drain.Using the media separator I then load up the Nesco food dehydrator with the clean brass and dry for about half hours to so. Good to go for sizing and decapping.
After resizing I repeat the tumble process with the Dawn for about 30 minutes to remove the case lube, rinse, swish two to three times and then fill barrel with hot water again but add some Armour All Wash & Wax plus a bit of Lemi Shine. I all ready have soft water. Back in the dehydrator after wards.
So far this process have been giving my shinny, spot free brass but some batches are clean but less shinny. As mentioned, I think I'm running fewer SS pins for the polish portion.
Just reading your process for cleaning brass is exhausting. Clean the brass, dry it, lube it, then load it and be done with it

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Just got my FA wet tumbler. First batch decapped.40 S&W, pins the solution that came with tumbler and lemishine. Tumbled 1 hour. Cases clean and shiny inside and out primer pockets clean. Pins were a pita! Second batch Tablespoon of Simple Green concentrate, lemishine and no pins. Simple Green recommended to me because of less suds. Results were just as good as batch wit pins. Primer pockets not quite as clean. No more pins for me.

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