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NEWBY QUESTION: Wet Tumbling


GDIS46
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I have a Diamond Technologies 65T wet tumbler with a 8.5 gallons drum.  I have never used a wet tumbler before, only have used a vibrating tumbler with corn cob and walnut shells.  I have about 20 pounds of Pellets LLC stainless pins. 

 

I would like to know:

1. How much brass should I attempt to clean at one time?

2. How much water should I put in?

3. What additives should I use?

4. How many pounds of stainless pins do I use?

5.  How long do I tumble the brass for?

 

I assume I have to de-prime the brass first so the primer pockets get clean.

 

I appreciate any advise if you are a wet tumbler since I have never done this before.

 

Gary in San Diego

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Edited by GDIS46
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Men have been known to fight to the death over decapping first lol

 

Personally I like to decap first because to me it's a hobby and I enjoy it. I also do not want to do any kind of weird drying process or have trouble later with water in the primers. 

 

Use about 4-6 ounces of armorall wash and wax, about 1 brass full of lemi shine and about 2 ounces of cascade rinse agent. You don't have to be exact at all. Fill it to the top with water. For the pins, again guys fight to the death over weather to use them or not. I use them, about 10 pounds to 1 1/2 gallons of brass. Weird measurements I know but my tumbler is 2 gallons. Again that is not an exact science either. Just put as much weight in as you can handle and go for it. 

 

Brass juice is the new kool-aid to and about half of the posts you get will tell you to go buy it. You'll probably get a few posts saying to use the search and then they will later tell you their methods witch I always thought was strange. 

 

If you decap first you can just lay the brass on a towel for a day and they will dry themselves. If you don't your going to have to make a drying table with a fan, use a food dehydrator or put them in the oven

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And I'm on the opposite end of Louu.  I don't decap and I don't use pins.  I do, however, use Armor All W&W and lemi shine in about the same quantities.  And I do use a Lyman case dryer.  I think I paid like $30 or $40 on Amazon for it.  Before that it was the oven or the sun depending on the time of year.

 

Lou, I do NOT want to fight to the death over this, but my way is better.

 

Joking obviously - everyone has their own way.  I used to decap and use pins...got tired of doing both and my process works for me.

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I use the frankford wet tumbler drum, 5lbs media, and fill it up about 2/3 with brass - and water to the top. I use about 2 oz of dawn or wash and wax, and no more than 1 9mm capful of lemishine. Be careful with the lemishine. A little goes a loooong way. If you get too much it will turn the brass reddish with a weird feel to it -  I think someone said it leeches out the zinc. Dunno if that's true, but sounds plausible to me. I just know too much = bad.

 

frankford case dryer (I think it's a re-branded food dehydrator). When it's new to me pickup, I decap it and wet-tumble, so I know I get a good clean pocket at least once. I mark my brass, and from then on any time I pick up any of my marked brass, it just gets a dry tumble. Not sure the clean primer pocket matters at all on blaster pistol rounds,  but it satisfies my OCD to at least have it cleaned once.

 

I used to wet-clean it all, I much prefer it, but I just don't have the time. Do note, once you wet-clean it, lube it before you run it thru the press. Wet cleaning strips it to the metal and it'll stick o your expander / funnel.

 

*EDIT - that thing looks like a beast. nice pickup.

Edited by OptimiStick
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Overboard super shiny brass freak.

 

wash with dawn/lemi plain tap hot water.  90% Frankford drum no pins for about an hour,

 

then decap and size (I spray some lubricant in the box of brass and shake before)

 

I then go a little overboard,  boiled reverse osmosis water with brass juice and pins. 85% full of brass, 98% full of water.

 

2hrs later dump and keep the water to reheat later.  It’s like brand new brass. 
I get 3-4 uses out of the water 

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I like wet tumbling but it takes so long to rinse the brass I'm moving back to just vibration polishing. I have found that the pins don't help that much and take a long time to separate. I have learned to be careful with Lemi-shine because too much can etch the brass and make it rough requiring case lube or vibration tumbling to get it smooth again.

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I do it wet style in a cement mixer. Usually between 5-10k at a time but it will accommodate much more. First pass is Dawn / lemi, good squirt of dawn and just a 9mm case of Lemishine & probably 3-3.5 gal water from garden hose with a RV filter attached. 30 to an hour later dump in a 2x4 box with screen bottom I made ( 36" x 18" ) and a quick rinse then back in with wash & wax for the same time. Dump out, light rinse, and to the garage and spread out on a beach towel for a few days. Then I inspect & sort. 

 

Now for the contraversial part. I'll then decap & size then clean again with just the wash & wax for 2 hrs. Not necessary I know. I'm not overly concerned with clean primer pockets, but this does make loading much smoother & easier. 

 

Ive never tried it with pins and see no reason to. More than clean enough for my purposes. Also like mentioned above, regarding the Lemishine, more is not better. Doesn't take much. 

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As we can see by the varied replies so far I'm not sure there's a wrong way to do it!!

 

I use this Harbor Freight double tumbler:

 

https://www.harborfreight.com/dual-drum-rotary-rock-tumbler-67632.html

 

I put 2.5 pounds of pins in each barrel and then put brass in until it's about 3/4 of the way full, then water until it's about 1/4 inch from the top.  I use a VERY small squirt of Dawn soap and a MINUSCULE amount of Lemi-Shine (maybe 20 grains of it).  I let it tumble for about 2 hours.  I do not de-prime.

 

I picked up a used salad spinner from Goodwill that works perfectly as a media separator.

 

When clean I lay them out on a towel near the furnace and let them air dry for at least 24 hours.

 

I just did a batch and they came out clean as normal.

 

I've done the same process as above without pins as well, but the insides of the cases obviously were not as shiny as the outside.

 

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19 hours ago, 124gr9mm said:

As we can see by the varied replies so far I'm not sure there's a wrong way to do it!!

I use this Harbor Freight double tumbler:

https://www.harborfreight.com/dual-drum-rotary-rock-tumbler-67632.html

================================================================================

What would we do without Harbor Freight and all their Chinese merchandise?  I have been using their vibrating tumbler and modified it with a Gamma Seal lid and an Intermatic 12 hour timer. (By the way, if you have a similar set-up, check out adding a Gamma Seal quick spin lid.)  That was the best mod I ever did.  It worked fine but didn't give me that new brass shine I was looking for.

 

 

 

 

 

a1.jpg

Edited by GDIS46
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Im all over the place. Everytime these threads comes up I change my technique. Honestly they all work. I have a big dawg tumbler Im not sure of the total gallon capacity. But I get about

 

2000 rds of 9mm in there with 15lbs of pins, 2 tbsp of dawn, 2.5-3  gallons of water, 45 case of lemishine. (

I have also used no pins with a little more brass (easiest)

I have also used brass juice.(super clean but takes a little more rinsing to get all the soap off, seams as clean as other recipe with pins)

 

I clean with primers for 2 reasons pistol I dont care and they are very easy to dry, and rifle is going back in after size/deprime/trim

 

A note on drying, with the size of that tumbler you will need multiple dehydrators if thats the route you go. when I load mine up to max with 223 it takes 2-3 hours with 3 dehydrators. 2 with pistol(you can pack them in tighter and still get dry)

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OK, here is an update if anyone was interested.

 

I ordered a quart of Brass Juice ($20 + $9.75 shipping)

I had a 2½ gallon bucket of mixed range brass so I dumped it all in the 8½ gallon tumbling drum.

I added 3 gallons of distilled water and 6 ounces of Brass Juice then tumbled them for about 3 hours.

I rinsed them with tap water, then threw them back in the tumbler with a couple of dry towels and ran it for 30 minutes to get all the water out of the cases.  The towels came out damp, the brass relatively dry.  Then I air dried them for a day.  I didn't notice any water spots.  Here is what they looked like before and after.

 

Ok, now to start processing this brass.....

I assume that I should sort by head stamp, then lube the cases and run them through the press. Again, I have never reloaded on a 1050 before so if you see any glaring errors, feel free to correct me.  Where do I (or do I have to) check case length for just blaster rounds?

 

Also, here is my reloading bench with my Dillon Super 1050s.  You may notice the left 1050 has a case counter mod that I added to count cases.  I can run it as is and it will count how many rounds go into the press.  Or I can disconnect the drop tube from the press and have it drop a preset number of cases into a bag or bucket. I dial in 100, turn on the case feeder and the motor runs until 100 cases are dropped.

 

20200328_171021a.jpg

 

 

 

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20200321_152038b.jpg

Edited by GDIS46
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1 hour ago, m700 said:

A note on drying, with the size of that tumbler you will need multiple dehydrators if that's the route you go. when I load mine up to max with 223 it takes 2-3 hours with 3 dehydrators. 2 with pistol(you can pack them in tighter and still get dry)

Yea, stupid me.  I picked it up new at a gun show for a good price but didn't think of the size vs weight issue.  The bigger the drum, the more it is going to weigh.  With 2½ gallons of brass and 3 gallons of water, I can hardly lift it up on the bench.  I'll probable start putting it on the floor in the future.

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Bending to lift it wont be much easier. If you fill on the bench and tumble on the bench you'll probably be best off. Otherwise you can pick up a cheap transfer pump for $20 and pump water out. Will help your back in the long run.

I wouldnt bother sorting head stamps until you process the brass. Its going to have to go back in to get the lube off (at least in my process)

Also that mixture can be reused, people have said many times. I havent gone past 2 though

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  • 4 months later...
On 4/1/2020 at 12:06 PM, GDIS46 said:

OK, here is an update if anyone was interested.

 

I ordered a quart of Brass Juice ($20 + $9.75 shipping)

I had a 2½ gallon bucket of mixed range brass so I dumped it all in the 8½ gallon tumbling drum.

I added 3 gallons of distilled water and 6 ounces of Brass Juice then tumbled them for about 3 hours.

I rinsed them with tap water, then threw them back in the tumbler with a couple of dry towels and ran it for 30 minutes to get all the water out of the cases.  The towels came out damp, the brass relatively dry.  Then I air dried them for a day.  I didn't notice any water spots.  Here is what they looked like before and after.

 

Ok, now to start processing this brass.....

I assume that I should sort by head stamp, then lube the cases and run them through the press. Again, I have never reloaded on a 1050 before so if you see any glaring errors, feel free to correct me.  Where do I (or do I have to) check case length for just blaster rounds?

 

Also, here is my reloading bench with my Dillon Super 1050s.  You may notice the left 1050 has a case counter mod that I added to count cases.  I can run it as is and it will count how many rounds go into the press.  Or I can disconnect the drop tube from the press and have it drop a preset number of cases into a bag or bucket. I dial in 100, turn on the case feeder and the motor runs until 100 cases are dropped.

Edited by ysrracer
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