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dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 12:32:34 AM
[Last Edit: 1/18/2012 12:08:52 PM by dryflash3]
Why wet tumble when a vibrating tumbler gets brass clean? Good question, as wet tumbling is really not needed.



The advantages are sparkling clean cases inside and out, and clean primer pockets. Even with many times fired range brass.

No dust is maybe the greatest advantage, worst thing about wet tumbling is waiting for the brass to dry.

Depriming before tumbling speeds up drying. More on drying later.



Get a Thumblers model B. Be sure to get the high speed model, as there is also a slow speed one. About $ 169 ish

I changed the washers and wing nuts to a heavier style I like better than the original ones.



SS media, I got mine at Buffalo Arms. Get 5 pounds, $35 + 11 shipping.

Yes it's magnetic, and can be picked up with a magnet if you spill some.



Last 2 things you need are the cleaners. Dawn and Lemishine. Get Lemishine at Walmart in with the dish washing soaps.

I use a 2 second squirt of Dawn, and a 45 ACP case full of Lemishine. I tried a 9mm case, but found that amount didn't clean as well as the 45 case full.

I soldered a 223 case to the 45 case for a handle. Kind of looks like a crack pipe I was told. Don't care, I like it.



2 liter pop bottle cut about 6 inches. That's my brass measure. I don't always fill it to the top.

Loading the Tumbler,

To the brass, add the 5 pounds of media, and 1 gallon of water. Then add the dawn and Lemishine.

I don't have a sink in my work shop (no hot water) so I use water from the hose.

Many posts say to use hot water, but I've been getting good results with cold water. Go ahead and experiment with this.

The water level in the drum when loaded is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the top.



Drum should look like this when it's opened after tumbling cycle.

If it's not sudsy like this, you didn't use enough Dawn.

The high speed model need to run 4 hours. The low speed model needs to run 8 hours. Edited run time now that I have more experience.



I use my old Midway (1997) dry media separator and 2 buckets to separate media-water-cases.

Gently shake blue part of separator, will get 90% of the media out of the cases.



Dump cases in white bucket, slowly dump out sudsy water from gray bucket. You can see when the media will start to spill out.



Stop dumping before you get to this point. A little water will still be in bucket, that's ok.

Put some water in bucket, and slowly dump out, stop before media spill out. Repeat until suds are gone. For me, 3 rinses.



I don't put a strainer below the bucket when I dump the water out.

Not needed, you can see when the media is ready to come out and you can stop pouring out the water before that happens. Not hard.

Put about 3 inches of water in white bucket with brass/media mixture. Stir it around and dump out water. Stop before cases start to come out. Set aside for now.



Dump rinsed brass/water/media back through separator. Gently shake separator, 99% of media is now in bucket.



Place brass on an old towel and rub the water off, dump in a drying pan.



I dry on top of a wood stove, takes about 15 minutes. Keep temp at 200 degrees if you use a stove in the house.

In my unheated workshop, brass dries in 2 days. I use old roasting pans for drying.



Just dump media back into bucket and reload tumbler for the next batch.

The media won't rust, so if you are not going to do another batch, leave top off of drum and just let it sit until the next batch.



Now a before pic. Brass score on some Norma 6mm unfired cases that were a little green, and a few 7mm mag.



After pic. Can't do this with a vibrating tumbler.




edit to add more pics




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dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 12:33:28 AM
[Last Edit: 3/29/2012 4:59:18 PM by dryflash3]
Edit, here is what I saved this spot for;


Here is something you might want to do to your tumbler before you use it.



This the inside of the tumbler where the rubber drum goes into.

It's not painted, and other posters said their tumblers were rusting, and they cleaned out the rust and painted the metal.

So I decided to paint mine while I was waiting for the media to arrive.



I wiped down the metal with a clean rag and alcohol (rubbing alcohol___this is arfcom) so the paint would stick, and masked off the outside from over spray.



Looks like this when finished and tape removed. I let it dry overnight.



Here is the spray paint I used. Rust-oleum Painter Touch #1966 Apple Red. Don't remember where I bought it from.




After using the tumbler a while, I changed the wing nuts to the solid type and replaced the 5/16 washers with 1/4 washers that were a little thicker.

I'm not a fan of cheap hardware, and these wing nuts are easier on the fingers.



edit 2. Then I found these knobs at Mc Feelys. $.86 each (looks like price went down since I ordered), order 6. Shipping is $1. I like this site's shipping price and they ship fast.

They just clear the drive shaft. I don't use a washer, just these knobs.



Group pic, after trying the knobs on my first tumbler, I ordered more for all of my tumblers. I also put timers on all of the tumblers.

I now run the low speed Tumbler Model B for 8 hours, also the old tumbler for 8 hours. The high speed runs for 4 hours.

Using rubber cement, I glued the rubber gasket to the removable lid, also glued the washers to the lid.

The black sharpie line is my index mark to get the lid on the same place so the glued washers line up correctly.


I use the dummy 7.62x39 round to pry up the lid when removing the cover. Saves on the fingers. No longer needed

I have 2 more tumblers since I first posted this thread. The second model B came from Buffalo arms and it's the high speed model in the center.

Link to my funshow score thread where I got the old tumbler for $15.

The drum is half the size of the Model B, so I use 2 1/2 pounds of media in it.



As mentioned later in this thread, the high speed Model B's motor shakes a lot when running.

So added a bracket to the back side of the motor studs and painted it. Thanks jlow.

end of edit 2



edit 3

Links to "Build it yourself wet tumblers threads".

BIGDAWG's thread

Nicholastheczar's thread

edit 4

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_6_42/367311_Wet_tumbling_on_the_cheap___Yes___It_can_be_done_.html

Low budget wet tumbling thread.
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BIGGDAWG
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Posted: 6/3/2011 7:33:33 AM
Great write up as usual dryflash3!!! thanks.

i am in the process of building my own tumbler now. hope it works.
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Posted: 6/3/2011 9:22:08 AM
I like shiny things and this thread delivers.

Im not into reloading but that was a nice write up. I can appreciate the efforts it took.
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jlow
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Posted: 6/3/2011 9:45:30 AM
Here is a mod I made to my tumbler – the idea is not mine but I saw it on a board somewhere.

When my tumbler came, it already had four long bolts attached to the motor jutting out. What I basically did was to make a support from some waste steel I had, bolt it to the motor using four spacers made from a brass tube and then bolt the whole support to the base. Locking washers ensure that the nuts and bolt don’t vibrate loose. I find that this really reduce the amount of vibration coming from the motor since it is now supported from both sides.


Not pretty but functional.



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Posted: 6/3/2011 9:53:29 AM
[Last Edit: 6/3/2011 9:54:45 AM by mikeg1005]
Geez... that looks like so much effort to clean brass.

Does polishing out the inside of the brass actually help you with anything?? Thats the only advantage I see to this.

They do come out shiny though haha.

Just curious... from start to finish... your own personal labor.... how long does it take to polish say 1000 pcs of 9mm or 600 pcs of 45acp? (not including the rotating time)

MIke.
dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 11:16:50 AM
Originally Posted By mikeg1005:
Geez... that looks like so much effort to clean brass.

Does polishing out the inside of the brass actually help you with anything?? Thats the only advantage I see to this.

They do come out shiny though haha.

Just curious... from start to finish... your own personal labor.... how long does it take to polish say 1000 pcs of 9mm or 600 pcs of 45acp? (not including the rotating time)

MIke.


It takes me about 6 to 10 minutes to unload tumbler and load a new batch for the next run.

Advantage is no dust, and look at the before and after pic. Can't do that with a vibrating tumbler.

If you are good with your present tumbling, stay with it.

I posted this thread to answer questions for people who are considering wet tumbling.

1k of 223 0r 45 ACP would take me 4 runs to do.
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AL50bmgshooter
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Posted: 6/3/2011 11:41:21 AM
[Last Edit: 6/3/2011 11:53:25 AM by AL50bmgshooter]
great write up. Im thinking about the conversion. I like shiny!
How many 223 can you run in the tumbler?

also is this a good deal
package
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Posted: 6/3/2011 12:02:05 PM
Great write up
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Posted: 6/3/2011 2:21:41 PM
Had a question, could you do the same with a Berry's tumbler or is that intended for dry media only? New to all of this and I do not want to destroy my tumbler if I throw in a bunch of water in it.
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Posted: 6/3/2011 2:58:42 PM
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By mikeg1005:
Geez... that looks like so much effort to clean brass.

Does polishing out the inside of the brass actually help you with anything?? Thats the only advantage I see to this.

They do come out shiny though haha.

Just curious... from start to finish... your own personal labor.... how long does it take to polish say 1000 pcs of 9mm or 600 pcs of 45acp? (not including the rotating time)

MIke.


It takes me about 6 to 10 minutes to unload tumbler and load a new batch for the next run.

Advantage is no dust, and look at the before and after pic. Can't do that with a vibrating tumbler.

If you are good with your present tumbling, stay with it.

I posted this thread to answer questions for people who are considering wet tumbling.

1k of 223 0r 45 ACP would take me 4 runs to do.


Gotcha, ya I was just curious what it took because pictures appear a lot more labor intensive than just using a traditional tumbler... 6-10 mins doesn't sound too bad... about twice as long as it take me to empty a tumbler/shake brass of media/refill tumbler.

But ya no dust would be nice... I just discovered that using polishing stuff(car polish or something) cuts back a ton on the dust when you add it to the media..and cleans the brass about 3 times after!

How long do you tumble each batch for?

Mike.

dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 6:10:52 PM
Originally Posted By vr4rhoads:
Had a question, could you do the same with a Berry's tumbler or is that intended for dry media only? New to all of this and I do not want to destroy my tumbler if I throw in a bunch of water in it.


Vibrating tumbler = don't use it with water.

Rotary tumbler + wet media.
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Minuteman419
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Posted: 6/3/2011 7:29:04 PM
Nice write up.

How do I tell if my Model B tumbler is high or low speed? The box is gone.

Danny
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Posted: 6/3/2011 7:48:26 PM
Originally Posted By Minuteman419:
Nice write up.

How do I tell if my Model B tumbler is high or low speed? The box is gone.

Danny


I have a standard speed and the motor says 1550 RPM, I believe the HS version is 3000 RPM.
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Posted: 6/3/2011 8:33:28 PM
Show off.

That's some really nasty looking brass at the bottom.

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Buck_Naked
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Posted: 6/3/2011 9:41:31 PM
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Show off.

That's some really nasty looking brass at the bottom.



My contribution...



Before and after on some really nasty cases with stainless steel...



soaked in hotwater and lemishine for 20 minutes...



Tumbled...




Dogs_of_War
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Posted: 6/3/2011 9:44:11 PM
Nice write up!
Im thinking about switching over myself.
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dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 10:16:35 PM
[Last Edit: 7/9/2011 11:36:25 PM by dryflash3]
Originally Posted By jlow:
Here is a mod I made to my tumbler – the idea is not mine but I saw it on a board somewhere.

When my tumbler came, it already had four long bolts attached to the motor jutting out. What I basically did was to make a support from some waste steel I had, bolt it to the motor using four spacers made from a brass tube and then bolt the whole support to the base. Locking washers ensure that the nuts and bolt don’t vibrate loose. I find that this really reduce the amount of vibration coming from the motor since it is now supported from both sides.





Was your motor moving around?

Mine seems pretty solid as is.
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dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 10:18:23 PM
Originally Posted By AL50bmgshooter:
great write up. Im thinking about the conversion. I like shiny!
How many 223 can you run in the tumbler? About 250-300 ish. But never counted, as I use the "measuring jug" like in the thread.

also is this a good deal
package


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dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 10:20:42 PM
Originally Posted By Buck_Naked:
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Show off.

That's some really nasty looking brass at the bottom.



My contribution...



Before and after on some really nasty cases with stainless steel...

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/9070/dirty.jpg

soaked in hotwater and lemishine for 20 minutes...

http://img863.imageshack.us/img863/7497/rinsed.jpg

Tumbled...

http://img852.imageshack.us/img852/3038/tumbled.jpg




I can figure out the first and last pic, but what does the middle pic mean?

Guessing brass was run 2 cycles, and second pic was after 1 cycle?
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blackgunfun
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Posted: 6/3/2011 10:43:43 PM
DF3,

Got my first batch running now.

Thanks for the help.
Buck_Naked
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Posted: 6/3/2011 10:46:59 PM
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By Buck_Naked:
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Show off.

That's some really nasty looking brass at the bottom.



My contribution...



Before and after on some really nasty cases with stainless steel...

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/9070/dirty.jpg

soaked in hotwater and lemishine for 20 minutes...

http://img863.imageshack.us/img863/7497/rinsed.jpg

Tumbled...

http://img852.imageshack.us/img852/3038/tumbled.jpg




I can figure out the first and last pic, but what does the middle pic mean?

Guessing brass was run 2 cycles, and second pic was after 1 cycle?


The brass had so much mud and debris on it, I pre-washed it in a tub of hot water and lemishine before tumbling. It also removes a lot of tarnish. I was doing the same thing before I tumbled brass in a vibratory tumbler just to speed up the process.
dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 11:33:35 PM
Originally Posted By blackgunfun:
DF3,

Got my first batch running now.

Thanks for the help.


Another convert. That was me 2 months ago.

Did you get the high or low speed model?
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dryflash3
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Posted: 6/3/2011 11:35:39 PM
Originally Posted By Buck_Naked:
Originally Posted By dryflash3:
Originally Posted By Buck_Naked:
Originally Posted By AeroE:
Show off.

That's some really nasty looking brass at the bottom.



My contribution...



Before and after on some really nasty cases with stainless steel...

http://img851.imageshack.us/img851/9070/dirty.jpg

soaked in hotwater and lemishine for 20 minutes...

http://img863.imageshack.us/img863/7497/rinsed.jpg

Tumbled...

http://img852.imageshack.us/img852/3038/tumbled.jpg




I can figure out the first and last pic, but what does the middle pic mean?

Guessing brass was run 2 cycles, and second pic was after 1 cycle?


The brass had so much mud and debris on it, I pre-washed it in a tub of hot water and lemishine before tumbling. It also removes a lot of tarnish. I was doing the same thing before I tumbled brass in a vibratory tumbler just to speed up the process.


I should have guessed that. I do the same.

Just a bad guesser tonight.
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Posted: 6/4/2011 12:57:53 AM
nice
Slayfan21
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Posted: 6/4/2011 2:31:30 AM
Dryflash why do you have to post stuff like this....... Now I cant get that Bling out of my head , I want, I started tumbling my 223 all night in corncob for sub par bling, but wow! that nasty to that shiny Im gonna start saving my money for a wetSS setup
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