Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

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Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Jasonf » 15 Jul 2018, 5:02 pm

Hi
I’m thinking of buying a Lyman wet tumbler, see link below, my questions are.
Are they worth the money?
Does anyone use them already? If so what’s your opinion of them?
Last edited by Blackened on 16 Aug 2018, 7:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Removed dead link.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Cooper » 15 Jul 2018, 6:42 pm

No experience with the Lyman.

I have the cheap KT 2000 Jewellery polishers from eBay from around $150

The media separator trays with the Lyman look useful. RCBS and Hornady also do stainless media tumbler.

I don't clean my brass every reload. But when I do I'm impressed with the results of the wet tumbler.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Rod_outbak » 15 Jul 2018, 7:02 pm

Jason,

Are you asking about wet tumblers in general, or the Lyman one in particular?

I run a pair of Thumlers tumblers, so no idea what the Lyman tumbler is like.

However, it seems to be the same basic idea, though it looks like they have a timer on the unit??
Not 100% sure how the timer will go; you wouldnt want the cases sitting in the tumbler for very long without it moving, as the detergent will tarnish the cases.

Aside from that, I used dry (vibratory) cleaners for years, and the wet-tumbled cases come out a lot cleaner. Primer pockets & inside the cases can get to look as-new.

Not sure if Lyman supply any, but it helps to run about a quarter teaspoon of lemi-shine in each batch(along with the liquid detergent). I think it softens the water, and it certainly makes the finished brass a lot shinier. One bottle will last you a long time.
It's an American product that doesnt seem to have an equivalent market here (and NO, Citric Acid isnt an exact replacement - I've tried..), but Gunworld now stock it:
https://www.gunworld.com.au/lemi-shine-original-gwa
One bottle will last you a long time.
Buy a couple of small, strong magnets; easiest way to recover all the spilt pins.

I wont go back to the other methods to clean cases; it's a LOT easier to spot case failures when the brass is shiny and clean.

One final suggestion, though. I always run a bristle brush through each case, after tumbling, to be absolutely sure I havent got any steel pins stuck inside.
[Mind you; I used to do same when using a dry tumbler...]

Cheers,

Rod.
Attachments
DSCN2158 (2).JPG
Tumbled brass being processed (Straight out of the tumbler on left, trimmed in middle, and chamfered/de-burred on right on right)
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My 2 tumblers paying their way...
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by sungazer » 15 Jul 2018, 7:30 pm

Give Mark Granger a message on Australian Reloading and Trade he was importing a really good tumbler for about that price. he was not making much on them at all. I use a Aus converted KT 2000 the 5 kg version much better than the 3. They really are the way to go. The KT's are cheap and they do have problems here and there or sometimes so it is probably wise to buy a quality one that will really last.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Bills Shed » 15 Jul 2018, 8:34 pm

I too run the Thumlers tumbler and have not used the Lyma but agree they work on the same principle. I like the thumlers as it is pretty much bullet proof and I can get a lot of projectile jackets in a batch. Reference the citric acid, you can get lab grade powder easily in Aust, just look it up. I too would never go back to dry media.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by wanneroo » 15 Jul 2018, 11:43 pm

I use the Frankford Arsenal one and it works great, no issues.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by vmaxaust » 16 Jul 2018, 7:02 am

Jasonf wrote:Hi
I’m thinking of buying a Lyman wet tumbler, see link below, my questions are.
Are they worth the money?
Does anyone use them already? If so what’s your opinion of them?



You can't go wrong. A good friend has the Frankford version which is basically the same machine as the Lyman, Hornady etc. I have the more expensive Aussie Sapphire double barrel version...
https://www.aussiesapphire.com.au/index ... 7ead476cd3

The cheaper Lyman basically does the same thing. I process thousands of cases often, particularly handgun so I invested in the more expensive version. I still use their burnishing powder for cleaning. Don't know if it's just citric acid or a mixture of something else but it works very well.

One suggestion which is very useful when using the wet stainless pin method is to use warm water rather than cold. Speeds up the process and gives excellent results faster. Another just as important suggestion particularly with bottle neck rifle brass is to tip the contents of your barrel after tumbling and rinsing in the barrel into something like a Dillon media separator...
https://www.dillonprecision.com/cm-500- ... 23663.html

This allows the pins to drop straight into the bottom of the separator tub as you rotate the brass and media. Basically I tumble clean brass, open drum and rinse several times in a large laundry sink. Tip out remaining water and then tip brass and pins into the Dillon media separator. I rotate the separator both ways and in the middle of the process open the separator and flick any pins stuck between the separator halves into the tub. I then do a few final rotations and empty the clean brass into an old bath towel. Wrap it up length ways and shake it up to help dry brass and loosen any remaining pins into the towel. It's rare to see more than a few pins and most times none and the brass is now 80% dry.
Tip brass into a sieve or tray and allow to air dry in the sun or use a fan heater or hair dryer if you are in a hurry.

Stainless pin tumblers are the best cleaning method out there despite many people disliking the "wet" problem after tumbling. Once you do it this way you will continue to do it this way. Remember also to use only enough water in the drum to barely cover the brass level in your drum. This method relies on the abrasive action of the pins against the brass and too much water in the barrel means you will need to extend tumble times to ridiculous levels and never clean as well.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Ziad » 16 Jul 2018, 9:40 am

What you mean is one you have spent 500 on a tumbler you won't spend another few hundred on something else.... joking
Blame it on the phone auto correct
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Gaznazdiak » 16 Jul 2018, 9:46 am

I use a plastic 4lt ice cream container and warm soapy water with liberal dose of Windex in it.

But then I only do 100 at a time.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by No1_49er » 16 Jul 2018, 9:54 am

vmaxaust is right with his info'. I changed to s/steel tumbling and wouldn't use anything else now.
I do however use a slightly different method for drying. Went to the big green warehouse and bought a 8.5 litre storage container, 4 litres of metho', and a laundry peg basket.
After tumbling and rinsing, the cases are dumped into the peg basket which is then immersed in the "bucket" of metho'. Give the basket a real good agitation then lift out, shake, and lay the cases out on an old towel. They dry almost immediately.
Why? Because the metho' forms a mixture (azeotrope) with the water. Being as the water quantity is miniscule with respect to the metho' quantity, it will take a long time before the mixture degrades to the extent that it will not take up the water. You will eventually reach the stage where it will be necessary to dump the metho'/water mixture, which cannot be separated without a rather elaborate process. Don't even think about it.
That may help some of you.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by ob1 » 16 Jul 2018, 10:29 am

The pins are only required if you want to clean inside primer pockets and the case. For handgun cases you can leave the primers in and not use any pins and the result will still be a bright polish. Dry wet cases with a cheap food hydrator on a timer if you want to shorten drying time.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Bills Shed » 16 Jul 2018, 11:22 am

For me the tumblers is always working. If it is not bottle neck cases it is projectile jackets. You can get about 5000 17 cal jackets in a batch and I have three cleaning stages in the making of a projectile. One thing to consider before making a decision on SS pins is the diameter of the pins and how they will get in and out of the jacket / brass case. I have made the mistake of not checking and had 1000 jackets full of stuck SS pins. Almost impossible to get out. I have a batch of 17cal jackets, for 15gn projectiles in the draw process at the moment and if I get it wrong it would mean hours of wasted effort. May as well junk the lot. Just to tiny to handle.

Bill
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by in2anity » 17 Jul 2018, 8:56 am

Gaznazdiak wrote:I use a plastic 4lt ice cream container and warm soapy water with liberal dose of Windex in it.

But then I only do 100 at a time.


Here's my tacticool tumbler:

soap.jpg
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by JimTom » 17 Jul 2018, 9:35 am

in2anity wrote:
Gaznazdiak wrote:I use a plastic 4lt ice cream container and warm soapy water with liberal dose of Windex in it.

But then I only do 100 at a time.


Here's my tacticool tumbler:

soap.jpg



Yep that’s pretty much what I used until I got a sonic cleaner. The manual method worked an absolute treat, only got he sonic cleaner as it saves a little time.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by in2anity » 17 Jul 2018, 10:56 am

JimTom wrote:
in2anity wrote:
Gaznazdiak wrote:I use a plastic 4lt ice cream container and warm soapy water with liberal dose of Windex in it.

But then I only do 100 at a time.


Here's my tacticool tumbler:

soap.jpg



Yep that’s pretty much what I used until I got a sonic cleaner. The manual method worked an absolute treat, only got he sonic cleaner as it saves a little time.


Relative to other steps of the reloading process, I feel the time it takes to do this step is quite insignificant - I never clean more than a few hundred at a time, which I can easily do in one batch using the trusty flour container.

Better still, plink with a straight-wallled cartridge and, (via a carbide die), be done with lubing+cleaning altogether :D
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by sungazer » 17 Jul 2018, 4:47 pm

I do have a machine that could process that hydroscopic diluted metho and bring it back to 96% ethanol. The metho you buy in supermarkets is in fact ethanol these days with a bonded chemical to make it taste crap. But just in case it is drunk it will not send you blind as it is not methanol.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by sungazer » 17 Jul 2018, 4:50 pm

I used to use the vinegar in the mix but have since left it out of the recipe. I now use just dishwashing liquid and the citric acid you can buy at the supermarket. I use 1/2 teaspoon in the water, I have found it gives just as good results and also gives a much more consistent finish from batch to batch.
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Re: Wet tumbling with stainless steel media

Post by Stix » 17 Jul 2018, 6:01 pm

sungazer wrote:I used to use the vinegar in the mix but have since left it out of the recipe. I now use just dishwashing liquid and the citric acid you can buy at the supermarket. I use 1/2 teaspoon in the water, I have found it gives just as good results and also gives a much more consistent finish from batch to batch.


Interesting...
Does it take longer without the vinegar...?
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