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When you add the drying time after wet tumbling to the tumbling time, how does that compare with the “way too long” of a vibratory cleaner? Curious, not arguing. Knowing how poorly most home ovens are temperature regulated (I’ve measured several) I am loath to dry something sensitive to excess temperature like brass cases are. YMMV.


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When you add the drying time after wet tumbling to the tumbling time, how does that compare with the “way too long” of a vibratory cleaner? Curious, not arguing. Knowing how poorly most home ovens are temperature regulated (I’ve measured several) I am loath to dry something sensitive to excess temperature like brass cases are. YMMV.


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When I use my wet tumblers, I rinse with hot water drain as much water out as I can, then add 4-6 of pieces of car drying chamois I've cut.(This can done with shop towels or rags too) I also place a HF ceramic magnet into the tumbler & run it for a few minutes. The chamois dries the brass 98% and the magnet catches any pins left behind. I then lay the brass on a towel under a ceiling fan for a little while. I leave the chamois to air dry to use the next time, I cut up a large new one so I have plenty. I don't get any spots. I'm sure most if not all of you know the brass need to be deprimed before you wet tumble to ease water & pin removal from cases.
 

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This is my setup. View attachment 863400

I reload in the winter, as far as, going outside to separate brass that's not going to happen! I also shoot from inside my house, my backyard is my range up to 300 yards. I run targets with a heated sxs. Call me spoiled if you want, I call it smart. As far as media separation, a standard separator works fine with stainless pins. Cold water enough to cover the brass and pins couple drops of Dawn dish liquid and a sprinkle of lemi shine works fine.


Tim
Wish mine looked this good, mine looks like it went thru the war. Bough mine in the late 70s, but still going.
 

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I use an ultrasonic cleaner with a couple of drops of Dawn and a little Lemi Shine. To dry the brass I made a basket out of hardware cloth , after first rinsing it , I use a heat gun while I shake the brass in the basket. This takes about two minutes . I always size and de-prime before I clean the brass. I have the Lyman big orange pumpkin vibrating cleaner but since my late friend left me the ultrasonic cleaner, that is all I use.
 

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I have a vibratory case cleaner that is branded as 'Winchester' but I'm sure it comes out of the same (Chinise) factory as a lot of other brands. I have used it to clean countless 9mm cases (amongst others) when I was shooting competition. The media used was crushed macadamia shells; which is probably not that easy to source in the US. The advantage of macadamia shell is that it is harder than walnut shell or corn cob, so it cleanes harded for longer.

Just as an aside; I got the macadamia shell media from the nearby Police training centre that was going from reloads to factory ammo for training. Had to buy it in a 20kg bucket, but I paid almost nothing for it.

Anyway; I just add a cap full of the Dillon case cleaning liquid to the mix and it was right to clean 500 x 9MM cases at a time.

When the media gets gummed up it is disposed of, and the inside of the media bowl is cleaned out with Shellite or some other mineral spirits to remove the accumulated gunk (carbon and lead deposits).

There is no dust, but I always use it outside because of the noise! Give the cases 1-2 hours and they are done; ready to put through the garden seive to seperate the media from the cases. It's easy to pick up the sieves from any garden centre or hardware store. Just catch the media and then reuse it.

I hope this helps.
 

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A shooting buddy & I bought a Thummers twin tumbler together about 1969 & we used walnut media back then (we were young and mostly broke).
After twenty years, I ended up with it as he went with a vibratory something.
Then Steve Rhoads in Phoenix turned me on to ceramic media. Wow, big difference! That Thummers died after only 30 years and I bought a similar one at Harbor Freight 20 years ago & use the same ceramic media (I don't think that you can wear it out!). With a thumbnail of cream of tarter added, the brass comes out twice as shiny as new!
 
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When you add the drying time after wet tumbling to the tumbling time, how does that compare with the “way too long” of a vibratory cleaner? Curious, not arguing. Knowing how poorly most home ovens are temperature regulated (I’ve measured several) I am loath to dry something sensitive to excess temperature like brass cases are. YMMV.

I use our air fryer set at 180 degrees with the brass in a glass pan. It takes about 20 minutes to completely dry them. Being that they are being dried with a fan instead of just heat it takes less time and doesn't tarnish the brass by getting to hot.
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Discussion Starter · #29 ·

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For years I have gotten by with a rock tumbler my late wife had.
Wasn't the best in the world, but it got them clean and it was paid for. It has died an ignominious death, smoke got out of the motor!
So...new tumbler time. Thoughts? Opinions? Haven't bought any new reloading equipment since the early 80's. Don't wanna buy something that will end up on the gunshow table in a week.
Thanks, Mike
I have been using a dry media tumbler for years using corncob media and it is good enough for my purposes. A lot of people sing the praises of wet tumblers using stainless steel pins but I do not want to deal with the mess and my brass does not have to look like it just came from the factory, it just has to shoot good which it does. I should clarify my tumbler is the vibrator type and as I said my brass does not have to shine like a new penny. The less hassle the better
 

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I have a ancient Ultravibe. Can't remember when I purchased it but like a Timex watch it just keeps ticking. I cannot understand the complaints about dust. I throw the brass in, put the COVER on and let it run. No dust in the room. No one, that I know of, has ever documented that wet tumbled brass is more accurate. No thanks on the washing and drying of brass. I am too old for that kind of aggravation. Besides I usually load on a progressive press and don't want to deprime before tumbling.

Padraig
 

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I have been using the Lyman tumbler with good results. I use SS media for case cleaning and walnut for case lube removal. I clean my rifle cases in the tumbler. I also have an RCBS ultrasonic cleaner that works well for pistol cases. I run them through the tumbler to make them shiny every so often.
 

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For years I have gotten by with a rock tumbler my late wife had.
Wasn't the best in the world, but it got them clean and it was paid for. It has died an ignominious death, smoke got out of the motor!
So...new tumbler time. Thoughts? Opinions? Haven't bought any new reloading equipment since the early 80's. Don't wanna buy something that will end up on the gunshow table in a week.
Thanks, Mike
I use a one gallon rubber drum ( rock tumbler type). Simply toss in brass with steel polishing media( small steel rods) with a couples drops dawn and a teaspoon of “lemishine”dishwasher additive. The brass turns out just as clean and shiny as new brass! You will need a magnet to remove the steel rods efficiently. Allow to dry or toss brass into a dehydrator.
 

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I started with a Thumler's Tumbler and it died a smoky death just like yours. Then I bought a Dillon Precision vibratory tumbler and have used that ever since. It will probably outlast me. I use corn cob media and about every 3rd load I add a capful of Dillon polish. Eventually the media gets dirty and must be replaced. I use a stainless steel colander over a plastic dishpan to separate the brass from the media. Brass always looks good.
 

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Standard tumblers take way too much time to clean large lots of brass.

i use the smaller cement mixer sold at Harbor Frieght, add water, stainless steel tumbler media, a couple tablespoons of dish soap, one tablespoon of Lemishine dishwasher anti hard water stain, let it mix for 20 mins, change out the water if you want cleaner brass and run for another 10 or 15 mins, or just mix it the once. Rinse and dry in the oven on a cookie tray at low heat (180) with the door cracked a hair to let the moisture out, and your done.

You can clean around 1,500 9mm brass at a time, 500-600 rifle brass.
 

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I have used my Thumlers Tumbler since 1976 and have only replaced the drive belt. Still love it.
 

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For years I have gotten by with a rock tumbler my late wife had.
Wasn't the best in the world, but it got them clean and it was paid for. It has died an ignominious death, smoke got out of the motor!
So...new tumbler time. Thoughts? Opinions? Haven't bought any new reloading equipment since the early 80's. Don't wanna buy something that will end up on the gunshow table in a week.
Thanks, Mike
I do a wet (sorry guys) with a sonic cleaner. Then I do dry tumbler, walnut with a cap full of polish. The sonic does a better job on the inside of the brass and the tumbler makes the brass look great. With the liquid polish the brass has an almost lubricated feel and the polish helps keep the dust down. I have a bunch of the walnut so I have not experimented with other stuff and I had a sonic cleaner from some other project. I did not find either cleaned exceptionally (like new) well. But I did like the results of using both.
 

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I have a Lyman tumbler. Use the Lizard Litter. Mix 2 capfulls of Nu Finish to one ounce of mineral spirits and run it for 20 minutes without brass to coat the media. Cleans brass quickly and leaves a coat of Nu Finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I'm leaning toward a vibrating tumbler, and since I have a youge bag of walnut hulls I will use them. I add a shot of Flix to the media and my brass came out of the tumbler clean and ready to size. Thanks, Guys
 
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