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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am I the only one who thinks tumbling media and brass polish is horribly overpriced? I shoot a lot, therefore have a lot of brass to clean, and I can't afford to waste tumbling media. So I use it over and over, and always look for ways to make it more effective. I do use brass polish, but it seems like pouring a cup of water into the mix helps get more dirt off the brass, so I do that with older walnut media. Anyone else do this?

I've also thought about using liquid dish soap, but I'm not sure if there's ammonia or something else bad for brass in it, so haven't tried it. Others have suggested using lemon juice, but I think the high acid content might also be hard on brass. What else might help stretch the life of tumbling media? Soap flakes? Cotton Balls? Milk? Could you somehow clean the media, and start with clean stuff after several uses? Anyone got any secret recipes?

I probably wouldn't care much but I shoot every week, sometimes three or four times a week when the weather cooperates, and right now I'm tumbling 800 pieces of 38 brass that I shot this week, with several more batches waiting their turn. I don't want to spend any more on media than I have to, because it cuts into my powder/bullet/primer money. Hell, I just dropped $280 on powder today, I gotta cut corners SOMEWHERE!

Help! :x

Papajohn
 

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Buy your ground walnut from the local welding supply as blasting media or petshop as pet bedding. Use liquid car wax (Maguiar's, NuFinish, Turtle Wax) as polish. When the media loads up tumble used dryer sheets to suck the dirt out of the media. A 50 pound bag of blast media and a bottle of Maguiar's lasts a long time.
 

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I cut up those green fiber scrub pads you can buy in the store ... like 3 for $1.49. I cut into 1/2 inch square "mini pads", then put a handfull into my tumbler (1/3 rd "mini scrubbies", 2/3 rds shell casings. I add water to taste, then tumble for 2-4 hours, or until nice and shiny. One cut up pad lasts me several batches.

Hook686
 

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Bought large box of walnut media and bottle of polish from Midway several years ago. Use a little of the polish and add water also (although a cup of water would be a bit much for the size of tumbler being used).

The water keeps the dust down, and increases the life and effectiveness of the walnut media (friction coefficient). Am very careful not to add too much water (usually bout 1/8 cup for fresh media), as mold can develop if left un-used for any period of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm using a 20 year old Thumler's Tumbler, made for polishing rocks, so it's not a bad thing to fill it up and let it go for a day. I usually polish 600-800 cases (38's) at a time, with the media filling it about two inches from the top. I add at least a cup of water, and the cases come out nice and shiny, so much the better for inspecting and finding cracks easily. After I sift the stuff in a Dillon media seperator, the media sits in the bin, so mold isn't likely, and it's dry in a matter of hours.

But I like the idea of buying media at a feed store, the problem is they don't have those in major cities like St. Louis! :roll:

Papajohn
 

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I buy ground walnut at a pet store. It is much less expensive than the gun supply places. The polish I prefer is from dillon, a bottle lasts a year. Guess it costs about $ 10.00 per year to run the cleaner at least once a week, sometimes twice.
 

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papajohn said:
I'm using a 20 year old Thumler's Tumbler, made for polishing rocks, so it's not a bad thing to fill it up and let it go for a day. I usually polish 600-800 cases (38's) at a time, with the media filling it about two inches from the top. I add at least a cup of water, and the cases come out nice and shiny, so much the better for inspecting and finding cracks easily. After I sift the stuff in a Dillon media seperator, the media sits in the bin, so mold isn't likely, and it's dry in a matter of hours.

But I like the idea of buying media at a feed store, the problem is they don't have those in major cities like St. Louis! :roll:

Papajohn
If you are using a Thumler's, I read of a guy that used steel BB's, water and a squirt of dish soap. He waxed on poetic about how wonderful the system was.

Any cleaning method that involves liquid seems like too much trouble to me, but it's your time...
 

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PJ, I use the Lyman media with rouge already in it. It comes in a huge jug for about $20. It lasts a LONG time, too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
imashooter2, I actually tried the water trick, even tried the BB's. All I remember about it was that it was a HUGE pain in the keister, and I spent all my time drying brass, blowing water out of the flashholes, and hating all the waterspots on the otherwise-clean brass. Aside from that, it was okay...... :roll:

PJ
 

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You mentioned the lack of feed stores in the big city, but forgot about all the welding and industrial supply houses they have. Ground walnut is used for blast media to remove paint and scale. You want either 20/30 or 20/40 grit size with 20/30 prefered.
 
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I do different stages:

I use the liquid cleaner first, it gets the burnt powder off and out easier, es[pecially around the primer hole...Then I tumble it in a mixture of corncob and walnut. The liquid cleaner alone usually means the brass will turn black, if you don't use the tumbling media. I mix a capfull of the brass cleaner with the cob-walnut mix. afterwards I package the cleaned brass in ziplock bags. At times I have used the vacuum packaging when I won't be using the brass right away. I package it in 50 rounds per package.
 

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cleaning media

Well PapaJohn I to find the cleaning media expensive however the only way I found to really clean it was to use a large sive and place worn out towel that sort of looks like cheese cloth in to the sive. Then pour some media in to it. Take it to the tub and run warm water through it running your fingers through it to remove all the black powder build up. Basicly your running water through it until it becomes clear. When that is done lift the towel edges up and around the media and squeeze as much water out as possible. I use a 4x4 sheet of plywood to spread out the media and allow 2 to 4 days drying time. On occausion run your fingers through the media well it is drying to help expose wet media. I recommend that you allow it to dry fully before using. I do half of media at a time. I have tried brass cleaner and chrome cleaner even static dryer sheets that I will never use again as it left a sticky residue on the media. Oh yea you mentioned soap not a problem just remember to run warm water through the media until all the soap is gone. I know this sounds like a lot of work and maybe it is but I have not bought media for 4 years and it still cleans as good as it did then. Have fun!!!
 

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Re: cleaning media

KGS said:
-snip-
I have tried brass cleaner and chrome cleaner even static dryer sheets that I will never use again as it left a sticky residue on the media.
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You are supposed to run used dryer sheets through the tumbler to remove dirt. After they have been through the dryer, all the sticky residue is on your clothes and all that is left is a very loose weave cloth that traps dirt and removes it from the media. Sure is a lot easier than giving the walnut a bath!
 

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Try just ripping a paper towel into strips and adding this to the tumbler. I do this even when the media is new. It makes the media last a lot longer.
At one time, I washed used media by putting it in a mesh bag and soaking it in water with Tide detergent. Then I would rinse it under runnung water until it was clear. I deciided the time spent trying to save a few bucks can be better spent loading and shooting. Now I just buy "Hornady one Shot" and use the paper towel trick.
It works for me.
 

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Walnut media from Hammond's in Stockton, MO. 20/30 grit, 50 pound bag. Pick it up when I visit family there.

Berry's Brass Bright, a couple capfuls in new media, one capful with at tub of brass afterwards.
 
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