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Questions for you wet tumblers that use pins


Blind Squirrel

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I recently switched from dry tumbling to wet tumbling. I like that it is much quieter and faster. That being said, it seems to be much more of a pain in the @ss to separate the media from the shells and get everything dried out. 

 

What technique(s) do you use to get the pins separated from the brass and get the pins and brass dry?

 

While we're at it, I'm using Dawn dish detergent and Lemi Shine. What cleaning concoctions do you use?

 

Thanks.

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I use an RCBS media separator. Fill the container with enough ware so that as you spin the cage the brass rises up and then falls back into the water.  Don't put too many cartridges into the basket at one time or you will not get all the pins out.

 

I limit the cage to no more than 250 38 specials at one time.

 

I shoot a lot of BP and use cheap laundry soap I get at the dollar store.

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I quit using pins when wet tumbling.  Yul Lose turned me on to using Strat-O-Sheen powder, a little Dawn liquid, and a little Lemi shine.  I knock out the used primers, then I add my brass, enough water to cover a little more than the brass, and the "Yul Lose formula".  My brass comes out just as shiny as when I used pins.  If you leave the primers in, the brass will turn a dull grey because of the Lemi Shine.  Do not use this formula on nickel plated brass.  See the link below for Strat-O-Sheen.

 

Strat-O-Sheen Powder Burnishing Compound - RioGrande

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I use same cleaning ingredients but also add some Strato Sheen  in the mix. I only have been using pins when I wants the insides clean after using black. I have an old towel sewn in half to make a bag. I throw the wet brass in and jostle around a bit the dump them on a towel to air dry. I put them out in the sun when weather permits. Your brass will be clean and shiny without pins but the inside is still ugly. No pins = shiny brass with less hassle.

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22 minutes ago, Blind Squirrel said:

What technique(s) do you use to get the pins separated from the brass and get the pins and brass dry?

 

Just put the little grate on the tumbler barrel, dump the dirty water into an empty bucket and shake the tumbler over the bucket until no more pins come out.  Dump the wet brass (maybe with a few pins inside) into a food dehydrator (Thanks for that great idea, Mongo!) and let it bake for an hour or so.  Brass is then dry and whatever pins remain inside the cases fall out easily.

 

Your mileage may vary.

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For getting the pins out I use a rare earth magnet stuck to a small piece of 1 X 1 tube steel.  The Strat-O-Sheen is great, instead of Dawn I use a little car wash/wax.  As for drying I use a black U-Haul mat and set them in the sun, couple of hours later they’re good to go. 

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Stainless steel pins that are magnetic.  I guess all pins for tumbling are but it would be a pain if they were not.

 

Dawn (somehow everyone believes Dawn is magic vs everything else, great marketing)

 

Little lemon juice,  who knows why, it is acidic?

 

Sometimes a little salt

 

The bad part is the rinsing and drying.  I just individually pick shells, dump any pins in a bowl and put the shells on a towel to dry.  Rinse in the bowl, Dump the water out of the bowl into sink with the sink closed, run the magnet around the sink to pickup strays, drain sink, rinse again.

 

Don't let the wife know what you are doing in her sink.

 

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I run somewhere between 300-500 pieces at a time in a Rebel. 1 tablespoon ArmorAll Wash and Wax, 1 tablespoon Lemishine, no pins, fill water to just above the level of the brass then tumble for 2-2.5 hours.

 

Drain through the media separator I have left over from dry tumbling.  Dump the dirty water, pour brass into a bucket fill with fresh water, drain and repeat twice. 

 

Tumble most of the water out of the brass in the media separator, dump the brass in a cardboard box and sit it in the sun for however long it takes to dry. 

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After rinsing, I dump in plastic container and use a large item magnet with release handle from Harbor Freight to remove 90% of the pins and then tumble in a Frankfort Arsenal Tumbler. Then brass goes in a cheap dehydrator for 45 minutes. 

As for cleaning itself, I have tried them all but I always go back to the FA Brass Cleaning Pods.

 

JM

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Just wondering, do those that have to dry brass after wet tumbling live in humid areas? If I left my brass setting out in my reloading room it would dry out pretty quickly considering I'm in the high desert at 6600'.

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I suppose mine can take a day in the basement.  I have AC and a dehumidifier.  I'm pretty sure I had 2 squibs once that were likely some water left.  Luckily it was a 9mm semi it was obvious (soft and didn't cycle).  I have corrected my ways.  Single action 38's at speed might cause a problem:o

 

At the time I didn't deprime before wet tumble.  They got deprimed in the turret process.  Depriming helps them dry faster ...

 

Dry them in an old toaster oven.  Again don't get caught by the wife.

 

 

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here In The Republic, we have no problems sitting them in the Sun for an hour or so; spread out on a towel does it for us.  During the cooler months--laid out under a ceiling fan

 

I went we SS Chips vs. Pins.  much smaller and seems to do a quicker job--same methods to remove them as above

 

you can find them (and I'm just a happy customer is all) at https://tbbullets.com/southern-shine-media-2/?fbclid=IwAR1O0_UfWp1D20aQdy8KC3RdixLsQf3a4-Rb3InbBTrBN_gGF941lHnbhxQ

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3 hours ago, Blind Squirrel said:

I recently switched from dry tumbling to wet tumbling. I like that it is much quieter and faster. That being said, it seems to be much more of a pain in the @ss to separate the media from the shells and get everything dried out. 

 

What technique(s) do you use to get the pins separated from the brass and get the pins and brass dry?

 

While we're at it, I'm using Dawn dish detergent and Lemi Shine. What cleaning concoctions do you use?

 

Thanks.

I use a separator (picture below) that looks very much like this.  I use the same formula that you do.  My tumbler is a Rebel 17.  After washing, I dump out most of the water and pour everything form the tumbler into the separator.  I kind of rinse off the brass and put them on a cookie sheet and lay out in the sun to dry (if it's sunny).  Place an old glass microwave tray on top to act as sort of a magnifying glass.  Dries the brass even in low sun light.  No sun or not enough sunlight?  place in oven at about 220 for about 20 minutes.

 

The pins, I dump into an 8" strainer mounted on top of a plastic bucket and set it in the sun .  I may pour some clean water over the pins to kind of wash and clean them up.

 

Sound tedious?  Maybe, but it works for me.

 

Tried brass juice.  works OK.

 

Tried one of those dehydrators.  Took too long.  Stick with the sun or your oven.

 

 

 

RCBS - Rotary Case and Media Separator - 87076

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I bought one of those parts washers harbor freight sells, after I tumble without pins I just dump everything on the Grate that is in the washer, do a quick rinse then let the brass dry in the sun where the parts washer sits

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Deprime with a Lee APP, then wet tumble with pins, car shampoo, stratosheen, and Lemishine.  Afterwards use the green media separator to get rid of the pins, and then pour the water and pins from the bottom of the separator through a paint filter sitting on top of an empty 5 gallon bucket.  Casings go into a Lyman dryer for a couple hours and when finished they look brand new.   

 

I've tried it without the pins, and the primer pockets just don't get as clean.  So for me, it's worth the extra couple of minutes to use the pins.  

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5 hours ago, Sixgun Seamus said:

. I have an old towel sewn in half to make a bag. I throw the wet brass in and jostle around a bit the dump them on a towel to air dry. I put them out in the sun when weather permits

Me too. 

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I recently switched to wet tumbling with the SS pins.  I shoot a lot of BP and I like the way it cleans inside the case, even the primer pockets so I decap 1st.  I use a dash of dawn, no other additives.  I separate with a Frankford Arsenal separator.  After they're tumbled for a couple of hours, I dump the brass & pins in the basket and get the pins out.  After I put the pins back in the tumbler, I run the brass thru a couple of rinses with clean water.  I then remove the brass and spread it out on a paper towel covered cookie sheet and let it sit in the oven @ the lowest setting, (about 170º) for about an hour.  The brass is then sorted... I shoot 45 Colt, C45S & 45ACP and placed in storage containers for later reloading.  

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8 hours ago, Assassin said:

Just wondering, do those that have to dry brass after wet tumbling live in humid areas? If I left my brass setting out in my reloading room it would dry out pretty quickly considering I'm in the high desert at 6600'.

Yes.

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Step 1 -- empty the tumbler contents into a cook's cloth strainer.  Rinse the tumbler each time emptying the water into the strainer.  Tumbler is now clean.

Step 2 -- empty cloth strainer into the basket of the Frankford Arsenal media separator sitting in its bucket, which is sitting in the sink, with the bucket filled to where the brass will be mostly submerged when inside the rotating basket.  Close the basket.  Slowly rotate the basket 4 times in each direction.  99.9999% OF YOUR STEEL PINS WILL BE IN THE BOTTOM OF THE BUCKET.  Seriously, I rarely find a pin anywhere else.

Step 3 -- empty the basket onto a towel.  Fold up the towel and shake the whole thing to get most of the water out of the brass and into the towel.

Step 4 -- Toss the damp towel into the dryer.  Put the brass into a mesh dryer bag that the Missus uses for her "delicates", tie a loose overhand knot in one end of the bag, and then hang the bag on the INSIDE of your clothes dryer door, using the knot to position the bag so it won't touch the rotating drum.  Tumble on hot setting, shaking the brass every 20 minutes.  Your brass will be bone dry in under an hour.

Step 5 -- pour the bucket water through the cloth strainer to collect your already clean pins.  Empty the strainer onto paper towels lining a cookie sheet, spreading them into a thin layer.  Leave them where no one (and no pet) will disturb and scatter the pins.  The pins will be dry in an hour or two, not much longer than it took to dry the brass in the clothes dryer.  If need be, change the paper towels, wet for dry ones, to speed up the drying process.

Put everything still wet someplace to dry.  Ta-da.

 

Sounds complicated, but it is not.  I do two or three batches in a row, usually.

 

[I deprime before cleaning my brass.]

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This is my setup.

  • Cleaning formula: 1.5 tablespoon Dawn, 1/4 teaspoon LemiShine.  (Brass is always nice and shiny)
  • I've tried with and without pins and the primer pockets clean better with the pins.
  • I use a Lyman separator (below), in the sink and all steps are done into the separator.  
  • Empty the tumbler into the separator, rinse as needed, all brass and pins are now in the separator.  
  • Manually move the brass around the top section, most pins fall through and land on the bottom screen.
  • Hand check each case as pins will be in some even after you move them around.  (yes this does take some time)
  • Clear brass from a corner of the separator and just dump any pins you find there, they will fall through to the screen.
  • I put the rinsed/checked brass into a towel next to the sink as I go through the batch.  
  • Magnet to collect the pins off the screen and they go back in the tumbler. 
  • Brass from towel into a dryer.  

 

                                               Lyman Separator     

image.png.1a43cc7b1b81c1aa64a880d39aec971f.png      image.png.38d6d36e2a16b6b4edf569d53e7ca022.png      image.png.c8e4e909df8cd7cc5300feaa7f8ac5a5.png image.png.d6a7ff78f2ccc69267fe74f89ae0ee16.png

 

And no I don't work for Lyman.......

 

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No pins. Dawn & lemi-shine (although I'm gonna try the Stat-O-Sheen after reading some of the above). I fill the Frankford Arsenal up, about 1200 brass 38's, put 'em on a towel, & point a box fan at them overnight. Simplest way I've found to clean lots of brass, & they look like jewels when they're done. I started with the pins, but we shoot a lot, so I tested without 'em & can't tell the difference, except for no hassle.

 

When using the pins, some would stick in the bottom of the .38's. The decapping pins in the 550, 650, & 1050 didn't like that.

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