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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I tumbled for years with corn cob media in an RCBS drum tumbler. The cases always came out shiny, but the inside of the cases were always dirty. I bought some used brass on line and it came with a "jewelry" shine and clean inside. I asked how they did it and was told they wet tumbled it. So, I bought a Thumler Model B using stainless steel pins, Lemishine (one teaspoon), and Dawn (one tablespoon) in about a half gallon of water for 4 hours. The brass comes out perfectly clean, but with a slight "patina". If I then tumble them in corn cob media with a bit of Nu Finish car polish, they get noticeably brighter. I'd like to avoid the second step. Do any of you have advice for getting the bright "jewelry" shine from just the wet tumbling? Is there another formula other than Lemishine and Dawn that will work better?
 

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Putin, the new Ceasar. Veni,Vidi, Vici!
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I use a Thumler's tumbler as well, but I use crushed walnuts from Petco (lizard bedding or whatever they call it) and some red jeweler's rouge powder I bought on ebay.
I tumble overnight and the brass come out great. I'll post a picture if I can find it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I use a Thumler's tumbler as well, but I use crushed walnuts from Petco (lizard bedding or whatever they call it) and some red jeweler's rouge powder I bought on ebay.
I tumble overnight and the brass come out great. I'll post a picture if I can find it.
Maybe if I tumbled longer, the shine would come up. I assume "overnight" is about 7-8 hours - I stop tumbling after 4 hours. If you have pics, that would be great.
 

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INFIDEL
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I use NU-Finish and walnut media I picked up at Harbor Freight. $20 for 30lbs. Doesnt shine as good as corn cob, but cleans the inside better..
 

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I tumble using stainless steel media and thumlers model b. stainless media lemishine and dish washing liquid w/ warm water. 4 hours and case are shiny clean inside and out. If you remove primers then primer pockets are clean. Cases really look brand new.
 

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INFIDEL
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I have some ceramic media, that would probably work good in non bottle neck cases, as well as an old commercial wet/dry tumbler. After cleaning with the Dawn and lemishine, Im guessin you rinse with the hose.or such. How do you dry your brass?
 

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I am not sure about the ceramic media. I would look in to buying the stainless. I does not wear out and never needs to be replaced.
This is how i clean brass. After range I pre rinse brass in some warm water with dish washing liquid (dawn) or whatever is available and about a teaspoon of lemon juice. I swish it around for a few minutes then rinse. This gets rid of a lot of crud. I might not tumble for a few days. I pour brass in tumbler with media, warm water, dish washing liquid and lemi shine. Tumble for 4 hours.
I take everything out back and i dump it in a strainer over a 5 gallon bucket. The water will be black so rinse well. Reclaim brass. I give it a quick dry on a big towel then i put it all back in those open Glad containers and let them sit by the oil burner. It dries overnight. If you are in a rush you can take those disposable tin trays you cook a turkey in and put in oven at about 180 degrees for an hour or so. It dries brass fast. Dont got over 180 because you might darken the brass. This will not hurt brass but they wont look all clean and shiny.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am not sure about the ceramic media. I would look in to buying the stainless. I does not wear out and never needs to be replaced.
This is how i clean brass. After range I pre rinse brass in some warm water with dish washing liquid (dawn) or whatever is available and about a teaspoon of lemon juice. I swish it around for a few minutes then rinse. This gets rid of a lot of crud. I might not tumble for a few days. I pour brass in tumbler with media, warm water, dish washing liquid and lemi shine. Tumble for 4 hours.
I take everything out back and i dump it in a strainer over a 5 gallon bucket. The water will be black so rinse well. Reclaim brass. I give it a quick dry on a big towel then i put it all back in those open Glad containers and let them sit by the oil burner. It dries overnight. If you are in a rush you can take those disposable tin trays you cook a turkey in and put in oven at about 180 degrees for an hour or so. It dries brass fast. Dont got over 180 because you might darken the brass. This will not hurt brass but they wont look all clean and shiny.
Here's what I found today. I ran the tumbler last night for 4 hours and as I was pouring off the dirty water, the brass was very shiny. Before rinsing, I put some brass aside and ran the rest under hot water - it all turned duller with the patina I mentioned in my original post. I rinsed the handful of brass I put aside in cold water and they stayed shiny. I'm not sure what kind of chemistry is going on here, but I'll rinse my entire next batch in cold water only and see if I can repeat the results I got from last night's batch. Anyone know why this might happen?
 

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Putin, the new Ceasar. Veni,Vidi, Vici!
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I have some ceramic media, that would probably work good in non bottle neck cases, as well as an old commercial wet/dry tumbler. After cleaning with the Dawn and lemishine, Im guessin you rinse with the hose.or such. How do you dry your brass?
Ceramic may be too abrasive unless you are cleaning really tarnished range brass.
 

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Here's what I found today. I ran the tumbler last night for 4 hours and as I was pouring off the dirty water, the brass was very shiny. Before rinsing, I put some brass aside and ran the rest under hot water - it all turned duller with the patina I mentioned in my original post. I rinsed the handful of brass I put aside in cold water and they stayed shiny. I'm not sure what kind of chemistry is going on here, but I'll rinse my entire next batch in cold water only and see if I can repeat the results I got from last night's batch. Anyone know why this might happen?
Just an off the wall thought. How old is your water heater? Maybe trace amounts of iron oxide causing it?
 

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INFIDEL
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Ceramic may be too abrasive unless you are cleaning really tarnished range brass.
Thats what I was thinking also, Almost all is reloaded with a lead bullet, shot and re-tumbled. Longest shot is 100yds, Easier to stick with the walnut.
 

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INFIDEL
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I put a small piece of rag soaked with mineral spirits in with the walnut, keeps the dust way down.
 
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