Author Topic: When to buy more tumbling media  (Read 4927 times)

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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When to buy more tumbling media
« on: May 02, 2011, 10:46:45 AM »
I had some cases running through my tumbler the other day and when I woke up, it seemed like maybe there was condensation inside the tumbler and my cases were covered in gray black grime...  I tried to dry out the media in the oven for only a few minutes (somehow it seemed like it could potentially be a very bad idea), but that didn't seem to help.  For now I am going to settle and just think that condensation formed inside and screwed things up... either way, I tossed the media.  I have no clue how old it was, as it was in the tumbler 1-1/2 years back when I received it...

But anywho, how does one go about determining when it is time to toss the media?
~CRCJ

Offline SuperDuty

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2011, 06:52:19 AM »
I don't have a hard and fast rule about how many times I use the media.  I've not seen the condensation that you mention.  I just dump it when the brass stops coming out nice and shiny.  Maybe 6-8 loads before I replace it.  Since I use Lizard Litter, which is pretty cheap, I don't hesitate to dump it and reload with fresh stuff.

Another tip is to throw dryer sheet pieces in the tumbler.  I have people who use dryer sheets save their used ones for me.  I cut one sheet into fourths and drop them in with each load of brass.  It's amazing how much dirt they attract and I think it keeps the media clean longer.

Offline CountryRootsCityJob

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2011, 11:08:43 AM »
Another tip is to throw dryer sheet pieces in the tumbler.  I have people who use dryer sheets save their used ones for me.  I cut one sheet into fourths and drop them in with each load of brass.  It's amazing how much dirt they attract and I think it keeps the media clean longer.

Hey, that's good, I'll have to give that one a try! +1!

Offline 9mmMaster

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2016, 10:27:25 PM »
When you ask yourself he question it's likely time.

Tips

Walnut shells crushed at a pet supply are much cheaper than media at Cabelas.

If you get tree sap on brass throw it out not in the tumbler.

Don't tumble 9mm 40 or 45 in the same batch.


Offline CPT Morgan

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2016, 11:05:31 PM »
Walnut shells crushed at a pet supply are much cheaper than media at Cabelas.

Yes...  "Lizard Litter".

Offline Carl

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2016, 02:52:19 AM »
IF you use corncob 'sandblast' polishing media (LOW COST) or walnut shells or other woody material, you will have much better success with the addition of a small teaspoon slosh of MINERAL SPIRITS as it cuts dust and fluffs up the media and gives it TEETH. You finished product will have a sheen and color that is hard to ignore and will resist darkening over much longer time.

I would use media until it no longer polished and cleaned as it should (often black with carbon) but the MINERAL SPIRITS (used as paint thinner)
always made for longer life and better looking product and I tumbled in small cement mixers at under $200 dollars and a bargain for my high volume loading of 10,000 to 20,000 rounds per day.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2016, 06:42:06 AM »
This summer I switched to wet tumbling with steel pins.  I have run a couple dozen loads and the pins show no degradation at all.  I figure they are good for hundreds if not thousands of  uses.  And the brass processes faster too.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2016, 07:24:46 AM »
     Yes to "Lizard Litter", ground walnut shells from the pet store. They are cheap so you don't feel as though you have to "squeeze" just one more load of cases through.

Offline armymars

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2016, 09:04:23 AM »
  Plus one for superduty, 9mm and Carl.

Offline sukivel

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2017, 10:58:54 AM »

But anywho, how does one go about determining when it is time to toss the media?


When one realizes how much better wet tumbling is...if you haven't tried it, do yourself a favor. Yes I know this original post is old, but it still gets reads...

Offline NWPilgrim

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2017, 12:07:43 AM »
Before I started wet tumbling/stainless media, I had started removing the primers before tumbling in corn cob or walnut media.  It made a substantial reduction in the amount of black residue that accumulated.  There is a lot of burnt compound in primers, and depriming them first extended my media by amount twice as many tumblings.  Another thing that help reduce contamination of the media is to lay a tarp down when shooting on gravel/dirt, especially in the rain/snow.  I would throw out the tumbling media when it got to the point my hands were getting noticeably dirty by just picking out a few cases.

Now I de-prime, stainless wet tumble, case prep and size, and for rifle cases I then dry tumble in corn cob media to remove the case lube.  Concob media now stays clean a very long time.  I rinse the stainless pins after each batch since it really scrubs out the burnt powder in the primer pockets and inside the cases much more than dry media.

Offline DDJ

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Re: When to buy more tumbling media
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2018, 10:11:33 AM »
I use the harbor freight walnut hull media ($22 for 20Lbs I do not know how that compares to the pet store).  I do a few different extends.  I should mentions that I do a lot a of brass pickups at out door range so I get a ton of dirt and small stones.  I start with just the media then when I notice it starting to get dirty I take it outside and do a bucket to bucket dump on a windy day to blow the dust and dirt out (think separating wheat form Chaff).  When that is less effective I add a cap full or 2 of Nufinish car polish.  I tend to continue that process too long and when am noticing that my brass is rough looking and dirty I tend to replace it.  I store it in a 1 gallon plastic container not my tumbler. The container will hold 2 or just over 2 tumblers so I will do a load of 9mm then once that is done I dump it into by sorter then start a load of 45 with the remaining media so that it mixes and get all used.  Using that I get somewhere around 5000 pieces of brass cleaned I think.