MartyZ

Help with wet tumbling

18 posts in this topic

Ok, those with experience with wet tumbling. I just tried out my new FA rotary tumbler and I got over 500 pieces of .45 brass that look like pictured below, with those dark spots. Any idea what could have caused this? They were tumbling for 2 hours with about a tablespoon of dollar store dish soap and maybe half tea spoon of lemishine. Also, is my brass now garbage?

 

20180106_110532_zpsuus8bety.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

LOL your brass is not garbage and nothing at all to worry about.  That is a product of combustion in the chamber and the brass in that area has changed IMO.  Rather looks like some brass after being annealed.

 

Again nothing to worry about at all IMO and I wet tumble for a long long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive been wet tumbling for years and tried many dish soaps. Cheap soap made marks on my brass similar to that where they sat and dried. For me the orange colored Palmolive works the best. Super shiny. Its worth a shot for ya.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, carl_g said:

Personally, I have never seen that happen from wet tumbling before.

Did it happen to all your brass? What kind of media are you using and how much water?

Franfort Arsenal Platinum rotary tumbler. 5 lbs stainless media. The dish soap I think is SUN lemon. water all the way up to the brim. 2 hrs tumbling, and no sitting after tumbling, I pulled it out and rinsed within 10 min.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, MartyZ said:

I just never saw this with corn cob tumbling

You are TOTALLY overthinking this IMO - maybe the corn cob never got it squeaky clean - :)

 

Also do not fill it to the brim, I like enough water to make a slurry out of the brass and the media - with a touch and I mean a touch of detergent.  YMMV

 

Load it up and enjoy.....

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Change to Dawn dish soap. I have heard that other soaps will cause discoloration when  drying if not completely rinsed.  Seems the preferred method is a 9MM full of Lemishine to a 45ACP full of Dawn with warm to hot water. I have also heard those who rinse well after tumbling, separate from the pins and then let the brass sit in a bucket of hot water and Lemishine for 15 minutes to further retard tarnishing, before drying.

My method is a little strange but I put my brass into sealed storage after cleaning sometimes.  I tumble in a FA as well, using the above formula and warm to hot water. Maybe up to about 120F for 2-4 hours  I watch the weight of the container as well because when I push to max it doesn't work as well.  I rinse, fill again with warm water and tumble again for 15 minutes to make sure all the soap is out. Separate the brass from the pins and then into the dryer they go for an hour or until dry.  I use a tray dryer I have or into the dehydrator works.  From there they go straight into the tumbler loaded with half corn cob and walnut shells with 2 cap fulls of NU finish car wax.  I do this to coat them and it gives the brass a smoother feel.  They seem to work easier in the dies when loading.  If I am putting them into long term storage I may vacuum pack them as well or they get put in a bag in a ammo can with desiccant,  Slows down the tarnishing effect so I can reload them straight from storage later.  Hope this helps.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get the same spots sometimes, I have narrowed it down to discoloration from the water drying with some "stuff" still floating around the water.

I say this because I have had them stain bad when I don't rinse them or do so carelessly and nearly perfect results if I take the brass and after I sift out all the pins, I do another (final) rinse under the sink with hot water before throwing them out to dry on a towel.  If you're going to leave water on them (which you will unless you hand dry or blow them off which is nuts) the water has to be CLEAN to leave nothing behind as it evaporates.

But it's important to note that it's just for looks, it's not damage nor will it reduce the performance of any aspect of your shooting/reloading

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So I just ran a batch of 308 thru and it came out perfect, only this time I used 1 tsp of dawn and .25 tsp of lemishine. So it looks like my formula was no good. If you look at the pic below, it's literally night and day. 

But here is what might seem like a stupid question that I probably know the answer to but I have OCD and I bought the wet tumbler because I wanted my brass clean and shiny. Is the discoloration correctable???

20180106_155313_zpsils71djk.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Next time thru the discoloration should disappear.  If you let the cases dry on their side, that's most likely where it came from.  If you're really OCD, put them with the case head down and allow them to dry that way, on end.  I do that with rifle brass.  I also rinse under really hot water once they come out of the tumbler.  

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, T Bill said:

Change to Dawn dish soap. I have heard that other soaps will cause discoloration when  drying if not completely rinsed.  Seems the preferred method is a 9MM full of Lemishine to a 45ACP full of Dawn with warm to hot water. I have also heard those who rinse well after tumbling, separate from the pins and then let the brass sit in a bucket of hot water and Lemishine for 15 minutes to further retard tarnishing, before drying.

My method is a little strange but I put my brass into sealed storage after cleaning sometimes.  I tumble in a FA as well, using the above formula and warm to hot water. Maybe up to about 120F for 2-4 hours  I watch the weight of the container as well because when I push to max it doesn't work as well.  I rinse, fill again with warm water and tumble again for 15 minutes to make sure all the soap is out. Separate the brass from the pins and then into the dryer they go for an hour or until dry.  I use a tray dryer I have or into the dehydrator works.  From there they go straight into the tumbler loaded with half corn cob and walnut shells with 2 cap fulls of NU finish car wax.  I do this to coat them and it gives the brass a smoother feel.  They seem to work easier in the dies when loading.  If I am putting them into long term storage I may vacuum pack them as well or they get put in a bag in a ammo can with desiccant,  Slows down the tarnishing effect so I can reload them straight from storage later.  Hope this helps.

:o

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it probably was how it dried. I started with the 2 towels and a fan technique. Dump brass in a colander and drain as well as you can, then dump in a bath towel and make like your polishing a bowling ball, then dump and spread out on a towel on the floor, and finally run a fan over the brass to help evaporate the remaining moisture. Not the most effective but it works pretty well I was never left with too much moisture. I just always felt that the primer pockets were left a little damp.

 

Some people will place on a baking sheet and stick it in their oven at 200 or so, my wife didnt like this

I bought one of these https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016931592/hornady-case-and-parts-dryer

they work very well brass is toasty warm and dry within an hour

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, George Yetka said:

I think it probably was how it dried. I started with the 2 towels and a fan technique. Dump brass in a colander and drain as well as you can, then dump in a bath towel and make like your polishing a bowling ball, then dump and spread out on a towel on the floor, and finally run a fan over the brass to help evaporate the remaining moisture. Not the most effective but it works pretty well I was never left with too much moisture. I just always felt that the primer pockets were left a little damp.

 

Some people will place on a baking sheet and stick it in their oven at 200 or so, my wife didnt like this

I bought one of these https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016931592/hornady-case-and-parts-dryer

they work very well brass is toasty warm and dry within an hour

nope, definitely not a drying issue because that picture was taken straight out of the tumbler.

I did however run the entire batch thru again, this time for one hour, less water (just enough to cover everything), 1/8 tsp lemishine, and 1/2 tsp dawn.

came out much better, all the spots are gone but the cases are still a bit on the rosy (copper colored) side. Probably my mixture of lemon dish washer soap and lemishine made the water too acidic, resulting in some of the zinc leaching out a little.

I will know better now. A little goes a long way 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you can go more on the soap but stay where youre at with the lemishine

Im not sure of the exact mix for your size tumbler. I use a tumbler which is is 2 gallon,s 13lbs of brass, and 15lbs of media(just a little bigger than the FA which is 1.84 gallons

My recipe that has worked very well is 2 -1 second squirts of dawn and a 45 case of lemishine. I know it sounds like an italian grandmas sauce recipe but it works.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My recipe is slightly different.

9mm case of Lemishine, 2 tablespoons of Dawn, 1 gallon of water, 3lbs of brass.

Tumble for 2 hours. Separate pins and rinse in hot water twice. Last rinse/soak, I add a couple of drops of dishwasher rinse agent (JetDry). Then shake any residual water off and spread-out in a cardboard box. If its sunny outside, I let them sit out there for a few hours.

Only problem I've ever had was the cases are too clean and need to be lubed with One-shot before running them thru a press smoothly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now