View Full Version : Brass Polishing w/ sand blasting media?

05-30-2007, 01:27 AM
Any thoughts on using sandblasting media to polish brass?

I have both glass bead and aluminum oxide media. I want to get some other opinions before I try it out and possibly run the risk of destroying a batch of brass.

BTW - I am currently using a Dillon cleaner with walnut media.

05-30-2007, 02:24 AM
hello and welcome to teh board, i would think that using something like that would be a bit harsh on the brass. alot of us also use walnut but we throw in nupolish car wax. the stuff in the orange bottle. i will tell you that all my brass gets done by this way and it looks great. from what i have also been told the wax polish doesnt hurt the brass. i normally use about 3/4 of a cap full. i pour it in slow then toss the brass in. it works really well if the lizard litter that i use. just a thought


05-30-2007, 06:50 AM
I would be some what spooked of getting it imbedded in the brass or clinging to it and ruining a die more than the brass.
I have some range brass that is tumbling as I type, has been going for 12 hours now. I will take a look at it and let ya know how it is doing. Walnut and a bit of mineral spirts. Mineral spirts sure knock the carbon and reactivat the polish as it tends to dry out in the media.

05-30-2007, 10:46 AM
Comparing your two substances with the kind of ceramic media recommended for brass...

The ceramic sold for cleaning brass is very hard, contains no abrasive, and is used in a liquid. Your glass bead most closely resembles that medium. Aluminum oxide is used in tumblers when metal removal (grinding or de-burring) is desired. Seems like a bad choice for brass cases.

05-30-2007, 11:20 AM
+1 the sandblasting/polishing media your inquiring about is overly abrasive for case tumbling. Good inquiry though.


06-02-2007, 03:09 AM
Thanks for the responses. My worry with the glass media is getting it all removed once I am done polishing. I am mostly interested in this just for curiosity's sake.

Winger Ed.
06-02-2007, 05:33 PM
That is a interesting idea.

I'd have to try a handfull of brass in there and just see what it does.

Something I've found with trying different media is that the finer sized stuff sure likes to clog down inside bottle neck cases, especially stuff under .30cal, and in primer pockets.


06-02-2007, 07:28 PM
I tried it many years ago and the brass ended up with a very nice sandblasted finish. I wouldn't ....Walt

06-08-2007, 07:11 PM
If you're thinking of using it instead of cob media in a bowl tumbler, don't. It's much denser than the chipped corncobs those are designed for. It might even kill the tumbler motor.

A teaspoonful or two added to the customary cob media might be OK, though. I still have a separate bucket of corncob media that has some sort of very fine abrasive added - (I did it long ago and forget what I used - Bon-Ami cleanser keeps coming to mind, although some of the more aggressive toothpastes would also work). This only came out when there was really BAAD brass to be cleaned-up - like range pickups. Which hasn't happened in years. The range I shoot at now (my farm) the shooter picks up all the brass he brought with him before the shooter leaves.

06-11-2007, 12:24 PM
I don't have any input on the sandblasting media, but I can recommend the NuFinish polish in walnut media. I did a batch overnight on recommendation from this board, and the cases came out with a bright mirror finish.

06-27-2007, 05:31 AM
I've tried sand blasting media.... it does a great job destroying the brass. For the most part, this stuff is just way too hard, at the time I was using a rotary tumbler, I'm in agreement with other assertions that a bowl type vibratory tumbler probably wouldn't handle it. Chances are the same place that sells your sand blasting media also sells corncob and walnut media. Lately I've been using fine grit 20/40 corn cob that I get in 50 lb sacks it works out pretty well because the stuff is too fine to really get stuck in the flash holes (one of the complaints with medium grit). I use this stuff in a cement mixer.

06-29-2007, 01:50 PM
I'd be very concerned about using a fine, course abrasive in cases. Any residue in the cases could end up in your barrel, with subsequent shots damaging the barrel. I'd stick to the tried and true.