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Thread: a trick for tumble powder coating

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    a trick for tumble powder coating

    Since started powder coating by tumbling I always seemed to have a problem with boolits hitting each other and leaving marks on each other or the powder would over coat on some and not enough on others, I would have to try and knock it off when putting them on a tray for baking, this afternoon I was thinking about this and I don't know if this has already been done but I have never seen it yet, first I took some of my boys air-soft bbs that are plastic and poured enough to cover the 50 boolits I had in the plastic tub than put 2 table spoons of powder on every thing and started tumbling for 3 min. after 3 min. I checked the boolits and found them perfectly covered no marks from banging into each other and no over covering with powder, The plastic bbs were totally covered themselves and provided a medium for the boolits to tumble in, it worked so good I tumbled 500 this afternoon with no problems I usually have with lack of coverage or over coverage. try it you might like it, one thing the amount of air-soft bbs you use depends on the amount of boolits you use, if you don't use enough bbs your boolits will mark each other up when they hit each other and if you use to much you will have to dig through everything trying to find the boolits. I am not saying this is cure all, but it works for me and thought I would share it.
    Last edited by hanleyfan; 05-03-2014 at 10:57 AM.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master


    Walter Laich's Avatar
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    good to know. I'll have to check it out next time I dt
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  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
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    Ebner Glocken had good luck using real BBs too. Maybe dry tumbling is changing again and it needs some media in there! I love the way this whole coating thing keeps evolving and improving.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I tried real steel bbs but they did not work as good as the air-soft plastic bbs.

  5. #5
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    OK.......this changes everything......AGAIN!

    Tried this and it does work very well.......but found some fine-tuning things that worked best for me:

    1. only the black airsoft work the best. The colors are different hardnesses/plastics/weights. I have all colors/weights and tried them all.

    2. You HAVE to use the lid or the little buggers fly all over the place.

    3. You no longer lightly swirl.......you swirl like crazy for ~30 seconds. And then you SHAKE up and down REAL hard, like shaking a salad dressing bottle, for another ~30 seconds. Hold onto the lid or it will pop off and you will have a real mess!

    After trying several styles of bb's, I ended up with 255gn 45 slugs coated with HF red that looked like I had sprayed them with my ESPC gun!!!!!!! Almost a 99% coverage.....nice even coat.

    The black plastic bb's change/lessen the impacts and improve the static charge somehow and allow a perfect coating. I put about 30 or so slugs in at a time as they were a rather large cal!

    Give it a try and report back!

    hanleyfan..........thanks for posting this!!!!!!

    bangerjim

  6. #6
    Boolit Master

    Beagle333's Avatar
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    I'm sitting here tonight boiling out another new (to me) lubesizer and finally you guys perfect the indoor powder coating technique...... just today. Figures!


    But,.... thanks!!!!
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Beagle333 View Post
    I'm sitting here tonight boiling out another new (to me) lubesizer and finally you guys perfect the indoor powder coating technique...... just today. Figures!


    But,.... thanks!!!!
    It may not be perfect (unlike me....ha....ha!) but is perrrrrty darn close to ESPC in my book! And I am VERY critical.


    banger

  8. #8
    Boolit Master slim1836's Avatar
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    So how do you retrieve the coated boolits and put them on the tray without messing up the coating? And where do you get the plastic BB's?

    Slim

    Quote Originally Posted by bangerjim View Post
    It may not be perfect (unlike me....ha....ha!) but is perrrrrty darn close to ESPC in my book! And I am VERY critical.


    banger
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master The Real Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    You can purchases the plastic Air Soft BB's at pretty much any sporting good store, even WallyWorld should have them, I just did my first DT with HF RED but before I read this so now I have to go get me some AirSoft BB's to try.... I swiped a pair of needle nose tweezers from the wifey and bent them out pretty good and when I pick up the boolits I try to get into the crimp groove so not to mess up the PC very much.

    Doc

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    How do you separate the airsoft BB's?

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    You've got to pick out the boolits with tweezers anyway.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I use a long handle forceps like they use in the medical field, I find if you dip the tip in powder coating and coat it that it will leave no mark on the boolit when transferring unless you fumble around and drop it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Man Quiettime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Real Doc Holliday View Post
    .... I swiped a pair of needle nose tweezers from the wifey and bent them out pretty good ...
    aaooooogah! aaooooogah! Abort abort!

    HF has a pkg of different style tweezers cheap that I grabbed the other day. Way better than PO-ing the wife. Live to coat another day!

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    You LEAVE the black BB's in the tub! You pick up the coated boolits with hemostats (best) or tweezers or bent needle-nose pliers.

    Picking them up is really the only way to get the perfect finish. Dumping them on hardware cloth will STILL leave lay marks. I only use the coat-n-dump on 223's because I do so many of them and they are sooooo small.

    This modification (as used like I listed in the post above) to the rapidly-beloved dry coating method seems to work for me better than any previous method.

    As said, get the Air Soft BLACK bb's at any sporting goods department. Even WalMart carries them!
    Get the small bottle and you have enough for generations of coaters!

    Post your results and ideas!

    banger

  15. #15
    Boolit Man oldpapps's Avatar
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    Old fingers prefer to put on latex gloves to move powdered bullets from the shaking tub. I don't waste all that much powder and don't drop bullets.

    Just another way to do the same.

    Enjoy,

    OSOK

  16. #16
    Boolit Man Wild Bill 7's Avatar
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    You can use nitrile gloves also to pick up the boolits. They seem to work for me better than tweezers or forceps. Just my opinion anyway because it works for me. You all are doing some awesome work also. Can't wait to get some black air soft bb's.

  17. #17
    Boolit Buddy BT8850's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hanleyfan View Post
    Since started powder coating by tumbling I always seemed to have a problem with boolits hitting each other and leaving marks on each other or the powder would over coat on some and not enough on others, I would have to try and knock it off when putting them on a tray for baking, this afternoon I was thinking about this and I don't know if this has already been done but I have never seen it yet, first I took some of my boys air-soft bbs that are plastic and poured enough to cover the 50 boolits I had in the plastic tub than put 2 table spoons of powder on every thing and started tumbling for 3 min. after 3 min. I checked the boolits and found them perfectly covered no marks from banging into each other and no over covering with powder, The plastic bbs were totally covered themselves and provided a medium for the boolits to tumble in, it worked so good I tumbled 500 this afternoon with no problems I usually have with lack of coverage or over coverage. try it you might like it, one thing the amount of air-soft bbs you use depends on the amount of boolits you use, if you don't use enough bbs your boolits will mark each other up when they hit each other and if you use to much you will have to dig through everything trying to find the boolits. I am not saying this is cure all, but it works for me and thought I would share it.
    Beagle333 is dead on, I watched Ebners' video where he used regular metal bb's and his results were great, I be the airsoft ones do great! Wonder if it helps build up static in the #5 containers as well?? Who knows, if it works it works!! Gonna try this this afternoon. Got any pictures of how your batch with bb's turned out?? Thanks for the info!

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
    mdi's Avatar
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    Remember Moly Coating bullets? This is the same method (BBs and tumbling) I'd seen for moly coating jacketed bullets...
    My Anchor is holding fast!

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    'Picked up some black Airsoft BBs at WallyWorld this morning.......
    Testing to begin when I get this grass mowed.
    Colt 1860, it just feels right.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master popper's Avatar
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    Yea, mowed this morning, got to cut down the dying cedar tree this afternoon. Then to WW for BBs.
    Whatever!

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check