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Thread: Lemishine, Dehydrators, and more

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Cool Lemishine, Dehydrators, and more

    Today, I had enough 357 magnum brass that needed depriming and cleaning, so I decided to use a formula gained from the 'net.

    According to the recipe I copied, ~ 1/2 gallon of hot water, dump in 1 Tablespoon of Lemishine, and 2-3 drops of Dawn. (Does the brand make a difference?) Shook it, waited about 20 minutes, the outsides were really shiny, and the primer pockets were fairly clean, too...better than with a vibratory tumbler.
    I figured if one Tbsp. was good, more would be better, so I added about 3/4 Tbsp. more of Lemishine. Agitated it several times in about 15 minutes, rinsed, and spread on a towel on the driveway to dry. Not much change...the outsides were very shiny, the primer pockets good, and the interiors looked somewhat improved, but nothing like the examples I have seen, which show the interiors in nearly pristine condition. Would more be better? I also have some straight citric acid...would that be better? Should I have let them percolate for several hours or maybe overnight?

    Next: Is uniforming the flash hole, just removing the jagged edges left from punching the primer's flash hole worth the effort for more consistent reloads, or is it just more ballistic proctology?

    And finally: I have one of the dessicant canisters that I keep in my primer storage box...about the size of a 3"X 5" card, with instructions to for "recharging" the crystals by baking it in the oven at 300 degrees for 3 hours! Man, that would heat up the house, and the Spousal Unit would not be happy! We are having 100 degree days, so would leaving it outside in direct sunshine reactivate the crystals, do think?

    Just more of the many pleasures of Reloading, eh?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    what would be more better is tumbling it with pins. even without pins actual tumbling with dawn and lemishine cleans very well.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master MyFlatline's Avatar
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    I have read that some add cream of Tarter. When I do my next batch I want to try it.

    I tumble with pins. My tumbler can handle a gallon of brass. I'm like a cook, a shake of lemon shine and a squirt of Dawn. 45 minutes and they are spotless. rarely to I need to uniform to pockets.

    I do think there is something special about the Dawn dish soap, have not found any other that cuts grease or paint like it does.. I use it on my paintbrushes after the jobs.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    saw another thread touting that woollite or cascade dish soap work wonders

    I use 1 tsp of citric acid and a couple squirts of dawn in my DIY 2-gallon tumbler with 7# of stainless pins; 1100 pcs of 40 s&w brass and topped of with hot water.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I'll admit it, I'm not fussy.

    I used to reload brass without cleaning it at all. Then I had some 50 rounds of .45acp that was sooty. Ugh. (Yes raised powder charge half a grain and it quit)

    So I remembered reading about citric acid, and my wife had found me some at the dollar store.

    So I tried it. Deprimed first with my FA hand depriming unit. Ice cream pail, 1 tsp of citric, couple drops of dawn. Heated some water to almost boiling. Swished swirled until everything started looking shiny.

    Rinsed twice, sat down and ran a brush into each primer pocket and rolled each brass on a towel on my leg to remove any stubborn stuff.

    No it don't look new. Yes I can see brass all the way down the inside, and primer hole from the top with a flashlight.

    Good enough for me.

    No it does not look like new brass. You can see work marks where dies resized it.
    But it does look a whole lot better than the old grungy brass I used to load.

    When I can save 15 cents to a dollar each reloading my own and them look at least respectable.

    Well this ol boy is not running out of citric acid anytime soon.

    I just don't see the need, the cost of investing in tumbler, stainless steels pins, etc just to make them look a little better.

    Good is good enough. YMMV.

    Ain't freedom a wonderful thing?

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    A teaspoon of citric acid in a gallon of water is sufficient. I also use a teaspoon full of Armorall Wash and Wax. It leaves a coating on the brass that doesn't tarnish. I run that in my tumbler for 2 hours then rinse and dry in the sun. Too much citric acid or too much Lemishine starts deteriorating the brass. That is why it starts to turn pink. I tried the Dawn, and while it cleans well, it doesn't give the resistance to tarnish.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    @sniper,

    This is a case that adding more Lemishine/citric acid does not help, but can damage the brass. As fast_ronnie noted above, excess Lemishine can leach out some of the zinc in the brass leaving a pink layer of copper on the exterior (not good). I tumble clean with stainless steel pins and Lemishine for ~1 hour that not only cleans the brass beautifully, but also smooths and polishes the exterior. This will make your brass look like new. Lately, I have been resizing/depriming before cleaning and the brass is ready to load as soon as it is dry. I store my cleaned brass in ziplock bags and have not noticed any problems with tarnish after several years of storage.

    Marshall

  8. #8
    Boolit Master pjames32's Avatar
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    I use a TEASPOONFUL of Lemi shine and a capful of Armorall car wash in my vibratory cleaner with hot water for 30 minutes. Rinse WELL and let dry in the sun on a towel. They are shine and the primer pockets are clean. Too much Lemi shine, as others have stated, will damage the brass.
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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Red face Thanks!

    Thanks, Guys, for the suggestions...PINK brass? Deterioration? Boy, nobody that I read mentioned that! The only thing I can remember was that Citric Acid Passivates (izzat a real word?) the brass, eliminating tarnish or corrosion. I will definitely be careful, and not over soak my brass from now on!

    Good Enough IS Good Enough, which is good enough for me ...I won't be spending more for the exotic wet tumblers/pins/etc., etc. even though lots of experienced reloaders use them with great results. Actually, at my age, I don't buy green Bananas any more!

    pjames...how does that work, water and brass in a vibratory tumbler? Mine looks like it will be water tight, but I imagine you clamp the cover on tight before starting it.

    It is amazing to me, that I can reload for 40 + years, and there is valuable and interesting stuff I still don't know! That's why I enjoy the forum and members!

    Thanx, All

  10. #10
    Boolit Master RogerDat's Avatar
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    In the past before I purchased a SS Pin tumbler (FART to be exact) I would do the 15 - 20 minute soak in a partially full 5 gallon "Homer" bucket from big box store. Then drop the brass once dry in the regular vibrating tumbler in crushed walnut shells with results that were better than either method on its own.

    To the crushed walnut hulls (lizard bedding from pet store) I added a splash of mineral spirits for dust control and cap full worth of Nu-Finish car wax for long lasting shine. Added the mineral spirits and Nu-Finish first, ran vibrating tumbler for 5 minutes to mix and dissipate the liquid. This was a suggestion from another member here and it yielded better results and lower blood lead levels. The mineral spirits helped keep the dust down and cleaned oils or grease from cases, Nu-Finish also reduced dust and gave a long lasting shine. Same approach that works with crushed walnut hulls works with corn cob media. I find crushed walnut hull media cleans dirty or tarnished brass better but corn cob leaves a more polished exterior.

    In short washing with citric acid and dawn then rinsing can be a total process or an enhancement to the regular tumble in dry media. Or use one or the other by itself sometimes and do a more thorough process every few reloads or for bulk processing of brass intended for longer term storage, or prior to annealing. In short major cleaning sometimes but I'm fine with tossing revolver brass in the dry media for a "regular" polishing until it starts to look cruddy inside, then run it through the wet wash and polish with SS pins to provide an extra good cleaning to the inside, primer pocket and outside.

    Yes pink brass is a thing, too strong of a citric acid will do it but too long will also do it and I think time matters more than amount of citric acid. Just an opinion based on casual observation rather than rigorous testing.
    Je suis Charlie
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  11. #11
    Boolit Master Grmps's Avatar
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    Like they said above, Don't let your tumbler full of brass sit too long after it's done, It will discolor the brass (don't ask me how I know )

  12. #12
    Super Moderator & Official Cast Boolits Sketch Artist


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    I left some brass in the tumbler for several days if your looking that dark brown tint well try it out I think if your walnut media is well use helps also lol.
    Reloading to save money I am sure the saving is going to start soon

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    As others have said it is not good practice to use too much acid or let it sit too long, done both and was not happy.
    A hot water rinse with jet dry additive makes for pretty, waterspot free cases. All this is not really needed but it soothes my OCD. I have loaded with nothing more than a wipe off and they function fine, just not as pretty as I prefer.
    "Don't worry what they think. In the end it is not between them and you, it is between you and God."

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    "You won't know until you Actually try it"

    "The impossible just takes longer."

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master

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    been there and done that for decades with both dry vibratory and wet tumbling, ultra sonic works best of all for me - fast, relatively silent, no muss or fuss, like new clean inside and out both both bp and smokeless loaded brass. i sometimes use a vibratory and corn media with the cover off for a dry off inside of 10 minutes.

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  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    I forgot to mention the most useful part of having bright shinny clean brass is that it is much easier to see small defects in the brass.
    "Don't worry what they think. In the end it is not between them and you, it is between you and God."

    Je suis Charlie!


    "You won't know until you Actually try it"

    "The impossible just takes longer."

    "Don't let them beat you down with their inexperience."

    "You'll never accomplish what you don't try. " - Moldmaker

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    I use Citric Acid or Lemishine, a bit of dish soap, and a dash of Jet Dry; And HOT water. The stainless pins help it clean everything. It's a vast improvement over the (good but slow) vibratory I'd used before.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    No one has addressed your flash hole question. I do not have a chronometer and so can offer no empirical evidence. But I don't see how it can possible hurt.
    Bill
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  18. #18
    Boolit Man Newboy's Avatar
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    Concerning primer pockets.

    Uniformity is the key to accuracy. How accurate do you want to be?


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  19. #19
    Boolit Master Reverend Al's Avatar
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    I bought a FART about 2 years ago and have settled on a gallon of hot water, a scant teaspoon of Lemi Shine, and a healthy squirt of Dawn dish soap with the supplied 5 pounds of ss pins. As mentioned above too much Lemi Shine causes "pink brass" syndrome so just reduce the excessive amount you've been using for a more conservative amount. It's best to empty the tumbler soon after it finishes each batch and flush it thoroughly with some clean water. Then I drain it and put them into a 7 tray food dehydrator that I "borrowed" from my wife. (She was rarely using it, so I bought her a much smaller 4 tray unit and kept permanent possession of the larger unit for brass drying). I find that a thorough rinse with clean water soon after tumbling helps prevent water spotting on the dried brass. (Not crucial to reloading purposes, but I'm a bit OCD and like my brass like my women ... pretty looking ...)

    I may have passed my "Best Before" date, but I haven't reached my "Expiry" date!

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    IME primer pocket uniforming has wrecked way more primer pockets than it has helped. I ended up with lots of loose pockets and quit that.
    As mentioned above flash hole uniforming should not hurt, I have not tested it with the chrono, but have found some very nasty burrs and size differences in the same make and model brass. Some brass is far better in this than others, but it usually costs more to begin with.
    "Don't worry what they think. In the end it is not between them and you, it is between you and God."

    Je suis Charlie!


    "You won't know until you Actually try it"

    "The impossible just takes longer."

    "Don't let them beat you down with their inexperience."

    "You'll never accomplish what you don't try. " - Moldmaker

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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