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Thread: Dry media tumbler for mold cleaning?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Dry media tumbler for mold cleaning?

    Has anybody tried using their dry media tumbler (the vibrating kind) to clean their aluminum molds? Also, has anybody used break cleaner on aluminum molds?

    Many thanks,
    B


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  2. #2
    Boolit Master Jack Stanley's Avatar
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    I've used brake cleaner or carb cleaner lots of times with good results . I'm not sure the vibrating polisher would be a great idea .

    Jack
    Buy it cheap and stack it deep , you may need it !

    Black Rifles Matter

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Stanley View Post
    I'm not sure the vibrating polisher would be a great idea .

    Jack
    Iím not either but I thought it was worth asking. I have a couple of molds that have a lot of carbon build up from a previous owner smoking the hell out of them. The idea hit me last night while I casting with the tumbler running next to me.


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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I would not use a vibratory cleaner on a mold, especially if the two mold halves are in there at the same time. The two halves would possibly be damaged as the rubbed against each other. Maybe if they we cleaned separately it would be ok, but I've never tried it. Brake cleaner is fine.

  5. #5
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by high standard 40 View Post
    I would not use a vibratory cleaner on a mold, especially if the two mold halves are in there at the same time. The two halves would possibly be damaged as the rubbed against each other. Maybe if they we cleaned separately it would be ok, but I've never tried it. Brake cleaner is fine.
    That seems to be the general consensus both here and other places that I asked the same question. If I had a mold that was already past the point of no return I might try it as an experiment but Iím not willing to risk good molds on it.


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  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Maybe an ultrasonic cleaner.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsizemore View Post
    Maybe an ultrasonic cleaner.
    Unfortunately for the time being an ultrasonic cleaner is outside of my budget.


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  8. #8
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    I used citrus acid / water on a RCBS mold with a tooth brush but I don't know how it would effect aluminum it removed the blue on the old RCBS mold but it was shiny clean , you may get away with just scrubbing the mold with a tooth brush and dawn dish liquid . Don't do anything that would scratch or etch the aluminum .

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    I've cleaned an aluminum mould with a brass/bronze toothbrush. Extremely gently and with caution to work towards the cavity edge and not away from it. In this instance I did it cause I was stupid and had melted a nylon toothbrush in the cavity trying to scrub it hot. It worked and left the parting line visible but not raised on the bullets. I had tried various solvents first with no results.

    For whatever reason I didn't address the issue, and went off on a tangent. If I recall correctly I've cleaned a smoked mould with brake cleaner and a toothbrush.
    Last edited by Bazoo; 02-27-2020 at 01:17 PM.

  10. #10
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    What seems to be the problem with your aluminum molds?

    What brand and size are they?

    PS pictures really help us determine a good solution

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conditor22 View Post
    What seems to be the problem with your aluminum molds?

    What brand and size are they?

    PS pictures really help us determine a good solution
    They have heavy carbon build up from being over smoked by a previous owner. Iím getting boolits that are showing signs of trapped air. My best guess is that the carbon buildup has clogged the vent lines. They are Lee 45acp 230gr Rn, 9mm 124 gr FP, and 38/357 158gr WC


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  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    Quote":Unfortunately for the time being an ultrasonic cleaner is outside of my budget.

    Take an appropriate size container, use a rubber band to hold an electric tooth-brush on the outside, put mould in, cover with cleaning fluid and turn on tooth-brush. Or, alternately, place container against your tumbler and turn it on. Both these methods have worked for me.
    R.D.M.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackthorn View Post
    Quote":Or, alternately, place container against your tumbler and turn it on. Both these methods have worked for me.
    So place the container on the lid of the tumbler?

    Totally off topic: your name wouldnít happen to be a reference to the stormlight chronicles would it?


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    Boolit Buddy
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    Kal and Syl!

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    I'd try acetone, brake cleaner and a stiff nylon brush (I use a denture cleaning brush 99Ę @ the dollar store.

    You can chase the vent lines with bamboo skewers and make a hot glue boolit with a shank cast into it, slits cut in the side and a little polishing compound spun slowly with a drill for the cavities.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master


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    I have cleaned molds before with a medium to firm toothbrush and a polishing toothpaste. It is a bit slow, but will clean with no damage.
    Good Luck,
    Rick

  17. #17
    Boolit Master Bazoo's Avatar
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    Conditor22. Thanks for that glue bullet trick. I'll retain that info.

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bantou View Post
    So place the container on the lid of the tumbler?

    Totally off topic: your name wouldn’t happen to be a reference to the stormlight chronicles would it?


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    All I did was place the container against (in contact with) the side of my vibratory case cleaner.

    My screen name is simply based on the Blackthorn tree, used by the Irish (which I am not) to make objects for attitude adjustment, after they were denied other forms of personal protective equipment.
    R.D.M.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Bantou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blackthorn View Post
    All I did was place the container against (in contact with) the side of my vibratory case cleaner.

    My screen name is simply based on the Blackthorn tree, used by the Irish (which I am not) to make objects for attitude adjustment, after they were denied other forms of personal protective equipment.
    That was what I came up with based on a little experimentation last night. Giving it a go now with some home made sonic solution (2 parts water, 1 part water, some dawn, and a pinch of lemi shine)


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