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Thread: Using a tumbler?

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
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    All I have seen have, interesting idea.

  2. #22
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    I ordered a Franklin from Midway and will experiment with that idea. Too bad I gave my old Lyman away to someone who needed one. All that swirling and shaking with plastic bowls did not work that well for me.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvintx View Post
    I ordered a Franklin from Midway and will experiment with that idea. Too bad I gave my old Lyman away to someone who needed one. All that swirling and shaking with plastic bowls did not work that well for me.
    I tried using 3 different vibrator tumblers and had the same problem, too aggressive. Tumbling the bullets where they are tossed around in a container didn't work for me either. My bucket tumblers work and do an excellent job coating hundreds of bullets at a time.

  4. #24
    Boolit Bub
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    I press down on tumbler lid while it is running. It really softens the action.
    Cheapy harbor freight tumbler, aprox 200 pcs , 200gr swc 45, 1000 BB's, a dash of Smokes Clear, 1 1/2 min run time.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WardT View Post
    I press down on tumbler lid while it is running. It really softens the action.
    Cheapy harbor freight tumbler, aprox 200 pcs , 200gr swc 45, 1000 BB's, a dash of Smokes Clear, 1 1/2 min run time.
    That is exactly how my modified tumbler works just with a larger flat bottom. The bullets, powder and BB's roll and circulate in a rotating motion and are not pounded on top of each other. The coating is more uniform and not as fragile as those done by hand.

  6. #26
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    The Brown truck delivered my Frankford Arsenal tumbler yesterday. Today I removed the factory counterweight. It's a piece of 1/4" x 1" x 1.5" flat steel with a hole so it slips over the motor's shaft with a set screw to keep the weight in place. I had a piece of 1/4" x 1" in my scrap pile so I fabricated my own, reducing the length by 25%. The vibration is noticeably reduced but I didn't have time to throw some boolits and powder in. Will report back tomorrow.
    Last edited by mvintx; 04-03-2020 at 03:43 PM. Reason: It's Frankford, not Franklin!

  7. #27
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    Success!! I ran several batches through my modified tumber, both with ASBBs and without. I found very little difference between the two - coverage was about the same. The thermostat on my house says the outside humidity is 90% and the temp 44 degrees. I did not preheat the bullets...just dumped them into the tumbler with a couple of teaspoons of Smoke's powder and let it run for 15 to 20 minutes. Dumped them into a colander to shake off any excess powder then dumped them onto my homemade hardware cloth baskets. Into the oven they went for a PID-controlled 400 degree bake for 25 minutes and they turned out beautifully. This will be how I PC, until I find something easier. I was a little worried that I reduced the intensity of the vibration too much but it's enough to coat the bullets adequately. No more swirl-swirl-swirl and shake for me.
    Last edited by mvintx; 04-03-2020 at 05:33 PM.

  8. #28
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    I have a spare FA tumbler I got for this. The bbs is a pain to sift out. C
    I use a colander and drilled the holes for the bbs but still a pain.

    Wasnt there concern with tumbling and lead dust?

  9. #29
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    I don't sift out the BB's I just drop the whole load out of the tumbler into a #5 plastic dishpan i got from the $ store. A shake exposes enough bullets for me to lock on with my SS self closing tweezers. Another shake when I need more bullets exposed. If i drop a bullet no problem just drop it back into the pan give it a couple of shakes and it back coated. The edge of the plastic pan also provide a place to tap off any excess powder adhering to the bullets. When all the bullets have been removed the remaining powder BB's go back into the tumbler and I start another 6 pounds of bullets.

  10. #30
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    ^^ So you’re not dumping then. I don’t have the patience for doing the tweezer method. Just want to coat, dump and bake the fastest and most quantity.

    I’d really like a 220v oven in my garage but no space.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychbiker View Post
    ^^ So you’re not dumping then. I don’t have the patience for doing the tweezer method. Just want to coat, dump and bake the fastest and most quantity.

    I’d really like a 220v oven in my garage but no space.
    I did try the dump method but I found if doing a full cure, bullets welded together, and when separated bare spots. I am just to anal as I want my bullets to be as perfect as I can make them.

    My 30" wall oven was free from a neighbor. It sets on one of the 4 shelves in a 16" X 48" rolling wire shelving unit unit purchased at Sams Club. My two Hamilton Beach Countertop convection ovens sit on a shelf underneath the oven and the other two shelves hold other PC items. The unit rolls reasonably easy so the space it takes up is the basic foot print of the unit. We have neighbors offering free wall ovens frequently, at the present these is a single and a double both in working condition posted on our neighborhood site. But I do understand about limited space.
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by psychbiker View Post
    I have a spare FA tumbler I got for this. The bb’s is a pain to sift out. C
    I use a colander and drilled the holes for the bb’s but still a pain.

    Wasn’t there concern with tumbling and lead dust?
    Ditch the BBs, you don't need them. My boolits coat great without them. If you modify the counterweight to reduce the intensity of the vibration, I think any lead dust (if present) would be minimal. It's not like you're breathing it for hours on end.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master rsrocket1's Avatar
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    Vibratory tumbler people,
    Have you looked at your powder before/after the tumbling?
    I did this a few years ago with the HF tumbler and HF red. I tried 5 minutes and then another fresh batch at 2 minutes. The boolits came out as good or better than I've ever done with the #5 container or Ziplock bag, but the powder came out a dull dark red, nowhere near as bright as when I started. I have a feeling that the darkness comes from lead getting into the powder.

    If you take precautions of doing this away from the house and cleaning yourself and clothes off really well, this may be safe. If not, you may be getting powderized lead all over the place. Powderized lead in the air is probably worse for you than any splattered lead from casting.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rsrocket1 View Post
    Vibratory tumbler people,
    Have you looked at your powder before/after the tumbling?
    I did this a few years ago with the HF tumbler and HF red. I tried 5 minutes and then another fresh batch at 2 minutes. The boolits came out as good or better than I've ever done with the #5 container or Ziplock bag, but the powder came out a dull dark red, nowhere near as bright as when I started. I have a feeling that the darkness comes from lead getting into the powder.

    If you take precautions of doing this away from the house and cleaning yourself and clothes off really well, this may be safe. If not, you may be getting powderized lead all over the place. Powderized lead in the air is probably worse for you than any splattered lead from casting.
    You are correct and the reason I modified my tumbler so it was not so aggressive.

  15. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonheart View Post
    You are correct and the reason I modified my tumbler so it was not so aggressive.
    How easy to modify the tumbler?

  16. #36
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    It is easy if you have a few basic tools.

    A 5 gallon plastic paint bucket (this one is a #5 recycle code) with a 1/4" hole drilled in the bottom center. Original 1/4-20 through bolt holding original bowl removed along with original bowl.

    A 1/2" thick rubber mat cut to match the bottom of the bucket used as a spacer under the bucket. 1/4"-20 round head screw and lock washer used to secure the bucket to the tumbler.

    Two 1/2" pieces of plywood glued together for the base; one with a round cut out to match the base of the tumbler.

    2-3/8" pieces of all thread with nuts and two small pieces of sheetmetal bent in an S shape to hold the bucket upright and adjust the amount of vibration.
    Use the bucket lid to keep all confined when running, although that is not much of a problem.

    If you buy all thread go to the electrical conduit department in the home stores instead of buying short pieces in hardware. It is a lot cheaper in electrical; they usually have 1/4", 3/8" & 1/2".

    I made two. I already had two small tumblers that went unused after I purchased my Dillon 2000 tumbler. The first one took several hours to make as I figured out what and how to make it work. The second one took almost no time at all.

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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