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Thread: Not sure if it's been posted before, cleaning SS media

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Phat Man Mike's Avatar
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    Not sure if it's been posted before, cleaning SS media

    How often does anyone clean their media pins? Was tumbling some brass this afternoon and when I rinsed it, had a blue tint on my brass and fingers. Nothing has changed in ny routine. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks Phatmike.

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
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    I just put the pins in the tumbler with a double dose of Dawn some lemishine and hot water, then run for about 1/2 hour. Rinse in clear cold water and it's all nice and clean. I do this about every 4 to 5 cleanings of brass.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master


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    I never do. Seems to me this is like washing the inside of your washing machine or dishwasher. In any case I have never had any problem with my pins getting dirty in the 3 years i have been using a wet tumbler.

  4. #4
    Boolit Buddy Phat Man Mike's Avatar
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    I've been using this thumbler tumbler for over 6 years. This is the 1st time my brass wasn't super clean and shiny. I rinsed my pins with clean cold water till the pins where clean. Guess this weekend I'll just do the pins for 20 or so minutes.
    Again thanks to everyone for their help.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    Might have been something on/in the brass. Steel cases will tint your cases a bit pinkish, maybe aluminum or nickle???
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  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    After about 20 loads or so I'll tumble just the pins in water and a small squirt of dish soap. You will be surprised how dirty the water is when you dump it out and rise off the pins. They will be much more shiny and clean.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy Phat Man Mike's Avatar
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    I sort my cases, any steel case gets hit with a hammer. Any nickel gets tosed in its own bucket. I'm thinking it might have been long overdue for their own bath. Lol ��

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    It does make a difference washing your pins. One batch came out weird, dull brass that wouldn't shine up. I ran them again with new pins and that did it, all clean and shiny.
    I ran the dirty pins with dawn and hot water, cleaned them right up. The next batch with the old pins came out great.

    Slim
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    NOT MY PROBLEM ANYMORE

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Most of us use Dawn and LemiShine (plus Wash'n'Wax, maybe), so I think the variances in results are likely due to the water. My untreated well water is record setting high in hardness and nastiness. It's much better after softening, but still not quite potable until run through the reverse osmosis system. A little extra LemiShine helps me since I use water from the softener.

    Certainly, it's a good idea to wash new pins to get rid of the manufacturing lubes and dirt.

  10. #10
    Boolit Man


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    I have found that dull brass was caused by not enough soap. Now I use “too much” soap and the brass looks better than new. YMMV
    Link to leave feedback for me.

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brass&Lead View Post
    I have found that dull brass was caused by not enough soap. Now I use “too much” soap and the brass looks better than new. YMMV
    I had plenty of dawn, suds throughout the tumbling session but I'm afraid I may have also put too much Lemi-Shine in it also causing some leaching in the brass. Heck, I really don't know what caused it, but once I cleaned the pins, the issue went away.

    Slim
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  12. #12
    Boolit Buddy
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    A lot of people use too much lemishine and then say "SS pin tumbling causes problems".
    depending on the size of your drum, something like 1 or 2 9mm cases full (about a 1/4 teaspoon)
    is about right. too much and you end up with pink brass.
    in this case, less or more.

    extras soap is a good thing. just need to rinse it well.

    also, after you stop the tumbling, dont let the brass sit in the mix for more than a few minutes.
    that also can cause tarnished/dull/pink brass.

    make sure there are no steel cases in the mix. also dont screw the inner drum paddles on using
    plain steel or zinc plated plain steel screws/bolts/nuts/washers.
    the exposed carbon steel will rust when exposed to the water+lemishine and put a dull brown crud
    on all your brass.

    using soap that has wax in it (i.e. wash-n-wax car soap) will pull a fine layer of wax on your brass
    (you can feel it on the dried brass)
    and keep it from tarnishing for quite a while. the wax also will help as a lube when sizing the brass.
    if you use a non-wax soap (like plain dawn) the brass gets so clean on the surface and
    tends to be sticky when sizing and increase the force needed to size the brass.
    this will also contribute to brass galling and brass building up on the inside of your sizing die and
    on your mouth belling die.

  13. #13
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    I rinse the pins well after a few loads, never do a specific cleaning on them.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy Phat Man Mike's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the good information. I'm still using the wing nuts supplied by Thumblers. And I pull the drum and go right to rising my brass.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy
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    I apologize for resurrecting an old thread. The brass I wash is often very filthy, not just the usual carbon and soot from being once fired. I tumble deprimed cases in SS pins with a squirt of car wash-wax soap and approx 1/4 tsp of citric acid powder. I use very hot water, approx 130F. After tumbling for 1-2 hrs, depending on how dirty they were to start, I drain and rinse thoroughly in cold water. I use cold water so that I don't rinse the wax off of the sparkling clean cases. I will wash the pins in a mixture of ZEP purple cleaner, or something similar, by simply pouring about a quarter cup of it on the pins then adding about a quart of very hot water. I just swish them around with a plastic spoon or gloved hand as the ZEP purple cleaner will quickly strip the skin oil from my bare hands and leave them very chapped. I wash the pins every 3-6 loads of cases.

  16. #16
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have experienced some blue coloring on my wet tumbled brass also. I think it is from hard well water that has trace amounts of iron in the water.

  17. #17
    AKA: GRMPS Conditor22's Avatar
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    Nasty/filthy brass gets a quick tumble, rinse well (including pins, I dump it all in the top of my rotary media separator in the sink and agitate the brass/pins with my had with the water running pouring of dirty water until the water stays clear) then gets the normal tumbling.

    I also rinse like this after finished tumbling. Then I run the brass and pins through my media separator (gets 99.9% of the pins out of the brass) Finally I dunk the brass in a bucket of car cash/wax and water, rinse lightly, media separator again to remove water, dump on a towel to remove any water from the outside, onto food dehydrator trays and into food dehydrator to dry.




  18. #18
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    Wow! Hard to argue with success! That brass looks great!

    DG

  19. #19
    Boolit Master



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    Uh, my wife has two food dehydrators and just finished making a double batch of jerky and dried fruits. Try as hard as I may, I can't seem to convince her that cleaning brass is a legitimate use...............

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