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Thread: Polishing nickel deposits off a carbide sizer

  1. #21
    Boolit Master

    nicholst55's Avatar
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    What brand is the sizing die? If it has a lifetime guarantee, I think I'd be contacting the manufacturer. But that's just me.
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  2. #22
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    Jetinteriorguy: I’m thinking the deposits aren’t brass, given how they only showed up after working with these particular gray cases, and after 100K regular yellow brass through the die not doing the same.

    Country gent: like using a dental scraper? Maybe I could scrape with a Dremel burr by hand, mounted on a file handle. Edit: I think I found what you’re talking about. Not very expensive on line and more appropriate to the task than my jury rigged proposal. I see straight and hooked blades. Straight seems best for the inside flats of the ring where I see the lines of galling.

    Nicholst55: the die is fine. It’s just that there’s hard to remove crud on it. Not Dillon’s fault, but mine for running a couple thousand funky looking cases through it without lube.

    I should admit that the lines of galling do seem a little fainter after all I tried before, but I still feel some roughness when running the end of a wire around the carbide ring interior. Trial sizing notes less marking, especially on lubed cases. Am I right in thinking that galling tends to progress unless removed completely?
    Last edited by kevin c; 07-04-2022 at 01:54 PM.

  3. #23
    Boolit Master bruce381's Avatar
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    Hi Kevin

    I have used a cheapo diamond plated dremel polishing tip from amazon comes in various sizes.
    Works well diamond is about only thing that can polish carbide and amount if any removed will not be measurable.
    I would be more worried about the loose carbide ring than anything, but 9mm dies are hard to find at a decent price right now.

  4. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    Jetinteriorguy: I’m thinking the deposits aren’t brass, given how they only showed up after working with these particular gray cases, and after 100K regular yellow brass through the die not doing the same.

    Country gent: like using a dental scraper? Maybe I could scrape with a Dremel burr by hand, mounted on a file handle. Edit: I think I found what you’re talking about. Not very expensive on line and more appropriate to the task than my jury rigged proposal. I see straight and hooked blades. Straight seems best for the inside flats of the ring where I see the lines of galling.

    Nicholst55: the die is fine. It’s just that there’s hard to remove crud on it. Not Dillon’s fault, but mine for running a couple thousand funky looking cases through it without lube.

    I should admit that the lines of galling do seem a little fainter after all I tried before, but I still feel some roughness when running the end of a wire around the carbide ring interior. Trial sizing notes less marking, especially on lubed cases. Am I right in thinking that galling tends to progress unless removed completely?
    Ah, silly me. Your reply in post #18 was stuck in my head, I now realize you were replying to the previous post, not referring to your situation.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brassmonkey View Post
    Looking at the ones I pulled out during the washing & tumbling process. I wonder if an xrf scan would be of any value. Just what are we dealing with?

    Attachment 301744
    What we're dealing with is straight wall case resizing dies without being specific about that. Your photo is looking at cast bullet lubracator/sizing dies.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevin c View Post
    ... the die is fine. It’s just that there’s hard to remove crud on it. Not Dillon’s fault, but mine for running a couple thousand funky looking cases through it without lube.
    The "problem" is that even carbide sizers need some small amount of lube. Dry, hospital clean and shiney cases simply aren't what TC dies need. Carbide sizers came before viberator cleaning and polishing which removed the tiny bit of condensed smoke and traces of bullet lube on fired cases so the claimed "no lube needed" was true at the time! But, with the eventual arrival of tumblers, that time has changed and a little case lube helps, a lot.

    Sadly, few of today's gurus tell anyone any difference ... and I suspect a lot of them just think their own dies have been scratched by 'dirty cases'!

    Am I right in thinking that galling tends to progress unless removed completely?
    You are right. Each bit of die wall galling attracts a bit more metal each time it's used and the 'scratches' keep growing.

  7. #27
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    Scrapping is when I take junk metal to Cunningham Recycling and sell it to them by the pound. Scraping is using an edged tool to scrape anything from the surface it is on, whether it be brass in a die or icing on a cake. Of course the icing can be scraped off with a finger or spoon.
    Last edited by ulav8r; 07-05-2022 at 11:25 PM. Reason: corrected spelling of off
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1hole View Post
    What we're dealing with is straight wall case resizing dies without being specific about that. Your photo is looking at cast bullet lubracator/sizing dies.
    My photo Terrible as it is, is of the purple win training ammo brass that I pulled out at different points of the washing & tumbling process.

    Right to left
    Untouched
    First wash
    Longer wash
    Tumble
    Longer tumble
    End of tumble

    What we are dealing with is a brass case with 4 layers of stuff on them. Now some of that stuff is stuck in op's die.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brassmonkey View Post
    My photo Terrible as it is, is of the purple win training ammo brass that I pulled out at different points of the washing & tumbling process.
    Ah, I stand corrected and see it now.

    I didn't have my reading glasses at the time and thought your photo was of a collection of dirty Lyman bullet sizer dies.

  10. #30
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    Being familiar with the metal finishing industry, I'm reading posts in this thread regarding the use of citric acid to clean cases. While mild or buffered acids can be used to clean and de-tarnish / deoxidize brass, PLEASE TAKE NOTE that acids will remove plating, including nickel. In fact, it is common rework practice in plating shops to briefly soak substandardly plated parts in acid to strip them for replating.

    Exposing nickle-plated cartridge cases to acid is asking for trouble.

    Noah

  11. #31
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    Noah Zark:

    I know from personal use that a very few drops of pool acid (HCl 28-36% or a bit under molar concentration) is enough to rapidly take the tarnish off a FART drum’s worth of regular yellow brass; way too strong and hard to control. I switched to citric acid as what I thought was an orders of magnitude less aggressive alternative.

    I was under the impression that nickel plating was put on for corrosion resistance. With that and the weaker acid I never considered I might be chemically stripping the nickel.

    I’ve personally seen this color change with citric acid wet tumbling only with Winchester purple nickel, though I’ve found Tula pistol cases looking the same (steel?). No issues that I’ve found with other nickel cases cleaned the same way.

    Update: there are still visible lines on the interior of the sizer, but, lubed, there isn’t any scoring on the cases. I’ll finish sizing what remains of the gray brass. I’m determined to get the galling out, so I’ll go back to it afterwards. I’m planning on trying sand paper on tight dowels or maybe even diamond paste on felt. If it builds up badly again I’ll try a scraper first.
    Last edited by kevin c; 07-08-2022 at 03:49 AM.

  12. #32
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    Silicon carbide sand paper would probably cut the nickel from the die much more quickly than most others, diamond would also cut the carbide.
    Spell check doesn't work in Chrome, so if something is spelled wrong, it's just a typo that I missed.

  13. #33
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    Well, fine valve grinding compound on felt polishing bits chucked into a drill did absolutely nothing (that’s usually carborundum, right?). I think 1500 grit diamond compound is next. I’ll be slow and careful.

  14. #34
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    I have a Dillon 41 mag die that’s galling, they suggest 600 grit paper rolled up to clean it up…and to return it if that fails.

    I wouldn’t go for a finer and harder grinding compound. The galling is not carbide, you don’t need something that will cut carbide to remove it.

  15. #35
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    Update.

    With the carbide ring now held tight by green Loctite, I chucked a split 3/8” dowel in a hand drill and wrapped enough 800 grit carborundum paper through the slit and around the dowel to make a snug fit in the ring. Repeated low speed short pulses until quite warm followed by cooling, totaling five minutes running time, made the lines lighten a little more than all the prior approaches together. The haze was not changed at all.

    I decided to risk using diamond grit. I put a dab of 25% 1500 grit on the already used carborundum paper still on the dowel and ran only 5 three second pulses at low enough rpm’s that there was no heating of the die body, though the oil based paste liquified and immediately turned black. Wiped clean, the ring now had no lines at all, and was smooth with a light matte surface. I then used a bit of 25% 5000 grit on VFG pellets (9mm version, which I think are 9.3mm) also a snug fit, and ran that on screw jag chucked in the drill for about 30 seconds. It came out a little blackened, but now the carbide ring interior is mirror bright and completely free of any visible galling.

    So the diamond grit was fast and effective, but maybe too much of each. I don’t think I hogged out the die, but, compared to the slow, laborious and relatively ineffective techniques I tried first, the diamond grit definitely needs a light, cautious touch with very short run time (at least with the grit sizes and concentrations I used; maybe lower concentrations and finer grits would be less aggressive).

    Thanks to all for your help. I now have a useable die that I will run only lubed nickel brass through (;^]).
    Last edited by kevin c; 07-19-2022 at 12:16 PM.

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