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I have the Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler that I use to clean my brass. It uses the stainless steel pins. It's worked great for the past couple of years but I've noticed that on occasion, the brass doesn't have that shine like it used to when it comes out of the tumbler.

I'm not sure if this tumbler's quality is inconsistent or if that batch of brass was extra dirty or if the stainless steel media itself needs to be cleaned (which is what I'm guessing)? Can all of you tell me about your experience?

Do the steel pins need to be cleaned? Ever? If so, how do all of you clean the media itself? I've come up with very few useful things in my pathetic Google search.

Or maybe the rotary barrel itself needs to be cleaned on the inside? I appreciate any thoughts from all of you.
 
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I think initially the pins have nice sharp edges on the ends, and over time they kind of round over. They still work great at cleaning. This is just a theory of mine ;)

I don't think they ever need to be cleaned as long are you rinse them off. Every time you tumble you brass, you are cleaning the pins also.

Ron
 

jordanka16

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I never clean mine, I leave them in the tumbler damp even, always cleans cases just fine.

I'm sure the barrel gets cleaned every time you tumble anything.

I vote for what camelfilter said, adjust your formula a little.
 

DizzyJ

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Self cleaning.

It's probably the brass or cleaning solution that needs tweaking.
 
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I think initially the pins have nice sharp edges on the ends, and over time they kind of round over. They still work great at cleaning. This is just a theory of mine ;)

I don't think they ever need to be cleaned as long are you rinse them off. Every time you tumble you brass, you are cleaning the pins also.

Ron
Yes, the pins start out as wire and are chopped/sheared off to length.
The shearing leaves burs and sharp edges.
New pins would get you back to cleaner/shinier brass.
sorry for the echo,
:D
 

Dyjital

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Define shine.

Maybe too much LemiShine or not enough soap.

Clean pins by adding soap and shine (little) and tumble them by themselves for a while.
 
I made the mistake early on of trying some different types of metal polish in the tumbler water. I had a metal polish/wax, the brand of which slips my mind at the moment. Boy was that a mistake! The entire inside of the drum, the brass itself, and all of the pins were coated with the gross, sticky, black residue that was just horrible. Fortunately, another run with fresh water and a good shot of Dawn got it all cleaned off the brass and then I ran the drum and the pins one more time with another batch of fresh water and Dawn just to clean everything that was left from the pins and the inside of the drum. I chalked that up as a learning experience and have settled with a health shot of Dawn and a smidgen of LemiShine. Seems to work great.

That's the only time however that I have ever worried about cleaning the pins.
 
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:s0101:
I can vouch for Crohnos01's reloading experience. He knows what he is talking about. I have the Frankford Arsenal rotary tumbler as well and I clean the pins by themselves after I run brass through with some dawn dish soap. It makes a difference for me since my water is pretty hard. Let the water dry on something here and you are left with a white powdery residue. So the dawn on the pins by themselves makes a difference for my brass but I attribute that to the hard water. just my 2 cents. I have also made the mistake with the polish and the black residue. The Frankford Arsenal packets don't compare to the dawn though.
 
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How do the pins hold up to the impact? Are your pins small enough to fit through flashhole? Ceramic seems like it would breakdown quickly.

Been using the ceramic pins for a very long time. They are extremely hard, and show no signs of wear. Unlike SS pins, the ceramic have squared off ends, so if there was any rounding over on the ends I'd see that wear pretty quickly. Still using the same ceramic media I bought a decade ago.
They are large enough to not fit into primer flash holes, which I like. Many of my friends who use SS pins tell me they get stuck in the flash holes, and sometimes get stuck inside cases and break decapping pins if thye don't catch it.
 
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I have the Frankford Arsenal wet tumbler that I use to clean my brass. It uses the stainless steel pins. It's worked great for the past couple of years but I've noticed that on occasion, the brass doesn't have that shine like it used to when it comes out of the tumbler.

I'm not sure if this tumbler's quality is inconsistent or if that batch of brass was extra dirty or if the stainless steel media itself needs to be cleaned (which is what I'm guessing)? Can all of you tell me about your experience?

Do the steel pins need to be cleaned? Ever? If so, how do all of you clean the media itself? I've come up with very few useful things in my pathetic Google search.

Or maybe the rotary barrel itself needs to be cleaned on the inside? I appreciate any thoughts from all of you.
Lots of rinsing.

I rinse the pins after every tumbling run until the water runs clear. Takes three through five rinses to get the pins cleaned.

Also rinse the tub.

If you don’t rinse the residual gunk off them it just goes back in the tub with the dirty brass.

I also prerinse the brass themselves if they are muddy or whatnot.
 
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Been using the ceramic pins for a very long time. They are extremely hard, and show no signs of wear. Unlike SS pins, the ceramic have squared off ends, so if there was any rounding over on the ends I'd see that wear pretty quickly. Still using the same ceramic media I bought a decade ago.
They are large enough to not fit into primer flash holes, which I like. Many of my friends who use SS pins tell me they get stuck in the flash holes, and sometimes get stuck inside cases and break decapping pins if thye don't catch it.

Read your post and...
I went looking for ceramic tumbling media to see what it's all about:
ceramic tumbling media | eBay

I can't get my head around ceramics having an advantage over SS pins, only the disadvantage of not being able to collect them with a magnet.
I use a $2 paint strainer mesh bag to collect the separated pins but still need to chase some with a magnet.:s0054:
Do you have a process for separating/collecting the ceramics you use?

There are larger SS pins now, marketed to NOT get stuck in cases.
That said, I hate using pins and have been on a quest to find some additive that will clean primer pockets, wet tumbling WITHOUT pins.
I have a long list of common garage/house cleaning stuff that DOES NOT work and have run out of dirty brass to test others now...too cold to shoot/make more :rolleyes:
:D
 
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Read your post and...
I went looking for ceramic tumbling media to see what it's all about:
ceramic tumbling media | eBay

I can't get my head around ceramics having an advantage over SS pins, only the disadvantage of not being able to collect them with a magnet.
I use a $2 paint strainer mesh bag to collect the separated pins but still need to chase some with a magnet.:s0054:
Do you have a process for separating/collecting the ceramics you use?

:D

Yes, I use the same rotary separator I used back when I had a vibratory tumbler. I put it on a bucket, dump brass and media into the rotary separator, and just crank it until all the media is separated. Then drain the water off the media and dump it back into my wet tumbler. Never had any ceramic media stay in the brass.
None of the stuff I see in your Ebay link looks like what I use. The ceramic media I use is cylindrical, about 1/8" or slightly smaller diameter, and 1/4" long. It's white, so easy to see if it's getting dirty, and then just rinse it in hot water and use again.

This media is close to what I use, but slightly smaller diameter and length.
Ceramic Porcelain Tumbling Media 1 Lb. 2.5 mm X 8 mm Polishing Pins Non-Abrasive 744633331185 | eBay
 
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DizzyJ

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Interesting. I've seen several different shapes and sizes of ceramic listed. Don't think I've ever seen that one!

Yes, I use the same rotary separator I used back when I had a vibratory tumbler. I put it on a bucket, dump brass and media into the rotary separator, and just crank it until all the media is separated. Then drain the water off the media and dump it back into my wet tumbler. Never had any ceramic media stay in the brass.
None of the stuff I see in your Ebay link looks like what I use. The ceramic media I use is cylindrical, about 1/8" or slightly smaller diameter, and 1/4" long. It's white, so easy to see if it's getting dirty, and then just rinse it in hot water and use again.

This media is close to what I use, but slightly smaller diameter and length.
Ceramic Porcelain Tumbling Media 1 Lb. 2.5 mm X 8 mm Polishing Pins Non-Abrasive 744633331185 | eBay
 
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