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SS Tumbling Media Q's

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by thorborg, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I have all the parts to make a brass tumbler to use Stainless Steel media. I have some nagging questions if any care to opine:
    1. Are all pins in a given size range equal?
    In researching online for the most economical source, I find a difference in the quality of the pin ends. Whether due to worn shear dies, or lack of a finish de-burring operation, I'm wondering if those pins with a visible end burr will adversely affect, enhance or have no effect on my brass polishing effort. (They are a lower cost.)
    2. Container size verses pin and brass ratio?
    My home brew version utilizes a one gallon heavy wall, plastic chemical jar. (roughly 5 1/2" dia. X 10" tall) My batch expectations are for 60 to 80 45-70 brass but also do regular batches of 45 colt among others, I can adjust the quantity down if too many for my jar.

    Given the lightest brass load for that jar size which in turn (I assume) means the largest media volume:
    How many pounds of pins to buy is hard to visualize. 4 to 5 pounds?? Having not seen this media, pictorially it doesn't look like much volume in 1 pound. I'm guessing less than cup?
    My dad did some rock polishing when I was a very young and one thing I remember him saying was the rocks must tumble in the media, but not fall, or they could chip or crack against themselves. To accomplish this, he would ensure the rocks were fairly equal in size and adjust the volume of them and or the polishing media.
    Obviously my brass is not going to chip or crack but the tumbling verses falling still applies to maximize the media contact and polishing action.
    Thanks for your time and advice.
    Thor
     
    orygun likes this.
  2. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Go ahead and look at this video, also look at the related vids for review and unboxing.

    On top of the info you'll get from there as to what they recommend, you can see how much it holds and how much media they include for that use.

    Frankford Arsenal Platinum Rotary Tumbler:
     
  3. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for the video.
    One down One to go. Hitting pause, the carton read 7 liter so nearly twice my container size making 3 pounds more than enough.
    Now if anyone has info on the pin quality that's the last thing I must acquire. Of course, I could buy Midway or the like, but I found other sources that have .047 x .250 pins @ maybe 20% lower cost with free shipping. If their product with the tiny burs are acceptable.
    NO, I'd rather say frugal.
     
  4. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    How do those prices compare with the 'reload' pack from Rockford? They do sell them as spares if you need them.

    I doubt that burrs would cause issues on the brass, with the possible exception of scratches, but more likely just possible issues with the burrs getting hung up on primer pockets etc.
     
  5. Reno911

    Reno911 Hillsboro Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Mine had burrs at first. Wore out with use. Never caused any issues with the brass.
     
  6. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Not to hi-jack this thread, but can you use stainless steel in a vibrator style "tumbler"? Also, what's the benefit of stainless steel pins versus regular media?
     
  7. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Stainless pretty much doesn't wear out, and i don't know that they'd work in a vibrator, though i'm honestly not sure.
     
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  8. deadeye

    deadeye Albany,OR. Moderator Staff Member

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    orygun likes this.
  9. P7id10T

    P7id10T Cedar Hills Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The benefit I've seen is you clean your brass inside and out, plus the primer pocket and flash hole. Mine come out with a clean brass matte finish. I find I SS tumble for less time than vibrate with walnut.
     
  10. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    I'm not sure about Rockford, but as for Frankford pins they are $45.99 for 5 # plus $19.67 slow boat to china shipping; totaling $65.66 where as this ad claims : $36.50 in four days.
    upload_2015-1-29_6-28-6.png
     
  11. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    My research said the mass is too heavy to suspend and agitate with the SS media in a vibratory only device.
     
  12. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    AH! that was what I was hoping and it makes sense that the pins would eventually deburr themselves making the low cost the way to go.
    Thanks All for the banter, I believe were all a little brighter now. (pun intended)
     
  13. F2CMaDMaXX

    F2CMaDMaXX West of Portland from England Bullet goes where now? Staff Member Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Ooops, yes, Frankford.... :)

    One of the main reasons i'm looking to get that Frankford rotary (despite my low level of reloading (planned)) is due to the longevity of the media and the massive amount of time cut out of the process for a much cleaner job.
     
  14. thorborg

    thorborg portland oregon Well-Known Member 2015 Volunteer 2016 Volunteer

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    Normally I'd be there with you but I'm a die hard widget builder which enhances my ability to thrive. I have everything necessary to build a low volume tumbler (except the pins) that's why I am building instead of buying. Otherwise, I would buy also. I started out with a Tupperware screwed to a faceplate on my variable speed wood lathe with home harvested walnut shells ground up by my daughters using momma's hand cranked coffee grinder. (she wasn't happy) Threw in some powdered rouge and was polishing my 270 shells 20 at a time back in 1978 which was totally compatible with my simple Lee hand loader. As the calibers grew, that soon went from fun to a slow chore.
    I bought the vibratory unit I use now without regrets and with cob and walnut media at such low cost and polishing compounds from Ed's house of gems, I've been pleased, externally, but have wanted the unseen clean also, which isn't happening with that method.
    The Frankford looks like a good, rugged unit, sized about right for you and I. Compact stowage, and I especially like the dual end caps plus the screens. I don't believe you can go wrong with it. Thumblers Tumblers while a Cadillac for sure, would be an overkill for low volume service for folks like you and me.
    By the Bye, four, sometimes five calibers loaded monthly later, I still use the Lee Hand loaders as I neck size as much as possible, albeit they are not ten bucks any more.
     
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  15. PDXSparky

    PDXSparky Keizer / Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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