Stainless Steel Media and Harbor Freight Rock Tumbler

Discussion in 'Reloading Forum (All Calibers)' started by bsekf, May 11, 2012.

  1. bsekf

    bsekf

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    I see where Harbor Freight has a small, 3-4 pound, rock tumbler. Have any of you used one with SS media to clean small quanities of brass?
     
  2. John11-87

    John11-87 Site $$ Contributor

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    I use their dual drum tumbler with as media. Works like a dream. I run 50 6 brx brass in each drum along with a little over a pound of as media, teaspoon of dawn dish soap,a dash of Lemi-shine, and water. Put every thing in then fill to the top of the drum with water. I usually tumble over night for real dirty brass, 6-10 hrs, brass comes out spotless clean. Good luck getting a tumbler though, they are back ordered until September, only chance at one is if a local harbor freight would have one on hand!

    Hope this helps,

    John
     
  3. markm87

    markm87

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    The one thing I've noticed.... and I'm not sure if it make a difference.... is that the motor speed on the Thumler that is sold for brass tumbling is a high speed motor.

    Not sure if you need a faster tumble to get the desired results or what.... but...

    As far as "small quantities", I already feel like the capacity on my Thumler is very small. Anything less, and it would hardly be worth firing up the machine, soap, lemishine, etc.
     
  4. John11-87

    John11-87 Site $$ Contributor

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    The harbor freight tumbler is sort of slow, so that's why I tumble a little longer than suggested, and I seem to get good results. How many brass do you do at a time in your thumbler mark? I just figured when I started using stainless media that if I put more brass in at one time I would just run it longer and it would equal out ;D. Might not be the right way but it seems to work!
     
  5. markm87

    markm87

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    It depends... I'll mix calibers if I don't have a full batch... but generally about 80 pieces of 308, 130 pieces of 223... can't remember how many .45s..

    I have trays that I just fill up to a certain level and visually check the amount without counting.

    The additional time makes sense if you load it higher.
     
  6. Alex Wheeler

    Alex Wheeler Site $$ Contributor

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    Things like t-shirts and electronics, I can understand. They just arn't made here anymore. But something that is readily available and not all that expensive like thumblers tumbler, why not keep your money in the USA rather than supporting a country that wants nothing more that to destroy our economy and in-debt us to them? Buy American. It matters.
     
  7. amlevin

    amlevin

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    Likewise here. I keep my matched cases separate and if I don't have a full load of them, just a box of 50, I'll toss them in with just about anything else I have waiting to be cleaned, even same caliber as long as it has different headstamps. Just remember to keep the 9mm, 40 S&W, and .45 ACP separate or the cases come out looking like Matryoshka dolls (Russian Nesting Dolls) 8) 8)
     
  8. markm87

    markm87

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    Yep. I can mix 45acp with my .308 and not get cases stuck since they've got the same case head. Usually I'll have 20-30 belted mag cases that I'll mix with .223 or .308. Works fine.
     
  9. John11-87

    John11-87 Site $$ Contributor

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    Zfastmalibu,

    I definitely agree with you to a point on your opinion of buying American made products, but we're not gonna start a debate about that here. I guess, if you are wondering why I purchased a tumbler cheaper than the thumblers brand, it was due to the fact that I has no experience with the ss media. I don't know anybody that I shoot with, or anybody that I reload with that had used the media. I would have been very disappointed if I would have bought a 200$ tumbler only to find out the media destroyed my brass or didnt clean it any better than my methods I use now. I would rather give the neighbor kids a 40$ rock tumbler to play around with, because it didn't work for me, than give away a 200$ one. Looking back now i I could do it all again, knowing how good the ss media works, would I have bought a thumbler? Yes. Will I most likely be purchasing one in the next couple of years? Yes.

    John
     
  10. Rustystud

    Rustystud Site $$ Sponsor

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    Harbor Freight sells an electric motor powered plastic cement mixer. Remove the mixing paddles. use carriage bolts with grizzly washers under them to seal up the holes. Use a sudzsless detergent and stainless media. I tumble about 50 lbs of brass at a time. When you finish tip the tub enough to drain off the liquid crud. Refill with clean hot water a run for another 5 minutes. Stand the drum up vertical. wearing nitrile gloves remove the brass hand rinsing out the media. I throw mine on a screen and with it still hot it dries almost instantly. I have used the same mixer with walnut hulls with a little mineral spirits also.
    Nat Lambeth
     
  11. amlevin

    amlevin

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    After all the feedback on all the forums? This stuff isn't new, it's been used in the metal working and Jewelry industry for years.

    Even the Review of the product posted on this Website should have been revealing enough.
     
  12. John11-87

    John11-87 Site $$ Contributor

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    What can I say im a skeptic ::). I reccomend it to everyone I see now!

    John
     
  13. amlevin

    amlevin

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    Do you perchance live in Missouri? ??? 8) 8)
     
  14. John11-87

    John11-87 Site $$ Contributor

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    Haha just a little ways north. MN.


    John
     

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