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Thread: Stainless Steel tumbling advice - what cleaner to add?

  1. #1

    Stainless Steel tumbling advice - what cleaner to add?

    I've just ordered a stainless wet tumbler kit.

    Having read up online as to what people add to their 'mixes' lemi shine seems to be favourite but it's not easily available in the UK from what I can see.

    Is there a easily available alternative?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Sauer_202_6.5x55 View Post
    I've just ordered a stainless wet tumbler kit.

    Having read up online as to what people add to their 'mixes' lemi shine seems to be favourite but it's not easily available in the UK from what I can see.

    Is there a easily available alternative?
    Lemishine is just citric acid with lemon oil to make it smell nice.. you can buy citric acid granules easily... try ebay.... http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Classikool...4AAOSwAuNW3WxN

    For best results.... (and I have tried lots).... de-cap and put brass and pins in drum.. no more than 100 .308 size, preferably less... 70 is a good number.. many more and you wont get as good results.

    Fill drum to an inch from the top with hot tap water (not boiling) just hot tap water. 3 healthy squirts of Fairy original (you don't want any fancy stuff as it will contain other stuff that will coat the brass) and a heaped teaspoon of citric acid crystals.

    Fasten lid and run overnight or, if you don't fancy running it overnight, run for a good 6 hours.

    Because you used hot water, a vacuum will have been created meaning the lid may need prying off with the rounded handle of a spoon etc,

    drain the (by now) filthy water but leave the brass and pins in the drum.. run like warm water into the drum and let it overflow in the sink whilst agitating the pins and brass with your hand until all traces of detergent have gone. make sure you dig down and get right to the bottom.

    This is the important bit.. with the drum full of water turn each case upside down and the pins will flow out like water.. If you don't do it this way as soon as you take the case out of the water, surface tension will take over and you will get pins stuck inside the cases.. Then lay them on a tea towel to get the thick of the water off.. quick visual inspection to make sure there are no pins inside. If you followed my instructions it is extremely unlikely but you should always check.

    All that is left is to dry them... You could leave them on a windowsill for a day or 2 or put them in the oven on it's lowest setting for 20 mins or so but neither is ideal... do yourself a favour and invest in one of these... http://www.lakeland.co.uk/14210/My-K...ood-Dehydrator it will take a couple of hundred cases, will dry them in an hour inside and out and with no risk of overheating them or tarnishing the brass. Best thing I bought!! plus, you can use it to make Venison Jerky too!!!!
    Last edited by Vipa; 08-08-2016 at 13:04.

  3. #3
    I only run my cases in the wet tumbler for about an hour - seem to get good results.


  4. #4
    Citric acid is only there to neutralize the limescale, does no cleaning by itself. Household washing detergent or a half cheapo dishwasher tab will be fine.
    A young man who isn't a socialist hasn't got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn't got a head.
    I have summat for sale; here's the M̶i̶d̶w̶a̶y̶ Brownells UK price... effin jokers.
    "The .30-'06 is unstable at close range" - Ahahahahhahh!


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Sauer90 View Post
    Citric acid is only there to neutralize the limescale, does no cleaning by itself. Household washing detergent or a half cheapo dishwasher tab will be fine.
    lots of other nasty chemicals in dishwasher tabs! And the citric acid does make a huge difference... fairy plus lemishine vs fairy alone make for much shinier, cleaner looking brass
    Last edited by Vipa; 08-08-2016 at 13:03.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by 1066 View Post
    I only run my cases in the wet tumbler for about an hour - seem to get good results.

    Probably all it needs with only a handful of cases... the more cases, the longer they need.. I found that with 100 cases in there, 4 hours (which is what they recommend) wasn't quite enough so I just set it up at bed time and leave it running overnight... nice shiny brass when I get up in the morning!

  7. #7
    4 hours!!
    what tumbler do you use?

    I use a 5kg hexagonal drum tumbler, with hot tap water, teaspoon of citric acid and a squirt of fairy. full load of 44mag, 303, 357, 9mm, or 7.5 swiss (never mix calibres, 9mm stuck in 44mag with pins around it is a b'stard) has never needed an hour to be perfect. usually run it for 20mins, sample, then run another 20 if they weren't quite there

  8. #8
    Vipa is on the money. I don't get much scale so I don't use lemi shine. But something I have noticed. If you put your brass in without depriming. Then clean and dry in oven I found I don't need to neck lube before depriming. Downside is I repeat process to clean pockets. Means they get 2x2hrs or four all up. So I do a big batch at a time. Don't mix 223 and 9.3x74r either, they'll get stuck in each other.
    Blaser K95 Stutzen - the ultimate deer stalking rifle

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Sauer90 View Post
    Citric acid is only there to neutralize the limescale, does no cleaning by itself. Household washing detergent or a half cheapo dishwasher tab will be fine.
    Are you saying that if I use a citric acid solution with distilled/de-ionised/de-mineralised water no cleaning action will take place?

  10. #10
    Sheesh, what do you think does the cleaning?

    I'll give you a clue - It is the Stainless Steel Pins - a mechanical abrasive process.
    No detergent really needed, just speeds up the process, no citric needed it just neutralizes the lime-scale no white stains when dry.

    Some guys just cannot see the wood for the trees...
    A young man who isn't a socialist hasn't got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn't got a head.
    I have summat for sale; here's the M̶i̶d̶w̶a̶y̶ Brownells UK price... effin jokers.
    "The .30-'06 is unstable at close range" - Ahahahahhahh!


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