Cleaning brass, moving away from ultrasonic ?

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
My ultrasonic cleaner is faulty, and this has led me to considering moving to an alternate way of cleaning my brass. So, what are people finding to be good/effective/least hassle etc ?
 

Alantoo

Well-Known Member
My ultrasonic cleaner is faulty, and this has led me to considering moving to an alternate way of cleaning my brass. So, what are people finding to be good/effective/least hassle etc ?
I rather think you have two options another Ultrasonic, or a tumbler/rumbler.

Although both are pretty much hands off, I like the fact that I can have the cases clean after a 10 minute U/S session with a teaspoon full of citric acid and drop of washing up liquid. I bought one of the Chinese Stainless steel machines, 10 litre GT sonic...it is big enough to take a Briggs and Stratton carburettor and is 240W U/S. It may not be as quick with a lower powered machine.

The rumblers and Tumblers I gather take considerably longer. The advantage if you use dry media with them is the lack of rinsing and drying time.

If you use the stainless needles in a wet system you have all the disadvantages of the rinsing and drying without the speed of the U/S, but probably the shiniest brass.

Alan
 

nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
For me least hassle is dry tumbling with crushed walnut media in 0.5mm-1.0mm size. doesn't block the flash holes and pours out the cases with ease and no need to dry brass with other forms of wet tumbling.
 

jcampbellsmith

Well-Known Member
My ultrasonic cleaner is faulty, and this has led me to considering moving to an alternate way of cleaning my brass. So, what are people finding to be good/effective/least hassle etc ?
A small wet steel pins tumbler at the start of the process and then ultrasonic clean as the last step in prepping my brass. I run with batches of 50 x 260 Rem cases and try to keep the 50 together for their entire live.

Regards JCS
 

Xtrema

Well-Known Member
After working my way through a few ultra sonic cleaners (mine always seem to go wrong) i've moved over to wet tumbling with stainless steel pins.
I use the Rebel 17 which though expensive, does an amazing job and will last a lifetime.
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
If I clean at all I agree with Nun Hunter. Lyman or, just bought from here RCBS, tumbler and walnut granules.

I don't decap before tumbling but do it afterwards to be sure I've no granule in the flas holes.

My thought is it's only the outside of the case that benefits from cleaning in making it look nicer when it's been sized.

On really, really, really dirty cases I used the liquid cleaning solution that you soaked them in for some time (as per instructions).

Then immediately rinsed in two separate waters.

A pre-rinse then a final rinse. As these cleaning solutions would leech the zinc if left too long or not fully rinsed.
 
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nun_hunter

Well-Known Member
How does the dry media get on with sizing wax residue ?
Only had one issue and that was when I tumbled them outdoors when it was barely above freezing so the wax (well lanolin/alcohol mix)was harder than usual and it took a bit longer to get it all off round the shoulder/neck junction. It may take longer to do the actual cleaning than an US but I leave it on when I go out so that time doesn't matter. It takes a second to tip the brass in and less than 5 min to retrieve 100 cases and they go straight into the loading box, no need to dry or rinse etc.
 

Muir

Well-Known Member
Get a better US cleaner. I bought the Hornady and it was junk. I finally bit the bullet and bought a commercial grade US cleaner. Excellent. Brass is clean, no steel bits ot sift.~Muir
 

enfieldspares

Well-Known Member
Muir you are right.

The loading company cleaners are nowhere near as good as the commercial ultrasonic cleaners sold for commercial jewellers thats for sure.

There are sellers of them in our Birmingham jewellery quarter. Near the parking on Vesey Street and that area.
 

Spiker

Well-Known Member
LEM cleaner from Kranks. Not cheap. I use lanolin to resize so finish off in a commercial ultrasonic-perfect.

Spiker
 

triggersqueezer

Well-Known Member
i have a hornady one and like others say it was sub standard.then i used it without the daft thick plastic crate.works a treat.after ultrasonic loosens all the debris i dry tumble.getting them any cleaner is just for show lol outside are like new inside near as.i use sea clean from maplins a squirt of fairy and hot water.
 

Border

Well-Known Member
How dirty is the brass? I used to do the ultrasonic option but rarely clean any brass nowadays, if it's sooty a quick wipe with a solvent soaked rag, job done.
 

bobjs

Well-Known Member
I had the same problem with a crap cheap ultrasonic cleaner.

got a larger one from evilbay and it works a treat, never looked back,

I dislike the problems with pins and dry media so ill stick with ultrasonic.

bob.
 

Hornet 6

Well-Known Member
I dislike the problems with pins
bob.
What problems Bob ?
I have been using s/s pins in a rubber barrel powered by my wood turning lathe, works very well.
Now I'm not shooting much at all, I'll probably go back to the ultrasonic if I actually need to clean a few cases.
The barrel and pins has become my main line of attack for de-rusting and de-burring old rusty nuts and bolt,, small engine parts
etc.on the stationary engines I have been playing with.

Neil.
 

Malxwal

Well-Known Member
Thanks for all the input. I am getting a loan of a tumbler with shell media, and all that shinyness will be very nice. Whether or not it is of any real use is debatable, possibly for my 47, but not so much tbe 308. Will also look at the price of a quality US machine.
 

bobjs

Well-Known Member
Can easy drop your cases into my u/s. But you might get to like shiny :lol:
got no complaints with mine either, I got a 3.7 litre one from evilbay, two caps of sea clean cleaner and they come out like new, they don't have that rough finish you get from media/or pins.

I found that the pins and media where a bit of a pain in the 20 tac cases, so I moved to the U/S cleaner and have not looked back,

bob.
 

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