Can you over tumble

This is a discussion on Can you over tumble within the Reloading forums, part of the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics category; I have just purchased a vibratory cleaner and wonder can you over clean? If I put cases in for a few hours they look OK, ...

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Thread: Can you over tumble

  1. #1
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Can you over tumble

    I have just purchased a vibratory cleaner and wonder can you over clean? If I put cases in for a few hours they look OK, but overnight they sparkle. Am I damaging anything or weakening the cases?

    Thanks
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    Nope.

    The only way'll you'll damage the brass is by using ammonia based cleaners, which weaken the brass...or if you let it run for say...two years, eventually your brass will disappear.
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Nope.

    The only way'll you'll damage the brass is by using ammonia based cleaners, which weaken the brass...or if you let it run for say...two years, eventually your brass will disappear.
    I don't even know if two years will do it.

    As HotGuns says, tumble away
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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    I believe you can. My reloading setup used to be in my basement. Once, I had put a bunch of nickel plated 45 Colt cases into a tumbler with walnut media and proceeded to forget it was running for two days. When I removed the cases, they looked like CCI Blazer aluminum cases. Completely dull. It was obvious that the tumbling had damaged the nickel plating. I doubt that corn cob media (softer than walnut) would do the same thing, but it seams reasonable to assume that excessive tumbling could slightly damage a case. Whether this could actually lead to a failure, I don't know. The damaged nickel plated cases showed no difference in usable life compared to undamaged cases so it could be that the damage was purely cosmetic. Ultimately, I see no reason to tumble cases to the point of polishing to jewelry quality. I'm only interested in removing any dirt, crud or powder fouling which may be detrimental to the functioning of the firearm. Any excessive tumbling after that only reduces the life of your media.

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  6. #5
    Member Array Sharp's Avatar
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    I haven't seen it first hand, but I have read on another forum about someone over tumbling. IIRC he left it on for a really long time.

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    Member Array gg12's Avatar
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    Hoss wrote:
    Ultimately, I see no reason to tumble cases to the point of polishing to jewelry quality. I'm only interested in removing any dirt, crud or powder fouling which may be detrimental to the functioning of the firearm. Any excessive tumbling after that only reduces the life of your media.
    And just how long does this take on average in corn cob media with brass that is not filthy to the naked eye?

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    VIP Member Array cvhoss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gg12 View Post
    Hoss wrote:

    And just how long does this take on average in corn cob media with brass that is not filthy to the naked eye?
    Unfortunately, there's no easy answer to that. Condition of your media, number of cases in the tumbler, make of tumbler, initial condition of the brass, etc. all come into play. I've rarely found it necessary to tumble more than 3-4 hours but it really boils down to "tumble until clean". If that's 30 minutes or 10 hours depends on your particular situation.

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    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Can you over tumble YES its an abrasive process . Is it likely you will ? NO it is not likely you will tumble long enough to thin brass to an unsafe demention . Ill say that expecially with a vegetable medium such as corn cob or nut hulls ( wallnut is common , i save pecan . ) . Like water can wear the grand canyon soft media such as nutt hulls can wear brass . So on summation if you figure 12 hrs to vibro clean brass , and you dont check it untill the next day dont worry about it . If you leave it vibrate for a month , well then mic it and sell most of it for scrap brass lol ( dont forget to burn down and sell your media too as the missing brass went somewhere ) .
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    Member Array LastManOut's Avatar
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    I usually plug my tumbler into a plug-in-the-wall timer, like used for lights. Set it for 8 hours, overnight. Works for me.

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    Member Array ronbo's Avatar
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    tumbler

    I like corncob media for tumbling, I squirt some liquid pre wax cleaner turtle wax or meguires brand on some small cotton old t-shirt material, does not clump the media.

    Picture is of the rotary tumbler I made from plans in the American Rifleman magazine in the mid 70's. Was made from plywood, two junked clothes dryer pulleys and a scrapped furnace blower motor, cleans brass in a hurry.


  12. #11
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    Nope.

    The only way'll you'll damage the brass is by using ammonia based cleaners, which weaken the brass...or if you let it run for say...two years, eventually your brass will disappear.
    Ditto, +1 and all of that. I use corn or walnut and a little of this will help--well, I see they discontinued that, but this looks like it will work---
    Midway International - Frankford Arsenal Brass Case Polish 8 oz Liquid

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    I put some brass cleaner in with some rice yep you read right i said rice and i tumble about 2 hours not only is my brass shiny it smells like fried rice
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