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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been reloading traditionally for close to 20 years and about a year ago I decided to give stainless tumbling a try and to see what all the hype was all about, to make a very long story short for those of you that reload and have not tried it, you are truly missing out! This way of cleaning brass is the way of the future and is 110% better way of cleaning brass than with dry media! Now with that said and back to topic I was looking online to buy a tumbler and everything I needed to do this and found that for what you get it is quite expensive to get started. Well further research online I found multiple ways to build your own tumbler with things that many of us have lying around in the garage. Here is short video of what I came up with.

Click on image to see video

Basically Most all the supplies I had lying around the house except the 6" pipe and fittings and the pillow block bearings. Nice thing about this setup is that it is very versatile as it sits now it hold close to 2.0 gallons of water which translates into it can clean many cases of whatever you want to clean. Not exactly sure what full capacity is of any particular round but will tell you it that as it sits I have cleaned well over 250 cases of 30/06 at one time and close to 500 cases of 45. The nice thing is that if I want more capacity all I need to do id build a lager drum. If there is enough interest I will post more pics and give details on how to do one yourself! Enjoy!

 

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Looks great!!

Dodge......that looks like a winner to me. I got a rotating tumbler in a trade deal but it is set for dry media. Did you use 6 inch PVC for the tumbler body?

I have everything else I need for the set up except the watertight tumbler and the stainless pins.........wonder if galvanized brads would work as well?........looks like a trip to home depot is in order!!!

I will try the brads first and see how it goes before I order steel pins.......
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yup 6"in pvc pipe indeed. I bought my media from http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/ I used the 5lbs kit with 2lbs of the refresher kit together. I would recommend using the stainless tumbling media as it will get into the primer pockets to clean them out for ya.
 

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With those bearing journals, it should last into the next millennia.

You're right about SS media. Wish I'd had it 30 years ago. If there was only a way to use it with a vibratory tumbler. Just too much weight though. The big industrial units seen on TV just wouldn't get past the "wife" test.

Bruce
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I originally did not paint the tube and it worked fine with just hose on the shaft to give traction, but once I painted the tube it would just slip on the hose so I bought grip tape that you put on steps to give the tube some traction and all is well and working wonderfully. I had to play with pulleys between a 6" and a 5" went with 6x1/2 that gave me the speed I was looking for. I also bought an hr timer so I could set it and go and it shuts off on its own. Bout all this off amazon fairly cheap.

[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006HVKM4/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006HVKM4/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RAP3/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RAP3/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C54GH4/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C54GH4/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Did you have to put some sort of paddle on the interior like the inside of a clothes drier to keep things moving and changing direction of the media and cases?
Yep, took a 1" pipe and cut it half then glued and pop rivited it to the 6" pipe on the ends under the caps. I will post pics when I get home late tonight after work.

~There are only two types of people in this world, those that know and those that wish they did ~
 

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I seen one youtube with a guy ranhge manager using a cement mixer, cleaning thousands at a time. There are some ingenious home made ones out there, this is one of the better looking ones, good job Dodge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Lets see if I can remember all my dimensions of everything I did LOL The 6" pipe I cut at about 15" long.


Now that I think about it I used a 1.5 PVC pipe and cut it in half and at 15" long to make the fins on the inside of the 6" pipe.


Then I glued and pop riveted the half cut 1.5" pipe to the 6" pipe counter sinking the rivets under the caps for the 6"pipe.




I then glued on one solid end cap and one 6"-4" reducer cap to the 6"pipe covering up the rivet holes.


Next I filled the tube with water to check for leaks.


Put on 4" rubber cap and got ready to set on tumbler/roller base to check for leaks.


Next post will be on building the tumbler itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Sorry I don't have as many pics for the base but its pretty much self explanatory as to what you need to do. Many similar tumblers you see online are made out of steel which is an awesome way to do it but they A. are expensive to build and B. take up a bunch of room if you are limited on space. I decided to build my setup using just 3/4 plywood and using all bolts to ho hold my pillow block bearings and motor in place. Using bolts and washers should give you many years of use out of the plywood and using bolts will help tighten things up as they start to work loose.

First things first I had to find a motor or something to power my tumbler, I was lucky as my Dad had one lying around that was not in use.



The motor wont matter as to which way it spins you just need to pay attention so you know how to build your tube as in which way the fins on the inside will stir up your brass. Many motors can be reversed so you might get lucky if you screw up a bit.

Next i ordered my bearings online from Amazon.
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00449PN0K/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00449PN0K/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

I bought 1/2x36" Zink rod from Lowe's along with 1/2x3/4x6' of Rubber hose along with 3/4x1"x2' of rubber hose to use as grip on the rotating shafts.The larger rubber hose that goes over the top of the smaller rubber hose keeps the tube from walking on the shafts. I also bought a HR Timer switch for my own needs to a regular on/off switch will work just fine.
[ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C54GH4/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C54GH4/ref=oh_details_o09_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]


Click on picture to see video

If you get a motor that does about the same RPM as mine (1725) a 6" pulley on the roller and a 2" on the motor will give you the right amount of RPM on the tumbler (dont ask how I figured this out LOL) You can also arder all the pullys you need from Amazon. [ame="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RAP3/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1"]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00004RAP3/ref=oh_details_o05_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]

Next post will be the procedures of using the tumbler.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
To use your new built tumbler there will be a few things such as Stainless Media, Lemi Shine and dish soap. You can pick up latter two of the three pretty much anywhere like a grocery stores, Amazon or even Lowe's. The media I bought at http://www.stainlesstumblingmedia.com/?gclid=CLKl4oDgvrkCFUxgMgodBVoA2w if your drum is the same size as mine 7lbs of media will work great and allow you to tumble approximately 5lbs of brass.


Here are the basic steps used for cleaning brass.

Deprime all cases first


Put media and brass in container.


Add 2-3 45 acp case of lemi-shine ( I use 3 most of the time)


Fill with hot water to the neck of the reducer (about 1.5 inches from top) add 3 tbs dawn dish soap (I Like Dawn best)


Put on tumbler I tumble my pistol case for 4 hours depends on how clean you want the primer pockets. if you want them 100% clean it takes 4 hours if you don't care if they are like 90% 2 hours.


After tumbling, I rinse in cold water this is very important as it stops the action of the lemi shine. I use a media separator filled with cold water to clean and remove the pins from the cases. Any separator like one shown will work. [ame]http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005I0K5CA/ref=oh_details_o08_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1[/ame]


As far as drying goes I dry the outsides off with a towel the best I can then I spread out overnight. You can find the way it works best for you but I dont reload very often and will do a bunch when I do (Winter monthes) so this works for me and I have never had a problem with drying here in Co.


You need to check the flash hole on the cases sometimes 2 pins can and will get stuck. Usually1-3 cases a batch and sometimes none.


If you are not going to use your drum again right away I would suggest rinsing the drum with water to get all the residue of soap out of the drum. Over time it will build up giving you extra suds to deal with in future cleanings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have found that Simple Green instead of Dawn give less bubbles and is easier to rinse. Cleans just as good.

John
Good thinking, makes sense to me! :)

~There are only two types of people in this world, those that know and those that wish they did ~
 

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Excellent job!


I made one as well. The inside of the main PVC has 3/4 PVC screwed into it for paddles.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Excellent job!


I made one as well. The inside of the main PVC has 3/4 PVC screwed into it for paddles.
Nice, looks fimilar ;)

~There are only two types of people in this world, those that know and those that wish they did ~
 

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Subscribed so I don't forget where I found this thread. Am going to build a tumbler. Hardest part has been finding a motor. eBay and such searches get me. $50 ish for a fractional hp motor. Decided I am taking motor off a table top jig saw. I have another delta one so won't really miss this one.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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