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Old 10-20-2018, 09:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What do you do about tumbler dust?

So I'm to cheap/poor/lazy to buy or build a wet tumbler, and hate dealing with wet cases. I rarely use my sonic cleaner because of this. I just dump my brass into one of my tumblers and let it go for a while. However, the dust gets ridiculous. One of them even has a sifter type lid that really lets the dust out and I wrap it with an old t-shirt to help keep it down.

I also dislike how much noise it makes and vibes out the whole damn shop making it nearly impossible to use while I'm in the shop. The dust is worse than the noise, but both suck.

Yes, I can put it outside sometimes, but in the winter, I swear the cold makes the brass come out different, and I don't like dealing with cold brass either.

I'm thinking about building a wood cabinet or repurposing something like a dorm fridge, old smoker, or something to put them inside to contain the dust.

Maybe I should just put my brass and tumbling media in an old clothes dryer and let it tumble in there, and the dust will just go out the vent!


What do you do to deal with the dust?
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How many tumblers are you running and what size? I don't reload, but put bolts and hardware in a tumbler at the shop. I do run it outside so the dust can just fuck right off because as you said there is quite a bit of dust. If yours are those smaller 5lb tumblers I think it would probably fit into a 5 gallon bucket with a lid easily enough.
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Old 10-20-2018, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I just use mine outside, but a plywood box with a bathroom fan ducted outside might be the easy answer.
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Old 10-20-2018, 11:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Before tumbling I soak my brass in Lemi Shine. No more than an hour. The citric acid can leach out the zinc. If you see pink spots you left in too long.

I toss in a USED drier sheet. Cuts static & seems to collect a lot of dust.

I also use a bit of Nu Finish in there.

Don't use a new drier sheet or you'll wind up with mucky nasty brass.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just throw a Rubbermaid container over it. All the dust will be contained to a small square.

I have the bucket that I store the tumbler in, and flip it over when I'm using it

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Old 10-21-2018, 08:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Couple capfuls of mineral spirits will cut the dust and add extra shine to the brass. A couple used dryer sheets will filter it out as well.

I also add a couple caps of nufinish.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:48 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I usually use used drier sheets too, they certainly do trap a lot of the dust, but not enough.

I've used nu-finish too, although I'm out currently. I haven't noticed a difference in dust with it though.

I'll go back to adding nu-finish and try some mineral spirits.

I think I'll still try to come up with a box or cabinet to put it in to cut the noise and help contain the dust. Rubbermaid I think will be too big or awkward for my shop.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:30 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I use rock tumblers with dry media. Noise and dust are not an issue.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Two used dryer sheets in the walnut media and Dillon polishing compound. I don't have any dust problems.
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Old 10-21-2018, 11:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Get a better tumbler. I have 2 Dillons and they don't put off dust with corn cob or walnut.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I collect the dust and let the kids play with it.
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Old 10-22-2018, 09:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I collect the dust and let the kids play with it.
Give 'em the spent primers too! They make a great afterschool snack.

I have the vibratory type, and it doesn't generate much dust with the lid on tight, then I take the sifter out in the driveway and dump there. Then I take the air hose and blow off the brass before taking them back inside. Works well enough for me.
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Old 10-22-2018, 12:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Well obviously. Tastes great and they're way less fattening than regular snacks.

My cheap frankford arsenal tumbler doesn't leak dust. I put a healthy dose of nu-finish in it though. Even using cheap walnut media for blasting or even pet store stuff doesn't cause dust issues when it's running.
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Old 10-22-2018, 08:30 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I use Lyman turbo 1200 tumblers I think. I have a bigger one, a turbo 2400 I think, but I don't usually need to do batches that big. Maybe my bowls are worn out? When they were new, I don't remember the dust issue being so bad, and I swear the "sheen" came out shinier. I usually use the red walnut shells.


I sort my brass dirty because I'm apparently OCD about brass. I sort everything, even pistol brass, by headstamp, including year on military stuff. If I wasn't an idiot, I'd just tumble it all together dirty, or at most sort by caliber, then tumble it, making bigger batches so I could do a bunch in one shot. But instead, I sort it all, then do batches with 50 of three or four different size cartridges so they are easy to sort after tumbling.
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Old 10-22-2018, 10:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I have the pro 2500 magnum. Only time dust happens is when I dump in new media. I use the cheap lizard litter walnut shells from the pet store, and that is dusty as hell. Sometimes Iíll change it outside. I add nufinish and mineral spirits, and run it for 30 min or so empty with the lid on. After the media gets loaded up with the nufinish and mineral spirits, thereís very little dust, and Iíll add brass..
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Old 10-23-2018, 04:54 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm lazy and grab the preloaded media with whatever crap they add. No dust issues until the media is degraded and I toss it. Sometimes I'll add some polishing compound if I'm out of media, but I find the media loses its edge and takes longer to polish after awhile.

However, I just dump in brass till it's full enough and sort clean brass.
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Old 10-27-2018, 11:37 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Two used dryer sheets in the walnut media and Dillon polishing compound. I don't have any dust problems.
I do this. It works great.

I have a box in the laundry room my used dryer sheets go in, and I do way more laundry than tumbling. Donít be stingy.

Add nufinish wax to hell clean the brass too. Done. No appreciable dust, just throw away the loaded dryer sheets.
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Old 10-27-2018, 05:50 PM   #18 (permalink)
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The only time I ever have issues with dust is when I separate the shells from the media, I tumble first in walnut media, sift them out and blast them with some air, then let them soak in turbo case cleaner for 15mins to help get any carbon out of them, rinse them off with clean water and then put the rinsed brass in the oven for an hour at 170. I try to have them clean as possible before I decap and resize.
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Old 10-28-2018, 06:36 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I sort my brass dirty because I'm apparently OCD about brass. I sort everything, even pistol brass, by headstamp, including year on military stuff. If I wasn't an idiot, I'd just tumble it all together dirty, or at most sort by caliber, then tumble it, making bigger batches so I could do a bunch in one shot.
HA! So I'm not the only one!

Might wanna rethink tumbling everything together. 9mm will telescope into 10mm Kurz, and the 10mm Kurz will telescope into .45.

I sort by caliber dirty & then process from there.
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Old 11-15-2018, 02:30 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Dryer sheets and hold my breath lol
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Old 11-17-2018, 02:09 PM   #21 (permalink)
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What's dust?

This is what I use. Works fantastic.

https://brassbrightbeads.com/
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Old 11-17-2018, 03:07 PM   #22 (permalink)
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What's dust?

This is what I use. Works fantastic.

https://brassbrightbeads.com/
Those would probably work for tire balancing too...
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