Wet Tumbler

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deathpriest
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Wet Tumbler

Post by deathpriest » Fri May 06, 2016 9:22 am

I am contemplating purchasing a wet tumbler. I am basically between 2 choices right now

Frankford kit $160ish
Tumble's Tumble kit $260ish

Any other?

What say you?
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Cardboard_killer
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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by Cardboard_killer » Fri May 06, 2016 11:53 am

If you can scavenge the parts, making one yourself is pretty easy. It's all about finding the motor. And you can make a really big one that way to do large volume jobs.

I was going to make one myself, but instead I use a cheapo ($40) harbor freight one for brass, but I just use a mix of corncob and walnut shell, and little polish (no liquids). Works great, but I wouldn't trust putting liquid in it, despite supposed to be usable with liquids, as it is cheaply made.

The polish (NuCar) shines up the brass very nicely, so I never thought I was missing anything from not using a liquid.

EDIT: also, with the wet tumblers you should de-cap before tumbling, which means another step (and another die/decapping tool if you don't want to resize a dirty case). Here's directions on making a tumbler yourself. In lieu of a coffee conatiner, I'd recommend a gallon water jug (round of course). http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Rock-Tumbler/
Here's what I use:
Last edited by Cardboard_killer on Fri May 06, 2016 4:24 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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arkhangel5
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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by arkhangel5 » Fri May 06, 2016 1:17 pm

Get the FA tumbler. It has more capacity than the Thumler. It has a built in timer and comes with 5lbs of media and a sampler of liquid brass cleaner.

The Thumler is a nice unit, but th FA was purpose built as a brass cleaner, and the timer is a big plus.

Just my 2c.

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chris6424
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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by chris6424 » Wed May 11, 2016 7:28 am

Get the FA tumbler. I've been using steel wool instead of the steel pins as the scouring media. Much easier to separate media from brass.

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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by bmup » Wed May 11, 2016 6:25 pm

I have the same setup as in the video & it works great. The only problem with the Harbor Freight tumbler is that it doesn't hold a lot of brass. 1 lb of .45 acp is about 90 - 95 cases & 9mm is about 120 cases. I haven't counted out .38 spl or .357 but it's going to be fewer than the .45s.

I will be upgrading soon myself & I'll probably go for the FA because I'm a cheap bastard it looks just as sturdy as the Thumler but is less expensive.
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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by deathpriest » Wed May 11, 2016 8:52 pm

Thank you, FA looks more and more like the way to go
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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by Barnmisser » Tue Jun 21, 2016 8:45 pm

I had made my own high capacity dry tumbler out of a 5 gallon Castrol oil can (metal) in 1984 and it worked great. 1.000 rifle cases at a time. But in 2012 I discovered Youtube and found a video showing a guy using wet STM in a Thumlers. I am now sold on a Thumler's Tumbler (the red drum with 1/4-20 nuts on the lid) using 5lbs. of stainless tumbling media, dish soap and Lemishine. This works so well that your brass looks Better than new after 1-3 hours on the machine. The drum is HEAVY DUTY, but the chassis and motor are not, so I made my own frame, motor and reduction gear. The base is a 2x12 about 18 inches long with four pillow blocks made out of 2x4 shorts drilled to take 1/2 I.D. oilite bushings.The blocks are screwed to the 2x12 with 3-4 inch deck screws. The shafts are cut from 1/2 inch plated rod which is covered with automotive heater hose for tires. The motor is any 1725 R.P.M. 1/2 H.P. job with a H.D. switch to take the current. You'll also need a small pulley for the motor, large pulley for the driving axle and a short 1/2 inch V-belt between them. My drum runs at 42 R.P.M. because I already had the pulleys on hand, but anywhere close to 40-50
R.P.M. will probably work fine. The big advantage to this rig, besides the $90 drum being the only large cost, is the BIG capacity. Thousands of .380-9mm or hundreds of .223-.308 at one time. My loaded drum weighs about 25-27 lbs. and this will quickly destroy a Thumlers chassis/motor, but if you are handy with wood and metal, and live near a Tractor Supply, you are good to go. My drum came from a gem supply house online. An old drill press motor will probably work for you if it is 1725 R.P.M. with 1/2 inch shaft. Direction of rotation doesn't matter, but a snug lid does. Make sure it's watertight BEFORE you put it on the rig and hit the switch. I decap all my cases BEFORE tumbling on an anvil with a hole in the top and a Lee G.I. Decapper. For me, this is faster than I can work the handle on my Rockchucker, and you can decap a few thousand cases in a few hours. If you do this, the entire case is sqeaky clean including the primer pocket! Take a picture of the $250 Thumlers rig to Tractor supply with you and just get everything you need to build a heavier version of that rig. The guy at T.S. will probably be able to fix you up once he has the concept. If you have both money and time, you can buy the whole shebang ready to go from Stainless Tumbling Media and you get a media separator, too. But if you're a cheap old fart like me with time on your hands, this will do a LOT more cases than a Thumler's in less time.

Good Luck. Barnmisser
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Re: Wet Tumbler

Post by deathpriest » Tue Jun 21, 2016 9:44 pm

Thx, I might not be as handy as you... I do have a TS near by and will be making a trip soon, just to tease my creativity
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