Eliminating dust issues in tumblers using walnut

TackDriver284

Handloader
Feb 13, 2016
1,863
594
I have used the Midway walnut / corn cob tumbler for 20 plus years, but not as often as I like to for one reason,,,,dust. I don't like seeing dust inside my tumbled cases and the need to wipe down the cases after each tumbling and its a pain in the butt cleaning my necks of dust. I dusted off my tumbler after not using it for over two years, and threw in 60 pieces of 308 brass 5 X fired into the walnut media which I believe was used twice before I put it away. I placed two Bounce sheets over the bowl and placed the lid on it and tightened it down. Tumbled for 2 hours and removed the Bounce sheets, was a little dirty, and tossed the sheets in the bin and removed the brass, and swapped the bowl for a clean bowl and I filled it up with white rice halfway up the bowl, threw in the brass and tumbled for 6 hours more. I'm pretty happy that there is no dust to wipe down after it was done.
What do you folks use to clamp down the dust issues using walnut / corn cob in tumblers? I used to use stainless steel pins and wasn't too fond of it. I have noticed that leaving a little carbon on the necks is my friend than a bare clean brass neck.
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,617
1,501
I don’t know that it can be eliminated entirely, but the dryer sheets help. A lot of people rip the dryer sheets into strips and let them tumble with the brass. Problem is the more it runs and breaks down it just creates more dust.
 

sako2

Beginner
Jan 5, 2019
233
52
I add a cap full of mineral spirits to it and run it for about 15 minutes before adding any cases.
 

D21ALASKA

Beginner
Oct 29, 2013
207
108
Personally I switched to a stainless steel pin tumbler a few years ago and have never looked back. Dirtiest range brass you can find comes out looking brand new after a 3-4 hour tumble with a little dish soap and citric acid. Quick rinse and either dry on low in the oven or for a few days in the air and good to go.
Not an answer to your question about the dust I know but possibly a different option to explore.
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,617
1,501
Personally I switched to a stainless steel pin tumbler a few years ago and have never looked back. Dirtiest range brass you can find comes out looking brand new after a 3-4 hour tumble with a little dish soap and citric acid. Quick rinse and either dry on low in the oven or for a few days in the air and good to go.
Not an answer to your question about the dust I know but possibly a different option to explore.
grab you a used jerky maker/dehydrator and they are great for drying brass. I got mine at a yard sale for $5.00
 

Charlie-NY

Handloader
Mar 11, 2005
1,175
194
I'm with D21 ^^^. After using several different types of media in my vibratory system I just gave up and bought a STM wet tumbling system. It is the best change I've ever made. I only run my cases periodically and when I do, I tumble for about 2 hrs. Even less time cleans adequately. Any dark carbon that may be on the outside of the necks is easily removed with 000 steel wool. Removing all the carbon from inside the necks is counter-productive so less tumbling often yields the best results.

I donated all of my vibratory equipment and media to the LGS. Told them to keep it or give it away, their choice. I also donated all of my moly treatment supplies because I gave that up some time ago.
 
Last edited:

RL338

Handloader
Mar 23, 2017
928
968
Personally I switched to a stainless steel pin tumbler a few years ago and have never looked back. Dirtiest range brass you can find comes out looking brand new after a 3-4 hour tumble with a little dish soap and citric acid. Quick rinse and either dry on low in the oven or for a few days in the air and good to go.
Not an answer to your question about the dust I know but possibly a different option to explore.
^ This
Years ago I bought a double barrel Harbor Freight tumbler and never looked back. Water , some Dawn and a little Lemishine and you get very clean brass.
I started drying them in a food dehydrator now. I learned you need to keep temp setting on a lower side. Brass holds heat and it burns out the temp fuse in it. Pain in the rear to change but do able
 

truck driver

Ammo Smith
Mar 11, 2013
6,964
329
Years ago I acquired some commercial crushed walnut hulls that was used for blast polishing delicate equipment.
I treated this media with various polish cleaners over the years to removed dirt and corrosion from my brass in a Dillon case cleaner.
Every so often I have to wipe the bowl clean with mineral spirits or acetone to remove the dirt that has built up inside the bowl. The polish eliminates the dust.
I'm still using the same media and have only added more as I loose some to being sloppy when dumping the bowl in the brass separator or cleaning the bowl.
This has worked for me for a long time.
 
Top