Frankfurt tumbler bowl cleaning

Jimbeaux82

Handloader
Jan 6, 2011
380
81
I have a Frankford Tumbler (blue bowl) that I use to clean my brass as well as occassionally tumble bullets that have become tarnished. I use corn cobb media with Isso polish. I use Imperial sizing wax on my cases when sizing and tumble immediately after. Last week I tried to tumble some old tarnished bullets and they came out with black sticky tar like substance on them. So I dumped my corn cobb media and saw that the bottom of the tumbler bowl was covered with this substance. I tried soaking in water to soften it but that did no good. I tried brillo pads and scrubbing no good. I eventually had to take a sort of small putty knife and scrape it out and it wasnt easy.

Have any of you experienced this before and do you have a solution to better clean of even prevent this buildup?
 

desertcj

Handloader
Sep 27, 2010
839
81
I use the same tumbler. Actually, I have one for wet moly coating bullets and another for cleaning cases. I assume the build-up in yours is sizing wax? I don't use that, so I don't know much about it. I have used RCBS sizing lube and I wipe the case off with a rag after sizing, but for the most part I neck size only with a Lee Collet die and don't use any lube. The tumblers are cheap enough to have two, but it doesn't sound like you tumble bullets that often.
 

Jimbeaux82

Handloader
Jan 6, 2011
380
81
I rarely tumble bullets but it is a nice option to have when they are tarnished. Since no one else seems to have had this problem, I guess the scrape option is what I will have to go with.
 

DrMike

Ballistician
Nov 8, 2006
35,715
2,683
I have observed this in my Lyman tumblers. It was not a serious problem since it had no effect on brass. Eventually, the dark residue is reduced. However, I've switched almost exclusively to using stainless steel pins in a Thumbler Tumbler, after trying ultrasonic baths. I rarely use my Lyman tumblers any longer.
 

Nimrod84

Handloader
Feb 20, 2017
376
2
Sorry Jim, I have no direct experience here. Closest I have heard of is a black greasy buildup on stainless steel pins and brass when wet tumbling; solution is to typically add some Simple Green, Purple Power or some other cleaner / degreaser when wet tumbling.

An example of what I've read is http://forum.accurateshooter.com/thread ... k.3939560/ and others do attribute it to the Imperial Sizing wax building up and collecting debris.
 

hunter24605

Handloader
Apr 30, 2016
1,790
1,916
I've found this black "concretion" on my Lyman Turbo and I can only assume its a combination of sizing wax, tarnish that's been rubbed off and gunk from inside the brass...It's very hard, but remove the tub from the tumbler and soak it in a 50-50 mix of hot water and white vinegar and, after a while, it will break loose. An overnight soak and it will dissolve...Note of caution, use a bucket or something, I did it in the kitchen sink and the black gunk stained the sink, and I was quite a while ferociously scrubbing before the misses got home.
 

Jimbeaux82

Handloader
Jan 6, 2011
380
81
Thanks - will give it a try! I knew somebody would have experienced this and have a solution!
 

diverdown

Handloader
Apr 29, 2015
485
118
Dr. Mike has got it down right. I use the same process and find that one tablespoon of Dawn, One tablespoon of Lemishine and the stainless pins do a fantastic Job.
 
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