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 Post subject: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:27 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2017 11:36 am
Posts: 124
Home club or Range: ARPC
Thinking of buying one of these and wondered what the views/experiences of the forum members are of these machines.
I’m not interested in manufacturing one but people’s views on the ones already available ie Thumbler, Lyman cyclone, Frankford Arsenals one
Cheers


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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 7:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:49 pm
Posts: 171
Home club or Range: Saxon
Evening,

I've got a thumbler ( from JD reloading) and over the last 3/4 years it's done its job exceedingly well.
Produces shinny brass with minimal effort, at a reasonable price ( in my humble opinion, getting brassed off with TLA's )

Best
The greek

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:18 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:33 pm
Posts: 1626
Keithkilvo1 wrote:
Thinking of buying one of these and wondered what the views/experiences of the forum members are of these machines.
I’m not interested in manufacturing one but people’s views on the ones already available ie Thumbler, Lyman cyclone, Frankford Arsenals one


I've been wet tumbling for about five years. The results are excellent, and I find the process only marginally more hassle than vibratory tumbling. My tumbler only handles a hundred cases though, so working through a thousand takes longer overall.

I have a Thumler, and I do not recommend it. It is designed for a dry process and is not suitable for wet work. The inside of the drum is unfinished, and after the very first time I used mine rust was evident through the seams to the surface of the the exterior paint. I didn't get a satisfactory outcome from the supplier or the manufacturer. If you do get a Thumler, be sure to prep and spray the inside with a suitable paint before you get water anywhere near it.

If I was buying again I would defininately go for a FART. The FART has a much higher capacity and a plastic drum, so no rust problems. I have a large poly hexagonal drum waiting for the day my Thumler disintegrates into flakes, which I'll pair with a treadmill-derived base to solve my capacity and rust problems.

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:30 am
Posts: 554
Location: West Country
I’ve just switched to wet tumbling. the results are far more pleasing if you like shiny brass.

Also much better at cleaning primer pockets on my .44 and .357 cases.

Just brought a Lyman. Check my link below there’s a little video in there somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:30 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 3:08 pm
Posts: 908
Keithkilvo1 wrote:
Thinking of buying one of these and wondered what the views/experiences of the forum members are of these machines.
I’m not interested in manufacturing one but people’s views on the ones already available ie Thumbler, Lyman cyclone, Frankford Arsenals one
Cheers


If you want to read an un-biased report http://www.targetshooter.co.uk/?s=Tumbler


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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:18 am 
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Posts: 17247
Location: Sutherland and Co Durham
Home club or Range: St Giles Yarners Durham. The Highlands of Scotland. Cycling Proficiency 1964. Felton & District rifle club. HBSA full voting member. Durham Constabulary Gun Club Catterick. Teesdale Pistol and Rifle club
rox wrote:
Keithkilvo1 wrote:
Thinking of buying one of these and wondered what the views/experiences of the forum members are of these machines.
I’m not interested in manufacturing one but people’s views on the ones already available ie Thumbler, Lyman cyclone, Frankford Arsenals one


I've been wet tumbling for about five years. The results are excellent, and I find the process only marginally more hassle than vibratory tumbling. My tumbler only handles a hundred cases though, so working through a thousand takes longer overall.

I have a Thumler, and I do not recommend it. It is designed for a dry process and is not suitable for wet work. The inside of the drum is unfinished, and after the very first time I used mine rust was evident through the seams to the surface of the the exterior paint. I didn't get a satisfactory outcome from the supplier or the manufacturer. If you do get a Thumler, be sure to prep and spray the inside with a suitable paint before you get water anywhere near it.

If I was buying again I would definitely go for a FART. The FART has a much higher capacity and a plastic drum, so no rust problems. I have a large poly hexagonal drum waiting for the day my Thumler disintegrates into flakes, which I'll pair with a treadmill-derived base to solve my capacity and rust problems.


I have been using a Thumler wet tumbler (with ceramic for my black powder cases, steel pins are a faff on too far for me, still prefer dry tumbling my smokeless cases) for over 20 years with no issues, the water shouldn't get anywhere near the inside of the metal drum as the rubber internal liner makes a physical seal with the metal drum so the water cannot get between them.

If it is designed for dry tumbling only then you have bought the wrong model for the application.

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:36 am 
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I used a Thumbler type for a while and it was fine however unbolting the top to see if your brass was clean was a PITA so I moved to a LEM. The basic LEM is undoubtedly more expensive however you can see what is happening and grab a handful of brass to inspect whilst it is running. It is also easier to empty and flush the cases with clean water if needed.

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 6:39 am 
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Location: Weston Super Mare
Home club or Range: Phoenix at Thorn. The tunnel at Charmouth, BWSS
I use one of the chinese type ones. no regrets. I just wouldn't leave it plugged in when not using it. then got a dehydrater to dry the brass out

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:38 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2010 1:33 pm
Posts: 1626

dromia wrote:
If it is designed for dry tumbling only then you have bought the wrong model for the application.

I wish I'd known that at the time. Which model should have been included in a wet tumbling brass cleaning kit?

I have the Thumler Model B. It is designed for rock tumbling, which is a dry process. It was sold as a wet process brass cleaner by shooting suppliers, bundled with STM media. The manufacturers weren't willing to honour the warranty when the tumbler had been used for a wet process.

dromia wrote:
the water shouldn't get anywhere near the inside of the metal drum as the rubber internal liner makes a physical seal with the metal drum so the water cannot get between them


The liner does not make a perfect water-tight seal. In the words of the manufacturer, it is a "removable rubber liner for quieter use".
As others have found, the unfinished interior of the drum needs painting to prevent rust. Unless you know that and do it before the first use it is too late.


This is the rust I saw after the very first use:

Image

Image


...and after 6 months; flakes of rust on the base, and the seam is opening over half of its length:

Image

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Wet rotary tumbler
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:09 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 2:22 pm
Posts: 645
Home club or Range: HRA and LERA
Ovenpaa wrote:
I used a Thumbler type for a while and it was fine however unbolting the top to see if your brass was clean was a PITA so I moved to a LEM. The basic LEM is undoubtedly more expensive however you can see what is happening and grab a handful of brass to inspect whilst it is running. It is also easier to empty and flush the cases with clean water if needed.


And it is still running very nicely thanks Dave. Some may see it as a faff but to be honest its a brilliant way to clean cases well. What I did find was that the sea clean was not quite doing the job, but a squirt of hairy lipped squid sorted that nicely.

Rox, I think someone was pulling a fast one chap because I would expect the rubber liner to be in it for wet or dry. It still makes a bit of a racket with the liner fitted, I just place it on some old foam rubber and a towel and happy days.

To empty I just dump the lot into a plastic bowl and fish the cases out, rinse, strain and flick any water out. Roll them 10 at a time on a towel and air dry.


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