Lyman untrasonic brass cleaner.

Discussion in 'Reloading' started by kc, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. kc

    kc Well-Known Member

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    I have a Harbor freight store just a few miles from my home I would like a machine to clean my brass, I have many choices but this ultrasonic sounds to knew and I am not sure of this tool. I claen the brass for a bunch of our friends always trimming to spec..
    I have cans to do..I just don't need any regrets after the purchase.

    Any of you have one? and what your opinions.
     
  2. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to do large quantities a rotary tumbler with the stainless steel
    media is much faster. I use ultrasonic and am not going to invest in the new tumbler
    until it gives out, but the writing is on the wall.
     

  3. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "I just don't need any regrets after the purchase. Any of you have one? and what your opinions."

    I have a couple of Lyman viberators for brass and the HF 2.5 liter US for mechanical stuff such as small carborators and handguns. Both types work very well for what they were made for. Rationally priced US cleaners aren't made to clean brass cases but the reloading companies are quite willing to sell them to those who want to buy 'em.

    Bench top US cleaners are too weak to do more than a handful of cases at a time, it takes several cycles to clean them inside and even then the results simply aren't enough better to justify fooling with them. IMHO.

    IF you want one, get it. If you just want to clean your cases get a viberator and be happy. If you think you need cases to be spotless inside and out get a rolling tumbler and use stainless steel media in a vinegar bath.
     
  4. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    Boomtube, you just aren't running the right mix. for every sixteen ounces of liquid
    try, 2 teaspoons lemi shine, 50/50 water and vinegar, a squirt of dishsoap with a
    surfactant in it and 5 drops of iodine. Your US machine has to have a heater , the
    hotter the better. My cases are spotless in about 12 minutes. I can do about 20 at
    a time in an old dentist office US machine probably 45 years old. The hornady cleaner
    claims 100 308 cases at a time.
    No need for anything but water in the stainless media. They clean pretty fast too and
    in large quantities. SOMEDAY!
     
  5. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    Well, it's not really the cleaning solution, it's the weak device.

    I usually use straight white vinegar for the acid content and low odor. Vinegar actually needs no surfactant (soap) because the agitation insures the surface is well wetted but I have added industrial Alconox US detergent powder to no visible effect. You're diluting your vinegar but then adding (at extra cost) the acid of Lemmishine to increase the strength; suspect your final PH is quite near the same as straight vinegar. ??

    Yeah, my unit has a heater that helps the acid work a little faster but the major problem is that rationally priced table top units are simply to weak to handle much volume. I can PUT 2-3 hundered .30-06 cases in my tank but it can only CLEAN about 15-20 of 'em! Haven't seen the Hornady unit but, considering the low cost and similar size and weight, I really doubt it's any better than mine.

    I used a commercial US in my work many years ago, it was great but it wouldn't have sit on a table top even if I could have lifted the thing! And it cost the company several thousand dollars. Doubt your excellant old dental US cleaner could be replaced for a hundred bucks or less so comparison to what we can afford to buy really isn't valid.

    My HF US cleaner has a ditial timer that turns on for a max of 6 minutes, after which the circuitry needs several minutes of cooling. (Again, just a limit on small, cheap US cleaners. ) So, I must allow time for it to 'clean' a small batch for one cycle, then let it cool awhile and clean again, repeating that three or four times, just to clean as few as 20 cases! And then the cases need to be flushed in a soda solution to kill the remaining acid and allowed to dry over night before use. That's NOT my idea of a rational method of cleaning very many cases no matter how purty they look afterwards!

    My vib. tumbers handle 150 or so .30-06 at a time with no personal attention. I pull them out when they are as clean as they need to be and they are ready to use immediately. There's no question in my mind which case cleaning method is more practical!
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  6. MTBULLET

    MTBULLET Well-Known Member

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    i use the Lyman "big orange pumpkin" and a dillon media seperator. can do 100-125 300 RUM per batch, or a S**t load of .223/45 acp/45 colt, etc.
     
  7. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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    Yours really does sound weak. My timer runs up to 30 minutes. If the water is not
    hot it takes that long for the first batch, As the water temp rises the time goes down.
    Lemishine is cheap stuff. Iodine I found by researching patents for brass cleaners, it's
    in almost all of them as a shining agent. I quit neutralizing years ago. I just rinse in
    hot water as I tumble them after sizing anyway, no ill affects seen to date. I like the clean
    primer pockets and insides of the cases. Never got that with the tumbler. The stainless
    media in a rotary sends them out the same way, spotless. Keeps your sizing die and press
    a lot cleaner too.
     
  8. Kevin Thomas

    Kevin Thomas Well-Known Member

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    I recently purchased one of the Hornady units simply to experiment a bit and learn something about ultrasonic cleaners. So far, I'm a bit underwhelmed. I haven't tried a wide variety of the different vinegar or detergent solutions mentioned on this and other sites, but I will. So far, just the Hornady concentrate following their directions verbatim. Probably a bit too early for a solid opinion here, but I suspect that I may wind up mirroring Boomtube's thoughts on this one.

    I don't see myself shedding my Dillon tumblers anytime soon . . .

    Kevin Thomas
    Lapua USA
     
  9. goose

    goose Well-Known Member

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    Where do you get stainless media?
     
  10. boomtube

    boomtube Well-Known Member

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    "Iodine I found by researching patents for brass cleaners, it's in almost all of them as a shining agent."

    The old U.S. Frankfort Arsenal cleaning solution included a bit of iodised table salt and I suppose it did some good.

    When I first got my vib tumber (some thirty years ago) I experimented with cob and nut, different polishes, etc. Found it all worked virtually the same.

    Now I couldn't care less for artificial looking shiney cases so I no longer bother with that, no metal polish at all goes into my tumblers these days. (Nor does iodised salt go into my occasional US bath.)

    I do use a few spoonsful of Diatimaeous Earth (the cleaning stuff that's in toothpaste and pool filters) as a cleaning agent in my tumblers tho. It helps clean brass very well while avoiding the phony looking glitter.

    I didn't neutralise the vinegar at first but eventually stored a few batches I thought were dry but weren't. The green corrosion spots made me rethink and I started the soda bath to prevent it ever happening again! So far, so good.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2010
  11. Loner

    Loner Well-Known Member

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