Making It Shiny On A Budget
If I was to load brass it had to be cleaned. I was looking at wet tumblers and dry vibratory polishers. To my mind the dry vibratory polishers looked a lot like a Bundt cake pan, those are inexpensive enough. So my wife was the recipient of a new Bundt pan and I spirited away the old one.
I’ve been in the auto repair business for a number of years. We are either running as hard as we can go, or sitting around with time on our hands; the highest highs and lowest lows. I work at an independent Acura/Honda shop that has been in business since 1978, so a lot of old stuff piles up, because you never know when you’ll need something obscure.
So on one of those dreadful slow days I started rutting around in the trailer full of treasures out back. I came across a radiator fan motor from a 1979 Accord that worked and a stack of plastic buckets that had once contained pizza toppings that one of our customers felt like we needed a supply of.
A trip to the Lowes for a few pieces of metal, nuts and bolts, a couple of used Honda Odyssey brake shoe return springs, 12 volts from a computer power supply and the homemade polisher proof of concept was born. The power supply was soon mounted into one of the buckets, a mechanical timer added and the Bundt pan mounted to the top. Materials purchased: around $20
It worked surprisingly well, but a few months later Christmas came around and I received a Frankford Arsenal polisher and media separator. The media separator makes brass recovery simple and mess free; after sifting media through a colander, it’s worth the price of admission.
Typically I would do the rough cleaning of range pickups before depriming and sizing in the Franken Polisher with Lyman TuffNut. It seems better for removing heavy range dirt, but clogs primer pockets if used after depriming. I would later fine polish with treated corn cob in the Frankford Arsenal. Below is a short demonstration of the two polishers. The homemade polisher actually moves the media much quicker than the Frankford Arsenal unit.
I continued using both polishers for several months until I gave the Franken Polisher to a coworker that is using it for polishing small parts for an auto restoration project.
I owned a Marlin 60 since 1987, but never really got ‘into’ guns until 2011 when I bought my first 9mm pistol. That was soon followed by a .380 and a 12 guage pump, and I was all in. I had done some 20 guage reloading growing up, and threw myself into 9mm and .223 reloading in 2017, .380 in 2019 and 7.62×39 in 2020. It is so satisfying to go to the range and string together ever improving groups with ammo I loaded myself; it doesn’t hurt that I’m a little OCD about technical things, the tangible/visible rewards are really gratifying.
I have a nagging but as yet unattained ‘want’ for a .358 Yeti unloader, it just looks like a really cool caliber. My next learning curve, space permitting, is casting and coating.