Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

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Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby jeep45238 » Sun May 01, 2016 2:17 pm

I keep seeing folks using wet tumblers and got to thinking about making it big time. I've also been reading on some folks that have had high lead levels in their blood linked to the dust from dry tumbling. But I'm having trouble justifying $150-200+ for a glorified rock tumbler - why not grab a 1.25 ft^3 cement mixer for about the same price and use that? The only downside I can think of is size if storage is an issue.

Harbor freight has one for $150 that holds 1.25 cubic feet, and if my math is right that's over 180 pounds of concrete, so it should do fine for pins and brass. They sell a larger 3.5 cubic foot one for $210 that will do over 320 pounds of concrete. Both have wheels and handle to move around, belts so it should be a bit quieter than a direct drive, and are beyond overkill so should last. RPM's are about 35.

So what am I missing here? For not much money I can tumble a lot more brass, and tilt the mouth down a bit to drain directly into a seperator for the pins. The only downside I can come up with is internally rusting the mixing drum, which can be addressed if it becomes an issue.


http://www.harborfreight.com/1-14-cubic-ft-cement-mixer-61931.html
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby BobK » Sun May 01, 2016 2:56 pm

Makes sense to me!

I'd have no place to store it, but that is a different problem! :lol:
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby djthomas » Sun May 01, 2016 8:30 pm

Would there be any potential risk to the brass? It's one thing to be tumbling around with five pounds of your closest friends, but when you've got 30+ pounds there's bound to be more dings and dents.
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby jeep45238 » Sun May 01, 2016 11:18 pm

I highly doubt it. A lot of the commercial wet tumblers on Midway do 17-27 pounds of material at once, and brass isn't the most sensitive thing out there (not the hardest either, thankfully).
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby Face » Mon May 02, 2016 9:13 am

Just get an old,used cement mixer truck :) Go big or go home.
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby Whirlwind06 » Mon May 02, 2016 9:14 am

If Jerry uses a cement mixer it has to be okay. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5y_dsP3dsM
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby Brian D. » Mon May 02, 2016 9:38 am

I saw a local. commercial reloader using a mixer as tumbler many years ago. Not many if any tumblers made for cartridges out there in those days.
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby jeep45238 » Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:36 pm

Follow up on this - I went ahead with the smaller, reasonable Frankford Arsenal Rotary Tumbler (FART). I use it frequently, and dry the brass out in a food dehydrator and use the FA wet/dry media separator to get the pins out (except bottlenecks, no pins for those).

It's a relatively short clip - the last part of the video shows the drainage of the drum, which for me is the big part. No dust, reduced lead exposure, way cleaner brass, etc..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUwzhZ5cMaY
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Re: Concrete mixer as wet tumbler

Postby Whirlwind06 » Mon Jan 13, 2020 9:38 am

I have been using the FART with no pins and they come out great.
This thread has all of the ingredients to use to clean the brass.
https://pistol-forum.com/showthread.php ... he-F-A-R-T

1/8 tsp washing soda
1tsp ETDA
1 tsp citrc acid
1 tbs armor all
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