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Author Topic: Cleaning brass  (Read 1322 times)

Adskii

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Cleaning brass
« on: July 24, 2016, 11:38:30 AM »
So have a bag full of brass I picked up while camping, I got it to use as bright shiny bits on knife handles. Just one problem, they were outside long enough that they aren't shiny.

I have two questions, one: is there a low to no cost way to clean up that brass?
Two: what is the easy way to remove those primers? Drilling each one seems time intensive.

I'm mostly making toy jewelry and decisions out of them. Who would figure that my girls fight each other for the bracelet with spent 9mm shells that  tinkle like bells.

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    only1asterisk

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #1 on: July 24, 2016, 07:43:25 PM »
    A small pin punch will remove primers.  A couple of fender washers taped together fender washers will clear a base with enough space for the primer to go.  If you don't have a pin punch, you can make a tool out of a blunted finishing nail.  Ultra fine steel wool, brasso, mothers mag, etc will all polish.

    Adskii

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #2 on: July 24, 2016, 11:04:12 PM »
    So... elbow grease. Cool.

    Mikee5star

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #3 on: July 24, 2016, 11:07:24 PM »
    Cleaning brass is a question of elbow grease or money.
    Vibratory cleaners are cheap as is corn cob media.
    Alaska

    sqlbullet

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 11:29:20 AM »
    Stainless pin tumbling will make the brass look new, but isn't cheap.  Find a buddy that has one and see if he will run them for you.
    Utah

    only1asterisk

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #5 on: July 25, 2016, 12:43:34 PM »
    Stainless wire media will indeed clean them to nice shiny brass, but if you are only doing a couple dozen for non firing purposes, an electric drill with a dremal bit that holds cutoff disc makes polishing by hand quick an painless.

    Adskii

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #6 on: July 26, 2016, 09:53:22 AM »
    I actually have a dremel, and a billion heads for it. I even have cloth wheels and wire wheels for it and my drill.

    Now cutoff discs? and just very, Very gently brush them with it?

    only1asterisk

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #7 on: July 26, 2016, 10:41:42 AM »
    I actually have a dremel, and a billion heads for it. I even have cloth wheels and wire wheels for it and my drill.

    Now cutoff discs? and just very, Very gently brush them with it?

    Take the cut off disc off of it's mandrel and insert the mandrel into the case. Insert the screw thought the primers flash and tighter it down.  Now you can spin the case with the Dremel or electric drill while using the steel wool or rag with polishing compound. 

    Adskii

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #8 on: July 26, 2016, 01:09:09 PM »
    Nice. That makes so much more sense.

    I may or may not have "polished" an old rusty survival knife I found with a grinder once upon a time. :-[

    It's just not the same.

    rocky

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #9 on: August 18, 2016, 10:48:13 PM »
    hi white wine vinegar will take off the tarnish, place  brass in vinegar  in a glass jar , tarnish will remove itself
    New York

    Adskii

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #10 on: August 19, 2016, 12:52:30 AM »
    That's the sort of thing I was looking for. My brother in law happened to have access to a tumbler and I only had to drive 200 miles to get to it.

    only1asterisk

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #11 on: August 24, 2016, 08:41:45 PM »
    You can remove tarnish with a mild acid.  However, if you aren't careful the acid can case it's own issues.  There aren'tank free lunch.

    Adskii

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #12 on: August 29, 2016, 09:49:39 AM »
    You say that, but I drove out to Vernal for the Basin Sports range day... and there was plenty of shiny new brass on the ground. Took my father-in-law, and three Brother-in-laws. THe look on their faces when the .50 BMG went off was almost as good as the look on their faces when they got to shoot it.

    StevenTing

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #13 on: August 29, 2016, 04:47:35 PM »
    Not sure what city you are in but I am in South Jordan and I tumble using Stainless media.  If you want to bring the brass by I don't mind tumbling them at all.  Just need at least an hour for it to work is magic.

    Utah

    Adskii

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #14 on: August 30, 2016, 12:10:15 AM »
    I'm up in Logan right now, but I appreciate the offer. I got them run through an in-law's tumbler, and gathered more than a few more from the ground at the manufacturer's range day out near Vernal this last weekend. I am set for a while.

    I didn't realize that they were making casings in Aluminum now. I snagged a few for curiosity's sake. They felt so light, almost like plastic, do they hold up for reloads?

    First Shirt

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    Re: Cleaning brass
    « Reply #15 on: August 30, 2016, 02:13:23 PM »
    Most of the aluminum cases are Berdan primed (if you look down into the case, you'll see two off-center flash holes, instead of one in the center.  You can decap them, but it's a right pain to do so.  (As an experiment once upon a time, a buddy and I used transmission fluid and a close fitting piece of dowel rod to decap some aluminum cases.  Simply fill the case half full of fluid, stick the dowel down the case mouth, and smack it with a small dead blow hammer.   It worked, for given values of "worked", but was messy and time-consuming, and the primers were an odd size, anyway.  And did I mention it was really messy?)

    So, unless you can use it for jewelry, picking up aluminum or steel cases is good exercise, and a nice bit of clean up at the range.
    Alabama"Stand your ground!  Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"  Capt. John Parker

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