View Full Version : Media use

07-24-2012, 9:52 AM

How long can you use the corn cob media? Does it wear out? The reason I ask is that I have used mine in my tumbler a couple times with mothers polish and a dryer sheet(unbelieveable results), and the media turned from light gold to brown.. What does that mean?

07-24-2012, 9:58 AM
My walnut media is black and still works.

07-24-2012, 10:07 AM
The color change means your once clean media has brass and powder residue in it. I changed over to walnut but the corncob I used was 2 or 3 years old and still cleaning brass. it was carrying a lot of residue and was harder to clean the brass afterwards but still making things shiny

07-24-2012, 10:19 AM
Personal preference.

I change mine out after it's pretty dark, but that's because cob is cheap and I got enough for 10 bucks to fill my tumbler about 3-4 more times. I didn't like the way my hands would get powder-grit on them from handling my brass. It was still shining them up damn well though.

Curley Red
07-24-2012, 10:53 AM
I am going on about 10 years of using the same media. Once it doesn't polish any more then I will throw it out. I do add a cap full of media cleaning liquid every time I clean brass.

Cowboy T
07-25-2012, 7:52 AM
You should be able to get at least a year out of your corn cob medium, and that's assuming fairly heavy usage, i. e. tens of thousands of cases through it. You can also recharge it with Mothers or NuFinish or Wicked Metal Polish (even Brasso, with proper precautions). A dryer sheet every now and again is enough to pick up the accumulated dust.

Walnut, I have a slightly different procedure. Still seems to last a good while. However, walnut medium does get dustier a lot faster. Therefore, I actually wash the walnut the same way you wash out rice before you cook it. This gets rid of all that dust (there's a lot!). Then, I spread the walnut out on some wax paper in the nice, warm sun and let it dry throughout the day. Afterwards, add some metal polish, and it's just like brand new.

07-25-2012, 8:07 AM
Another way to eliminate dust and retain th cleaning power of your media is to add a tablespoon or so of mineral spirits to it every time you tumble.

07-25-2012, 8:08 AM
Stainless! FTW!

07-25-2012, 4:37 PM
Stainless! FTW!

Not sure about this. Stainless does clean better but there is nothing to beat the simplicity of just tossing the brass in the tumbler and turning it on.

(I have both setups and the stainless sees less action)

07-26-2012, 4:14 AM
Another way to eliminate dust and retain th cleaning power of your media is to add a tablespoon or so of mineral spirits to it every time you tumble.

This is the way to keep the dust down!

07-26-2012, 8:25 AM
I'll try the mineral spirits.

I run the tumbler for about 6 seconds before and after cleaning with the lid open and the shop vac going to suck up all residual dust and my brass comes out very good. After media separation I dump the brass on a towel and give it a once over rub and everything is perfect.

No chemicals no additional products, just walnut. I'm sure corncob would work the same.

I'll be curious to see if the mineral spirits eliminates the need for the towel. But frankly it may not be worth using either because I'll use the towel anyway as a brass landing pad. Prevents roll-y-poll-y brass. Too easy not to just fold the towel over and dust the brass.

That doesn't work without the shop vac, gums up the towel and doesn't get all the dust. But when it's just a few specs leftover, works like a champ.


before I started this, I'd get a few hundred or 1000 rounds before brass cleaning stopped being effective. Now, I'm still on the same load of walnut I started this process with and no signs of less efficient cleaning.

Bill Steele
07-26-2012, 8:39 AM
I tumble a lot of brass. I don't keep exact track, but I am guessing I change my media maybe every 3-4 months. When I change it is because it has gotten very dark and starts to take longer to get the brass clean.

I buy 40lbs of corn cob from Drillspot for like $26 delivered, saves me a visit to the "feed store" here in SF...

I usually put some liquid car polish in my new media and run it for a few hours to get it mixed in and coated well. There are probably 30 other ways to do it that will yield perfect results as well.