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Holy smokes! A tumbling we will go!


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#101 Rob968323

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 08:37 AM

Ahhh... that tangerine smell!! :D
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#102 tonyp

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 08:51 AM

Rob, by the time you could buy it they had made it safe. LOL...

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#103 GTPJoe

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 12:39 PM

Hi Pablo!

A while back, and I do mean a WHILE, I was in the metal finishing business. From what I remember the media you want is a steel media called "pins". Metal media will deburr and burnish nicely. Pins in particular get into tight places and clean and polish without getting lodged. HERE's a local place that sells the stuff. Probably not cheap, but lasts forever with a little care.

You'd think metal would be too tough to use but we made jewelry and even thin delicate pieces that I could bend in my hand would come out smooth and shiny!

Check it out...
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#104 slotbaker

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 05:23 PM

I tried "brickies" sand with dishwashing liquid in the tumbler on some Cox mag stuff and an old brass frame. Topped up with water to cover the lot.

It worked OK on external surfaces, but just hung inside the wheels, so didn't work too good there. The abrasive (grit/soda) blasting is still the best thing for the Cox mag bit.

I'm pretty sure all sand would give similar results.

The brass turned out OK, too, but not quite as shiny as with media. It ended up nice and smooth with an even finish.

:)

Steve King


#105 Dave Larsen

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 06:34 PM

Hey Rick, and others :bye: ...

I have tumbled another flying "A" chassis, and it came out great :sun_bespectacled: you might want to give this a try for a "solution" :wizard: no rust, no water spots for obvious reasons :ok: and it leaves a very real-looking finish. I'm not one for the "polished" look on a chassis, never seen one that was raced Posted Image look like that. As we all know, it comes down to taste, and what one likes. :ok: I dumped a tablespoon in and let the tumbler do its thing. This stuff :secret: has been around for a long, long time. It works!!! :ok:

Posted Image

Next, I will start getting after Dan's "Pro" cars. :on_the_quiet2:
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#106 68Caddy

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Posted 24 May 2008 - 10:48 PM

That's what I would say, Dip It :laugh2:
Saturday night of course I would polish up the hardware, wouldn't you? :laugh2:
Vit you just made me think, that's what I need to polish my plastic chassis.
Have to say, you are absolutely right that things that are going down the race ways don't look like jewelry ;)
Yea, I like pretty things but I like fast cars.
Thanks for sharing that. ;)

Nesta aka 68CaddyPosted Image
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#107 dc-65x

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:26 AM

Hi Dave,

That chassis lools great :wub: !

The problem I was having with corrosion wouldn't show up right away but rather several weeks to a month later. Just to be safe keep you eyes open for little spots on the steel rails. You really have to look closely to catch them before they start to eat into the steel. This was happening even after the chassis had been soaked in WD40 for 24 hours and wiped dry :blink: :shok: .

Anyway, I'd sure appreciate it if you could report back here after a month or so :) .

Thanks for showing us the Flying "A" chassis and I can't wait to see Dan's.

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#108 TSR

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 11:56 AM

I'm not one for the "polished" look on a chassis, never seen one that was raced

Indeed, the finish by tumbling is quite different from what the builders did then. But it is a fabulous way of getting rid of the brass corrosion without damaging the chassis. What I do AFTER the tumbling is to bring back the original finish by using a steel wire brush and a Brill-O pad as we used to in the old days. Several builders also used a criss-cross pattern at the bottom of the chassis, using rough sand paper to create the pattern, then the Brill-O pad to smooth it out.

But when building a replica, the polished look is hard to beat!

As far as rusting steel rails, the solution for me when building a replica is to tin the steel wire first. Once assembled, the chassis is tumbled and the tin "plating" stays thick enough (a few microns really!) to withstand the process. Hence no rust. :)

Dave, nice idea to include the Dip-It. That stuff REALLY works!

#109 Dave Larsen

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 03:53 PM

Hi Rick :bye:

Here's a picture of the FIRST flying "A" chassis I did in my first post, after I got my tumbler :wub: It's a great way to clean "OLD" chassis :dance3: that's for sure! I do beleive it's been in that baggie for over a month, since it was tumbled in "DIP IT," which I used right from the start when I got my tumbler. :good: I don't spend the time to tumble a "new" chassis, because I do it the "old way" as Philippe describes when I complete a chassis :sarcastic_hand:. There are some that know how long it takes me to do a chassis, and tumbling a "new" one will only add to their delay of receiving the goods. :whistle3: :whistle3: :whistle3:

The chassis was air dried, and them wiped down with a towel. No oil of any kind was used to prevent RUST :dash2: these pictures were taken today...

Posted Image

Posted Image

A tip: :to_become_senile: When tumbling a "OLD SCHOOL" SPRING STEEL center section with a BRASS drop arm and bat pans style chassis. You need to clean the center section as best as you can by hand :aggressive: be it with a wire wheel on a Dremel, or with a :help: pad. The simple reason when you tumble this chassis, is that the brass will be to your liking, and the center section will not be. :shok: This just might have to do with the different hardness of the two types of metals. :scratch_one-s_head:
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#110 dc-65x

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 07:44 PM

Thanks for the update, Dave. Looks like corrosion is not a problem :D .

One more question if I might. Does the Dip-It explode in blast of foam when you take the lid off the tumbler?

Thanks again, Dave.

Rick Thigpen
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#111 Dave Larsen

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 02:54 PM

Shoot, Rick... I forgot to tell you. :prankster2:

Yep, it's like opening up a shaken-up can of Pepsi. :laugh2: I'm very sorry, Rick, I forgot to mention to let it calm down for a few minutes after tumbling and then crack the lid.

As always, Rick :drinks:

Regards,

Dave :pardon:
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#112 tonyp

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 07:14 AM

I am going to have to try that. I like the finish better than the really shiny one.

Thanks for the info.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#113 Pablo

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 12:43 PM

My experiments all failed.

Sand (mixed into the ceramic media) cleaned the crevices well, but clogged hinges and even just a handful mades the motor run warmer than normal. Ceramic media STILL clogged the axle tubes.

Lizard Litter (walnut) (mixed in with the ceramic media) didn't seem to clean any better, and clogged hinges and crevices. Ceramic media STILL clogged axle tubes.

Haven't tried steel pins yet but it sounds expensive.

Arm & Hammer laundry liquid is unimpressive.

Next experiment: back to regular ceramic media and automatic dishwashing soap. :curtsey:
Paul Wolcott

#114 tonyp

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 01:01 PM

It's amazing where those ceramic bits will wedge themselves.

"And if my thought-dreams could be seen they'd probably put my head in a guillotine. But it's alright, Ma, it's life, and life only." - Dylan

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#115 bobo

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:12 PM

All,

To help keep the foaming to a minimum, put int some "anti-foaming" liquid used for carpet cleaning.
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#116 Don Weaver

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:32 PM

It's amazing where those ceramic bits will wedge themselves.

I put an axle through the bushings/tube and stick some tape on the ends of the axle to keep it from slipping out. This keeps the ceramic media from getting into the tubes.

Don Weaver

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#117 Phil Irvin

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Posted 04 September 2008 - 09:31 PM

Back when I was a young man, I remember a machine shop had made a tumbler and they used a small 3/16" to 1/4" three-pointed media and used auto trans fluid (ATF) rather than water. I saw some of the parts that had been tumbled and they were bright but not shiney. The points of the media did get in the small slots and corners pretty well.

Idea? ;)

Phil

#118 Jerry Ward

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 01:59 PM

Hi Guys,

I have a few questions about tumbling chassis. On average how long do you tumble a chassis? And have you or has anyone tried to do other chassis besides brass, one like spring steel or your JK Cheetah 7 or Flexi chassis? Will this process clean them, too? :)

Thanks,

Jerry
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#119 Pablo

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 04:08 PM

Jerry,

I have tumbled scratchbuilt brass chassis up to eight hours no problemo and they just keep getting better.

Steel chassis I have not tried. Why polish something you can buy for $20 ?
Paul Wolcott

#120 Rick

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:07 PM

Fabric softener should be a good anti-foam agent to add. Probably a tablespoon or two would do the trick?
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#121 Jerry Ward

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 07:44 PM

Thanks. Here we don't do much in the summer when tracks are closed so I take most of my cars apart and the chassis are real rough-looking so I thought I might clean then up some. Sometimes you get or got one that works real well and you don't want to get rid of it.

Thanks for the info. I didn't know you tumbled them that long.

Just wondered if anyone tried a steel chassis may give it a try as soon as I get my tumbler getting the AR-12 from Cabelas.

Thanks,

Jerry :rolleyes:
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#122 Bill from NH

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Posted 23 September 2008 - 08:09 PM

While not done with a tumbler, I've seen spring steel Eurosport chassis that were polished to a mirror shine using Mother's Mag & Aluminum Polish. :)

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#123 Pablo

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 07:07 PM

OK Jerry, I understand.

I use Buffalo Arms ceramic media and the liquid soap that came with it, in my Thumlers Tumbler.

I think eight hours on your steel chassis would work well. Just remember, one chassis at a time!! :shok:
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#124 Jerry Ward

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:43 PM

OK, thanks for the info, Paul.

Cabela's sells a kit of corn cob media with brass polish, iteM XJ-214211. The polish is a liquid. That's the only one they sell. Should I give that a try or just use the stuff you use? The kit is $13.00.

Think I will spray them with WD40 after I air blow dry them so they don't rust up on me.

Is there a web site for Buffalo Arms and their ceramic media and soap? Is that a kit, too? And you're right - one at a time!

Thanks again,

Jerry :D
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#125 Pablo

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 08:58 PM

Jerry, use what you have, it will be OK. Just do it. :)

Eight hours. If the street lights dim, unplug and add more water. :laugh2:

Just do it. :D
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#126 Jerry Ward

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:12 PM

OK - Thanks again!! :unsure:
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#127 dc-65x

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Posted 24 September 2008 - 09:17 PM

Guys,

Since I started this thread I've done a lot of experimenting with Steve Okeefe. I've had chassis shine up like jewelry and then corrode while in storage even after WD40 soaks using Cabelas and Buffalo Arms liquid. Here is what works for sure. It's a process that Steve has refined and I use:

"Now, the polish... 8 or 9 hours (overnight) in the tumbler with an ounce or two of TIDE h-e (low suds for front loading machines). When you're done tumbling, the water in the drum will be gray.

Rinse thoroughly in clean water and blow dry with pressurized air. Now, to get the chassis really dry (especially in the hinges), 30 minutes in a 220 to 250 degree oven. As soon as the chassis comes out of the oven (while it's still hot) oil the hinges with tiny amounts of common motor oil. Handle ONLY while wearing cotton gloves and DO NOT set the chassis down anywhere! Slip the chassis into a heavy plastic storage bag, squeeze as much air out as you can and zip it up."


Try it. You'll like it :) .

PS: We are using Cabelas ceramic media with the drum filled with water to the top of the media.

Rick Thigpen
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#128 Chris Barnes

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 11:24 AM

Well, I bought the Thumlers AR-6, as it was available at McMaster-Carr. I used the above process and all I can say is that it works!

A side note, the AR-6 does not have to be assembled. Just remove it from the box and use.

I am very pleased with the results and thank all with their comments/recommendations.

Chris

#129 Cheater

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Posted 01 October 2008 - 11:47 AM

And have you or has anyone tried to do other chassis besides brass, one like spring steel or your JK Cheetah 7 or Flexi chassis?

At work, we have three vibratory tumblers (two with ceramic media and one with metal media) and I have run a few Flexis through them in the past.

I left them in just long enough to burnish the plating. I didn't process them long enough to go through the plating, so any "cleaning" was minimal. I haven't tumble a stainless chassis.

The effect I got was a softening or rounding of the stamped chassis' sharp edges.

Gregory Wells

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#130 Rick

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 11:43 AM

Tumbling we go. I bought a large Harbor Freight Wet vibratoty tumbler about a year ago. The thing works well excpet it always seemed that the rotary tumblers looked better to me. SO I finally bought a rotary unit, A thumblers Tumbler. I found they make size that is perfect for slot chassis. SO i figured a full report on both types was in order.

The large Harbor Frieght unit, work fine. They say vibrating is faster then rotary? I am not so sure of that now. The vibrator is much noisier so it has to be in the garage or basement when being used. The rotary is almost silent. check one for the rotary unit.

The large HF unit is a PITA to clean and change media types. Picking up a bowl that weighs 20 pounds and bringing it to you cleaning area is a chore. The rotary one weighs 10 pounds and travels much easier. Plus one again for the rotary. Not to mention you need 20 pounds of media vs 9 pounds.

After tumbling completely a chassis in the rotary, it came out shinier than a new penny. I think better than the vibrator every did, using the same exact media. The ease of cleaning up after use is way easier with the rotary smaller machine, less media to deal with.

After looking around for a while I found this size available and its model number is A-R6 and its a 9" drum, round on the outside and segmented on the inside of the rubber to aide tumbling. At the finer raceways, they will also have full line hobby access and you can buy or order thru them. I know Mac's Tom Thmub has tumbers on the shelf there. They may not have this particular unit, in stock, but he could get you one, I am sure. Give Mike or Cindy McMasters a call.

Now for pricing. The HB large 18 pound machine costs $149.00, on sale and $189 regular. The large tumbler like Mr. Steube uses is about $180 everywhere, I have looked. The A-R6 is about $113.00. The A-R6 is perfect for slots! Could probably do 2 maybe 3 chassis at a time if you wanted. It did an A1 job with one chassis.

As an aside, Butch got some killer media and at a great price one time, BUT he had to buy a 100 pound bag!! If you could get enough people together to but up a 100 pounds I bet Butch would give it a go again? But he maight say, NO WAY, not interested. LOL

I think a track could buy one and offer the service to their racers for a small fee and everyone is happy.

After using both myself, IMO the rotary does a better job on the brass chassis. I will now change the media in my large HF model and use it for deburring parts.

Last tip, do the cleanup in the basement sink. The media plays hell on a disposal. LMAO, not to mention the wife stays happier. The little media gets away from you easily and will require taking apart disposal in the kicthen...........
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#131 dc-65x

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Posted 11 July 2009 - 06:24 PM

Hi Rick,

Yup, the rotary tumbler and wet ceramic media tumbling with a little low suds detergent is the way to go.

Last tip, do the cleanup in the basement sink. The media plays hell on a disposal. LMAO, not to mention the wife stays happier. The little media gets away from you easily and will require taking apart disposal in the kicthen...........


The first time I rinsed a chassis off on the disposal side of the sink and a few pieces of media fell off the chassis, bounced around and headed for the disposal I about *hit :shok: . Luckily they didn't go down inside. I use the other side of the sink now..........when my wife's not around :laugh2: .

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#132 Phil Irvin

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 12:45 AM

:) :)

I finnally got mine out and have done 2 chassis. :wub: I got the ULTRA FINE ceramic media and use low sudsing laundry soap. I does a very good polish on fresh brass but takes soo long :shok: to do it. I can almoist build another chassis it tales so long.

What grade ceramic media do most work with and why? Corse, medium, fine, and I already have the extra fine.

GLAD I DON'T BUILD FAST :laugh2:
PHIL I.

#133 dc-65x

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 02:01 PM

Hi Phil,

I'm using the ceramic media from Cabelas. They don't say what "grade" it is. I tumble a chassis for about 8 hours. I'm going to be testing a recipe with some extra ingredients besides just soap. Maybe it will work faster.

Rick

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#134 Phil Irvin

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 08:38 PM

I got mine from Rio Grande in Albq. NM and they have 4 levals. I wonder what leval Cabales is?

PHIL IU.

#135 Pablo

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Posted 16 September 2009 - 09:07 PM

I re-tumbled a well used IRRA chassis today, using Buffalo Arms ceramic media and the liquid that comes with it.
It came out absolutely beautiful, like they all do, after 5 hours.

I have a theory. Rick T. (and Steve O) swear by another type detergent, I tried it, it pitted badly. Rick T. says the type liquid I use pits his chassis. Now, you know I inherently trust Rick T. My conclusion ? It must surely be a function of what the local water supply is, soft or hard. My local water is VERY soft here in the deep south, and the Buffalo Arms liquid works super.
That's my theory. Chose your detergent based on hardness or softness factor of your water.
Rick T, and Steve O, what do you guys think ?
Paul Wolcott

#136 gascarnut

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 03:05 PM

I have used the Buffalo Arms media and soap with water in both Colorado and Califormia, always with excellent results after 3-4 hours of tumbling.

The major cleaning happens in the first 1-2 hours, the rest is just for "Bling".......

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#137 Phil Irvin

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 06:36 PM

:angry:

Water here is harder than rocks.....JEES...I also found out DO NOT USE DISH SOAP DESIGNED FOR A DISH WASHING MACHINE...... They come out a nice BLACK :shok: .....It looked neet but the tarnish came off to easily. 10 min. with a wire brush in the Dremem fixed that...I too use a low sudsing soap & a dash of baking soda....Wonder how Comet would work..... Like in the ol'days with the wire brushes mmmm?

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#138 dc-65x

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 07:03 PM

That's my theory. Chose your detergent based on hardness or softness factor of your water.
Rick T, and Steve O, what do you guys think ?


Hi Pablo,

I guess since we got exactly the opposit results everyone should experiment and do what works for them. It's interesting you got pitting from Tide laundry soap :blink: :shok: . I know my water is very hard. I'm not sure what steve's is like........... :unsure:

Tumble on to your own beat gentlemen :)

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#139 Rick

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 07:22 PM

:angry:

Water here is harder than rocks.....JEES...I also found out DO NOT USE DISH SOAP DESIGNED FOR A DISH WASHING MACHINE...... They come out a nice BLACK :shok: .....It looked neet but the tarnish came off to easily. 10 min. with a wire brush in the Dremem fixed that...I too use a low sudsing soap & a dash of baking soda....Wonder how Comet would work..... Like in the ol'days with the wire brushes mmmm?

PHIL I.


I had the same result using automatic dishwashing liquid. It blackened the brass in several places. So no more of that stuff for me. :) Maybe it ws just the brand and not an across the board thing?
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#140 Bill from NH

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 07:53 PM

Wonder how Comet would work..... Like in the ol'days with the wire brushes mmmm?


It still works great like it always did. I use an old toothbrush so as not to mess up my braid brush. :laugh2:

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#141 Zippity

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:25 PM

Besides water, what is the name of the mysterious liquid that you experts add to your ceramic media? :)

Will Simple Green work just as well?

#142 Phil Irvin

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 11:17 PM

It still works great like it always did. I use an old toothbrush so as not to mess up my braid brush. :laugh2:



In the tumbler.....In the tumbler..... :laugh2: Tastes horrible but does clean you teeth :laugh2: ....

JEESE
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#143 J&B Bear

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 01:53 AM

Found the AR6 at http://www.e-hobbyland.com/thtu.html for 115.99 with free shipping. Seems ok since Lock Stock & Barrel is out of stock. Jerry Ward races at my Track, J&B Raceways in Fremont, Oh. and always has nice chassis`s and he`ll tell you I have the ugliest steel chassis`s in the joint.
So I guess since Jerry gave me a car to run some Retro in the last month in the Penn Ohio Series race #1 and the warmup race prior. I`m in the process of building a couple Can Am cars I might as well do it right. I raced my own chassis`s from the mid 60`s to Mid 70`s when it wasn`t Retro and I was just a pup but SOS pads and water was about all we did to clean them up back then.

Also would like to try and polish some of my Original Aurora Thunder Jet HO gears my buddy Wire EDM`s and makes much lighter. He uses a Lyman dry tumbler with corn cob media and tumbles them for about 3 days. They`re ready to use, polished & deburred so I`m curious. Probably will be a pain finding them in the tumbler but from the sounds of it from some of the earlier posts I better empty, drain, and dry it since I won`t be using it all that frequently once the initial surge of cleaning is thru. Or maybe I could offer it as a service at the Raceway like I read in the earlier posts also. It might as well pay for itself a little at a time. Thanks again Gentlemen!

Here`s a link to my gears in case anyone is curious or just wants to see something pretty cool. http://cgi.ebay.com/...e=STRK:MESOX:IT

Alot of good info all you guys Posted in this thread. Thanks! Saved me alot of time doing research.

Cheers!
Bear
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#144 Pablo

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 09:12 PM

Anybody have any experience tumbling old Dynamic aluminum chassis parts ?
Paul Wolcott

#145 Rick

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 09:21 PM

I have found a recipe that has worked so well for me, it's incrediable. I shared it with blog friend and he had disastrous results from the same recipe. SO I warm you, try it at your own risk but it makes my chassis and wire and solder joints shine like a new penny.

I use a dash of Dawn, a couple of shakes of Old Dutch Cleanser and a couple of tablespoons of baking soda. I tumble from 3 to 8 hours and they come out like they have been polished with brasso. I have a mixture of several different medias in my tumbler, from Buffalo Arms to Butchs stuff and another. The great thing about this mxture is I can use it for 4 to 7 chassis before it needs changing. It even seems to work better on the 2nd , 3rd etc. It will foam up some but not that bad.

As I said, it about ate up one that tried it. Could it really be different water? What are they putting in some water systems?

Someone else has to try the recipe and let me know how it works for you? IMO opinion, I think BonAmi would work just the same, but who knows? ,..................
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#146 Pablo

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Posted 29 September 2009 - 05:44 PM

I tried tumbling the Dynamic parts, if anybody cares.......it worked perfectly :)
I did several pieces at the same time.

Disclaimer: Your results may vary, depending on water chemistry, types of media, and soap used :laugh2:
I used super soft, Mississippi tap water, Buffalo Arms ceramic media and liquid polishing soap.

No Zippity, I have not tried Simple Green :laugh2:
Paul Wolcott

#147 Horsepower

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 03:59 AM

When you say worked perfectly, do you mean it shines better than new or just clean? I'd like to get a couple of those chassis to shine like the sun without using a wire wheel. If you haven't tried Simple Green you should. I haven't put it in a case tumbler but for everything else I've used it for it works superb and doesn't screw up paint or metal finishes. :good:
Gary Stelter

#148 Pablo

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 04:12 AM

Well, since 1966 was a long time ago, I don't really remember how shiny they were then :blush:
Mine came out, I would say, a little shinier than new. Better looking than a wire wheel would do, for sure.

Why would I want to change my polishing agent ? Buffalo Arms liquid is working super for me.
I'm pretty sure my theory about water chemistry being the determining factor as to what works is right on the money.
Manta Ray tried one of the above methods and ended up with a black mess.
I know what works for me and my Mississippi water and I'm not going to change. :rolleyes:
The water here is clean and soft.
Paul Wolcott

#149 Pablo

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 07:37 PM

Gary, now that I'm home looking at the tumbled Dynamic pieces, I'll modify my answer a little:
They look absolutely brand new. Not shinier than new. Just new.
Keep an eye on Ebay, I'll be selling a Gurney Eagle Dynamic Russkit soon.
You can judge for yourself. :wave:
Paul Wolcott

#150 Zippity

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Posted 04 November 2009 - 08:02 PM

My tumbling media is but a couple of days away from arriving in my letterbox - it came across the Tasman from Australia on a container ship :)

How much media do I place in the tumbler?

How much water do I use?

How much "Simple Green" do I add?

I'm getting excited - it has been months of waiting and now the day is almost here :yahoo: :yahoo:





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