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Can any one suggest how to separate stainless steel shot from non stainless steel shot. Accidentally combined in new vibratory tumbler

Help! I inadvertently mixed stainless steel shot with the original non stainless steel shot that came with my vibratory tumbler which I bought in 1980 when I was a student.
I don’t think they had stainless steel shot back then.
I am using the special burnishing compound which i understand protects the shot.
Can any body suggest how I can separate them ?

Did you try a strong magnet?


Yes, that was my thought, too. Not all stainless is non-magnetic, but there should be a difference in the attraction vs non-stainless and this might be a way to separate them if it is somewhat magnetic. Maybe roll them across an incline into the path of the magnet…otherwise it’s going to be a laborious process of looking at the color difference and separating by eye one by one…if they were different sizes, stone sieves might separate the round ones, at least…

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Let it rust, but that kind of defeats your hoped outcome.

The stainless I have used is all non magnetic. So get a magnet and give it a go. Magnets are good holders of tools in the shop so you can always use one or more.

Thank you Aurora and Royjohn - I need to find a strong magnet!

Definitely going to get a magnet and hope my new shot is good quality SS!

Use a magnet, Most stainless steel will not be attracted to a magnet.

the magnet is the best answer!
But to remove the steel-shot is a problem, wrap the magnet in a thin towel, remove the towel. None of those pesky & irritating nodules will stick to the magnet, from experience, this works all of the time!

Gerry, on my iPhone


That’s brilliant Gerry! Makes such sense too.
Thank you.

If you find that the magnet idea doesn’t work because they are both too magnetic then you may find that one of them has a different Curie temperature being that they are different alloys. If so, you could separate them that way with a magnet by simply heating to the lowest Curie temperature.

EDIT: Oh! I see this thread was posted last year! HAHA! :rofl::rofl: