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Drying shot after casting

I use non-stainless steel shot as the final step in polishing with a
vibratory tumbler. When it’s finished, I run water through the barrel
and out the drain hose to rinse off the shot and castings, and shake
the barrel to knock as much loose water out as possible. Then I
screen the shot and castings through a plastic colander whose holes
have been altered to let the shot fit. I screen it onto a large beach
towel that’s been folded to fit on top of my washing machine
(conveniently located next to the sink). I set the colander with the
castings aside, and spread the shot out on the towel in a single
layer, and then I blot it with another towel. I let it sit long
enough to rinse the castings again and remove them from the colander
to dry them. As soon as I’m done with that, I go back and gather up
all the corners of the wet beach towel full of shot, pick it up and
carefully pour it onto another dry beach towel. I spread it out
again, blot it with paper toweling, and let it sit. Within half an
hour it’s dry, rust-free, and ready to put back in its plastic jar
until the next use.

The one time I forgot to move the shot off the first towel onto a
dry one, I got major rust. I put the shot back in the tumbler, filled
it with water and tumbling lubricant (LR-33), and ran it for a couple
hours with water flowing through. The rust all came off the shot and
rinsed out into the catch pail. I have been very careful to dry it
thoroughly since then and have had no further problems.

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry

The easiest way to care for steel shot is to leave it in the
tumbler submerged in your tumbling solution. Shot won’t rust under
water. Also, it’s very easy to string your castings with plastic
fliament (fishing line) and tumble them strung. Just pick out the
castings on a line and you avoid wasting time “fishing” for your castings.