Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Odd problem with my steel shot

I’m having an odd problem with my steel shot in the past few weeks.
My steel shot is old carbon steel, from the 80’s, and still working
just fine. After all those years, in the past few weeks, I’m having
the soapy solution all rusty. I use 920 compound from Rio Grande,
simply for the rust inhibiter, and normally, it works just fine. I
can leave the shot in the 920 compound mixed with water for weeks
without any ill-effects. Have been doing that since the 80’s.

All of a sudden, I’m having to change the tumbling solution more
frequently. I don’t know what is going on. I don’t want to get into
using steel shot storage solution, for it means extra steps, extra
rinsing off and more work. I use my steel shot constantly, except
right now, which is my downtime. I’ve used shot cleaner to clean the
shot, but I’m still getting rusty solution. Anything I’m missing? I
don’t want to dump my good ole’ carbon shot while it’s still good,
just to use stainless steel. Call me a frugal New Englander who likes
to keep things going as long as possible. I use clear Plexiglas
tumbling barrels and store the steel in a plastic container when not
in tumbler. I very rarely use the black rubber lined steel barrels,
only for larger work. Like to hear your thoughts.


I'm having an odd problem with my steel shot in the past few
weeks. My steel shot is old carbon steel, from the 80's, and still
working just fine. After all those years, in the past few weeks,
I'm having the soapy solution all rusty. 

Do you have city water? I’d call the water company and ask them if
they’re recently added something to sterilize the lines, like maybe
more chlorine. If they had any breach they’ve probably done so, and
maybe they won’t tell you for liability reasons…

I rinse well and dry my steel shot after each tumbling. Use a Kitty
Litter BIG plastic box lined with a towel or spread on a table on a
towel. I have shot for both the small 3# tumbler, and the 6 Qt
tumbler…don’t mix them, since they are in different areas of
studio Never wanted to rely on soaking it! Been using same shot for
20 years. Plus part of the shot is Stainless Steel.

Rose Marie Christison

I had a similar problem at one time. To overcome it I took the shot
out of solution at the end of the day using a kitchen sieve, then
swilled it water and laid it out on kitchen roll to dry then put it
back in the solution when I needed it.

Hope this helps.

Ah, the old rusty shot problem surfaces again! Try this cheap,tested
method to get the rust out.

Drain and clean your tumbler barrel. Wash your shot in clean water
and let it drain. Go out and buy two cans of regular Coca Cola (or
Coke). Open one and let it sit until the fizz is out of it. Then pour
the desired amount into the tumbler, add the shot, and let the
tumbler run for an hour or two. Drain and flush as usual. If all the
rust isn’t out, repeat the process. Your shot may be a little darker
when you empty it out and wash it, but it should be rust-free, and
will still tumble your metal just fine.

If you can succeed on one can, drink the other one and have a ball!

(Sometimes they send a defective batch of soap powder, I don’t know
why) Dee

I rinse mine well and then put in an iron frying pan and slowly heat
to dry. I then put it in a sealed container until I need it again. I
have been using the same shot for at least 15 years without problems.


I’ll just add a quick drying tip I remember from a past Orchid
posting. Sorry I don’t recall the poster, but s/he is ingenious.

Spread the shot on a paper towel or a piece of cotton flannel (or
other short-napped cloth) that is laid on the floor in front of your
refrigerator. As the compressor comes on, air is blown out at the
floor level and right across your shot. Just make others aware of
this so that they aren’t surprised! Fast drying - not to mention
another use for otherwise wasted energy.

Judy in Kansas, where New Year’s Day is bright and sunny with a brisk
breeze. I brought home several Poinsettias from church and will enjoy
them for several weeks yet.

Hi Joy

Here in Oz I to am like you - don’t like to change To solve a similar
problem, I clean the shot ( Mine is steel too) with a table spoon of
caustic soda and water till there is no more rusty solution some
times I do this 3 time to get what I want Just lately I have left the
caustic in the Gyrock B with still good polish results although
retrieving parts means gloves Hope this helps

PS Tap water can have lots of minerals that can cause shot to rust