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Storing Stainless Steel Shot


#1

Hi all,

I did an archive search and I’m still a tad confused about the proper
storing and care of stainless steel shot.

Here are the questions I’m trying to clear up:

  1. If I am using it 2-3 times a week should I still dry it in
    between uses?

  2. If I am only using it once a week should I dry it?

  3. How long can I leave it in the water without it rusting?

  4. Is there anything I should store it in? Can I store it in the
    barrel (rotary tumbler)? Does that have to be airtight? Or can I
    store it on the cookie tray which is where I put it to dry.

  5. What’s the easiest way to dry it? A few on the archives spoke of
    putting it under a hot lamp, I have 10 lbs of stainless steel
    shot,my heat lamp would take forever. Any problems with putting it
    in the oven on low?

  6. Not about storing, but I read a lot about using dishwasher soap
    instead of the burnishing compound that I bought with it. Is this
    okay to do? Any guidelines?

Thanks so much in advance!

Amery (91 degrees in LA today, no I am not bragging! I’m just a
little worried about our planet, it is Nov 20th!)

Amery Carriere Designs
www.amerycarriere.com


#2

Hello Amery,

I did an archive search and I'm still a tad confused about the
proper storing and care of *stainless* steel shot. 
If I am using it 2-3 times a week should I still dry it in between
uses? 

Air dry will be fine, in our lab we rinse after each use and let dry
in a colander/strainer.

How long can I leave it in the water without it rusting? 

It shouldn’t rust at all, but I don’t feel comfortable leaving any
steel shot in water, but that’s just me.

Not about storing, but I read a lot about using dishwasher soap
instead of the burnishing compound that I bought with it. Is this
okay to do? Any guidelines? 

Burnishing compound is engineered for tumbling, soap is not. But
there are many here that would disagree, so user beware.

Happy Thanksgiving, and to all our friends outside of the US, I hope
you have a wonderful weekend too!

Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical Support
800-545-6566
505-839-3000 ex 13903
technicalsupport@tbg.riogrande.com


#3

Stainless steel shot will NOT rust. Leave it wet all the time if you
wish.


#4

Amery, I have two vibrating tumblers with 30 lbs each of stainless
steel shot. Both tumblers are used about twice a week. We never dry
out the shot, but always, when not in use, keep it in airtight,
plastic containers, well mixed with (and covered by) some of the
burnishing soap and water from the last use. When we start the
tumblers again, we add some new soap and HOT water, which really
helps getting the load to “turn” in our tumblers. We can leave the
shot covered for weeks without worrying about it. We threw out all of
our ordinary steel shot about ten years ago, and have never had any
problems since. We do, however, clean the shot once a year with a
special cleaning powder which I suspect is slightly abrasive and
acidic.

Hope this helps.


#5
...I did an archive search and I'm still a tad confused about the
proper storing and care of *stainless* steel shot. 1) If I am
using it 2-3 times a week should I still dry it in between uses? 2)
If I am only using it once a week should I dry it? 3) How long can
I leave it in the water without it rusting? 

WHAT NOT TO DO:

I’m interested in this thread, it is timely for me as I finally got
my first tumbler several weeks ago – I bought a twin barrel rotary
tumbler (for only $76! from jatayu.com). It works GREAT and is nice
and quiet. I’d compare it very favorably to the big, vibrating,
expensive & VERY noisy tumbler I’d used in a jewelry class. Anyway –
my tumbling euphoria was brief as within a week my steel shot (from
Rio) was all rusty and a mess.

For the solution in the tumbler I was using Simple Green & water.
(another bright idea from the archives.) I left the shot wet in the
tumbler. (Apparently a mistake.)

So NOW I’ve dried out my shot, but it’s dull and rusty and I’ve not
had time to figure out how to correct my error. I admit I’m tempted
to just replace the shot with my next Rio order… (why do they call
it STAINLESS, anyway?)

Carolyn Rose
Houston


#6
Stainless steel shot will NOT rust. Leave it wet all the time if
you wish. 

This is a big misconception about stainless, certain grades of
stainless will corrode (rust) if left unattended or exposed to
moisture over time, namely the 400 series of stainless. I dont know
what grade most SS shot is made from (my guess 304, which has a
higher corrosion resistance but can still corrode), if you take
reasonable care of the shot, it should last you a lifetime. I highly
suggest drying the shot if you plan on storing it for some time. It
can be as simple as laying it out on a towel and air drying.

If you are experiencing corroding stainless, youll have to
re-passivate the shot. This means chemically cleaning to remove any
iron that has clung (or exposed iron) on the surface (this is the
culprit of most corrosion on stainless) and to re-oxidize the
chromium on the surface.

Some good general info on stainless and corrsion can be found here

http://www.ssina.com/faq/
http://www.ssina.com/view_a_file/corrosionfinal.pdf
http://www.mcnallyinstitute.com/04-html/4-1.html

Now if you can get your hands on some 316 series shot, that would be
the ticket.

P@
www.patpruitt.com


#7
I did an archive search and I'm still a tad confused about the
proper storing and care of *stainless* steel shot. 

Amery - the reason you spent all that money for stainless steel shot
is because you don’t have to worry about it. Rinse and drain the shot

  • I use a fine colander, then put it back in the pan or bowl you
    store it in. If you leave it in the rubber liner, it won’t hurt the
    shot, but the rubber gets a bit skanky. The drying part isn’t
    necessary, just don’t seal the stuff up, let the moisture evaporate.
    If you live in a very humid environment, drying it won’t hurt. It’s
    not a problem here in Colorado.
Not about storing, but I read a lot about using dishwasher soap
instead of the burnishing compound that I bought with it. Is this
okay to do? Any guidelines? 

As to using dishwasher soap, I wouldn’t do it. Automatic dishwasher
soap is very strong and I don’t think it would be good for the rubber
liner. Regular dishwashing soap like Dawn for example doesn’t have
the additives that the burnishing compound does. The burnishing
compound has the correct pH, has surficants and is compounded to do
the job. I notice that stuff I run with the burnishing compound
doesn’t seem to tarnish. Be sure to mix the right proportions of
water to concentrate, if you skimp on concentrate or use regular
soap, you get the dreaded black scum on your shot.

Judy Hoch


#8

I’ve been using the same batch of stainless steel shot for over 5
years at this point. No decay, no rust, no diminishment of luster or
effectiveness. I’ve had to clean it once, due to my forgetting to
turn off the tumbler overnight, resulting in a mass of black goo the
next day. Cleaning it involved rinsing it and putting it back in the
tumbler with about a cup and a half of Coca Cola and running it for
an hour.

I store it in one of those Ziploc disposable containers which I pour
it into each time I’m done using it. It goes in the container, the
container gets refilled with water, and I have my water pre-measured
and shot ready to pour into the tumbler the next time I use it. Very
easy, very simple, very reliable.

Hope this helps!

Karen Goeller
No Limitations Designs


(Where I just posted my new pieces from my “winter collection”!)


#9
This is a big misconception about stainless, certain grades of
stainless will corrode (rust) if left unattended or exposed to
moisture over time, namely the 400 series of stainless. 

15 years of using the same stainless steel shot, tumble 2-3 times a
week, and no rust. I rinse it throw it back in my rotary black rubber
barrel, never dry it, and have no problems. The only problem has been
occasionally turning dull grey or employees sending it down a drain.

Richard Hart


#10
my tumbling euphoria was brief as within a week my steel shot (from
Rio) was all rusty and a mess.... (why do they call it STAINLESS,
anyway?)

My mistake – I just checked my invoice – I only THOUGHT I had
ordered stainless, I ordered carbon steel by mistake. I’ll replace
it with the stainless… I don’t need the hassle of caring for the
carbon.

Carolyn R – another day, another newbie error…
Houston


#11

Stainless steel shot doesn’t rust. I leave mine in the tumbler,
sometimes with the soapy solution, sometimes drained, never dried.
I’ve had this shot for many years and have never had a problem.


#12

It seems that you do not have STAINLESS STEEL shot, but instead your
shot is CARBON STEEL (which rusts and requires that you keep it wet
all the time or thoroughly dry it after each use.

If you plan to change your shot to STAINELESS, check Thunderbird
Supply, or Indian Jeweler Supplies, you may find a better price,
since Stainless is quite expensive.


#13

At my old job my boss told me to just rinse the stainless pins for
the magnetic finisher, and then leave them sitting in water in the
bowl ready for the next time we need it. There was never any rust.

At school the stainless shot is kept in a tupperware container when
its not being used. Its put away wet. There doesn’t seem to be any
problems, but I rarely use it.

The Rio catalog says stainless shot needs no storage maintenance.

Jon


#14

Are you sure you ordered stainless steel shot? You can also order
regular steel shot, so perhaps that is what you ordered by mistake?
I know I almost ordered the regular steel shot because I was in a
hurry, luckily I caught my mistake before it was too late!

Rose


#15

Carolyn…

I don't need the hassle of caring for the carbon. 

I just do not understand everyone’s aversion to using carbon steel
shot!

I only use carbon steel and have never had any problem with it…no
rust, no blackening…just no problem. The secret is to keep it under
water and use only commercial grade burnishing soap in the water. I
have shot that has sat idle for months and when I open the tumbler,
it is perfect.

Now and then, when I clean out the tumbler, I clean the shot as a
matter of course…as you should do with ss as well. I simply rinse
it, put it into a plastic bowl and ‘coke’ it for a few minutes. Rinse
it, put it back in the tumbler, add the soapy water and away we go.

Looooottttssss cheaper my friends and I like the finish better!

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance IS fine jewelry!


#16

I’ve been using the same shot for about 8 years…

I’ve even moved, packed it away for about 3 years, and when I
recently opened it to use again, it was a little black, but still
useable if cleaned… It had been in a sealed plastic jar in
probably burnishing liquid or dawn detergent, covered with water… I
rinsed it through a strainer, poured it back into the tumbler with
ammonia the first time, dish soap second time, ammonia again, dish
soap again and then it was perfectly clean and useable…

After I tumble I pour the contents out into a large Pyrex measuring
cup, the used burnishing liquid goes in there—I rinse my pieces off
and just because I tumble frequently, it’s usually sitting in my sink
in the Pyrex bowl covered in liquid all the time—don’t ever dry,
only if I’m going away for a week or so do I bother to put back in
jar and cover…

As I mentioned, same shot, 8 yrs. old, great condition…

Blessings, Margaret