Tumblers or drum vibe
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Joined: November 21, 2011
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Location: New Hampshire, U.S.A.

Tumblers or drum vibe
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Posted on Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:39 pm
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I wasn't sure where to post both question, so i figured general projects would work. I'm looking into buying a tumbler, for two different things. (1) to polish aluminum, and steal rings. (2) to smooth the rough edges of glass, to make it look like beach glass. I mostly make jewelry, so i don't need anything to big. I've looked at many, but can't find one for small jobs, that is not cheaply made. I'm also turning around in my head, the idea of making one. Have anyone made one that would work for small batches?, or have bought a nice small tumbler or vibe, that can be bought in the U.S.?
Thanks for any, and all answers.


Wicked Lucy

Joined: January 23, 2013
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Posted on Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:18 pm
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look here http://theringlord.com/cart/shopdisplayproducts.asp?id=166&cat=Tumblers

Joined: November 15, 2013
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Posted on Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:01 am
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try harbor freight tools, i got a vibratory tumbler on sale for $50, and fine walnut shell media 25 lbs. for $25. have had it a month, use it 4-5 days a week @ 6-12 hours at a time (depends on rings in it). my only suggestion is put a lock washer under the wing nut! it will come loose otherwise.


[Gator Jay][Here to learn more.]

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Posted on Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:12 pm
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Quality equipment will run well and be supported for a log time.
Gyroc and loratone are good brands, even used they often just need a new belt and maybe a new barrel. They also hold value well on the resale marker better then a Chinese knockoff.

The HF models tend to be ok for hobby use be some barrels on the rotary tumbler have a funky smell and transfer rubber grime until cleaned thru and thru. Fairly easy to fix it just takes time.

For home build units look for a motor that's sized to the project.
A 1/3hp salvaged from a washer/drier will work but can use a lot of power for a 3lb load.

I have a loratone I purchased from sundance art glass when they were running a special.
For tumbling and etching glass you need a lot more time.

A secondary dedicated barrel may be handy for a rotary tumble so you can switch as needed. A basic timeing circut that turns the machine off at night is also useful. The noise tends to keep me up at night.
Depending on model a rotary tumbler may take a PB jar or coffee can just as easily.

As for media the options vary depending on what you want for results, how long you need the media to last, and bow much you want to spend in time/money on operation. Theringlord has a decent thread on tumbling, rio grande also has a good info in a web series.
Walnut is cheaper at larger pet shops then jewlery or industrial supply.

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