Tumbling media: Stainless Steel vs. Walnut Shell (+1 more Q)
View previous topic | View next topic >
Post new topic Reply to topic
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
   
Author Message

Joined: January 31, 2009
Posts: 14
Submissions: 0

Tumbling media: Stainless Steel vs. Walnut Shell (+1 more Q)
Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:16 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I just bought a single barrel 3lb tumbler from Harbor Freight. I also bought stainless steel shot from them. I got home, threw in my just made bright aluminum rings, some shot, hot water, and blue dawn and let her rip. I pulled it out just to check about an hour later. My rings - deep dark gray. The water - Black as night.

Needless to say, I was upset, but undeterred. I came here and searched for about 2-3 hours for a post that would shed some light on what happened. No luck. I figure it is either the inside of the barrel needed a good cleaning or the steel shot was dirty. So I've removed my rings and continue to tumble just the shot with water and blue dawn, rinsing the whole batch out about every hour to hour and a half. I've done this about 4 or 5 times now. Every time the water is deep black.

So now I've told my story, here are my questions

I've read Walnut shell is just about as good as stainless steel shot. Is this true?

Would it be the shot or the barrel causing the black water/ grey rings, or both?

Joined: March 12, 2006
Posts: 770
Submissions: 9
Location: Huntington, WV

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Mar 08, 2009 6:48 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

I have a tumbler exactly like yours and I venture to say its the barrel. I tumble my rings dry and they get really shiny. But If I continue to tumble they turn a deep dark gray permanently. Hope that sheds some light on your problem.

Joined: January 31, 2009
Posts: 14
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Sun Mar 08, 2009 8:00 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

So the rings I have that are grey are a lost cause?
What type of dry media do you use, what metal do you use, and how long should I tumble them?

Joined: March 12, 2006
Posts: 770
Submissions: 9
Location: Huntington, WV

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:29 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

I use no media. I just let the rings tumble against themselves. I tumble 14ga and 16ga Galvy. Sometimes I'll tumble my Aluminum, but mostly galvy. Yea I would say that your grey rings are lost, I haven't had any luck in repolishing them.

Joined: March 12, 2006
Posts: 770
Submissions: 9
Location: Huntington, WV

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:30 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Oh, I usually let them tumble for a couple of hours. I check it about every half hour to and hour for shininess and to check if the belt snapped. (had it happen more than once)

Joined: January 31, 2009
Posts: 14
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:56 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Thanks for the help Ferd Smile

Joined: July 25, 2006
Posts: 958
Submissions: 3
Location: Klamath Falls, Or.

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:17 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

Ferd De Mann wrote:
I have a tumbler exactly like yours and I venture to say its the barrel. I tumble my rings dry and they get really shiny. But If I continue to tumble they turn a deep dark gray permanently. Hope that sheds some light on your problem.


A coating is only as permanent as your inability to remove said coating. It's a matter of the right tools for the job...a light cutting abrasive media, will do it, and if you're afraid it'll chew up that cheap arse barrel from HF, well, we're back to the right tools for the job, and I dare say HF has the "right" tools in name only.....their quality is horrendous, and you always pay with your time(valuable stuff in my eyes), trying to make the junk work......I'll get off my Harbor Freight rant now.....

....this thread, just down the page a bit, has info on a method of de-burring, either chain after it's made, or your cut rings...this will work also for cleaning up your AL.(save/keep this batch of cutting media separate from the cutting media you use for silver/copper/brass)

I'm all for saving money, and HF has some cheap tools....some will work for some jobs, just beware of the hidden costs in time spent trying to finagle a work around where one may not exist, i.e. cheap rubber barrels. I've even seen the barrels on these machines vary from one to another...one OK, one simply deteriorating junk(not due to anything the user did).

You can also etch the AL back to a pre-finish state with a mild acid or silver dip. Then burnish with stainless steel shot....keep in mind some aluminum alloy's will only get so "bright".

Kodiak-


"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity."
Chaincraft Mandrels

Joined: October 23, 2008
Posts: 80
Submissions: 0
Location: Ft. Collins Colorado

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:55 am
Link to Post: Link to Post

search kodiak's other posts for infinite wisdom on tumbling Uber . Basically HF barrell you are going to need to repeat that operation every hour or two until it comes out clean... Try about 5-10 times total and it should come out decent. with the HF tumbler you need to tumble every hour or two and change out the water.

Are you sure you got 'stainless' shot? Never seen stainless at HF and normal iron/steel will rust giving you problems of a whole other caliber. Mixed stainless shot is expensive, so is a good tumbler though....

Joined: January 31, 2009
Posts: 14
Submissions: 0

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:08 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Thanks Kodiak.

Yea, like I said, after my first run-in I came here. Most posts I read had a very in depth answer by Kodiak. I gained much knowledge about tumbling - mostly from him. I'm thinking it may be a combination of the 2 that is giving me my results also though. I put the shot, water, dawn, a and a few rings in a ziploc back and rubber banded the top, put that in another ziploc and tumbled for about 2 hours. The water came out a dark brown. I'm assuming this isn't normal. Am I wrong?

Joined: August 04, 2006
Posts: 162
Submissions: 1
Location: Wisconsin

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 3:37 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

At my job we tumble finished maille with water and dish soap; no tumbling media involved. Then we spray off the soapy mix with a water sprayer like the ones on kitchen sinks; after tumbling for about an hour and a half. Then let the soap free maille air dry while hanging in open air.


Pack of gum? Triple bag it!
-
www.chainmail.com

Joined: July 25, 2006
Posts: 958
Submissions: 3
Location: Klamath Falls, Or.

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:01 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

It could be a combination of both barrel and questionable quality shot....there really can be a lot of variables, it can sometimes get frustrating....the type of liquid mix/soap your using, even the water chemistry itself. There are places and water supplies that simply require filtered or buying gallons of distilled or spring water.

The goal when developing a finishing regimen is eliminating as many of the variables, the known possible negatives as you can, looking for that sweet combination....starting with decent quality tools and media, known quantities, will allow you to focus on the method, the steps themselves.

Like I said before, I know it's hard to not want to try and save money with less expensive tools, but....and some folks will, through perseverance or luck, find they can get acceptable results going the cheaper route, but here I argue their definition of acceptable, may not resemble mine, or yours. You CAN get an A+++ finish with the simplest of methods, and not cost an arm and a leg.

I should say, I really hate aluminum, and as a general rule, just refuse to work with it anymore....it's just too finicky to finish, and I really don't care for jewelry made with it....go enameled copper, or better yet, Ti or Ni if you'd like color.

Kodiak-


"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity."
Chaincraft Mandrels

Joined: October 23, 2008
Posts: 80
Submissions: 0
Location: Ft. Collins Colorado

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 5:03 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

you can clean the shot by tumbling it in flat coke, or using baking soda and rubbing it all over the media

Joined: July 25, 2006
Posts: 958
Submissions: 3
Location: Klamath Falls, Or.

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:29 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Baking soda's OK, but personally, I wouldn't use sugar syrup, even diluted, to clean shot....I know you'd rinse, but it just sounds messy, and a bit of work to make sure you rinsed it, your containers or strainer well enough.
Kodiak-


"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity."
Chaincraft Mandrels

Joined: October 23, 2008
Posts: 80
Submissions: 0
Location: Ft. Collins Colorado

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:45 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

From what I understand its the acidity from the darker soda or something like that which cleans it. I am assuming like a nail in a coke bottle that will dissolve after a few days time sort of thing.

Joined: July 25, 2006
Posts: 958
Submissions: 3
Location: Klamath Falls, Or.

Reply with quote
Posted on Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:17 pm
Link to Post: Link to Post

Nitric acid....I believe...could be wrong.

Kodiak-


"Out of clutter, find simplicity. From discord, find harmony. In the middle of difficulty, find opportunity."
Chaincraft Mandrels

Post new topic Reply to topic
Jump to:  
Page 1 of 2. Goto page 1, 2  Next
All times are GMT. The time now is Fri Aug 23, 2019 2:10 pm
M.A.I.L. Forum Index -> Knitting Circle
Display posts from previous: