Making a Magnetic Tumbler
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Joined: July 17, 2009
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Location: Denver, Colorado

Making a Magnetic Tumbler
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Posted on Mon Aug 05, 2013 10:08 pm
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I came across this article about how to make a magnetic tumbler, and wanted to share it with you all.

http://rchristopher.com/tech/tumbler.html

Magnetic tumblers are particularly good at improving metal surface through burnishing.

They can be fairly expensive to buy, but now that I see how it works, I think it is a good candidate for a make-your-own-at-home project.

A magnetic tumbler was far down on the bottom of my wish list, but if I can make it...could be suddenly at the top!

Doing more research now... Cutters



Joined: January 17, 2013
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Posted on Sat Aug 17, 2013 5:14 pm
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Neat idea, seems pretty expensive based on his plans if you don't already have most of the parts but they all look pretty easily salvageable from other sources.

That got me to thinking about using a diaphragm suspended over ferrofluid and get the rings to jump around from the movement of the ferrofluid reacting to the rotating magnets below. This would turn the magnetic field into physical motion that can be located far enough from the magnetic field so the rings or shot are not affected by it. Avoiding thermomagnetisim heating up the rings, not sure if the ferrofluid would get too hot over extended periods of time given it would be subject to the thermomagnetisim instead of the rings.

Simple example, sheet of non magnetic mail laying over a balloon filled with ferrofluid. Put this in the bottom of a cup and when you pass a magnet below the balloon it will change shape and cause the sheet of mail to either rise, drop or both. Do this in a circular motion with more magnets and that sheet and anything on it will bounce around like mad.

To make it work the way I'm thinking will certainly require more than a sheet of mail, a balloon, a cup and a magnet but I think it would be a fun test.

Off to collect mats...


Mostly Harmless

Joined: September 30, 2012
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Location: Kumla, Örebro Län, Sweden

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Posted on Sat Aug 17, 2013 7:21 pm
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Seen Levi's response got me thinking "would reacted (magnetic activated) ferric fluid be sharp and strong enough to pop the balloon?"

Just a fun thought I had. Got nothing to do with the original topic but fun nonetheless Razz

This almost requires an experiment although I don't have ferric fluid Sad


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Joined: January 17, 2013
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Posted on Sat Aug 17, 2013 9:40 pm
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FYI: printer toner (kind used in laser printers and photocopiers)+ vegetable oil = cheap ferrofluid.

Dry toner alone is very messy, turn it into a liquid and it only gets worse. Be careful to not inhale dry toner, it's really not good for the lungs.

If you do try using a balloon be prepared for one heck of a mess should it pop. I would expect the rubber contracting would manage to splatter some of the ferrofluid around that isn't held by the magnet.

From some of the pics I've seen done with really strong magnets the peaks develop a needle like protrusion at the tip which certainly look like they would pop a balloon but I can't say if they would be strong enough to break through.

Either way I need a new tumbler, I'll start based on the above plans and see about tweaking it with the ferrofluid afterwards. The base itself should stay the same, should be more of a container mod.

Does anyone know are magnetic tumblers quieter than vibratory tumblers? I would expect they would be given the motor isn't bouncing around with an off-center weight which means less stuff shaking around. Sure the rings are going to make noise but should the machine itself not be quieter?

The use of stationary electromagnets and controller boards to tweak the shape of the ferrofluid or rings directly instead of using a rotating array of fixed magnets could also bring some interesting possibilities to the table.

So many things to test... I feel like Cosmo Kramer testing his oil bladder, I just hope it turns out better for me than it did for Darin.


Mostly Harmless

Joined: March 29, 2002
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Posted on Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:21 am
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limited usefulness on titanium or stainless


weldedchainmail.com

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