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Tumbler's ??

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  • Tumbler's ??

    I've got problems with my hands and am wondering if by getting a large tumbler, say 4.5gal would be a worthwhile investment? The largest piece I plate is usually 10" wide x 5" x 23"long. Most of the other pieces are smaller. I have a small shop I operate out of my garage and being the only plating shop within 40 miles of my town I am very busy with motorcycle parts. I'm trying to cut my prep time and finish time down and would appreciate any suggestions

  • #2

    Well I had sort of the opposite problem.

    I had a bunch of real small copper contacts to plate that just were not possible to buff by hand.

    I bought a dual (3) pound rock tumbler and it worked great using a unique tumbling media which is very expensive and hard to locate and/or purchase.

    I have been using this media in a mico tumbler I made quite awhile ago to tumble real tiny items.
    I discovered the stuff in a weighted plastic gizmo that was thrown out by a company I used to work for and figured I could use it for something.

    This unique tumbling media is actually the center slugs from #2 stainless steel flat washers (.093 Da. x .030 thick).

    I am about to run out of the media and a local fastener house was searching for the media and located a washer manufacture that agreed to sell me (10) pounds for $85.00. Ok, go figure how many washers they punched out to get (10) pounds of them, I'll bet it is close to a million. LOL

    I know it is a ton of money for only (10) pounds, but it works like magic on steel, aluminum, zinc and brass parts.

    I tried steel shot (.030 dia.) (about $50.00 for (50) lbs.) and it did almost nothing after (24) hours in the tumbler while the slugs shined up the parts in as little as (2) hours.

    I followed that my an overnight tumble in treated walnut shells and the contacts looked like a mirror.

    For doing larger parts the stainless steel cone/rod/ball mix would do great, however, that stuff is out of site price wise ($160.00 for ten lbs.).

    I'm sure others can add some insight as to other tumbling media that may work for you that would be cheaper.

    George W.


    • #3

      I once dated a 'Tumbler'...but she was cheap...LOL...(Jest kidding).

      I use to use the standard stuff for polishing Brass Gun Cartridges for reloading purpose...cleaned the inside casings exceptionally well.

      Anyone looking for a commercially made tumbler might consider looking at ads in Gun and Hunting Magazines...and visiting local Gun and Outdoors Shops that either sell the machines and the media or can custom order for you...

      Good place to get literature on them if the dealer stocks the units.

      If you're serious...forget considering the El-Cheapo hobby units for twenty bucks or so...might as well flush your money down the toilet...OR...jest send it to 'me'
      - etcc
      "1,200 Year Old Highlander Immortal"