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View Full Version : Using a vibrator/tumbler on small parts ?



mlucek
02-04-2008, 08:31 PM
Anyone have experience with this or a similar vibrator/tumbler to clean up/deburr small parts. Here's the Harbor Fright one :


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/93200-93299/93252.gif


http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=93252

+ any advice on the proper use of such a gadget ? Walnut shell media ? Water, parts, filler media ??

TIA !

Mike

IOWOLF
02-04-2008, 08:37 PM
Use Ceramic cones.
I used one for years, watch the cheap ones they catch on fire if left on for a while.

I graduated to a tumble vibe, now thats a machine, great for rusty garage sale, or auction tools.

ProGunOne
02-04-2008, 08:44 PM
I have a Lyman similar to the one above. Have only used it for polishing empty brass casings. It has polished approximately ten thousand and still no problems.

SGW
02-04-2008, 08:51 PM
As I understand it, choice of proper media depends on what you're cleaning/polishing/deburring, and it's a bit of an art form. I toured the Starrett plant a few years ago, and they have a whole (incredibly noisy!) room of tumblers, using a great variety of media and media shapes.

smiller6912
02-04-2008, 09:46 PM
I had that very HF tumbler and burnt the motor up about the third time that I used it. I mostly polish with them but with the right media you can make them do all sorts of cool stuff. Here is a link to some media types and uses. http://shorinternational.com/TumblingMedia.htm
I bought one of these from Midway and it has worked like a charm for me.
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=587176&t=11082005

lazlo
02-04-2008, 10:30 PM
I bought one of those Harbor Freight vibratory tumblers last month. It sucks. But it vibrates, and my stuff comes out polished :)

Seriously, the biggest problem I've had so far is that it likes to vibrate the shaft that holds the bowl onto the vibration stand loose. When that happens, usually at 3:00 in the morning, all Hell breaks loose, it starts making the most gawd-awful noises, and it dances across the floor, crashing into everything.

I've gotten to where I tighten down that internal nut (inside the bowl) before I got to bed at night, but it's getting harder to tighten, so it's just a matter of time before the threads strip. Looks like it should be easy to replace with a piece of althread though...

I've been using the green plastic Silicon Carbide cones for deburring, and walnut with polishing compound for polishing. Believe it or not, Harbor Freight carries the green plastic cones now. They also carry the walnut shells.

wierdscience
02-04-2008, 10:44 PM
If we all work together and keep asking our repective local HF branch managers for a 100lb model I figure within 6months they will have one forsale:)

lazlo
02-04-2008, 10:59 PM
They do have one Weird: the 3 1/2 cubic foot cement mixer:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=31979

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/31900-31999/31979.gif

Plus a couple of 2 HP (tiny little Chinese horses ;) ) concrete vibrators:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=42947

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/photos/42900-42999/42947.gif

...and you're in business :D

wierdscience
02-04-2008, 11:08 PM
They do have one Weird: the 3 1/2 cubic foot cement mixer:

...and you're in business :D

Been there done that got dented pumkin to prove it:D Works good for small parts and bolts,but must be set on the back forty to escape the noise,you know over by the neighbor's house:D

Joel
02-04-2008, 11:17 PM
If we all work together and keep asking our repective local HF branch managers for a 100lb model I figure within 6months they will have one forsale:)

How 'bout this model wierd?

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v186/JoelinTX/100lbModelforDarin.jpg

TECHSHOP
02-04-2008, 11:30 PM
I think you have to wait 9 months for delivery...

daryl bane
02-04-2008, 11:37 PM
I have the HF unit also. I mounted a drain in the bottom @ 7:00 and a small sprinkler nozzle in the top lid. I took and modified a small Hudson type pressure sprayer with a adjustable valve and hooked it up to the installed nozzle. I run a soap solution
specially for this from the abrasives place. The media is Ceramalite, in small angle cut cylinders about 1/2" long by 1/4" dia ? I'm guessing as I don't want to walk out to the shop. This really does a nice job on alum. and brass. A couple of hours is all it takes.

BobWarfield
02-05-2008, 12:14 AM
Some resources on vibratory finishing:

I've been watching this thread for a long time:

http://www.cnczone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=14464

You may find these boards helpful:

http://www.finishing.com/Letters/index.html

http://forum.caswellplating.com/forumdisplay.php?f=9

And that Shore link is a good one too. Lastly, this fella's book has tons of good info on this topic as well as anodizing. He gets great results:

http://www.focuser.com/atm/anodize/anodize.html

Best,

BW

Your Old Dog
02-05-2008, 07:38 AM
I like the idea of a vibrator to clean parts. If you get a Harbor Freight unit, does it come with a fire extinguisher or do you have to buy that seperate?:rolleyes:

DR
02-05-2008, 10:11 AM
In my experience for tumbling (vibrating) with liquid the single most important thing is a good cleaning agent. The cleaning agent is to keep the media clean and prevent glazing. Along with this you have to either change water frequently or have some kind of recirculating system to collect the sludge.

I tried everything for a cleaning agent, detergents, special tumbling soaps, etc, etc. By far the best for me was a water soluble machine cleaner from Master Chemical.

DR
02-05-2008, 10:13 AM
I like the idea of a vibrator to clean parts.

We use sawdust (dry) to clean oily parts.

DR
02-05-2008, 10:22 AM
Another use for barrel type tumblers is to paint small wood parts. Yep, paint.

When we had the automatic wood lathe lots of small parts had to be painted, knobs and handles, etc. Barrel painting worked very well.

Put the parts in the barrel, dump in a small amount of paint. Turn it on to run for awhile. After a short time all the paint will be on the parts and the metal barrel will be clean. I've forgotten exactly what the paint type was, I know it was a fairly quick drying, non-toxic (at least that what the supplier told us).

After the painting we'd throw them into another barrel with chunks of hard wax for a polishing operation.

mlucek
02-05-2008, 06:00 PM
I like the idea of a vibrator to clean parts. If you get a Harbor Freight unit, does it come with a fire extinguisher or do you have to buy that seperate?:rolleyes: :eek: maybe I should get the extended warranty ?? I have 30 days to still buy it :p probably costs more then the tumbler itself ($40)

Better make sure the batteries in my smoke alarms are working and my home fire extinguisher is up to date LMAO !! :D

Ironically enough, I'll bet H/F sells fire extinguishers too .....

IOWOLF
02-05-2008, 06:26 PM
And they May work as well as the Vibrator. :)

Smokedaddy
02-05-2008, 08:19 PM
A few folks here suggested I purchase one of these ...

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/23658/catid/8/Dillon__039_s_CV_2001_Vibratory_Case_Cleaner

More expensive than HF, well made and worked fine for "my purposes".

http://www.pbase.com/smokedaddy/image/86747433

-SD:

wierdscience
02-05-2008, 08:58 PM
How 'bout this model wierd?



Joel,remember we're talking Harbor Freight here:D

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/0903/wierdscience/GIRL.jpg

lazlo
02-05-2008, 09:22 PM
A few folks here suggested I purchase one of these ...

http://www.dillonprecision.com/#/content/p/9/pid/23658/catid/8/Dillon__039_s_CV_2001_Vibratory_Case_Cleaner

More expensive than HF, well made and worked fine for "my purposes".

4.4 times more expensive :p

Seriously, I'm sure that Dillon is well worth $175, but I don't use it that much to justify more than the $40 for the Horror Freight version.

ProGunOne
02-05-2008, 11:55 PM
Midway lists several models, here's some they carry:
http://www.midwayusa.com/ebrowse.exe/browse?tabid=1&categoryid=19906&categorystring=9315***731***695***8940***&utm_source=facasetumbler&utm_medium=reloadingcat

RobbieKnobbie
02-06-2008, 12:21 AM
On the really cheap side of things, I've filled a coffee can about 1/2 way with 1/4" dia. media a cup of water and a squirt of liquid dishwashing soap. Then threw in parts and chucked it up in the lathe.

I spin the can fairly slow - as fast as I can without the media sticking to the sides - for about half an hour. The parts come out with a real nice tumbled finish and I havn't spent a dime or burned my house down

IOWOLF
02-06-2008, 06:03 AM
A can full of rocks rattling in the shop?

Hearing protection optional , right?

smiller6912
02-06-2008, 08:23 AM
I don't want to sound like I'm anti-HF, I'm not. I spend a lot-o-money there.
However, I bought this model from them and smoked the motor, took it back got another and seized the motor solid. I got the (Franford Arsenal) Midway one and it has been running 3-4 hours a week for a year with not one problem. This is the set that I got ( http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=414369&t=11082005 )
It's about the same as the HF, I think that it is way better and comes with EXTRAS.

DR
02-06-2008, 12:42 PM
A can full of rocks rattling in the shop?

Hearing protection optional , right?


Worse than that...how about my customers who use cement mixers to deburr stamped steel parts? Now that's noisy. They have to put them outside in the parking lot...

smiller6912
02-06-2008, 01:01 PM
My shop Foreman does that. He puts a shredded newspaper in to help dampen the noise. And for stones, a big old scoop shovel full of driveway gravel.
It seams to do a good enough job for him......
(Sometimes I wonder about that guy)

RobbieKnobbie
02-06-2008, 01:02 PM
A can full of rocks rattling in the shop?

Hearing protection optional , right?

not rocks, ceramic media. And they're not going that fast so it's pretty quiet. Certainly not 'loud' by any means.

The noise from most vibratory deburrers is from the drive, not the media. If the drive in this case is my lathe then why do you assume it would be prohibitively loud?

mlucek
02-06-2008, 01:29 PM
On the really cheap side of things, I've filled a coffee can about 1/2 way with 1/4" dia. media a cup of water and a squirt of liquid dishwashing soap. Then threw in parts and chucked it up in the lathe. Errrrr, what's a coffee can ?? :rolleyes:

:p

So I purchased the Horror Fright unit for $40 along with an spare bowl, 2 nites ago and what happens ? I get their flyer in the mail the next night with a 15% off coupon. Grrrrrrr, coulda saved another $6. Oh welllll, not worth going back to the local store for a return, will cost me $6 in gas round trip to save another $6 , wouldn't be too bright :rolleyes:. From what I've been reading here I may have to make a trip there anyway after the pending fire and/or motor seize up LOLOLOL :D

RobbieKnobbie
02-06-2008, 05:35 PM
Errrrr, what's a coffee can ?? :rolleyes:




Something my mother in law seems to have an endless supply of.

IOWOLF
02-06-2008, 09:14 PM
not rocks, ceramic media. And they're not going that fast so it's pretty quiet. Certainly not 'loud' by any means.

The noise from most vibratory deburrers is from the drive, not the media. If the drive in this case is my lathe then why do you assume it would be prohibitively loud?

Bull$hit, I have a plastic vibrator as mentiond above half full of "ceramic Tumbling media" And no one wants to be in the shop with that going, I usually put it under a bucket to.:mad:

lazlo
02-06-2008, 09:51 PM
Yeah, that's true Wolf -- the ceramic pyramids are loud as hell. The walnut/corncob media is a lot quieter.

The green pyramids also make a nasty silicon carbide dust that wafts all over the place when you open the lid, and when you sift through the media to find all the parts. I try to keep it away from my machine tools...

Rustybolt
02-06-2008, 10:04 PM
Bull$hit, I have a plastic vibrator as mentiond above half full of "ceramic Tumbling media" And no one wants to be in the shop with that going, I usually put it under a bucket to.

Yep. We had to put it in the bathroom with the door closed. Drive ya frickin nuts.