PDA

View Full Version : vibratory tumbler for Polishing brass and Aluminum



DFMiller
12-03-2011, 06:02 PM
I am thinking of getting myself a small tumbler to finish some small aluminum and brass things.
A look at fleabay found these
http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-VIBRATORY-METAL-JEWELRY-ROCK-CASE-TUMBLER-POLISHER-/230709932690?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item35b7623292

Any comments?
What media would work?
Thanks
Dave

Dr Stan
12-03-2011, 06:27 PM
Same thing is on sale at Horror Freight for $54.99 http://www.harborfreight.com/5-lb-metal-vibrator-tumbler-67617.html

Walnut shells work well on soft materials.

gvasale
12-03-2011, 06:28 PM
that type is pretty much standard for those who reload ammo. Corncob media with a polishing agent does a fine job, but expect to need to run it for 24 hours for the best results. I have not used one to polish aluminum, but have used them for deburring parts from waterjet with ceramic media. Again, it takes time, but not as long as cartridge cases. Never tried to get the same shine as brass/

DFMiller
12-03-2011, 06:31 PM
Stan,
Does Horror Freight ship to Canada?
Thanks
Dave

Toolguy
12-03-2011, 06:32 PM
Also, the parts can't be too heavy. They have to be light enough to circulate with the media, or else they will just sink to the bottom and bump against each other.

Chris S.
12-03-2011, 08:17 PM
I don't know what I was thinking but the 50lb pound bag of crushed walnut shells that I bought 28 years ago are still polishing my ammo brass. It seems each refill into the shaker lasts a very... very.. very long time. :rolleyes:

As toolguy stated, the parts can't be too heavy though. My brass is contently flowing in a sort of black hole vortex,... metaphorically speaking.

wierdscience
12-03-2011, 08:29 PM
Same thing is on sale at Horror Freight for $54.99 http://www.harborfreight.com/5-lb-metal-vibrator-tumbler-67617.html

Walnut shells work well on soft materials.

Yep,they also have an 18lb liquid capable one onsale for $150

http://www.harborfreight.com/18-lb-vibratory-bowl-with-liquid-drain-hose-96923.html

Dr Stan
12-03-2011, 08:53 PM
Stan,
Does Horror Freight ship to Canada?
Thanks
Dave

I don't know, but you may want to check with Busy Bee.

armedandsafe
12-03-2011, 09:12 PM
Do a quick search on "case tumbler" and "rock tumbler." There are many options out there.

Aluminum takes a bit more aggresive grit than does brass. Walnut shell or buckwheat hull grit does fine for brass. I've not yet tried the buckwheat hulls on aluminum.

I have tried 60 grit blasting sand, but it is not effective for steel in a vibratory cleaner. Still working on that one.

Pops

courtjester
12-03-2011, 10:09 PM
hi
why not try this one
http://www.boyerfour.com/projects/tumbler/tumbler.htm

have fun
Tom

Dr Stan
12-03-2011, 10:57 PM
I have tried 60 grit blasting sand, but it is not effective for steel in a vibratory cleaner. Still working on that one.

Pops

Wonder if garnet abrasive would work?

armedandsafe
12-04-2011, 12:29 AM
Wonder if garnet abrasive would work?

I'm mostly trying to clean the items prep for bluing. I'm thinking of trying the buckwheat hulls next (out of walnut, at the moment.) Cutting oil, silver solder flux and stray swarf. If I were trying to clean the discoloration from soldering flames, I'd probably have to get a blasting cabinet. I'm using brushes and chemicals at the moment, but begrudge the time spent on that part of the process.

This job hasn't created anything but promises, at this time, so I have to budget tooling and machinery around rent, groceries, and such luxuries. ;) After some of the promises come through, I can think about getting the tooling and shop to actually get into line manufacturing them.

Pops

MickeyD
12-04-2011, 01:35 AM
Most pet stores have crushed walnut shells for putting in bird cages. Costs about 1/4 of what they charge for tumbling media.

quasi
12-04-2011, 03:00 AM
Most pet stores have crushed walnut shells for putting in bird cages. Costs about 1/4 of what they charge for tumbling media.


some stores call it "Lizard Litter".

boaterri
12-04-2011, 08:28 AM
I have used a lapidary tumbler on shooting brass with great success. Rubber drum about the size of a one gallon paint can, very quiet, makes only a low rumble that you can't hear in the next room.

Rick

Chris S.
12-04-2011, 01:53 PM
This would be a very tempting project for a bowl turner. It would take years to abrade the walls too thin. Actually, maybe that spray rubber sealant that's advertised on cable would protect the bowl walls. ;)