I was a long-time hand-polisher of the metal bits on my games. I've used Mother's Mag and Aluminum polish, as I know many in these forums do, and I consider it to be the gold standard. I thought I was giving in to progress when I recently bought my first vibratory tumbler, the Harbor Freight 5 lb. model.
On my first go, I took 34 playfield slotted screws (from the 1950s) and polished them in a batch with finely ground walnut media. After 40 hours of tumbling I've got 34 screws that look like bright brushed aluminum. The look I'm going for is a mirror shine chrome, not brushed aluminum. I added Flitz at about the 12 hour mark, in the strength recommended on the label (1 oz. per lb. of media).
Has anyone been able to achieve a Mother's shine straight out of the tumbler? I wound up having to hand polish the screw heads after 40 hours of tumbling. Should I throw a chunk of Mother's into the walnut media instead of the Flitz? This is my first tumble, so I wanted to ask others with more experience.