(Topic ID: 285590)

What tumbler are you using & what are you tumbling?

By Pinbub

1 year ago


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  • 40 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 6 months ago by DCRand
  • Topic is favorited by 8 Pinsiders

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    #1 1 year ago

    The title says it all. What tumbler are you using? I'm thinking mostly metal stuff but I've seen people say they tumble star posts as well. I would think metal would be dry and other stuff wet? Educate me!

    #2 1 year ago

    I'm using a harbor freight tumbler (mistake, should have gotten a better one).

    I tumble any metal stuff that'll fit (screws, metal posts, small guides, pop bumper rings, etc) with corn cob media and flitz.

    Never heard of people doing it for anything plastic. Pretty sure at least with dry media you'll just mess up the plastic

    #3 1 year ago

    An ultrasonic cleaner tends to be better for plastic since it's non-destructive to the material (as long as it isn't painted or doesn't have stickers/decals).

    #4 1 year ago

    I use my tumbler for any metal parts that will fit. I currently have post screws in there. For #6 and #8 screws, if they are looking shabby, I buy replacements from Tacoma Screw. But post screws are over $1 each, and I have about 40 of them. So it's worth it to at least give the tumbler a try. After 18 hours they still aren't looking great; but I have a feeling another couple of days will do the trick. To date, I have never had the need to leave anything in the tumbler for longer than 48 hours. 90% of the time 18 hours is enough - as long as they get a thorough cleaning first.

    BTW, I use a small plastic container, filled with cleaning solution (soapy water or naptha) and metal or plastic parts, and set it on top of my tumbler. I don't know how it compares to an ultrasonic cleaner; but it seems to do well.

    Attached are image of my Roller Disco parts.

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    #5 1 year ago

    100_6137 (resized).jpg
    I have a tumbler from Eastwood. Just pulled these parts out this morning. I was not after a perfect shine, just mostly clean. The media I used came with the tumbler as Eastwood's polishing media. I would say it is between ground corncob reptile bedding and ground walnut shell for its hardness. To answer..... this is out of a 100 year old Century electric motor.

    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from UltraPeepi:

    BTW, I use a small plastic container, filled with cleaning solution (soapy water or naptha) and metal or plastic parts, and set it on top of my tumbler. I don't know how it compares to an ultrasonic cleaner; but it seems to do well.

    That's pretty clever. And the tape actually holds for a long period of time?

    #7 1 year ago

    I use a rotary rock polishing tumbler, with walnut media. Have added various metal polishes several times. It is good for cleaning, and quiet (would be interested in comments on the noise level of vibrating tumblers) but never seems to get parts really buffing wheel shiny. So use the 8" wheel for that final polish, which also helps get the walnut residue out of screw heads.

    #8 1 year ago

    I am looking to replace my old crappy tumbler that broke with a new one. Does anyone have experience with Eastwood tumblers? I'm looking for something about the size of their 18 pound tumbler, and wondered if people had experience with that one.

    I'd be particularly interested in a tumbler that is large, and that has a different method of attaching the lid than the normal threaded rod / wingnut. I'm not sure this exists though, but thats been the point of failure on the two I've gone through so far.

    #9 1 year ago
    Quoted from Robotoes:

    Does anyone have experience with Eastwood tumblers?

    sixpakmopar posted 3 posts above yours that he has an Eastwood tumbler ...

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from Robotoes:

    I'd be particularly interested in a tumbler that is large, and that has a different method of attaching the lid than the normal threaded rod / wingnut. I'm not sure this exists though, but thats been the point of failure on the two I've gone through so far.

    What goes wrong?

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from sixpakmopar:

    I have a tumbler from Eastwood

    I missed this. Do you have the large / 18lb model? I'm curious if it's size/weight makes it run any quieter. Like many I am sure, I run mine for 12-24 hours at a time. Usually in a garage, but sometimes I like to work in the area and the noise of my old ones sucked.

    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    What goes wrong?

    The two I've gone through in the last 5-6 years, same failure - threaded rod digs into the plastic top, boring out the hole in plastic top further, which causes the thread range to become damaged over time...leading to not being able to really tighten the lid down...starts spinning...constantly trying to re-tighten while it's tumbling. Hope this makes sense!

    #12 1 year ago

    Frankfort Quick-n-ez vibratory tumbler.
    Ive used walnut shells charged with Flitz metal polish .
    I polish anything metal. Put the parts in a cup, spurt a generous amount of polish on the parts then dump it all in the tumbler for a day or three.
    Does a fine job.

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    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from Robotoes:

    The two I've gone through in the last 5-6 years, same failure - threaded rod digs into the plastic top, boring out the hole in plastic top further, which causes the thread range to become damaged over time...leading to not being able to really tighten the lid down...starts spinning...constantly trying to re-tighten while it's tumbling. Hope this makes sense!

    Run a couple of nuts onto the threaded rod so they end up under the lid. Tighten them against each other. Install a larger washer on top. Once set in place, the top should come in contact with the washer and hold it tight in place when you tighten the top wing nut.

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from ForceFlow:

    That's pretty clever. And the tape actually holds for a long period of time?

    Yep. I let it run over night.

    #15 1 year ago

    What about for bigger mechs or pieces? Anybody tried sandblasting bigger parts? Who would have a sandblasting unit that I could ask to clean some parts?

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from Lethal_Inc:

    What about for bigger mechs or pieces? Anybody tried sandblasting bigger parts? Who would have a sandblasting unit that I could ask to clean some parts?

    Check w a local body shop or metalwork shop.

    #17 1 year ago

    Just got a 30lb one of these.... planning on turning everyone for a Playboy resto. https://mjrtumblers.com

    #18 1 year ago

    I use an old Thumler Tumbler rotary rock tumbler from the 60's. Still runs great. I use either 1 quart or 1 gallon paint cans, corn cob media and GoJo Orange hand cleaner with pumice.

    3 months later
    #19 1 year ago
    Quoted from Bryan_Kelly:

    Run a couple of nuts onto the threaded rod so they end up under the lid. Tighten them against each other. Install a larger washer on top. Once set in place, the top should come in contact with the washer and hold it tight in place when you tighten the top wing nut.

    I need to start doing this with mine. My damn rod is stripping out after the 5th use on my new one.

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    #20 1 year ago

    I’ve got a Lyman Cyclone rotary tumbler on its way, which comes with stainless steel pins as the tumbling media. Couldn’t find many posts about Pinsiders using that model but the brass shell reloading guys seem to love them and the idea of SS media appealed to me (reusable, no dust, etc). I’ll report back with some results if anyone is interested.

    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016993376?pid=708528

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from SilverLiningMan:

    I’ve got a Lyman Cyclone rotary tumbler on its way, which comes with stainless steel pins as the tumbling media. Couldn’t find many posts about Pinsiders using that model but the brass shell reloading guys seem to love them and the idea of SS media appealed to me (reusable, no dust, etc). I’ll report back with some results if anyone is interested.
    https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1016993376?pid=708528

    That tumbler is twice as expensive as a Berry but please do share your experience.

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    I need to start doing this with mine. My damn rod is stripping out after the 5th use on my new one. [quoted image]

    That appears to be the cheap-o HF tumbler. If so, it's only gonna get worse from here. I wasted too much time and $$ on several of those garbage units.

    Get a Berry instead and you'll never look back.

    #23 1 year ago

    Tumble star posts once and you'll never do it again.

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from Ballypin:

    That appears to be the cheap-o HF tumbler. If so, it's only gonna get worse from here. I wasted too much time and $$ on several of those garbage units.
    Get a Berry instead and you'll never look back.

    Yeah this is my second one. The first one lasted 3 years and 6 machines then it stripped out. This one can’t even get through one machine.
    Guess that first one was a unicorn. I never understood why everyone said they’re cheap. Now I get it.

    1 month later
    #25 1 year ago

    +1 on the anti-Harbor Freight tumblers. I have gone through three of them in the past two years, each one had the top wear through at the wing nut area. They are crap.

    I bought a Frankford Arsenal Quick and Easy tumbler several months ago and put a small funnel in the center which I saw a guy on Youtube recommend. The funnel does really improve the movement of the media and the cleaning process takes less time. The Frankford Arsenal tumbler is the same price at the Harbor Freight one, is better made, much quieter and works faster.

    #26 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinball_Gizzard:

    +1 on the anti-Harbor Freight tumblers. I have gone through three of them in the past two years, each one had the top wear through at the wing nut area. They are crap.
    I bought a Frankford Arsenal Quick and Easy tumbler several months ago and put a small funnel in the center which I saw a guy on Youtube recommend. The funnel does really improve the movement of the media and the cleaning process takes less time. The Frankford Arsenal tumbler is the same price at the Harbor Freight one, is better made, much quieter and works faster.

    I’ll have to check out that funnel idea. I’ve gone through 3-4 of the FA ones too but you can get the bearings for motors which seems to be the issue. I’ve been saving the old units and harvesting parts to make good ones from broken ones too. Should have really invested in good ones with the money spent. But for casual use they’re good.

    #27 1 year ago

    Recently bought a Dillon CV-750, runs pretty quiet. Stripped my STTNG and been throwing whatever I can get in there, the cannons were pretty corroded so stripped them right down and put them in and come out pretty good.

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    #28 1 year ago
    Quoted from dmacy:

    I’ll have to check out that funnel idea. I’ve gone through 3-4 of the FA ones too but you can get the bearings for motors which seems to be the issue. I’ve been saving the old units and harvesting parts to make good ones from broken ones too. Should have really invested in good ones with the money spent. But for casual use they’re good.

    I did the same and after going through three of the cheaper FA tumblers (multiple different failures including the bowl failing) I finally learned my lesson. I ended up buying a Thumlers industrial UV-18 and have never been happier.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from Jarbyjibbo:

    I did the same and after going through three of the cheaper FA tumblers (multiple different failures including the bowl failing) I finally learned my lesson. I ended up buying a Thumlers industrial UV-18 and have never been happier.

    Thanks! I may reach out via PM if ok?

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from dmacy:

    Thanks! I may reach out via PM if ok?

    Sure thing.

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from Jarbyjibbo:

    I did the same and after going through three of the cheaper FA tumblers (multiple different failures including the bowl failing) I finally learned my lesson. I ended up buying a Thumlers industrial UV-18 and have never been happier.

    The Thumblers are insanely nice!

    #32 1 year ago

    I’ve had an ultra vibe -18 for about 5 years. It is so quiet compared to the Berry I had before it that I can’t believe it.

    Works great use walnut from the pet shop with flitz.

    If there is a quieter tumbler please post here

    2 weeks later
    #33 11 months ago

    Mine is home made. Some 3d printed parts, some hardware, a small 100 rpm motor and a protien shake bottle. The design is such that you can use whatever you have for a container. I keep it in my greenhouse and it is powered with a solar panet.

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    4 months later
    #34 7 months ago

    What’s the secret to keep the harbor freight tumbler’s center bolt from stripping? I’m on my 3rd one of these and I’d probably still be using my first if it wasn’t for this stupid stripped thread issue. Too tight it strips, too loose and the lid vibrates itself into oblivion and the bowl spins.

    #35 7 months ago

    Berry 400. Ive used it for small metal parts on 7 EM’s the last 5 years. So far so good

    #36 7 months ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    What’s the secret to keep the harbor freight tumbler’s center bolt from stripping? I’m on my 3rd one of these and I’d probably still be using my first if it wasn’t for this stupid stripped thread issue. Too tight it strips, too loose and the lid vibrates itself into oblivion and the bowl spins.

    The “secret” is that the HF tumblers are JUNK and I wasted probably 6 of them before buying a Berry.

    Cut your losses NOW and get a Berry. You will be surprised how much quieter and easier it works.

    #37 7 months ago

    Home made and it works fantastic

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    #38 7 months ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    What’s the secret to keep the harbor freight tumbler’s center bolt from stripping? I’m on my 3rd one of these and I’d probably still be using my first if it wasn’t for this stupid stripped thread issue. Too tight it strips, too loose and the lid vibrates itself into oblivion and the bowl spins.

    Make sure you have the rubber gasket on the bolt so there's some friction.

    2 weeks later
    #39 6 months ago
    Quoted from mrm_4:

    What’s the secret to keep the harbor freight tumbler’s center bolt from stripping? I’m on my 3rd one of these and I’d probably still be using my first if it wasn’t for this stupid stripped thread issue. Too tight it strips, too loose and the lid vibrates itself into oblivion and the bowl spins.

    Using a nylon lock nut seems to be a major help.

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    #40 6 months ago
    Quoted from Vin-bot:

    Home made and it works fantastic
    [quoted image]

    And looks like it would be great for tossing salad as well. LOL

    Also, asked the beautiful wife for a Berry 400 for Christmas. She said sure, you place the order, so it is right. Ordered, sitting under the tree.

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