vibratory/tumble deburring

Now that I'm doing the CNC thing and making more than one part at a time. I need to batch deburr these things. I started to send them out, but I'm thinking of getting my own machine. The sales guy makes it sound easy, put in the parts add media let it run over it the corner by itself and take the parts out an hour later. Is there more to it? Should I just keep sending my parts out? (mostly aluminum). The place I send them too now is taking over 3 weeks to get them done.

Anyone know a place that does both deburr and anodize? Everyplace I called in PA ands NJ does one or the other.

Thank You, Randy

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Buy a deburred machine, use plastic media for alum. I've had one for

32 yrs.
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Randy, It is actually pretty easy. I have had one of these for probably

20 years now:

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I've got the 2016 model. I've had to replace the "O" ring belts once and put new wheels on once. Not very much to go wrong. I bought a mechanical timer from McMaster Carr to add consistency to the operation.

Media selection is dependent on parts configuration. I use a 5/8 angle cut triangle, which works well for me. Seems like no matter which media shape you pick you have to dig some rocks out of holes and slots, etc. The flat media cuts faster than round in general. I usually get good results with about a 15 minute run on alum. parts.

Get some low foam soap from the dealer also, and change the water often. Also don't leave the parts in for a long time, like and hour or two, after the machine shuts off. Rinse in clean water. Parts will stain if they aren't taken from the machine reasonably quickly and rinsed. If the parts get stained it affects the anodize.

We also do as much deburring on the machine as possible with a 6 flute

90 degree c'sink.
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I like the ceramic media because it cuts faster. But that's like debating oil vs. toilet water

Best, Steve

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I hardly ever had a need for a deburr op, but the couple times I did I used my lathe with a five gallon plastic bucket chucked up with the top on and filled with media and the parts. I pushed on the end with the tailstock and a plate and rotated it at the slowest speed. It is a pretty big lathe so I could get a real slow speed out of it. It worked fine for the parts I was doing.


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I tumble everything.

I use an acidic cleaner from MSC, global aluminum cleaner to keep the parts clean. If you do not keep them wet/soapy etc whil tumbling, then clean them right away, I mean 3 seconds out of the tumbler, white dust will stick to all the inside corners etc, and will only come ff with rubbing.

john wrote:

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Randy, I used to make a lot of small aluminum and stainless parts. I got a surplus rock tumbler with 10" drum and some free media and it worked well, but slowly. The parts were beautiful with no machine marks anywhere and the anodizing was so much better. Then a guy asked me if I might be interested in a vibratory unit with a 12" x 20" chamber, for $250. I jumped at it and it was wonderful. When I gave up the business I sold it to a guy who had been making parts for me. He told me he has used it so much he replaced the urethane liner and is very happy with it. I liked it's size because it used a 5 gallon bucket of media. I bought a screen from McMaster and I would unload it through the screen into a 5 gallon bucket, catching all the parts. I also used both ceramic and plastic media. On stainless I'd rough it quickly with ceramic, dump into a 5 gallon bucket through the screen, toss the parts back in and 5 gallons of plastic, dump into another 5 gallon bucket through the screen to get the final parts. I don't think you'll be unhappy getting one.

Gary H. Lucas

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Gary H. Lucas

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