Parts tumbler

I just got a small tumbler that I intend to use for de-burring small aluminum parts. Does anyone have any advice on what media to use in it? I was thinking of trying sandblasting sand... And any idea of about how long to run it?


Reply to
Jerry Foster
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Would that be a drum-style rotary tumbler or a bowl-style vibratory tumbler?

Depends on the type.

Not very effective or efficient in either type of tumbler.

Depends on the type of tumbler, the type of media, the size and shape of the parts, and the degree of deburring needed. The only real way to know is by trial and error. If doing a lot of similar parts, you can get an idea of the amount of time required after judging one or two trial runs. But if each batch is different in some way, then you will have to test every time.

- Michael

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One uses "deburring media". It's most often odd-shaped (stars, squares, triangles) of high-alumina ceramic in the range of 95% aluminum-oxide to 5% porcelain clay.

It's readily available from most machining supplies like MSC or McMaster Carr.


Reply to
Lloyd E. Sponenburgh

I have tumbled rusty chain in nothing other than beach sand, with excellent results. You can, however, do better. I would suggest starting with sand (jeez, it would seem to me that black blasting sand would just tear up aluminum) and run it for 3-4 hours and then look at it and go from there. Keep notes and learn as you go. - GWE

Reply to
Grant Erwin

Depending on your required accuracy when you get done tumbling, you may not wish to use a rotary tumbler. Rotaries tend to round off corners when being used, even with a fine grade carborundrum (sic). Vibratory works much better without rounding corners, and it works much faster. I dont think sand blasting media will work very well, but it is worth the effort to find out.

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I have a rotary tumbler I use for polishing rocks and the like, and it uses various grades of silicon carbide grit. This is probably too hard and abrasive for anything softer than hard steel, though. However, the final grit before the polish is a mild abrasive called a prepolish. It is either tripoli or a synthetic abrasive that I'll have to look up. I would try looking up rock tumbling media in google. I went looking and found this site. They have both the rock tumbling media and the specialized deburring media.

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I use the plastic media for aluminum from these guys :

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Suggest give em a jingle.

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