Tumbler ideas

I end up with rusty steel no matter what I do. On some projects, I use a
lot of short (2-6") of rod, tube, FB, etc.
I would like to make a tumbler out of some wheels, a gear reduction motor,
(which show up cheap a lot at a pawn shop I frequent), and use five gallon
buckets with tops.
Is this a good setup? I don't want to buy a big expensive tumbler, and good
enough is good enough.
What do you use in them? Ball bearings? Playbox sand? Another type of
sand?
Help appreciated.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
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I'd epoxy some ribs to the inside of the bucket so stuff gets picked-up higher, it'll give better cleaning action.
A mix of gravel and sand (maybe even crushed stone if your pieces are big) would probably do a quick job. maybe it'd be worth it to get some of those triangular ceramic/stone tumbler stones they use commercially?
The taper on the bucket is going to give you a little trouble, you'll have to add something to keep it 'on'track'.
I'd like to score a 5-gal paint shaker for just this purpose.
-Dave
Reply to
spamTHISbrp
My suggestion would be to look for a removable head, band clamp type poly drum as this would provide a much easier top to open and close and insure it doesn't fall off or leak media. Not sure if they're available below 30 gal size, but who doesn't need a 30 gal tumbler now and then?
Pete C.
Reply to
Pete C.
Please forgive the stupid question but why not try to find a small cement mixer with an electric motor?
1. The action is the same. 2. The drum will already have vanes installed that will "stir" the mix of sand/gravel and metal pieces. 3. Pieces can be added without having to stop the drum, lever it upright, remove the top, add pieces, replace the top, lay the drum down, and then turn it back on. 4. The contents can easily be dumped out. 5. The item can ALSO serve its original purpose when not in use as a metal tumbler or, if you're into that, a rock tumbler or cartridge cleaning tumbler.
Reply to
RAM³
I think the sand/gravel would wear the metal drum of the cement mixer pretty rapidly. It would have to be run dry. In mixing cement, the water acts as a lubricant and lets the sand slide on a film of water.
Paul
Reply to
pdrahn
Have you thought about using a car tire for the tumbler?
Reply to
reply
I have one around here somewhere that I built long ago. I used lawn mower wheels in a frame where the drum sat at a slight angle. The top set of wheels ran on the rib formed near the top of the drum keeping it from sliding down. I used a washing machine motor and rigged a counter shaft for a double belt reduction. The belt from the counter shaft went around the bucket and the weight of the motor swinging on a pivot kept both belts tight.
However here's the bad part. I found that sand and gravel didn't work well for a abrasive on it. I primarily used it to clean up old horse shoes for making projects (usually gifts) and even after running several hours they wouldn't be as clean as I wanted. Broken glass proved pretty good for a while but quickly dulled and quit cutting. I was collecting up a bunch of old grinding wheels to break up and put in there but quit using it before I got enough to try them (I've got plenty of old grinding wheels now).
Wayne Cook Shamrock, TX
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Reply to
Wayne Cook
Thank you for your "stupid" answer. I never thought of that, and for less than a Franklin, I can just plug it in and go. Not a lot of time designing, fabricating, trying, redesigning, retrying, etc, etc, etc.
Thanks again.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
dags 'homemade rock tumbler'.
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is an example of exactly what you're looking for.
regards, charlie
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Reply to
Charles Spitzer
try silicon carbide blasting grit.
Reply to
Charles Spitzer
You could go to a local parts cleaning company to see if they'll sell you the stuff you need. Our company buys the blasting sand and gloves from our local supplier who also does the same kind of work (let alone they sold us the blasting cabinets, their old ones). We buy the blasting sand in 400 lb barrels but they sell it by the pound if we need less. I would imagine that the tumbling media is the same way. Doesn't Harbor Freight sell a small tumber for the reloader market?
Reply to
jay s
Steve, If you decide to use 5 gallon plastic buckets instead of a cement mixer be aware that you can buy buckets made for mixing small batches of cement from home stores. They are made to be filled and then rolled along the ground with your foot to mix the contents. I have thought about a tumbler made to use 5 gal. plastic buckets. The design I came up with is one that I think I may have seen and not actually thought of myself. Anyway, this design uses a round plate with 4 bars welded around the perimeter at right angles to the planar surface. These bars are about 1 foot long and have a band welded to them at the far ends from the plate. An axle is welded to the plate on the opposite side from the bars. This axle is mounted in pillow blocks. The whole assembly is tilted at some angle depending on how aggresive you want the tumbling action. The bucket is placed in the cage formed by the bars and then spins with the plate. If the angle is not too great then the bucket won't need a lid. ERS
Reply to
Eric R Snow
"Eric R Snow" wrote
I had thought of something similar, since I have a 55 gallon plastic barrel. It already has the top cut out. Just put it on rollers, hook up a drive motor, and tumble. It would be easy to adjust the angle.
Steve
Reply to
Steve B
This is what I was going to suggest. Hang the tire on a belt driven shaft on the top of a cantilevered wooden (or metal) beam. Vertical bars on either side would keep the tire centered between the bearings. If vanes are required, I would simply cut strips of tread and bolt them to the inside of the tire, a bit of silicone caulking to avoid leakage. Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
YOu have a lathe? put a plastic can in the chuck and hold the lid on with the tailstock and rotate at the slowest speed.
John
Reply to
John
Have seen an old "el cheapo" concrete mixer used as tumbler
Reply to
digitalmaster
sorry...i see someone has already suggested the mixer
Reply to
digitalmaster
"digitalmaster" wrote
Not to worry. It is a damn fine idea. When I look at the home made tumbler, I saw a damn fine tumbler, and a lot of work.
Out of all the possibilities so far, I see a cheapo cement mixer as one of the most plausible economical ideas.
steve
Reply to
Steve B
Most of the small cement mixers have poly drums. Mine does.
Gary Pewitt N9ZSV Sturgeon's Law "Ninety per cent of everything is crap"
Reply to
Gary Pewitt
Appears to be a new Harbor Freight product; anyone tried one of these:
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They also have a small rock tumbler:
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No personal experience with either.
David Merrill
Reply to
David Merrill

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