I'm looking for a source for relativly inexpensive tumbler media to
finish brass & steel parts. Got a tumbler from ebay, but it holds 20
to 50 lbs of media and at the prices on MSC it will cost too much to
have several grades on hand.. I have about 30 lbs of 1/4" diam.
zirconia bead mill media from another project which I tried, but they
are not agressive enough, and can't reach narrow recesses etc. Anyone
know if grit mixed with the beads would be helful...or would it just
make a mess?
I myself bought an old Dillon CV-500 Vibratory Case Tumbler for the same
purpose (deburring, de-rusting, cleaning, and finishing) small parts. I
tried filling it with aluminum oxide blasting media, but that was too fine a
grit to do anything. I've been hunting around, and Eastwood seems to have
the ideal media for small vibratory tumblers: a small plastic pyramid shaped
media embedded with an abrasive. The pyramid shape allows the media to get
into small corners. They have two grades, simply labeled by color "brown"
(more aggressive) and "green" (less aggressive):
But at $80 for a 15-lbs bag of "brown" and $53 for an 8-lbs bag of "green",
it's been too pricey for me to buy and try.
Does anyone know of a less expensive source for this type of media?
Try Ebay, same place you got your tumbler. Also try googling tumbling media
suplus. I got some pretty good stuff in the $.50 a pound range. I was
needing about 150 lbs so it worked out well, better than MSC's $2.00 per lb.
Naturally, I looked there first, and have had an active search on it for a
looong time. But the only tumbling media I've been able to find on Ebay is
either very large industrial media (like ceramic chips 1/2" or larger) or
the fine abrasive media used for rotary rock tumbling. I've never seen
anything like small abrasive plastic pyramids on Ebay. But if you've seen
them, please let me know!
look at page 941 mscdirect.com 20 and 50# size and descriptions. Might be just
good education or reasonable - it all seems expensive - but it is fire kiln
@ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net
NRA LOH, NRA Life
NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder
Thank Martin, but did you see the dimensions of that stuff? It's all in the
1/2" or larger range, which is fine for big industrial tumblers tumbling
large parts, but won't work for my applications. (This type of ceramic
media, btw, is what I come across on Ebay every so often.)
Eastwood doesn't give the dimensions of their plastic pyramid media, but
from the photos (with the nut and bolt surrounded by the media), I'd
estimate the largest dimension to be 1/4" or less.
We have a couple of Royson tumblers at work, and they just run and run.
They have a nice media selection listed on their website at
http://www.royson.com/index.html They have triangular plastic media
down to 3/8 x 3/8 x 1/4" and cone shaped plastic media down to 1/4 x
1/4". I think the minimum is 50 lbs, but send them an email for advice
Carl Ijames carl.ijames at verizon.net
First, Randy is right. The tumbler rating is the total of part plus
media plus filler. The tumbler doesn't have to be completely filled
with abrasive, the best action occurrs when the abrasive powder is
pushed against the parts by another material. I do alot of rock and
metal polishing work in a 12 lb rotary tumber, and if I filled the
entire thing with the silicon carbide grit I use it would cost me $30
per grit size, per load. Instead I use about 1 lb of grit, 5 lbs of
rock or metal, and 5 lbs of gravel or landscaping stone. For the finer
grits I add 5 lbs of plastic pellets that have no abrasive but serve to
cushion the material from getting scratched by other rocks or parts.
The silicon carbide grit is a really good abrasive, I buy 120, 200,
350, and 600 grit 5 lbs at a time. About $5/lb. With a filler to push
the abrasive against the parts, it seems to work great on both metal
and polishing stones.
As noted earlier, do a Google search and you will get lots of hits. I
almost laughed when seeing the Eastwood price. Only a fool would pay
that much. You might try asking some local machine shops if they have
any media which is worn too much for their use, might be just the ticket
for your needs, maybe free or nearly so.
Some things to keep in mind: Use the largest media which will do the
job, it will wear and it will do the job more quickly. The tradeoff is
you don't want the parts banging each other, so don't put too many into
Ceramic media generates less residue than plastic. (Think disposal here.)
Ceramic will work better for your steel parts. Will also work for brass
and aluminum, but there could be an issue with grit embedding into your
parts. It could be a problem with plating or application. I have had no
problems in that area, YMMV.
Shape & size can be very important. It must access all areas of parts
that you need deburred. Also, some shapes are more active rhan others.
Delicate parts may need a less active media to give more
support/flotation and a slower pace.
You need a proper solution to keep parts and media from packing
particles into each other. Simple Green, dish soap, etc., won't do it.
You need a proper product such as VF-77 to keep things clean. There are
other brands, but this may be the most commonly used, at least among
those people I know.
One poster said he paid 50 cents per pound. That is a steal. You
probably won't get that lucky. I believe somewhere from $1 to $1.75 will
be what to expect. The small quantity you want may drive the price to
the higher range. As I said, ask around at some shops. Some common
beverages can have wonderous purchasing power.
email me if you have any questions
go to this website:
Get the phone number and talk to (or email) RICK SEEMAN. He is very
helpful, and his prices and service was the BEST I have ever found for
media. The product is drop shipped from a warehouse in California.
ABSOLUTELY NO affiliation, just a satisfied customer, ron
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