Vibratory tumbling media

I rebuild MGB steering columns as a sideline. These columns use alloy space
rs where the column bolts to the dash. These spacers are usually a pain to
clean up to reuse. I've tried tumbling them with green pyramid media withou
t satisfactory results. On a lark, I replaced the plastic media with a box
of 5/16" zinc coated steel nuts, and low and behold, the nuts worked better
than any media I have tried in the past. Aluminum comes out shiny and clea
n, kind of burnished in a couple of hours in my small HF vibratory tumbler.
Reply to
Gerry
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Have you tried burnishing media for this application. I have some which is steel and consists of various sized shot, the larger of which appear may be ball bearing preforms. I haven't tried it on aluminium but it did give a very good result on some brass parts. What about bead blasting as that can clean aluminium up nicely.
Reply to
David Billington
cers where the column bolts to the dash. These spacers are usually a pain t o clean up to reuse. I've tried tumbling them with green pyramid media with out satisfactory results. On a lark, I replaced the plastic media with a bo x of 5/16" zinc coated steel nuts, and low and behold, the nuts worked bett er than any media I have tried in the past. Aluminum comes out shiny and cl ean, kind of burnished in a couple of hours in my small HF vibratory tumble r.
In the past I would have bead blasted the parts but at this point I no long er have an air comp to feed my blast cabinet. Being retired I try to get al ong with what I can do on the cheap and the nuts opened my eyes to another possible solution. Maybe not the best but it was an improvement over what I had been using to clean up rusty hardware, the green triangles
Reply to
Gerry
It's damned creative, in any case.
Reply to
Ed Huntress
cers where the column bolts to the dash. These spacers are usually a pain t o clean up to reuse. I've tried tumbling them with green pyramid media with out satisfactory results. On a lark, I replaced the plastic media with a bo x of 5/16" zinc coated steel nuts, and low and behold, the nuts worked bett er than any media I have tried in the past. Aluminum comes out shiny and cl ean, kind of burnished in a couple of hours in my small HF vibratory tumble r.
Cheap, too. Threw the nuts back in my bolt bin as they still looked new
Reply to
Gerry
Clever!
I'm grappling with the volume of media needed. Did you use enough nuts to bury the spacers, as is the case with "normal" media, or just enough to mix in with the spacers, or were the nuts added to the other media?
Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
Used about a pound of nuts in my HF 5# tumbler. No other media. Had about a double handful of aluminum parts so I'd say volume wise the mix was about equal. I'm wondering now what difference Grade 8 nuts would make as media for rusted steel bolts
Reply to
Gerry

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