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Old 02-23-2011, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default DIY tumbler

I was bored and needed a tumbler for my .223 brass and the rocks my 4 year old brings home.

Discontinued Orbital Polisher from Harbor Freight($5)
Speed reducer form Harbor Freight 20% off ($15)
I had the boat trailer tire with damaged sidewall and couldn't be used on the trailer anymore.

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Old 02-23-2011, 05:41 PM   #2
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Let us know how it goes! I want to see some finished product.

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Old 02-23-2011, 05:51 PM   #3
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Neat idea, but how well does it clean and polish brass? Posting that without showing the results is just a tease!

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Old 02-23-2011, 07:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonyaeger View Post
Neat idea, but how well does it clean and polish brass? Posting that without showing the results is just a tease!
You mean it actually has to work!!

I plan on starting a batch tonight to see how it works. I'll get some before and after pics and a few halfway through the process. I'm curious as to how long it will actually take. I left the pad on because of the barrings that allow it to rotate and has a built-in offset weight on the shaft that make for some good action. Slowing it down with the speed reducer is pretty close to the real thing.
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Old 02-24-2011, 01:20 AM   #5
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You mean it actually has to work!!

I left the pad on because of the barrings that allow it to rotate and has a built-in offset weight on the shaft that make for some good action.
One thing I didn't explain very well was the need for downward force to get the needed action. I'm testing bungees for the downward force and to keep it from spinning wildly. The more force, the smoother the vibration.
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:37 AM   #6
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Here's what they look like after an hour and half in walnut shells with a few drops of Nu finish. The center case had not been tumbled.

With Flash


Without Flash


A couple of more hours and they should be done.

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Old 02-24-2011, 12:29 PM   #7
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Looks like you've made a successful tumbler. Good job!

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Old 02-24-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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Nice!

So did that work out to cost less than my $49.00 Cabela's tumbler.....keeping in mind that not everyone has an old orbital polisher sitting around?

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Old 02-24-2011, 03:27 PM   #9
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It was more about being bored and if I could succeed. My four year old keeps bringing home rocks and I wanted to do something for her and it was a nice little project we did together and that was part of the fun too.

It was at least half the cost since I got the polisher for $5 and the speed reducer was $15. I could have bought one and figured it would be close. The vibratory tumblers I was looking at cost close to $100 which work like what I made.

I'd probably recommend people just buy one for $50 and depending on how long it last I might actually upgrade and buy the next one, but this will do what I want it to for now.

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Old 02-24-2011, 04:11 PM   #10
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Awesome project!

I went at Harbor Freight last week picking up a couple things. I spent a little extra time walking around seeing if there was anything I absolutely couldn't live without, and found that they actually sell a tumbler (who knew?), but theirs is $70.

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