DIY tumbler

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by Tworr, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Let us know how it goes! I want to see some finished product.
     

  3. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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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!
     
  4. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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    You mean it actually has to work!! :eek:

    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.
     
  5. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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    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.
     
  6. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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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
    [​IMG]

    Without Flash
    [​IMG]

    A couple of more hours and they should be done.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  7. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    Looks like you've made a successful tumbler. Good job! :cool:
     
  8. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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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?
     
  9. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2011
  10. Troy Michalik

    Troy Michalik Is it Friday yet? Supporter

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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. :(
     
  11. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I get it, well done!
     
  12. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    Note that they have 20% off almost regularly too. I get email from them almost weekly for new 20% off coupons this month (odd).
     
  13. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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    Thank you!!

    Their in store price was $100 on that one and their single rotary tumbler is $50. I debated on how well the single rotary would work. $40 after the 20% coupon I had. Maybe for Christmas. The In-laws are always having a hard time getting me something.
    Search results for: 'tumbler'
     
  14. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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    The problem I always have is that when I have a 20% coupon the item I want is on sale and the coupon(which would be a better price) can't be used with a item on sale. :mad:
     
  15. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    You can do what I did when I first started loading and didn't have a tumbler yet.

    1. Wait for the wife to leave for a while.
    2. fill a pillow case full of media and brass, tie open end into a knot.
    3. Fill dryer with towels, blankets or similar
    4. Add pillow case
    5. turn dryer in air only for an hour or so
    6. Remove pillow case and clean lint filter
    7. wash whatever was in with the pillow case and dry prior to wife's return.

    You now have clean brass.
     
  16. Poink88

    Poink88 New Member

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    Depends on the sale. If it is a coupon sale, you are right. But if it marked down sale...the 20% coupon still works. At least in my experience.
     
  17. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    Who annealed that brass because the first case on the left has been annealed way too much. It should look like #3 or a little less.
     
  18. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I do the same, and it's a great way to explain away the skidmarks on my whitey-tighteys!
     
  19. Tworr

    Tworr New Member

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    Those were Remington UMC 55grn fmj.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. amoroque

    amoroque New Member

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    Funny, that reminds me an aweful lot of my rabbit hide tanning method. Especially #1. :D