A Peach of a Homemade Parts Tumbler

tumbler[Chris] finds the average price of rock tumblers insulting. Almost as insulting, in fact, as prepackaged fruit salad made with Chinese peaches. While there may be little he can do about the peaches, he has given the finger to lapidary pricing by making his own tumbler on the very cheap.

Simply put, he drilled a hole in bottom of the peach vessel and then stuck a threaded rod through it. He held the rod in place with a nut and a washer. After securing the proper permits to source sand and water from his property, he put both in the jar along with some old nails that had paint and crud on them. [Chris] put the rod in the chuck of his drill and clamped the drill in his bench vise. Half an hour later, he had some nice, shiny nails. Make the jump to be amazed and entertained. If you prefer using balls, check out this homemade mill.

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Refurbishing a Vibratory Tumbler with a Dryer Motor

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[Jake von Slatt] of the Steampunk Workshop is at again, this time refurbishing a cheap vibratory tumbler that had died after just one project.

The original Eastwood tumbler looked nice, but obviously didn’t go through much life-cycle testing at the company that designed it. Upon taking it apart, [Jake] discovered that the bearings in the motor were shot — after only a few hours of operation! Because of this he decided to start from scratch, keeping only the bowl, lid, and of course, the tumbling media.

[Jake's] redesign makes use of Volkswagen brake drums for a very heavy duty base, a custom machined ball bearing plate made out of scrap aluminum, a flexible motor coupling made by welding a heavy spring onto two shafts, some more springs to balance the bowl, and a reclaimed dryer motor. It might not look pretty, but we think it’ll last a wee bit longer than the original.

He’s calling it his latest feat of post-apocalyptic engineering by using only parts on hand, and while we’d have to agree that his use of scrap material is impressive, we’d like to see him be able to power his rebuilt Bridgeport Mill off the grid when the apocalypse hits!

As always, he’s made an excellent video describing the project — don’t forget to check it out after the break.

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Easy to build parts tumbler you can add to your shop

This parts tumbler was easy to build but it still does a great job of rounding rough edges and polishing the surfaces of parts cut with a CNC machine. You can see that it mounts in a bench vise, and the cooling fans have a magnet which holds the tray in place on the anvil portion of that tool. Since you’re not constantly tumbling parts this makes it very easy to store the unit between uses.

[Neo7CNC] mounted the wooden tumbler plate directly to the motor shaft. This is done with the help of some aluminum stock which bolts to the round wooden plate, and has a hole and set screw for the motor’s keyed shaft. There are four wooden dowels which cradle the plastic coffee jug where the parts go. As a first test he used zinc BB’s that he already had lying around, but has put some steel ball medium on order for future projects.

It’s certainly more robust and powerful than the LEGO ball mill we saw a while ago. Just be careful with motor. Even at a lowly 60 RPM it ended up getting really hot and that’s the reason there’s a heat sink and fan unit included in the build. See it in action after the break.

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