Building A Vibration Tumbler On The Cheap

There are few tasks quite as laborious as sanding and polishing. Any job that takes a lot of time and elbow grease is a prime candidate for mechanical help, and this one is no exception. At the suggestion of friends, [VegOilGuy] decided it was time to invest in a vibration tumbler. Naturally, building it rather than buying it was the order of the day.

If you’ve ever used an electric sander, you’ll know they’re an excellent source of vibration. Initially, the intention was to build a tumbler with the sander being removable and still usable for its original purpose. A clamping base was constructed with cable ties, wood, and Bondo, but sadly to no avail. The Velcro connection to the plastic tumbler bowl was simply not robust enough to hold up to repeated use.

Instead, the sander was permanently bolted to the tumbler bowl, yielding more positive results. A funnel was then also added to the bowl, to improve media circulation and reduce the amount required. Initial tests were positive, with the tumbler successfully polishing some cast brass parts using crushed walnut shells. [VegOilGuy] is still looking for a more abrasive media to use for initial patina removal, however.

Sometimes the best tools are the ones you build yourself. In this case, it’s a cheap and easy way to get a vibration tumbler and the results are great. If sanders aren’t your speed, why not check out this fan based build instead? Video after the break.

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DIY Parts Tumbler Cleans Your Parts Good

Part tumbling is a method of deburring and cleaning relatively small objects. This is done by capturing the parts and media inside a rotating container. The agitation continually moves the media around all surfaces and corners of the part, smoothing them out resulting in a uniform finish. The media can be anything from specialty ceramic shapes to ball bearings to even sand. This process can be done in either a wet or dry condition. Think about the beach, the rocks there are smooth. This is due to the waves repetitively rubbing together the sand and stones which result in smooth round shapes.

[imp22b] recently got into ammo reloading and needed a way to clean his used shell casings. The casings are brass and after a little research online, [imp22b] found that a wet tumbling process with stainless steel pins for media was a DIY proven method for this casing material. He then went on to find a commercially available tumbler to model his build after, in this case a Thumler Model B. There is certainly no need to re-invent the wheel here.

As you can see in the photo, aluminum extrusion was used as the frame. Mounted to the frame are 4 pillow block bearings with shafts between each pair. A motor drives one of the bearing-mounted rods which in turn rotates a container resting on the rods. [imp22b] started with a 1/15 hp motor that he had kicking around but that wasn’t powerful enough so he did have to step up to a 1/3 hp unit. The container is made from off the shelf PVC pipe pieces and holds the media and casings along with some water. A bit of Lemon Shine and Dawn detergents are also added and help clean the parts. After a few hours of tumbling, the casings look pretty darn good.

DIY Parts Tumbler

If you’re interested making your own simpler tumbler, check out this one that uses a hand drill or this one that uses a coffee can.

A Peach Of A Homemade Parts 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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Case Feeder Makes Your Ammo Reloading More Efficient

case-feed-ammo-reloader

For those that are into reloading their own ammo you know that getting an efficient assembly line process figured out will make your sessions much more enjoyable and productive. [Msoejacobsk] knew that he could buy a case feeder for his system, but didn’t want to shell out two hundred bucks for it. After a bit of thought he was able to build this case feeder for around ten dollars.

The purpose of the rig is to orient each empty casing correctly and feed it to the reloading hardware. This is accomplished by first separating one casing at a time using this angled tumbler. The disc that makes up the floor has slots cut in it which are the size of one casing. When that slot gets to the highest point of its rotation there is an opening through which the casing falls. To ensure proper orientation a V-shaped piece of heavy wire has been place in the middle of the opening. This acts as a fulcrum, letting the heavier base pull the casing in that direction. You can see this happen in the clip after the break.

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