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  1. #1
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Tumbled my first part yesterday - 6082 aluminium, no surface preparation - just as it came from the stock-holder.



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    Yes, the shinier part is the one that got tumbled... I used 3mm porcelain beads as the finishing media.

    It took 10 hours to get the results you see - admittedly my tumbler is a tad underpowered:

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    ...and could benefit from spinning at 25-30RPM as opposed to it's lowly 14RPM (as covered in another post) but all in all I'm quite pleased with the results. Another 10 hours and it'd be close to mirror, I reckon...

    Wal.
    Last edited by Wal; 26-05-2014 at 02:26 PM.

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to Wal For This Useful Post:


  3. #2
    Nice job Wal, where did you get the beads? .. Clive

  4. #3
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Cheers Clive.

    Beads came off e-bay:

    3mm Porcelain Media 3Kg Vibratory Rotary Tumbler / Polishing Finishing | eBay

    Not cheap, but they do the trick - if you're going to buy some give me a shout - I want to get some plastic media for de-burring, maybe we can combine p&p..?

    Wal.

  5. #4
    Nice job Wal but a better finish than that would take me about 30mins on my bench polisher.? Can see the point of a tumbler for small parts and lots of them but not single larger parts like those.? What will be the main use.?

  6. #5
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Hi Dean,

    Yeah, I hear ya - this was more of a test than anything. I have some buffing wheels/mops which I'm still getting the hang of - there's definitely a knack to be acquired. I had a go at the G that I cut a while back, I didn't give it enough prep/wet-dry etc, and there are some awkward areas to get into, but not a bad result. With all its nooks, I reckon it would tumble to a nicer finish once prepped properly...

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    I also think that 1050 would benefit from tumbling, it's so bloody soft that those switch plates I did were even picking up micro-scratches from the Vienna lime/final polishing cloth... But like I say, might just be me not doing it right or a particularly soft batch of alu.

    Anyway, with all that said - because most of what I do are 'one-off small scale no rush' jobs, I'm quite happy to pop parts like the plates in overnight - until I get the hang of polishing/buffing it's a good way to guarantee a consistent finish. With the quadrilateral plates in the OP it was also hugely important that the edges stayed as flat as possible - not something you'd want to ride a sisal wheel over...

    Cheers!

    Wal.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Wal View Post
    Hi Dean,

    Yeah, I hear ya - this was more of a test than anything. I have some buffing wheels/mops which I'm still getting the hang of - there's definitely a knack to be acquired.
    Oh yeah tell me about it I've spat a few parts across room before and wrecked few also. Agree for parts like that G then tumbler would be miles easier and give better finish. Some time ago I made some 50 or so tiny decorative brass handles for handbags and each one needed polishing to a high shine and this took twice longer than making the bloody things.!!

  8. #7
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Heh, yep - polishing's definitely approaching an art-form. I'm using my wheels on a slow pillar drill/hand-drill, takes some coordination to keep the workpiece moving whilst remembering to keep its edges out of the way of the on-coming wheel!

    Nothing worse than thinking you've ruined a bit of work by polishing in a groove... Well, except maybe when the wheel grabs it off ya and chucks it on the floor.

    Wal.

  9. #8
    Wal, have you got anything inside the tub to help agitate the beads ? Or are you just relying on rotational gravity to move the beads and materials. You would get a quicker turnaround by making the beads and material move around more inside the tub other than just sliding. Think along the lines of a tumble dryer and add some baffles inside the tub.

  10. #9
    Wal's Avatar
    Lives in Stockport, United Kingdom. Last Activity: 12 Hours Ago Has been a member for 5-6 years. Has a total post count of 318. Received thanks 29 times, giving thanks to others 13 times.
    Hi Longy,

    Yeah, I have a couple of strips of wood that help flip the part and increase the internal chaos...

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    Not that there's much internal chaos going on at the mo - the weedy motor finally released it's magic smoke and ceased to turn forever more...

    So the search continues for a small quiet motor that likes to run continuously and is strong enough to turn the barrel. I've found replacement Thumler motors available in the States for around $25-30, double that once p&p+duty get charged on top. Quite honestly I'm thinking to myself - just buy one of these:

    3lb Barrelling Machine | UKGE

    So much for DIY - totally does my nut in that I'm unable to buy (easily and on these shores) a small AC or DC motor up to the job at a reasonable price..!

    Bah!

    Wal.

  11. #10
    Wal, are you still on 12V ? try a breaker yard for second hand wiper motor they will go all day and you get the gearbox to play with. Not sure on the rpm but I would think that wiper motors will have a fare bit of torque. Hope these help http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_tr...at=0&_from=R40

    or http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Tumble-Mas...item2a3d397157
    Last edited by longy; 29-05-2014 at 02:52 AM. Reason: links

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