Still new and want to build my own tumbler


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possom813
December 8, 2008, 10:45 PM
How fast should it spin? I was figuring around 100rpm or so???

Also, what kind of media to use?

I'm still new to the reloading process and finally started getting equipment together to reload.

-John

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bragood
December 8, 2008, 10:49 PM
How do you plan to do this? I was thinking of trying it too.

possom813
December 8, 2008, 11:03 PM
I've got access to a lot of different electric motors. My friends dad used to be an appliance repairman :).

Once I find out how many rpm's I need to be at, I will decide which motor to use.

For the tumbler itself, I got ahold of a 3 gallon bucket.

The next step will vary by motor. If the motor I want to use will spin at the right speed it will be as simple as screwing a piece of 1x4 on the bottom of the bucket with a 1"x1" square cutout of the wood and centered on the bottom of the bucket. The motor is an old garage door motor with a 1" square shaft poking out.

If I use one of the other motors, I'll have to fab up a different style bracket with a tensioner on it to keep the belt tight. Find a pulley for the motor shaft that will accept a V-belt and find a belt large enough to fit around the pulley and the bucket. Then use some flex tube to build my groove with the tube to fit around the bucket. The bucket will be drilled on the bottom with a 1" circular hole and a piece of 3/4" all thread inserted and washers with nuts to hold the all thread in the bottom of the bucket.

With the bucket now mounted on the all thread you have a shaft about 8 inches poking out. Find a piece of pipe that will fit snug over the all thread and weld or solder it into place so you now have a smooth shaft that will be roughly 7/8-1" in diameter. Find another pipe that this shaft will fit into.

For the base, I'm going to use 2 1' pieces of C channel with the frame built up and the pipe mounted at such an angle so the front of the bucket will rest on 2 casters to help support it.

Once I get it built, I can describe it a lot better and what it's going to cost. I can try to explain it over and over again and still wouldn't get across what I'm trying to say.

-John

R. Deckard
December 8, 2008, 11:34 PM
Are you referring to a tumbler to clean brass? Its more a combination of vibration and orbital rotation than just spinning. Keep us posted on how it goes.

Grassman
December 8, 2008, 11:39 PM
Post some pics when you get it built.

rockhound758
December 9, 2008, 12:06 AM
Sounds like a fun project, but 100 rpm seems pretty fast to me, especially considering you'll have the thing at least partially full with media and brass. I think I'd opt for fewer rpms...I'm thinking like 35-50 or something, but heck I don't know. What do the rock tumblers run at? 20 rpm or something like that? Good luck though...sounds like it'll be fun to experiment and tweak it!

possom813
December 9, 2008, 12:14 AM
It will be vibrating and spinning, I just am not sure how fast to make it spin. I've got a tumbler built now that works with a 5 gallon bucket, but it's built to clean cast iron and that's about it. It tumbles with a custom blend of abrasives. But it also spins for about a week before it's ready to come out.

I'll start working on it and get it to spin around 50-60rpm and I may even try to do a whole write up on it.

I'll get started on it later this week.

If anyone has anything to add or more ideas of how to make it function better, let me know.

possom813
December 9, 2008, 12:15 AM
And yes, a tumbler to clean brass, sorry I forgot to mention that.

gunmn74
December 9, 2008, 12:20 AM
Here is a link you may want to look at.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=394521&highlight=homemade+tumbler

janobles14
December 9, 2008, 12:22 AM
by the way...they dont spin. they vibrate. imagine shaking salt in a shaker to that it rotates.

possom813
December 9, 2008, 12:36 AM
Good ideas there, thanks. But what I'm working on is similar to the Thumler Tumbler I just read about.

I'm probably also going to build one very similar to the one in the link with the white bowl.

Thanks,
John

janobles14
December 9, 2008, 01:30 AM
ahhh...got it. then something slow (around 35-50 rpm) would probably work. you will just have to overload it with a pretty coarse media (walnut for example) to get the cleaning you need.

one of the gurus should be along at some point to further advise you.

qajaq59
December 9, 2008, 06:43 AM
20+ years ago I needed a tumbler and the local store didn't have one. They said they could order it and I'd get it in a week or so. But being the impatient guy I was, I tossed one together from crap that was hanging around in the shop. It's still runs and I use it once a month or so. Somehow, I've never gotten around to buying a commercial one. Even though they're cheap as can be these days.

I used a 10 inch long piece of PVC pipe about 5 or 6 inches in diameter and a couple of caps. I drilled 3/8 holes in each cap and put a bolt thru them, sticking out about 2 inches. One cap is glued on and the other comes off so I can put the cases in. Then I made some "U" shaped brackets for the bolts to slide into so it would rotate.

I had a small DC motor hanging around so that ended up as the power for it. I mounted the motor on hinges and then ran a belt around the pipe and motor so it would go round and round. A small shock cord supplies the tension on the motor. I used the small shaft, without the pulley, so that the pipe rotated slowly, maybe about 60 RPM.

Toss in some crushed walnuts shells and a bit of NuFinih and let it run for a couple of hours. It looks funny but the cases are clean. Plus the little noise it makes is rather pleasant. Stupid thing sounds like one of those waterfalls you buy for the patio, which is where it sits when it's running.

I suppose some day it'll die and I'll likely get on line and order a real one. Or who knows, maybe my kids will inherit the dumb thing. ;)

rcmodel
December 9, 2008, 12:20 PM
My first tumbler was a homemade affair.

I used two 1/2" steel rods in pillow blocks, with one motor driven and the other free wheeling. Covered them with rubber hose for traction.

The container just laid on the rollers and spun at fairly low RPM.

You need some ribs or small vanes inside the container to break up the media, or it will just stay stuck against the walls from centrifugal force. I think I used 1/2" PVC pipe screwed to the container walls in three or four places.

rcmodel

WNTFW
December 9, 2008, 05:08 PM
Rotary or Drum Type:
I used self adhesive weather stip for some vanes on one I made. No vanes and the media/brass doesn't turn over, it just slides against he wall on a drum type tumbler. You could also make a hex shape as opposed to a round cylinder. The drum type is easier to scale up. I made a 5 gallon version using a water cooler jug that already had ribs molded in that worked as vanes. The jug sat on rollers. The roller system allow 1 gal & 5 gal containers on the same base at the same time. The drum/cylinder method also allows for wet or dry media use.

Japle
December 9, 2008, 07:30 PM
I made one several years ago. Using a surplus motor with an out-of-balance weight on the shaft, a cheap tub from WalMart and some springs and bolts and scrap wood, I ended up with this:

http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Tumbler.jpg
http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y145/Japle/Tumbler3.jpg

Really ugly and crude, but it's been chuggin' along. Just have to keep the nuts tight or it comes apart.
Total cost, about $8.

Grassman
December 9, 2008, 08:40 PM
What's the reason for cleaning the brass? Is it to just look purdy, or is there a ballistic advantage?

Shoney
December 9, 2008, 09:33 PM
Cheep????? You want inexpensive.

Go to an appliance recycling center and get a top loading washing machine. Make sure the pumps donít work but the motor will still do the spin cycle. You can get them for under $5.00.

Now get 4 old bricks with the holes, and bolt them two by two next to each other on the inside of the wash basket. On the spin cycle it is unbalanced and gives a great vibration. You may need to adjust the number of bricks to calibrate the shimmy/shake.

Now get one of the old toilet bowels, from the high flush era, which usually canít be given away. Donít forget to get one with a seat. Bolt it to the lid of the washer and seal up the internal hole with cement that you trowel to a smooth finish.

Add your media and brass, put the seat down, set your spin cycle, and zip, zowie, and zwooosh. You have the Crapper Case Cleaner.

Oh! If your wife objects, tell her that it is a most valuable tool for you to practice always putting the seat down.;)

jcwit
December 9, 2008, 09:42 PM
Just makes it look purty. Helps your ego.

benzuncle
December 9, 2008, 09:52 PM
My first tumbler was a 16in woofer turned on it's back. The son would play his music loud; I would tumble my brass. 2 birds - 1 stone. :D

BigJakeJ1s
December 9, 2008, 10:18 PM
Most garage door opener motors are not rated for continuous duty, and may overheat in a continuous application like a tumbler running for hours.

If the bottom of the bowl is shaped well (rounded bottom/sides, not like a bucket), no spinning is necessary, just orbital vibration from an unbalanced motor.

Andy

eatatjoz
December 9, 2008, 10:32 PM
"The motor is an old garage door motor with a 1" square shaft poking out."

Most of those are not constant run motors.
She'll probably burn up in thirty minutes.

Knowing that information would have saved me four hours worth of work. ;)

possom813
December 9, 2008, 11:11 PM
I'm not saying anyone is wrong, except maybe me.

But the tumbler that I have now has an old garage door motor on it and it's tumbled for days on end with no problems.

However, these may not be garage door motors. They're about 50lbs, are reversible, 110v, 2hp, and turn a 5 gallon bucket at about 50rpms.

dwave
December 9, 2008, 11:52 PM
What's the reason for cleaning the brass? Is it to just look purdy, or is there a ballistic advantage?

Just makes it look purty. Helps your ego.

Actually, cleaning the brass serves two purposes:

1. Clean brass doesn't scratch you dies.
2. Clean brass is easier to inspect for defects.

Oh, and what jcwit said, purty and ego.

eatatjoz
December 10, 2008, 12:05 AM
Garage doors are what I do for a living.
Most modern openers are no more than 1hp. (by modern, I mean within the last thirty years)
A commercial unit may have a constant run motor in it, but most don't. Especially a 110 unit.
Those that do usually spin at 1120rpm. Some have external gearboxes though.

I'm not saying that's not what it is, just saying that it's highly unlikely.

Oh, and here's my experiment. It lasted 20 minutes, but it worked REALLY good for those 20 minutes.
http://i157.photobucket.com/albums/t43/eatatjoz/toys/jeff023Small.jpg

possom813
December 10, 2008, 12:16 AM
Right on, I'll snap a pic of the big tumbler tomorrow and maybe someone can identify the motor. I'll also verify the hp, I'm just going of what my old man said.

-John

qajaq59
December 10, 2008, 06:49 AM
Actually, cleaning the brass serves two purposes:

1. Clean brass doesn't scratch you dies.
2. Clean brass is easier to inspect for defects. Those are the reasons I do it. And it doesn't have to be super shiny and bright. Just clean.

rfwobbly
December 10, 2008, 12:42 PM
I like the idea of a 5 gal joint compound bucket with lid, used to make a rotary tumbler very similar to the ones the rock and gem crowd use, simply larger. Radially placed around the inside surface would be several lengths of metal utility angle from any hardware store.

Dump in brass and corn cob media, then slap on the top, and lay it down on the wife's exercise tread mill.

I believe you'd want the drum to turn slowly, say 40 RPM.

rondog
December 10, 2008, 02:23 PM
Jeez guys, a REAL tumbler is only around $50 or so. But I'd like a much bigger one, so I'm watching this thread with interest. If I could build one out of a 5 gal. bucket that provided GREAT action, I just might do so. I can't justify $450 for a BIG Thumler's, but the mid-sized one for $160 is interesting.

possom813
December 10, 2008, 04:43 PM
Jeez guys, a REAL tumbler is only around $50 or so. But I'd like a much bigger one, so I'm watching this thread with interest. If I could build one out of a 5 gal. bucket that provided GREAT action, I just might do so. I can't justify $450 for a BIG Thumler's, but the mid-sized one for $160 is interesting.

I haven't gotten out to the shop yet, it's cold and dreary here which translates to me staying inside with the heater.

As it is, I'm probably going to build both. Right now I'm trying to locate the perfect 5 gallon bucket to use. It's gotta meet my specific criteria and I'm being fairly picky about it.

-John

rondog
December 10, 2008, 04:47 PM
Um, you're an hour SOUTH of Dallas/Ft. Worth? Please define cold and dreary. I want to see how that compares to Denver's cold and dreary!

TimRB
December 10, 2008, 05:12 PM
"But I'd like a much bigger one, so I'm watching this thread with interest."

Here's a good-sized tumbler for only 200 bucks:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=2528

No, I'm not being entirely facetious. I seem to recall reading on some forum or another (maybe even here) about someone using one of these things to shine up thousands of rounds of range-pickup pistol brass at a time.

Tim

possom813
December 10, 2008, 05:16 PM
Below 35* and rainy with a chill factor in the low 20's and wind blowing rather quick.

Not my cup of tea, I'm good in the 40's and up. Below 40 is practically cold enough to cancel all bets for me.

-John

leper65
December 10, 2008, 05:25 PM
I saw another thread somewhere and the guy was using this 1 1/4 cubic ft cement mixer from Harbor Freight. It's $150 but the guy had got it on sale for $99

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=91907

rondog
December 10, 2008, 05:26 PM
"But I'd like a much bigger one, so I'm watching this thread with interest."

Here's a good-sized tumbler for only 200 bucks:

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...temnumber=2528

No, I'm not being entirely facetious. I seem to recall reading on some forum or another (maybe even here) about someone using one of these things to shine up thousands of rounds of range-pickup pistol brass at a time.

Tim

LOL! I saw your post, and thought you were talking about this.... http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=96923

rondog
December 10, 2008, 05:30 PM
I saw another thread somewhere and the guy was using this 1 1/4 cubic ft cement mixer from Harbor Freight. It's $150 but the guy had got it on sale for $99

http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=91907

You know, that's actually not a bad idea. Worth going and looking at anyway. For that price though, I think I'd go with the midsized Thumler's, at least it's a lot easier to store. And storage is a big consideration to me.

fecmech
December 10, 2008, 08:15 PM
Been using this one for about 20 years. Some old bearings, a 3 lb. coffee can (with 2 pieces of angle inside to act as paddles) and an old motor. Holds between 200 and 300 cases of .38 or .45 and takes about an hour to polish them. Crude but effective!

SpamHandler
December 12, 2008, 09:06 PM
Here are some other plans that may be of interest. http://www.buildgear.cjb.net/

LJH
December 12, 2008, 10:02 PM
fecmech, that is actually one of the coolest homemade tumblers I have ever seen. It is simple yet effective. And yours has given me an easy solution to my home-brew tumbler problems I have been trying to work out.

possom813
December 12, 2008, 11:43 PM
fecmech, how fast does that spin?

fecmech
December 13, 2008, 10:46 AM
The coffee can is turning approx 80 rpm. The motor is a 1700 rpm motor with a 1" pulley. The can drive pulley is a 4" pulley on I believe a 3/8 shaft over which I slide some 3/8" gas line hose to act as a driver for the can. I put two pieces of 1" aluminum angle inside the can length ways to tumble the cases. Hope this helps.

possom813
December 13, 2008, 01:03 PM
Welp, this idea just got scrapped for the time being. The wife went garage selling this morning with my dad and they scored an old Lortone Gem Tumbler in almost perfect condition still in the original box for 5 bucks.

So on to the next project.

Thanks for all the replies.

-John

rfwobbly
December 13, 2008, 01:05 PM
I love that tumbler! But are you sure you have enough power there !! :D

If you used one of the new plastic Yuban coffee cans (1 lb 12 oz size), you wouldn't even have to place the angles inside !

rondog
December 13, 2008, 01:36 PM
Welp, this idea just got scrapped for the time being. The wife went garage selling this morning with my dad and they scored an old Lortone Gem Tumbler in almost perfect condition still in the original box for 5 bucks.

So on to the next project.

Thanks for all the replies.

-John

Well, where's the photos of this fine score?????
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/funnies/gunny.jpg

possom813
December 13, 2008, 03:57 PM
Be up shortly, my camera and I don't always agree on when it should work.

fecmech
December 13, 2008, 09:07 PM
" But are you sure you have enough power there !!
If you used one of the new plastic Yuban coffee cans (1 lb 12 oz size), you wouldn't even have to place the angles inside !"

Wobbly--You realize of course this is a Pre-Yuban tumbler design.:what: Yes I agonized for quite a while over the power requirements in the design phase and finally determined a capacitor start 1/4 horse would be sufficient.:D

rockhound758
December 18, 2008, 02:34 AM
Rondog:

Loved it! Gave me a much-needed laugh today!

luis7
December 18, 2008, 03:57 AM
You can see this:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=360530
I can send to you a power point tex with instruccions (in spanish) to made it.
Send me yur email address by pm.
Bye and greetings from Spain.

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