Homemade 5 ga. Rotary Tumbler, with Pictures


December 9, 2009, 01:36 PM
A while back there was a thread asking for pictures of home-built rotary tumblers. I was busy with harvest then, but now that winter has set in here in Illinois, I decided to post some pictures of my project.

I started with a junk self-propelled lawn mower. I used the gearbox, axles, wheels, belt, and drive gears. I cut & shortened the long axle so both wheels would ride against a 5 gallon bucket. The motor & pulley were also refugees of the scrap pile. I couldn't get enough traction between the bucket & wheels, so I had to add a press wheel on top. I had a pile of used spring teeth from the harrow on the seed drill, and they make fantastic tensioners. The other half is what's tensioning the drive belt. The base is an old disc blade. The pictures are pretty self explanatory. The lid on the bucket is what's known as a "Gamma Seal" (http://www.gamma2.net/new/GSL.html). A friend at work showed them to me, and it works quite well, although If I don't get it tight enough, it can unscrew itself and dump my media all over the floor.:cuss:

It works fairly well. Total investment including media, gas, wire, electricity, and NuFinish was about $10. I polished 900 45ACP cases to a nice shine in about 4 hours, and I suspect it could have handled more casings, but that was all I had:o.




If you enjoyed reading about "Homemade 5 ga. Rotary Tumbler, with Pictures" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
December 9, 2009, 04:36 PM
Wow! What a great project!
Nice work!

Only thing I can say is, OSHA is going to insist on some belt guards sooner or later!!!!


December 9, 2009, 04:53 PM

Man I like that, no kidding. My kinda' project. Uh, how does the ole' lady feel about you having that thing on the bedroom carpet? What happens when the phone rings and the tumblers running; do you just turn the volume up? Can I send you a bunch of my brass? Sure would save me some time as opposed to my "little" tumbler.

December 9, 2009, 06:54 PM

December 9, 2009, 07:13 PM
Thanks for the kind words, folks. The good news is that I actually have my own little reloading room, so I don't have to worry about the carpet until I go to sell the house...this summer. Hmmm......didn't think that one through.... Anyway, the thing is fairly quiet. I would say the clothes dryer makes more noise, although I wouldn't want to listen to either one if I can avoid it.

December 9, 2009, 07:57 PM
I have a similar set up, but i used a dc motor and an axel and wheel from a defunct electric scooter.

I like how you used four wheels, i subtituted ruber casters. to hold the bucket on the driving wheel.++
url for gamma seal lids

December 9, 2009, 09:44 PM
I love it. Good use of what my wife calls "junk" around here. They just don't understand do they. Good job.

December 9, 2009, 09:46 PM
The gamma lids look pretty sturdy would they make a good seat or are they not that strong?

December 9, 2009, 10:45 PM
Now that is creative Good job.
Some junk is destined to be treasures.

December 9, 2009, 11:04 PM
jmorris, the gamma seals are quite strong. We use them at work to store remnants of fertilizer as the rubber seal is relatively watertight, and we routinely stand on them. I've often thought that they would make a fine seat, especially to take hunting or on a boat where you would want to protect gear from getting wet. I wish I had thought of (and held a patent on) them.

December 10, 2009, 12:04 PM
Homemade Ultra-Tumbler :)

http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/3296/photo49u.jpg (http://img245.imageshack.us/i/photo49u.jpg/)

http://img264.imageshack.us/img264/2078/photo50z.jpg (http://img264.imageshack.us/i/photo50z.jpg/)

Made out of a cheap, 100$ or so Cement mixer from harbor freight. Burned out the motor quick and replaced with what i had.. made it work. Added three Thick (3/4") plastic fins to "spread" the love. I run it at an angle and with 50 LB of media and over 10,000 .223's it has more room, and never spills anything.

December 10, 2009, 12:09 PM
My wife keeps sneaking into the garage and secretly turning off my tumbler. I can imagine the fit she would throw if I had either of those!

Maj Dad
December 10, 2009, 10:16 PM
You heard my cry in the wilderness & answered! My Dillon is running fine with it's nuevo motor mexicano, but I am going to start looking for stuff to convert into such a superb machine as yours. Why, I'll bet Al Gore would nominate you for a Nobel Greenbrassgobyby Prize... :eek:

December 11, 2009, 06:57 AM
Great project

December 11, 2009, 02:04 PM
Gives me hope. Just need more "junk" to get mine together... :D


December 11, 2009, 02:22 PM
Way cool. Thanks.


January 1, 2010, 03:14 PM
Just a thought, but if the stuff inside is knocking against the lid and causing it to unscrew, could you reverse the direction and get it to tighten instead? Thanks for the link to those lids -- I use 5 gal buckets for lots of stuff. Lids just makes them a whole lot more useful!

If you enjoyed reading about "Homemade 5 ga. Rotary Tumbler, with Pictures" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!