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Harbor Freight Barrel Tumbler

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by scottw, Feb 24, 2008.

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  1. scottw

    scottw Member

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    I need a quiet tumbler and was looking at the Harbor Freight 2 barrel rotary tumbler and want to know if any one uses one and what they think of it. Please no comments on the vibrator tumbler as that is what I have and it is the reason for the switch.
     
  2. TAB

    TAB Member

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    look else where... harbor freight and quit do not go toegther.
     
  3. Hook686

    Hook686 Member

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    I use a Harbor Freight rotary tumbler. I find it reasonably quiet ... it does not disturbe me and I run it in the kitchen (no wife). I use water and a pinch of 'no-suds' laundry detergent with a handfull of one of those 'green scrubby poads' cut up into , say 1/2" X 1/2" squares. It does a nice job ... even gives the case a satin look. Leave out the little scrubby pads and I end up with highly polished brass cases.
     
  4. presspuller

    presspuller Member

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    A buddy of mine got one to do rock tumbling and he can not keep the belt on it. He said he wishes he had spend more money elsewhere.
     
  5. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Member

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  6. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

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    I've been running a Harbor Freight dual drum for about a year now and it works just fine. The biggest source of noise is the sound of the brass rolling around in the drum and I don't think you'll ever reduce that noise. The sound from the motor itself is pretty low by comparison. I wouldn't call it loud no matter what.
     
  7. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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    I wore mine out. :)


    but it worked, to be sure....you can't put a whole lotta cases in there...I think I actually settled on like 40 pieces of brass at one time IIRC.


    D
     
  8. HJ857

    HJ857 Member

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    I fill the drums up pretty good. I can run a bit over 125 .223 cases per drum. A hundred 6.5 Grendel cases in one drum is an easy fit.

    I would bet that a cardboard box or something similar could be put over the whole unit to help suppress the sound. It's not overly large and doesn't generate much heat.
     
  9. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    And what is it? Noise? My midway vibratory tumbler is hardly quiet, but it is hardly loud either.

    You're gonna find out it IS SLOW. It'll take a lot more time to get the same shine you got with your vibrator. If your plan is to use a liquid cleaner, then the time from start to finish turns into days instead of hours. Time for the brass to dry will take days or a lot of energy in an oven. Then the first time you hurry that process, you'll end up with a dud because of a wet case. Been there, done that, got the T shirt!

    A couple of hours in my tumbler, with midway case polish and corn cob, I can start loading. On a Saturday morning, as soon as I get up, I put a batch of .223 cases in the tumbler. Then I eat breakfast, check my e-mail, answer a few calls, and take the cases out to start loading.
     
  10. pinkymingeo

    pinkymingeo Member

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    The Thumler's is as fast as any vibratory.
     
  11. Otto

    Otto Member

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  12. Fumbler

    Fumbler Member

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    I had one of the single drum Harbor Freight rotary tumblers.

    It was VERY slow. It works, but I had to let it work overnight just to get the same shine a vibratory tumbler will do in 2 hours.

    It is quieter than the vibratory tumbler...but I got so sick of waiting that I bought a Frankfurt Arsenal vibrating tumbler and gave the rotary to my boss.

    IMO you should bite the bullet and get a vibratory tumbler.
    They're much cheaper than a Thumlers.

    Going all out and getting a Thumlers would be real nice though...
     
  13. only1asterisk

    only1asterisk member

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  14. Well Regulated

    Well Regulated Member

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  15. Roccobro

    Roccobro Member

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    Otto- How long did your Thumblers take to get that brass so good looking? Regular media or wet and special mix? And how many pieces of brass does the Model B HD hold?

    Thanks,
    Justin
     
  16. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    I used a Harbor Freight sgl. barrel tumbler for about 3 years. Only problem I had was oiling the motor may once a year, never had any trouble with the belt. I used mine dry with corn cob media, only drawback was small size. Up graded to a Cabelas vib tumbler, garenteed for life.
     
  17. scottw

    scottw Member

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    OTTO thanks for the pictures and I loved the jumbo barrel tumbler. I really appreciate the replies.
     
  18. lgsracer

    lgsracer Member

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  19. amlevin

    amlevin Member

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    Don't laugh, these make great "Tumblers" if you have a large quantity of brass. Take the barrel out to have someone spray a pickup bed liner material in it. Make a cover for the opening to control dust. Throw 10,000 rounds or so of your favorite brass, a 50# bag of corncob media, and a bottle of NuFinish (the liquid only, throw the bottle away), and tumble away. This way you only have to process brass once a month or so. Set it up in the shed, away from the house and noise is not an issue. As for removing the media, just put a batch of cases that still have some media in them into a standard media separator. Finish separating and return the media to the drum for the next batch.
     
  20. Otto

    Otto Member

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    The brass in the photo below took about 3 hrs.
    The brass in my earlier post (some of which was thirty years old) took longer because it was especially foul.
    As you can see, I use angle cut ceramic media...around 7 pounds.
    The ceramic is mixed with a solution of water and Tumble Bright concentrate.
    There are about 200 .45acp cases in the photo below but I usually clean 250-300 at a time, more than that tends to slow down the cleaning process.
    The brass and media in the photo have been rinsed with clean water. Before the rinse, the wash solution was almost black with contaminates. The added benefit of tumbling with ceramic is that it gently deburrs the case mouth inside and out. Decapping prior to cleaning is pretty much mandatory.
    I get the ceramic and solution from https://www.sageoutfitters.com
    The Sage's are great people to deal with. They in fact supply Cabelas with their ceramic.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Take one vibratory tumbler, and place it on a concrete floor with a piece or packing foam under it. Just thick enuf so that whe you press down on it there is some give left. Then turn it on. Then take a cardboard box big enuf to cover the whole thing, cut the flaps off neatly on one end so when you turn it upside down over the vibrator you need to cut a little notch for the cord. Tape up any loose flaps or gaps with duct tape. Put a dictionary or such on top. If you still find that noise objectionable, I can't help you. If you find that satisfactory, don't forget to put up a note so you don't forget you left it running for 3 days like some people.
     
  22. snuffy

    snuffy Member

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    Um, that's a recipe for a fire! Any electric motor needs air circulation around it to run safely. If you close it up inside a box, you remove that air circulation. Most motors have a thermal protector built into them, it opens the circuit in the event of an overheated motor. But depending on that is like playing Russian roulette. I never run mine unless I'm home, no sense in taking chances.

    At least for mine, it isn't all that loud. As long as it's loaded properly, the right amount of brass and media, it is fairly quiet. Once in a while the cover works itself loose, then it gets my attention.
     
  23. Virginian

    Virginian Member

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    Technically true. But the air under the box never even got warm and the motor of course did not trip out in three days. Concrete floor must be cool enuf to suck up the heat. I normally do not run mine unless I am at least in the house and most likely in the basement within 30 feet. But anyone trying this does need to check, and do not forget the note like I did the first time.
     
  24. Hiaboo

    Hiaboo Member

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    wow. I just chuck mine in the detached garage and let it go.. I cant imagine having that nasty dust in the house.. If you have a shed?
     
  25. sm

    sm member

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    -Take the imitation concrete slap a HVAC unit sits on outside a house.
    -Put this atop a tractor inner tube. Not inflated, just on top.
    -Tumbler on top of this imitation slab.

    Newer constructions use these imitations slabs instead of pouring a concrete one, or instead of using brick.

    These inner tubes, whatever size it is, that fits in this square, cushions without squeaking like Styrofoam and "settles in" with the floor and slab with tumbler if you will.

    These slabs have to meet code, as these HVAC units do have electrical power going to them...in the outdoors no less.
     
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