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Harbor Freight tumbler belts snapping

Discussion in 'Handloading and Reloading' started by TTv2, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I have the dual drum rotary tumbler from Harbor Freight and it had been working well until a few weeks ago when it started rotating the drums really slowly. I did some researching and found that the belt tension could be adjusted. So I added more tension to the belt and it did great, until that belt snapped.

    I figured maybe it was time, that belt got used enough, so I replaced it on Friday and now today during more tumbling the second belt snapped. Am I putting too much tension on these belts? I need good tension on the belt when I fill both drums otherwise it doesn't spin them fast enough to get good results.

    If anyone here has any experience with the HF tumblers, please I need your input. The belts are cheap enough to replace, but I don't want them breaking every time I try to use the machine.
     
  2. Bugster

    Bugster Member

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    I have the single and the double. The double started having troubles turning the drums, so I checked the rollers and the non-powered roller was real stiff. I decided to oil the ends of the roller and turned it back on and the drums spun like it was new. Just used a drop or two of 3 in 1 oil. May help?
     
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  3. whughett

    whughett Member

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    The dual drum has a load limit of 6 pounds are you stressing it that way. I’ve two of those no problems in several years.
     
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  4. Gumby0961
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    Gumby0961 Contributing Member

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    Sounds like dry bearings.
     
  5. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    I'm not weighing the drums, but they're probably 3 pounds each, maybe more. Before i was just running one drum and leaving the other empty, so for now I'll just run one drum at a time.

    IDK, I guess it's looking like I need to get a larger tumbler so I can do larger batches. This HF did me well and will continue to with my small batches of brass, but when I'm doing hundreds of .32 at a time I guess I'm gonna need to step up to the Frankford Lite.
     
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  6. starnbar

    starnbar Member

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    I don't know if you want to go bigger but years ago I bought a plastic drum cement mixer 1 yard size and filled it with walnut hull and some jewelers rouge that was about 28 years ago and it still polishes just fine every once in awhile I find some brass that has been in there for awhile some of it looks like gold.
     
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  7. whughett

    whughett Member

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    Now that’s a serious tumbler. :what:
     
  8. Nature Boy
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    Nature Boy Contributing Member

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    you should see some of @jmorris ’s contraptions
     
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  9. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm member

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    I've thought about doing that on more than one occasion. But I've ended up with three FA and one Hornady vibratory tumblers. I can clean quite a bit of brass at a time now.
     
  10. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    I cant help other than buy new belts from HF and oil the gear. I will say this.. I purchased the HF and used it once and took it back. I am a cheapo and saved up for the Frankfort Arsenal when it went on sale.
     
  11. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    For BIG batches look at the HF cement mixer.
     
  12. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I don’t have them but I built 3 of these and a (gantry crane so they could load/unload them) for a business, they tumbled 15 gallons of brass per drum for each batch.

    Direct drive 3ph gearmotor using VFD’s for soft start and able to use 120v single phase to power them.

     
  13. Toml

    Toml Member

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    V-Belt Global Supply sells Kevlar replacement belts. Buy once, cry once.
     
  14. IHmagnum

    IHmagnum Member

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    If the rollers are not turning freely you may find that the chrome plating on the rollers has chipped off inside the nylon end bushings jamming them up. This happened on my first one which I exchanged for another only to have the same thing happen with the second one. I took it apart and used a dental pick to pry the chips out of the bushings, smoothed the inside of the bushings with a fine round chainsaw file and cleaned up the ends of the roller before reassembly. Oh, and be really careful with those tiny snap rings on the roller ends. They can really fly! And no I never did find it.
    I have used it a fair amount in the year since with no other issues.
     
  15. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    Rollers are fine, but the wheel the belt goes around as a lot of "wiggle", doesn't run perfectly true. Not sure if that's the issue, but I didn't have any issues before when I was only loading one drum and running that.

    Only thing I can think is I'm putting too much weight in the drums and to get them to spin I have to make the belt very tight. I replaced the last belt and ran with just one drum and didn't have any issues for the few hours it was running, so I guess I'm going to have to start reducing the amount of brass and pins I'm putting in each drum.
     
  16. TTv2

    TTv2 Member

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    That's great, want to tell me which size fits my tumbler or are you an employee trying to do free advertising on a gun forum?
     
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  17. alfsauve

    alfsauve Member

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    Speaking of buy-once-cry-once: Uh, you guys do know that you only buy HF things for one time, disposable use, right?
     
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  18. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    You mean a six rib, nine foot long v- belt won't work on a rock tumbler?!
    :D
     
  19. Toml

    Toml Member

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    No, just a recommendation.
     
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