I am thinking of purchasing a tumbler. I know there is alot out
there on vibrating or rotory. I am interested in the tumbler for 2
reasons. The first health- is it better than kicking up all that
buffing compound dust? and 2- Will it "work harden" my pieces
Go for it!
If I were you I go with a vibratory tumbler. They’re faster & lots
easier to use & care for.
There are 2 kinds of shot available, carbon steel & stainless steel.
While the carbon steel is cheaper, it’s a maintenance headache, go
with the stainless (about $15/lb).
Tumblers ar available in several sizes from ones with a bowl about &
inches wide to big industrial models. For a small shop the small
ones work fine. They require about 5# of shot. When looking for a
tumbler, check out shooting sports stores. They usually sell
tumblers for less than the jewelry suppliers. Reloaders use them to
polish their brass.
Shot comes in various shapes. Get the assrted shape package. The
various shapes will get into nooks & crannies to burnish your items.
While it’s true that items do come out harder than they went in, the
amount of hardening isn’t that great. If you’re counting on a
tumbler to really harden your items, you may be dissappointed. It’s
probably better to either work harden or heat harden the items