I have an order for a fairly large number of gold and silver
crosses. I already have a vibratory tumbler but the media is too
large to get into the recesses in the crosses. Has anybody any
experience with the magnetic tumblers?
Yes! The second most important tool I bought last year (behind my
kilnminder). I find it to be absolutely necessary in the finishing
of many things, and is key for getting into small places. If your
model is clean and free of much surface defect, and your castings
reflect that, and you can get "almost there" with your vibratory
setup, then this will be the finishing touch.
It finishes more rapidly than a rotary tumbler/stainless shot combo,
but you have to watch it! If you let softer metals run too long, they
will look orange-peeled, especially on smooth, open areas. I
typically run sterling for no more than 8-10 minutes; platinum, and
gold up to 18K, for 15-20. To combat the orange-peel effect, I run
the items before my last sandpaper course (1500), so that the
recessed areas stay high-polished, and the high spots get the benefit
of a nice smooth polish paper before going to the wheel. Likewise,
you could run it between your last two vibratory grits.
I have the tiny one available from Stuller and Rio. I think it was a
couple hundred bucks...totally worth it! Won't hold much, but works
great. When this one goes to the great toolyard in the sky, I'll
definitely get another magnetic tumbler, but one with a larger