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Finished jewelry in a tumbler


#1

It sounds like I need a tumbler! Can you put finished jewelry with
any/all types of stones in? What about ear posts? Other delicate
parts?

J. S. Ellington


#2
    It sounds like I need a tumbler! Can you put finished jewelry
with any/all types of stones in? What about ear posts? Other
delicate parts? 

I have some bits of red rubber small diameter tubing that is meant
to slip over ear posts, tack pins, etc. before tumbling. It protects
the posts & pins from the abrasives. The rubber tube is removed from
each piece before the final tumble in steel shot, so the posts get
shiny and a bit work hardened in the shot tumble. I’m not sure where
these rubber tubes came from though–I got them along with all the
equipment I bought used. Maybe someone else out here knows where to
get some.

–Kathy Johnson
Feathered Gems Jewelry
http://www.featheredgems.com


#3

Hi Janie,

 It sounds like I need a tumbler! Can you put finished jewelry
with any/all types of stones in? What about ear posts? Other
delicate parts? 

Generally, stones that are porous ( torquoise, azurite, malachite,
etc) shouldn’t be put in a tumbler. Also stones that may have been
oiled (emeralds etc) shouldn’t go in a tumbler.

Delicate items (filegree, wire items) & parts can go in without any
problems. The ear posts won’t present any problems.

Just be sure the scratches are all out. Tumblers won’t remove
scratches! Dull scratches in, shiney scratches out.

If you are looking for a tumbler, I’d suggest the vibratory tumbler.
They’re faster, easier to maintain & use. Fewer moving parts & less
expensive. The best place to buy them is from a shooting sports
store. They’re less expensive there than from jewelry suppliers.
Folks who reload their own ammo use them to polish their brass.

For shot, go with the assorted shapes of stainless steel shot for
work in the typical shop. The stainless is more expensive (about
$15.00/lb) but it’s easier to maintain & you don’t have to worry
about it rusting. This you’ll probably have to get from a jewelers
supply, I haven’t found another source yet.

Dave


#4

Dave, About stainless shot, I went to a salvage or liquidation place
and looked through their stainless small stuff, tiny screws, hex
nuts, etc. Bulk weight was less per pound than from suppliers. I
mixed the two, works just fine. Terrie


#5

I used a tumbler then a vibratory for mostly and only silver work
and the tumbler is just not close to the finish I get with a
vibratory steel shot tumbler. I also thought when I first started
using the black plastic barrel that it would not tolerate restorative
additive to the shot, and after the initial break in I found I could
use restoritive for steel shot. The soft layer of black wore away…Jay