I'm running stainless steel shot in a UltraVibe 10, and I'm
having trouble getting the pieces to move properly. They go
round-and-round with the shot, but they (and the shot itself) don't
move toward the middle, then submerge, then appear again on the
surface near the outside of the tumbler again like they should.
They just sit there.
Is your vibratory tumbler actually rated to run steel shot? Not many
are. Vibratory tumblers are designed to run at full media capacity,
about 3/4 full. If you fill your vibratory tumbler 3/4 full of steel
shot you'll probably kill it or at least shorten its life and still
not get proper media action. The bowl is shaped so it creates the
action, or lack of, you are describing above when filled to
capacity. Now this being said, I get many people who would argue or
disagree as they get adequate results using the same process you
One thing to always remember when mass finishing is media action is
the key to success. For example If you were using sand paper or a
file and barley brushing the surface you'd be ineffective or
extremely slow. Same with polishing, polishing wheels are moving at
a pretty good speed, so if your media is stalled or moving slowly
then it's not going to be effective.
If you want the finish of steel shot and don't want to purchase
another tumbler consider porcelain burnishing media. Its lighter and
gives a better finish than steel shot in my opinion. The draw backs
are it requires a break in cycle and cycle times are longer.
Feel free to e-mail or call me if you want more info on this
Rio Grande Technical support
800-545-6566 ex 13903