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Improving vortex action in vibratory tumbler?


#1

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.

The only variables I can think of are 1) the amount of shot & pieces
and, 2) the amount of liquid. Does anybody know what’s proper to get
the best action in the tumbler?

Thanks -
Carey


#2

Greetings:

I’ve got several UltraVibe 10’s…they’re not rated for stainless
shot. Vibratory tumblers need to be specially beefed up to have
enough power to run stainless shot. The 10’s don’t have enough
power. Don’t despair about your expensive stainless shot. Just run it
in a generic rotary tumbler. I picked up a 8" barrel tumbler at a
rockshop for about $125 that’s been working great for years, and is
probably faster with stainless shot than the vibe would have been,
if it could have.

FWIW
Brian.


#3
  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. 

Hello Carey,

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
are.

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
process.

Sincerely,

Thackeray Taylor
Rio Grande Technical support
800-545-6566 ex 13903
@Thackeray_Taylor


#4
  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. The only variables I can think of are 1) the
amount of shot & pieces and, 2) the amount of liquid. Does anybody
know what's proper to get the best action in the tumbler?

The UltraVibe 10 is a 3 quart tumbler with a load limit of 10
pounds. The machine is not rated for use with steel. 10 pounds of
steel shot will occupy about two cups of space. If you have filled
the machine with steel shot, that would be about 80 pound of shot or
8 times the rated load. Your motor will not move the shot. If you
are running 10 pounds of shot, there isn’t enough material to make
the tumbler create the vortex.

The better answer is to purchase an inexpensive rotary tumbler and
use that with your shot for burnishing. Alternately, if you wish to
use only your vibratory tumbler, acquire some ceramic burnishing
beads, break them in for 7 days, and then burnish your pieces for 12
hours in your Ultra Vibe. The rotary tumbler cycle is about 45
minutes with steel.

You might want to get the book I wrote on mass finishing - Tumble
Finishing for Hand made Jewelry - available at many jewelry tool
suppliers - Rio, Frei, Gesswein and others. It gives you much more
detail on the processes and equipment.

Judy Hoch, G.G.
@Judy_Hoch
www.marstal.com


#5
  I've got several UltraVibe 10's....they're not rated for
stainless shot. Vibratory tumblers need to be specially beefed up
to have enough power to run stainless shot.

Gyroc tumblers work great for plastic media and stainless steel shot.
I have a large vibratory tumbler and use rotary for polish for large
quantity (200-300 pieces), small amounts (40-50 pieces, the Gyroc is
great, works very fast. I have the smaller Gyroc unit. With the
Gyroc, you can stack 2 barrels and do one with media, one with
stainless shot.

Richard Hart


#6

Put about a cup and a half of stainless steel shot in your tumbler.
Don’t worry about the direction it is moving. Put your pieces and
solution in and let her run. It works beautifully. I run mine all
day long with no problem. It’s a workhorse I wouldn’t do without.

Julia