Further to my question regarding whether or not the stone tumblers
were the same as those made for use with metals, I eventually found
a website which explained that the tumblers for metals need a more
powerful motor to cope with the steel shot and the inside of the
barrels needs to have fins to agitate the contents.
I’ve had some advice offlist regarding tumbling vs rotary and the
fact that tumbling might take up to a week to do its job!!! This
bothers me somewhat as nobody wants to take a week to finish a piece.
It bothers me if a complicated piece takes more than a couple of days
from start of fabrication to final polish so using a machine that
creates a week-long step sounds like a bad idea.
I’m really confused about what to go for. I can’t stand the dirt and
dust that I’m breathing in by polishing by more conventional methods
and so I do really want to get the right machine but it’s confusing
as to whether to go for tumbler/rotary/vibratory/magnetic???
Oh, that was the other question. Most product descriptions talk
about finish castings using such machines but I want something which
I can use to finish fabricated pieces. My solder joints are always
strong but I’m wandering whether tumbling will make the joints too
brittle from being work hardened in the machine. I fabricate
everything I make and I’ve been very disappointed with not being able
to polish my handmade chains properly by traditional methods, and
especially the danger aspect of doing so. So I need whatever machine
I purchase, to be able to finish my chains as well as my fabricated
rings, pendants, earrings, bracelets and necklaces.
I’ve read some of the articles in the archives but must confess to
still being more than a little confused. If anyone who is doing
small scale fabrication and successfully using an effective, not
expensive to purchase finishing machine, would be willing to offer
some advice on the subject, it would be greatly appreciated. Sorry
for the long almost incomprehensible sentence and post!
I’m not really looking for a cutting stage as I like to file any
inconsistencies and rubber wheel pieces to achieve an even finish
before going to the polishing stage, so perhaps I’m just after
something that will give me the final burnishing stage (I say
burnishing as opposed to polishing as I understand that that’s what
such machines do, rather than removing material as polishing does).
Some one shut me up!!!