Just starting out - tumbling

I’m just starting out, & have taken two classes but the topic of
tumbling did not come up in either class. I’m wondering what kind I
need to buy for polishing? I see that there are two basic kinds-- the
tumbling kind that depends on the sliding action of various grits and
a vibratory kind. Or do I need both kinds? My budget is pretty
modest, and I most likely will keep my silversmithing and
metalsmithing to an intensive hobby level. What models would you
recommend? Any help and would be appreciated.

That said, I also would like to get a rolling mill. Which would be
more of a priority, a tumbler or rolling mill?

Peggy K.

I use a Lortone 3A, no problems. This is a rotary tumbler. About
$100, I got mine from an online person for $25; who had never used


Hi Peggy…I, too, am at an ‘intense hobbyist’ level…I LOVE my
Covington tumbler. ($480 Cdn.) I use mixed shot – keep covered with
water. Four good squirts of GREEN Palmolive dish soap. Tumble for
about 2-3 hours…and my silver and copper are pristine! (Finishing
well by hand BEFORE tumbling certainly helps. Jagged edges & ‘lumpy’
solder will just be a smoother, shinier version of jagged and lumpy!)

From my (very) newbie perspective: if you have a foredom and can
finish and polish 'by hand', then perhaps invest in a rolling mill. 

I just COULDN’T choose – I bought BOTH!..as a result my
piggy-bank is broken and bloody. Time heals most wounds…and I’m
having a helluva lot of FUN!

(My website hasn’t been updated, I’m afraid…but I hope to have
more recent work added soon…)


I have two used Raytech TV10’s for sale. Contact me off list
pataniajewelry at gmail dot com

Sam Patania, Tucson

What are you planning to polish via tumbling, metal smith project or
stone? Knowing what you are planning to tumble can make a big
difference in the answer.