12 years ago I bought a 20" vibratory tumbler from Maisels in Albuquerque.
They are out of business now. Last year the motor finally conked out and I
went to Graingers to see if I could find a replacement. It seems that large
tumbler motors are designed and engineered around heavy duty bearings
(larger shafts), low amperage, and other specialty configurations that work
with a capacitor to be able to withstand the stress and strain of running
an eccentric weight for long periods of time. They look like generic motors
but they are not. Graingers had no suitable substitute for a replacement
motor (they certainly did try).
I tried to have the motor rewound and was told it would be too expensive
($300+). I called the manufacturer on the label of the motor and was told
the motor was manufactured for Gemstone in California. I called Gemstone
and was told they had redesigned their tumbler and would sell me a
completely new tumbler at a discount. I took them up on their offer.
Last night my flow thru system clogged and overflowed and somehow got water
in the motor. The motor is completely sealed and I cannot figure how water
got into the motor but it did. Anyway the motor is not running properly and
I called the manufacturer to order another motor. The motors are $250
dollars! Once again I took this different motor to Grainger to see if they
have a suitable replacement. Same story (no suitable replacement). I am
currently working to get this motor repaired and have had to order a new
motor for $250 bucks (ouch).The Gemstone tumbler is still considerably less
expensive than the other ones I have seen on the market. Hopefully this
last motor burnout problem is just a fluke (the first one lasted 11
years).To solve the overflow problem (if clogged) I am planning to plumb a
line from the top of the tumbler to the solution bucket.
My question is this. Does anyone else use large vibratory tumblers? What
are your experiences and what type of vibratory equipment do you recommend
for parts availability and affordability. Has anyone had luck with
industrial surplus? (what brands and styles should one look for and what
about parts). My tumbling volume will increase in the future and I want to
have a better handle on what direction to go in relation to equipment.
Also has anyone discovered a superior recirculating pump? I have to buy
several of those per year also.