20+ 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.