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Mini sonic vibratory tumbler made by Diamond Pacific

I’m curious about this unit; my understanding is that it can be used with a specific type of dry compound for the cutting-down stage of mass finishing metal pieces.

If my understanding is correct, there would be no need for any slurry/wet system/flow-through, etc.

After completion of cutting-down and de-burring, polishing would be possible using a different container, on the same machine, with a different dry medium.

When I read the excellent information provided by Judy Hoch, I’m sure good results could be had with the Raytech machines. This just seems so easier.

Long ago, I had a Diamond Pacific cabbing machine that was extremely satisfying to own and use.

I had the KG-1, now discontinued. I chose it over the more expensive models with speed control, because if you need to run the media 24 hours, why would you want to slow it down more?

The media didn’t impress me. Dried garbanzo beans, rice, seeds, with diamond dust, some steel shot for weight. On my first try it left sharp zig-zag scratches in the one piece of silver I tried it on. I examined every single steel shot one at a time, could not find the cause of the scratches. On day-long runs after that it didn’t seem to do much. Other than the scratches you could chalk it up to my expecting too much or not prepping the pieces well enough, I don’t know.

More recently, after a long stretch of non-use I replaced the seed mix with small ceramic media and liked the results. Then the motor died.

Since the machine basically moves the media in a circular path, a small rotary or vibratory tumbler makes as much sense. Perhaps their media has value.

Again, you could blame it on the user (me) and I wouldn’t argue strenuously, but that’s my experience. I much prefer fast-rotating barrel tumblers.

With a little effort you could buy a barrel to your liking, get a motor (Fasco makes good ones with circuit breakers for overheating protection) a pully or two, rubber belt, steel rods, and you are good to go, saving a lot of money.

My 2 cents.

Neil A

First about the little vibra-sonic - it works, sort of. I think its value is as a dry media jewelry cleaner using the vibra-dry+ media from diamond pacific. It is a clean, safe process when used with the 50,000 diamond grit, and running one at a time in the vibra-sonic.
About the dry mix - vibra-dry+ - the organic mix of wood chips, chick peas, rice, diamond dust, some stainless shot mix - I like it. It can be run with all manner of gem set jewelry. I’ve seen it run with nice set opals. I’m not so sure about pearls. all the different stuff adds weight to the mix and the various shapes make it do a very good job of polishing.
That being said, I run it in a 6 qt conventional dry vibratory bowl machine. the little vibrasonic machine is so small that if you run a couple of pieces, I don’t see how you could avoid impingement.
As to the notion of running the mix in a rotary - even diamond pacific says it isn’t recommended for a rotary machine.
Barrel machines are suited for heavy burnishing processes. Or for polishing stones but that’s a lapidary process, not a jewelry finishing process.
Vibratory bowl machines have much more movement of the media for time run.
Judy Hoch

JohnK - I’m of the opinion that diamond pacific greatly exaggerates the capabilities of their small vibratory machines and the vibra-dry+ media for cut-down. It’s a good dry media - but expensive. If you wanted to do everything with diamond polish, you could try it. but if you use the little machines, it’s one piece at a time. There are giant machines that use the same sonic technique that might work but seem much better suited to lapidary processes.
Judy Hoch

Thank you Judy and Neil; you’ve saved me a few hundred dollars and a whole lot of frustration!

I’m using a vibratory from Pistoleer, https://www.pistoleer.com/lyman/tumblers, $89 + tax, shipping. I replaced the media it comes with, though, for one from Rio.