Catherine - If you are running your tumbler regularly, I would
suggest that you get a tumbler built for that purpose. Most jewelry
suppliers have larger tumblers, metal with rubber linings that
handle 20# or 40# of material. I got mine 10 years ago from Alpha
Supply and it has run flawlessly since then. It has oil cups that I
try to remember to lubricate a couple of times a year, but that’s it
for maintenance. I did repaint the inside of the metal barrel with
some stuff that makes rust inert. Now I rinse the inner rubber
barrel, and set it to dry apart from the outer barrel and no more
rust. I initially bought this bigger thing because I was running
some large cuff bracelets and the 6# lortone tumblers were not big
enough for free movement. The following url shows a couple of the
larger tumblers. Again, Rio, and nearly everybody carries these
bigger tools, so pick your favorite supplier.
Alpha Supply on Ganoksin
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As to the comment that vibratory tumblers work faster, that is only
true for ceramic and non metal media. When running steel, the
rotary tumblers are just as fast, and far more economical. To turn
25# of steel, a rotary tumbler costs about $500, a vibratory tumbler
rated for that amount is far more expensive, and in my experience,
not nearly as long lasting. If you run a small amount of steel in a
big vibratory tumbler, it just jiggles, it doesn’t turn.
Judy Hoch, G.G.
Check my website for my book on tumble finishing.