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Tumbler Problems


#1

I purchased a small Lortone rotary tumbler (3-5 pound) a while back.
After less than 100 hours tumbling time, the motor burned out.
Rather than complain, I figured I would be better off with a larger
tumbler anyway, so I purchased their dual-barrel production-type
tumbler. I can’t remember for certain, but I think it cost about
$175. Now my dilemna is that one of the barrels bursts open - on
average - once an hour. I probably have about 100 hours tumbling
time on the barrel (maximum). There is no shot around the edges, I’m
not overfilling or overloading the barrel. I am so tired of cleaning
shot and liquid from my workspace. Is 100 hours the maximum that
these barrels are meant to last? If so, paying $40 for another
barrel every few months is out of the question.

I need a tumbler that can be used daily for approximately 4-5 hours
a day. Rotary is a must, as I need the work-hardening action that
the rotary tumblers provide. And I am using stainless steel shot.
Does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable tumbler that I
will not have to replace within one year?


#2

depending on what you’re tumbling, some material actually creates
gas buildup, but thats just a remote possibility. don’t bother
contacting the seller, instead e-mail or call loratone… you’ll get
the staightest answer from them. I already have over 5000hrs on my
tumbler. I have the dual barrel 6lb model (2brls x 3lbs=6lbs)
purchased in MAR 2004.


#3

Hi Catherine!

I frequently use my tumbler on a weekly basis. The only few times
(maybe 3, in eighteen years!) the lid “popped” off was when I had
not properly sealed the rubber inset lid to the tumbler, moisture
leaks out and it pops! If you are alining it correctly, and not
using more than a 1/4 inch of liquid above the level of the shot,
and have the screw tightened down tightly…Then perhaps you need
to replace the inside rubber lid. It must be so tight that you have
literally have to force it on!

Hope this helps!
Nancy


#4

Hi atherine,

I use a rotary tumbler purchased from AE Aubin. I’ve used it
virtually non-stop for the past two years and have never (knock on
wood!) had a problem with it. Here’s the link if you’re interested in
seeing what it looks like.

http://www.aeaubin.com/rotary.htm#1600electric

I have Model 510 Electric with a 5lb. capacity.

Just curious… have you contacted Lortone to see what they have to
say? I’m hopeful

AE Aubin

Help others make informed buying decisions with A. E. Aubin. We
welcome your opinions and experiences with ordering, customer service
and and over all satisfaction.

Write an Anonymous Review
http://www.ganoksin.com/resources/review.php?id=1801

Pam in extremely chilly Massachusetts


#5

Catherine,

I can’t understand why you are having so many problems with Lortone
rotary tumblers. My experience with them has been excellent.

My first tumbler was one of Lortone’s smaller models (3A) with a
small enclosed motor. It had a hard time turning a full barrel of
shot. I had to make sure that it was turning freely before I left it
alone. Still I used it for years before it wore out. I used it a
lot, probably one week per month. I lubricated the bearings with a
solvent type lubricant (WD-40). Three-in-one weight oil just got
gummy and hard to turn. I did go through several belts. The barrel
is still usable.

Now I have moved up to a larger Lortone tumbler (QT6) with a larger
motor. I have had no trouble with this machine except that I wore
out a rubber lid liner. I have had it for six years and it is still
going strong. If I were you I would call the company to see if they
can help you, because you should be getting better service from
their tumblers.

Lortone inc. on Ganoksin

David Luck
627 Center Street
Iowa City, IA 52245
319-351-5840
www.davidluckjewelry.com


#6

Catherine,

   I need a tumbler that can be used daily for approximately 4-5
hours a day.  Rotary is a must, as I need the work-hardening action
that the rotary tumblers provide.  And I am using stainless steel
shot. Does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable tumbler
that I will not have to replace within one year? 

I also have a Lortone, just the single barrel model, and I’ve had it
open up on me sometimes, too. The motor is still fine, though I’ve
had it for several years.

I find that if I’m tumbling with steel shot and want to leave it
overnight, I have to really take care with the closing up operation.
I make sure the inner lid is well seated, then I lean my full weight
on it while I seat the outer lid around the edges, forcing it down to
the limit of its travel.

In addition, I never run it outside of a plastic tray, just in case.
When it opens up, the tub catches the soapy water and the shot, and
my tabletop and floor stay dry. Not enough liquid in there to reach
the motor, since the tray is pretty wide.

Good luck.
Loren
http://www.golden-knots.com/


#7

Catherine

If its a heavy duty tumbler your after, you may like to consider
having one made or make it yourself, it isn’t difficult, will cost
you less money and will last you a long time. I have enclosed a
link to my website which shows how I made mine.

http://www.watchrepairer.co.uk/Make%20a%20Tumbler.htm

Regards
Alan Lewis


#8

Catherine,

Switch to a commercial quality Vibratory Tumbler. If you are using
steel shot it will work harden you parts.

A Vibratory machine will run with less noise and do the work in less
time.

Good Luck
Greg DeMark
email: greg@demarkjewelry.com
Website: www.demarkjewelry.com


#9

I have a Scot Murry 12 Lb. tumbler which I have had for 30 Years snd
it is still runing like new… I do keepp it oiled good . If you can get
one like mine you will be pleased it. Ir has a rubber Hexigon liner
and a rubber lid with 6 Wing nuts that fasten down with. It does a
great job polishing my game heads of Sterling and also 14 K gold.

Yours Billy S. Bates
royalminiatures.com


#10

You say you are not overloading or overfilling the barrel, but your
symptoms suggest that you may be wrong on that count. I’ve used and
sold the Lortone tumblers for years and never heard of any problems
like yours. You might try calling Lortone and asking for their advice
(www.lortone.com).

On a the 3 pound Lortone, I recommend 1.5-2 lbs of stainless steel
shot plus a reasonable number of work pieces. I don’t know what
size your double barrel barrels are.

Mary Ellin D’Agostino, PhD
www.medacreations.com
Sr. Teacher, PMC Connection
Certified Artisan, PMC Guild


#11
    ... Now my dilemna is that one of the barrels bursts open - on
average - once an hour. 

Maybe you have too much detergent in there. I use a nappy (diaper)
cleaning detergent, and if I put too much in, the barrel pops.
Reducing the amount cures it.

I was interested to read Nancy’s comment about the water level
1/4" above the shot. Maybe I overfill mine, as I usually have the
water up to the 3/4 mark.

Brian

B r i a n A d a m
e y e g l a s s e s j e w e l l e r y
518 South Titirangi Road
Auckland NEW ZEALAND
ph +64 9 817 6816
www.adam.co.nz


#12

I have a small Loritone tumbler, at least 15 years old. I don’t run
it as much as you do, but it has had plenty of use over the years.
About 3 years ago I had a problem with the seal on the lid and I
called them to order another one - the lady was extremely nice, said
it shouldn’t wear out and sent me another one at no charge. Try
calling them, hopefully their service is still very good.

Jan
http://www.designjewel.com


#13
 I built my own tumbler, but I use four lortone 6 lb barrels. I
have used the same barrels for 10 years tumble polishing silver
castings. I tumble 500-1000 

pieces per week. I fill the tumbler 1/2 to 3/4 full of shot and
metal, water 2" over top of metal, literally a drop or two of soap
or it foams to much. The only way these barrels open is if the metal
cover is not pushed down all the way. The center nut just needs to
be thumb tight. I found knobs at ace hardware that have three lobes
that make it easier to hold while tightening. There are about 2
inched in diameter. If anyone wants the part number I will be glad
to find that out. The tops come off only when the metal lid is not
pushed down correctly.

Richard in Denver


#14

Pam, most Lortone and Thumbler tumblers are made to last thousands
of hours. I have a six pounder going 24/7 and all I ever do is oil
the sleeves now and then and buy a new gasket for the cover every 4
or 5 loads. I run each load 6 to 8 weeks depending on the kind of
stones I’m working. Usually they are cut off pieces of agate or
jasper from my cabbing activities so the rough pieces take a couple
of extra weeks on first and second cut. Point is, the tumblers are
made to last and last.

Question, did the blow outs occur when you were using grit or
polish? I get virtually no blow outs with grit (a bit of leaking
means a poor seal or the gasket is going bad) but sometimes get a
blow out when using iron oxide (it tends to cause gas). How full
did you fill the barrel? Use no more than 2/3 full of stones and
enough water to just cover them. Use a teaspoon of grit per pound
and you should have no problems. Happy tumbling.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple
elegance is fine jewelry! @coralnut2


#15

Whoops, maybe we have found the problem here. I had forgotten you
were talking about using your tumbler with shot.

What kind of soap are you using? Burnishing? If you are not using
burnishing soap or if you are but using too much, the sudsing action
can blow the top! You should use no more than a teaspoon of
burnishing soap for a 6 lb barrel. Burnishing soap is formulated to
provide lubricating action without the suds and gas buildup they
create. Try it again with less soap.

Cheers from Don in SOFL.


#16

I need a tumbler that can be used daily for approximately 4-5 hours
a day. Rotary is a must, as I need the work-hardening action that
the rotary tumblers provide. And I am using stainless steel shot.
Does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable tumbler that I
will not have to replace within one year?

The tumblers that vibrate also work harden . … you may need a more
expenisve, heavy duty tumbler.


#17

I have a Lorotone tumbler I use specifically for stainless steel
shot. I had two incidences of the barrel bursting open and
everything flooding the table. When I called Lorotone, I was told
that I had tightened the nut on top too tight. The guy suggested I
leave about 1 1/2 threads on the nut to ensure the top wasn’t too
tight. Since I’ve done that, I haven’t had a single problem. I’d
like to echo the suggestions that you call the company and let them
help you. They are great.

Tammy


#18

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.

http://alpha-supply.com/catalog/pages.php?page=234

Alpha Supply on Ganoksin

Help others make informed buying decisions with Alpha Supply. We
welcome your opinions and experiences with their products, ordering,
customer service and and over all satisfaction.

Write an Anonymous Review
http://www.ganoksin.com/resources/review.php?id=1818

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.
@Judy_Hoch
http://www.marstal.com
Check my website for my book on tumble finishing.


#19

Keep in mind that tumblers are rated for the weight of the
contents–a 3 lb tumbler should be filled with no more than three
pounds of shot, metal/rocks, and fluid. For some media, you
actually fill the whole barrel, other media (such as stainless steel
shot) requires that you only put in a small quantity.

For example, I use the Lortone 3 lb tumbler with 2 lbs of mixed
stainless steel shot, add the work pieces, and just barely cover all
with burnishing fluid (soapy water). I have never had a problem
with these tumblers (over 4 years of daily use).

Mary Ellin D’Agostino, PhD
www.medacreations.com
Sr. Teacher, PMC Connection
Certified Artisan, PMC Guild


#20

Hello Catherine,

I recall a previous thread on this problem. The suggestion was to
use hot water for the soap mix. As the water cools, a slight drop in
pressure occurs resulting in a bit of a vacuum. That keeps the lid
tightly in place. I’ve not had need to try this, but it makes
sense. The problem might then be how to break the suction and remove
the lid!!

Just a thought,

Judy in Kansas where the leaves are falling and my compost pile is
ready.

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 147 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944