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Two tumblers - liquid and media

Hello All,

#1. I am getting a rotary tumbler and stainless steel shot. I will
be tumbling mild steel in the tumbler at times. Is there an
alternative to water that I can use in the tumbler, so that my mild
steel pieces won’t get rusty, and so that I won’t have to rush to
dry them as soon as they are done?

I’m not worried about the stainless steel shot, just my actual steel
jewelry and art pieces.

#2. I’m getting a double barrel tumbler. I’d like to put a different
abrasive tumbling medium in the other barrel. What else should I get
besides the stainless steel shot? I’ve seen plastic media, porcelain
media, walnut shells… I don’t know where to start. I am primarily
tumbling mild steel and bronze, possibly some silver, usually very
textured surfaces


Hi Kirsten,

get JudyHoch’s book, it will explain all. Best value for money I
have had in a long time,

regards Tim.


Just a thought, no personal experience with this type of product.
Maybe a soluble cutting oil mix, used by machinists as a
coolant/lubricant on milling machines and lathes. 5% to 20% oil
mixed with water, contains rust inhibitors… machinists hate rust on
their expensive cast iron machines. It might be slimy enough to work
as a burnishing liquid. It can go rancid when used in a re
circulating system for months on end but for tumbling you are
probably best with a one shot use.

I rather suspect that Pat Pruitt could offer some informed insight.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing