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Using Midway's vibratory tumbler

I ordered a vibratory tumbler from Midway, but I think I got the
wrong one - it was $60.00 instead of $40.00, it was the least
expensive one I could find on their website. (I probably didn’t look
far enough) Its a “RCBS”. I think it is too big for what I want but
before I send it back I have a couple of questions.

Do you use water and steel shot? and how much shot? and water?

Do you also use it dry? and if so what kind of media.

I think it would be hard to empty in order to retrieve the jewelry -
how do you do it? Can you fish the jewelry out and then leave the
shot and water in the machine? (for a while anyway).

I’m used to a small loritone tumbler - but I would like to have
something that is faster.

I’d be thankful for any pointers anyone has.

Jan
www.designjewel.com

I ordered a vibratory tumbler from Midway, but I think I got the
wrong one
   -Do you use water and steel shot? and how much shot? and water? 
   -Do you also use it dry? and if so what kind of media. 
I'm used to a small loritone tumbler - but I would like to
have something that is faster. 

Jan - There is no speed advantage to using a vibratory tumbler for
burnishing. The vibratory tumbler is best used for deburring - that
is to smooth the work pieces - prior to burnishing. The vibratory
tumbler also is perfect for final buffing with a dry media and some
polishing compound such as simichrome.

Your small rotary Lortone tumbler is most efficient for burnishing
your jewelry with stainless steel shot. I use a larger rotary for
burnishing - and run it for 30 to 45 minutes. I use sunsheen
burnishing compound diluted with water with the steel.

The mass finishing process proceeds in the same way as manual
finishing. First you have to smooth the jewelry - so you use some
kind of abrasive media. For fabricated work, I use Rio’s Clean cut
aqua cones with sunsheen deburring compound. I use a flow thru
process for this first step because the junk you remove needs to be
removed from the tumbler.

Then, I burnish with steel as above. My final step for perfect hi
polish is to run the jewelry for 24 hours in dry media with a
polishing compound in my vibratory tumbler. This last step is done
in a medium sized tumbler like yours. After all this, set your
stones.

The time advantage of mass finishing is found in the ability to run
many pieces at once. The health benefits of mass finishing occur
from omitting the airborne dust and polish of conventional
finishing. Further, mass finishing removes much less precious metal
than conventional methods.

Judy Hoch, G.G.
@Judy_Hoch
www.marstal.com

Jan

That is a different one than recommended, but it will work
beautifully as well.

It is just slightly bigger than the other one. At this point it will
cost you for shipping, so go ahead and keep it. You need 4 lbs of
STAINLESS STEEL shot. You use burnishing liquid purchased at Rio
Grande or Stuller. It is a concentrated liquid that will last you
for ever. For cleaning, I find “Simple Green” to be the best. You
don’t have to pour the shot out to find your pieces, just reach in
and get it. It’s a great little work horse. You’ll love it.

   The time advantage of mass finishing is found in the ability to
run many pieces at once. The health benefits of mass finishing
occur from omitting the airborne dust and polish of conventional
finishing.  Further, mass finishing removes much less precious
metal than conventional methods. 

I disagree. It depends on what you are tumbling. It will polish the
heck out of sterling silver in no time.

I like the Dillion Precision tumblers, I use steel shoot in them ( I
have two) walnut shells. and corn cob ground to different grits. I
like using Flitz for a polish and Simply Green is a great cleaner
afterwards. The Dillion tumblers have a lifetime warranty.

http://dillonprecision.com/template/p.cfm?maj=16&min=0&dyn=1

Jerry

       The time advantage of mass finishing is found in the
ability to run many pieces at once. The health benefits of mass
finishing occur from omitting the airborne dust and polish of
conventional finishing.  Further, mass finishing removes much less
precious metal than conventional methods. 
   I disagree. It depends on what you are. It will polish the heck
out of sterling silver in no time. 

Did you mean polish? Polishing does not remove metal. Media grinds,
but it depends on what media you use. I can run silver 12-24 hours,
large aggressive vibratory with no loss of detail.

Richard Hart

I use steel shoot in them ( I have two) walnut shells. and corn
cob ground to different grits.

Jerry, and folks, I have a question about corn cob in the tumbler –
I have some with red rouge, but when I used it in the tumbler the
only thing that happened is everthing got well coated with red
rouge. Did I not tumble long enough? Bad batch of cob?

Dawn budding artist in Taylor, Texas

Dawn,

The rouge worked, but you have to tumble the material clean in media
that does not have the rouge. BTW I use Flitz in my tumblers with
corn comb and walnut shells to polish up silver, copper, brace, gold
and precious stones all of the time, this eliminates the 2 step
process.

Jerry