I ordered a vibratory tumbler from Midway, but I think I got the
-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
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.