Vibratory finishers

I just purchased a vibratory finisher (“tumbler”) that has a
capacity of 100 rings. I also purchased, at the same time, mixed
stainless steel shot to use with my rings. Well, two pounds of
shot seemed like enough but when it was delivered I noticed that
it weighed quite a bit for it’s size and was about enough to fill
up a 6 ounce paper cup. So I actually have no idea how much
steel shot I need to do about a hundred rings at a time. Can
anyone offer some insight into this?


Dear Dennis: It is important to fill the machine ( with media,
pieces to finish, and water and soap) to at least half way (
about 60% is ideal). Be sure the water and soap covers all the
shot and that it remains under water when not in use. Hope this
helps. RG

Roger Greene - you only need to go thru the drill of covering
your steel if it’s not stainless. I’m not happy with carbon
steel, so I use stainless. costs more, but you never ruin a batch
from rust. As to how much you need to fill a tumbler to run
steel, I think it needs to be at least 3/4 full, and not a lot of
liquid, or all you get is sloshing. Judy in rainy Denver,

Paula & Dennis - About the question of how much stainless steel
to use - the easy answer is about 50 pounds for the tumbler size
(I’m guessing its an AV-25) but… If you didn’t buy the AV-25SS,
which is for steel, you probably don’t want to use steel in it.

Let’s start at the beginnning - to finish with tumblers, you
need to run abrasives, then burnish with steel or porcelain
beads, and then run a buffing compound - to get a classical
bright finish.

If you just run with steel and skip the abrasive part, you have
an unrefined, and in my opinion, ugly finish. With the regular
xx-25 vibratory tumbler, you can burnish with the beads and don’t
need to have steel. I recommend a rotary tumbler for steel, it
is much more effective, and you don’t need such a huge amount of
steel. YOu can e-mail me directly at @Judy_Hoch if you
need more info. Rio Grande sells a book for $12 that I wrote,
“Tumble Finishing for Handmade Jewelry”. It contains tables for
times, recommendations for media, types of tumblers, problem
solution, and tricks of the trade, as well as the standard
overviews, etc.