After having a couple of delicate PMC pieces mangled in my
traditional tumbler, I decided to pony up and try a vibratory
tumbler. However, being a poor artisan, I once again succumbed to
Harbor Freight when I saw the 5 lb capacity vibratory tumbler on
sale in their most recent catalog. Beneath the tumbler, they also
offer two and five pound bags of "rust-cutting resin abrasive media"
for removing rust from nuts and bolts. Not really what I was looking
for. But with no experience with this type of tumbler, I have no
idea which dry media would be best. I did a search and, as you might
imagine, came up with a ton of hits on everything from ceramic to
walnut shells to corn cob! And then I keep running into the
suggestion to “charge” the media (??).
Are there any PMC folks out there who can suggest a good media or
collection of media I should purchase (and where)… and how and with
what to “charge” it (I’m assuming this is akin to adding burnishing
fluid to a rotary tumbler?). Or a good book on PMC and vibratory
tumbling - again, no luck with a Google search. (I used to own Judy
Hoch’s book on Tumbling, but after the move a year and a half ago,
I’ve been unable to find the slim little volume). Also, I know how
to fill my rotary tumbler; but wonder how much media to put into this
monster. If all I’m adding to it are 10 to 15 small PMC pieces (or
fewer), do I fill the bowl? Half fill?
Additionally, as soon as I collect all the materials needed, I’m
hoping to try Maggie Bergman’s Photopolymer plate technique for
making PMC molds and wonder if a vibratory tumbler is the better way
to go to smooth out any hard to get at places that sand paper and
needle files could not reach.
Any illumination would be helpful and appreciated!