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Vibratory tumblers

I’ve just used my brand new Raytech AV25 vibratory tumbler for the
first time. Already I love it! But…

I won’t be using it every day, and it’s suddenly hit me that I
haven’t got a clue as to what to do with the media until I want to
use it again. Do I keep it in the bowl of the machine? The media is
drained, of course, but wet, and I don’t want the central spindle of
the machine to turn to rust. Do I need to take it out and spread it
all out to dry (gosh: I hope not!) Should I dump the media in a tub
and dry the machine - and perhaps put petroleum jelly on the spindle
to keep it in good condition? How do I stop mould/slime developing
on the damp media in the tub till I need it again in a week or two?
I’d really appreciate some help from experienced vibrator-users,


Janet - your new Raytech AV25 vibratory tumbler is a good choice and
will save you thousands of hours.

After you have finished a run, remove the restriction on the input

It will flood the tumbler with liquid. The media will move loosely
and start to “float”. Turn off the pump and let the tumbler run until
the excess liquid is drained. Turn off the tumbler. Let it drain.
Leave the media in the machine.

You have rinsed the media from whatever is left after a run. Just
let it sit in the machine without a lid. I’ve done it this way for
20+ years and no problem ever with the media getting skunky.

There is a different problem you might want to consider. If you
re-use the liquid, it might get scummy. I found that happening when I
moved to a rural area with a well. The city water is most often
chlorinated and doesn’t seem to get icky. I treat the water in the
tumbler liquid with a little bit of chlorine and that solves the

But consider I’m in a high mountain environment - it is very low
humidity most of the time. If you are in a warm humid environment,
your results may differ.

Judy Hoch

I have had an AV25 since 1994. Prior to dumping each load I run a
good stream of water thru to flush out what debris I can. I then
dump each load out on a large piece of plastic to find whatever is
being tumbled and collect it. After that I dump the media into a
plastic tote, leave the cover off for a while and then store them
all covered. I don’tuse it much any more, so I try to give the media
a good cleaning once a year. Also, don’t keep the nut that secures
the bowl to the center post in a tightened state. You might also put
a little oil on the threads of the center post. I still have the
same media that I bought in 1994 and it works just fine. Don’t
assume that tumbling will replace all the polishing steps. Depending
on the design of the piece, you may still have to do some wheel
work. Good luck. Rob

Rob Meixner

It would depend on which media you are using… ceramic store in a
separate bowl. Steel use a conditioner so they don’t turn to rust.

Andy “The Tool Guy” Kroungold
Director Tool Sales & Stuller Bench
Stuller Inc.

I use a much smaller device, but with stainless steel shot. No
worries of rust, there. I typically run a load and when done, I dump
into a large metal sieve/pasta colander, rinse with clean water and
sort out my items. I leave the media in the sieve for a couple of
days to dry, rinse and air dry the container, and store the media
inside once dry - with the lid off.

I’m able to use my city water without too much fuss, but anyone
who’s concerned about their water quality might prefer using
distilled water in the tumbler and rinsing processes.


Thanks to everybody who responded (both on- and off-list) to my
request for info.

You’ve all been extremely helpful. Of course, I should have
mentioned the fact that it was the plastic abrasive pyramid/cone
media I was specifically asking about! I have used a rotary tumbler
for burnishing for years with stainless shot, and I love that one
too, with Coca-cola to clean the stuff once in a while. Both tumblers
are fabulous time-savers, meaning I can be getting on with something
more creative while the grunt work is being done by the machines.

Thanks again everyone: what an awesome lot Orchidians are!