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Technical Small parts tumbler

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 36roadster, May 6, 2018.

  1. I am looking at making a small parts cleaner for nut, bolts, etc, which I will set up in my lathe, on low speed. Anyone suggest a medium which can get rid of rust, but not be too severe on threads? I was going to just use dry sand to start off with, but wanted to see if anyone has some other ideas.
  2. David Gersic
    Joined: Feb 15, 2015
    Posts: 2,458

    David Gersic
    from DeKalb, IL

    Crushed walnut shells. Pet supply stores have them, some people use them for bird cages.

    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  3. Pea gravel for polishing really crusty pieces.

    Do an eBay search for "stone tumbler" to get some ideas. You'll find some pretty nice, stand alone machines with rubber tumblers, to run quiet, for about $70. And the same search will turn up various grit and polishing media. (They aren't just for polishing stones.)

    Many years ago, when I was a pup, I worked for a while at an investment casting shop. They had a thing called a Pangbourne Machine that used triangle shaped stones and abrasive powder mixed wet with water in a big rubber tub. It used vibration instead of tumbling. Parts went in rough and came out smooth.
    Joined: Jan 13, 2004
    Posts: 2,760


    I'm a cheap a$$ so bare with me ,I bought a garage sale rock tumbler for $4 and added a little diesel fuel and a couple of handfulls of thumbtacks . It still works good ,years later

  5. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,217

    from NC

    Harbor Freight has a vibrating cleaner that uses plastic triangular shaped media - works fine. Media is probably sold separae.
  6. Shamus
    Joined: Jul 20, 2005
    Posts: 1,217

    from NC

  7. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 10,256

    jimmy six

    I use one of the HF vibrating tubs with sand for snake aquariums. Works great on carb psrts.
  8. ol-nobull
    Joined: Oct 16, 2013
    Posts: 1,653


    Hi. Go to any gun shop that sells reloading equipment. They likely will have either crushed walnut shell or have crushed corncob. Some shops do trade in's on reloading equipment and may even have an inexpensive tumbler.
    OOps, just saw you are in AU. Not sure how much of this stuff is still there with your country's gun laws.
  9. lowrd
    Joined: Oct 9, 2007
    Posts: 333


    I'll second nobull's suggestions using the brass tumbler. I leave the bolts and washers in for about eight hours and
    everything comes out clean with a nice dull gray finish. Might have to wire wheel some threads once in a while, but overall good stuff.

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