I am looking to get a rock tumbler. I want one that can at least do an 8 inch blade. I am not sure how long the one at Harbor Freight can handle and still tumble. Anybody have one.
I've used it for tumbling brass. However, this thread is confusing... a rock tumbler is a rotary drum tumbler that hums and turns at a glacial pace, and a vibratory tumbler is a giant, loud, shaky bowl which when filled with rocks and blades sounds like WWIII.Anybody ever tried stainless steel tumbling media? I use if for cleaning brass for re-loading.
Nice results. Is the end look about the same with HC Steel and stainless?
As for the stones, are you using a type of whitish looking, crushed limestone, or the more rounded stones like pea gravel (looks like large sand)?If you are just going to tumble a blade occasionally for a stone washed finish, try some cheap gravel stones first before you go buy expensive ceramic or other tumbling media. Stones will create dirty slurry water but they are free and I use them in one of our tumblers often. Stone size should be marble size to maybe double marble size.
I'm also thinking about trying stonewashed, but looking at options. So, say if the vibratory unit was running in your garage, would the neighbors actually be bothered by it? I too want to be respectfull of neighbors and am wondering just how noisy is noisy? Thx ...and I wonder if there would be a way to drape something over it or build a sound blocking box over it, or if that might make it overheat.I've used it for tumbling brass. However, this thread is confusing... a rock tumbler is a rotary drum tumbler that hums and turns at a glacial pace, and a vibratory tumbler is a giant, loud, shaky bowl which when filled with rocks and blades sounds like WWIII.
I've used rotary rock tumbers with SS media to clean brass and it's utterly amazing. I use crushed walnut with a cap of NuFinish car wax in my vibratory tumbler and it does a great job... but about 75% of the job the rotary does if you are talking about shiny results. I think with a rotary tumbler you need the most aggressive media you can get because it's slowly washing the work versus the vibratory bowl that is raining down Hell on the work.
I had big plans to offer stonewashed blades several years ago. When I put the ceramic rocks in my vibratory tumbler and loaded the blades in I realized that my neighbors would lynch me if I did that on a regular basis. I went back to hand sanding.