RotoMetals2StainLess Steel MediaInline FabricationMidSouth Shooters Supply
Lee PrecisionADvertise hereGraf & SonsTitan Reloading

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 44

Thread: Home Made Tumbler Plans with Pulley Size and Drum explained.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master hunter64's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    643

    Home Made Tumbler Plans with Pulley Size and Drum explained.

    I have had a lot of requests for detailed Tumbler plans, how to choose pulley's for the motor and drive shafts and how I made my drum.

    I have combined all three posts that I have done recently into one source for easier reference.

    Finished Product:

    I used a treadmill motor with dc motor controller and variable speed pot. You can also use any ac motor that will fit with the correct pulleys. I explain how to choose the correct pulley's bellow.

    Plans:
    I used 1 1/4" Steel Tubing for the frame because that is what I had on hand. You can use larger Tubing if you want, just adjust the dimensions accordingly.



    I used 1/2" size Pillow Bearing Blocks that had a 1/2" mounting holes. I have seen some with 3/8" mounting holes but these were on sale so they will do.


    The important part is that when you mount the pillow bearings the center to center measurement of the 1/2" shafts are 5" apart. In my case I drilled the first 1/2" bolt hole 2" from the end and then measured the distance of the holes in the bearing blocks to ensure when they were mounted I got the 5" that I needed. In most cases the center to center holes on the bearing blocks are 3 3/4" but check yours first to see if there is a difference. You can see that the mounted blocks are almost touching. The little piece of brass with the roller wheel between the shafts is to prevent the tumbler drum from hitting the end and keeping it on the shafts. My friend that has a lathe is making me up a bearing mounting post for a more permanent installation.


    For the feet I used a 3/8" x 1 1/2" long threaded Chair Leg. I drilled a hole in the frame and put the nut on from the inside and then just tack welded it. I put a rubber cup over it to keep the tumbler from moving but weight alone I am sure it wouldn't go anywhere anyways. I tack welded the 1/2" pillow bearing mounting bolts for easier installation.


    How to choose the Pulley's for the motor and drive shaft.

    To calculate the size of the pulleys needed with a certain speed of the motor we can use this simple formula.

    Motor RPM x Motor Pulley Diameter = Driven Pulley Diameter x Driven RPM

    After we are done figuring, this only gives us the speed of the driven shaft on the tumbler
    Since we want the speed of the driven shaft on the tumbler we can re write the formula as:

    Motor RPM x Motor Pulley Diameter
    ---------------------------------------------- = Driven Rpm (Speed of the driven shaft)
    Driven Pulley Diameter


    Then you use the speed of the driven shaft on the tumbler to figure out what the speed of your Tumbler’s Drum is going to be. I combined both formulas into one to make it easier to figure out the speed of the drum. I made up some letter designations to make it easier to follow the formula and here they are:

    Motor Rpm= M
    Motor Pulley Diameter= MP
    Driven Pulley Diameter = DP
    Diameter of Driven Shaft = DS
    Diameter of Tumbler Drum = TD
    Driven RPM of the Drum = DR


    M x MP x DS
    ------------------- = DR or the speed of drum on the tumbler.
    TD x DP


    Lets try one .

    You found a motor at the dump that has a sticker on it that says it turns at 1725 RPM.
    You go to Lowes and find a pulley that fits the motor and it has a diameter of 2”.
    You buy some bearings for the shaft to run on and they are ½ “ size for your ½” shafts.
    You buy a 6” pulley for the driven shaft for the tumbler drum to run on.
    You make a 6” tumbler drum out of a empty plastic jar.
    How quick will your tumbler drum be turning at?

    With our handy dandy formula we can plug in some numbers and find out.

    1725rpm x 2” x ½”shaft
    --------------------------- = 47.9 RPM or about 48 RPM the tumbler drum will be going.
    6” drum x 6”pulley


    The Thumlers regular speed is 30 rpm and the high speed is 40 rpm. We don’t want anything quicker than 60 rpm because the brass and contents will just stick to the outside wall due to centripetal force. So in this case we guessed correctly for the size of drum we want and the pulley needed to obtain that speed.



    So let’s say we find some 5/8” bearings on sale and our drum size is 8” instead of the 6” we had before.
    Using the same motor and pulley sizes what would be our drum speed?

    1725 x 2” x 5/8”
    ------------------- = 44.9 RPM So 45 RPM is right in the ballpark .
    8” x 6”

    You can always buy an adjustable pulley for the motor that varies so you can fine tune the speed of the drum but figuring out what size of drum you want to make and the smallest size of the motor pulley, you can mix and match the size of the shaft and pulley on that shaft so you don’t have to spend extra money experimenting on what you want.


    If you know the size of your Drum that you want to make and the size of the motor pulley then with algebra we can manipulate the formula to come up with the size of the pulley on the driven shaft.

    M x MP x DS
    ---------------------= DP (The size of the pulley needed to put on the driven shaft)
    DR x TD

    Let’s try one out.

    You have a 7” drum, a 1725 rpm motor with a 3” pulley on it and you have some 7/8” bearings and 7/8” shaft to use for your tumbler. What size of pulley do I need to put on the 7/8” shaft to give me 60 RPM for the Drum?

    1725 RPM x 3” x 7/8”
    -------------------- = 10.8” (You would need about a 11” pulley)
    60 RPM x 7”

    It would be hard to find an 11” pulley so your better bet would be to drop the 3” pulley on the motor to a 2” pulley which running it thru the formula again would give you about a 7” pulley which is more realistic.


    You have the driven shaft pulley diameter of 7” on a 5/8” shaft and you want to know what size of pulley I need to buy to put on the motor to give me 55 rpm for my 8” drum.

    Manipulate the formula to give you this.

    DR x TD x DP
    ------------------ = MP (Size of the pulley needed on the motor shaft)
    M x DS

    Let’s try it.

    55RPM x 8” x 7”
    -------------------- = 2.85” ( You would buy a 3” pulley and that will get you close)
    1725 RPM x 5/8”

    With an adjustable DC motor like on a treadmill then just buy any two pulley's that you need and you can adjust the speed of the motor to get what you want.


    How much to make the Tumbler?

    3” pulley 6.00
    4.5” pulley 9.00
    ½ “ shaft for 5 ‘ 9.00
    ½” Pillow Bearing 13.00 each (52.00 total)
    ½” heater hose 4.00
    Base mounts 12.00 (rubber cups I put over adjustable screw in legs)
    1 1/4” Square tubing $30.00 for a 8 foot length and I had 4” left over
    Motor found at scrap yard

    Total $122.00


    Drum
    For the drum I used a piece of 10" PE pipe that I get from work that is thrown out. I cut a piece of Plexiglas that I already had and mounted it on one end with some gasket cork and RTV Silicone seal.


    On the inside I mounted with brass screws some strips of plastic that I had laying around to help with mixing the brass and pins up.



    On the top I glued RTV on the PE pipe then put a layer of gasket material on top of it then another layer of gasket material and then glued the Plexiglas on top of that. So I had glue/gasket/gasket/glue and Plexiglas. Drilled holes all the way around and drove long screws thru it all into the PE pipe. When it was dried I had a flat surface with gasket on the PE pipe and a flat surface on the Plexiglas. I cut out the inside of the gasket on the pipe and now I have a perfect water tight seal.
    When I make another drum I will change the top Plexiglas to metal instead. I screwed one of the screws to tight and cracked the Plexiglas and had to start over as you can see in this picture.



    If you need anymore info drop me a line.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin, 1759

  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    67
    That'd sell.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master hunter64's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    643
    Quote Originally Posted by old_haidouk View Post
    That'd sell.
    Considering one that could sort of compared to mine sells for 650.00 . I have had 70 lbs on it and didn't even skip a beat.

    The weight of the frame alone is about 25 lbs so shipping would be expensive.

    I have made 6 now for friends.

    I supply them with the the frame, bearings and shafts already installed so you just have to supply your own motor with pulley and one pulley for the drive shaft.



    Mark the 4 holes to mount the motor and install a belt and away you go.

    First one took me about 3 hours to weld and drill the 1/2" holes for the bearings. I have it down to about 1.5 hours now.

    In Canada where I live, I would consider making them but shipping to the US would be far to expensive to justify it so I decided to just share the plans for those that wanted to build there own as I have had lots of requests lately since I first posted the idea a couple of weeks ago.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin, 1759

  4. #4
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    North Queensland Australia
    Posts
    140
    Love your work

  5. #5
    Vendor Sponsor
    W.R.Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ojai CA
    Posts
    6,666
    This is a great thread. I hope it encourages others to make their own.

    Randy
    "It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,,It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do!"
    www.buchananprecisionmachine.com

  6. #6
    Boolit Master dnotarianni's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    RI
    Posts
    385
    I got a couple old tumblers that are older than me but when I really need to tumble a lot of brass I use this. Fits 3000 .45 at 1 time
    Dave

    http://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-4-q...xer-91907.html
    The only part of the metric system America has embraced is the 9mm.

    Remember incoming fire has the right of way

  7. #7
    Longwood
    Guest
    Many of the machines of old. ran on bearing msde from oak.
    Half of America was settled with wagons with oak for wheel hubs and axles.
    A frame made with 2X4's and two pieces of oak for bearings would sure be a simple way for a home builder without a welder.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master hunter64's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    643
    Quote Originally Posted by Longwood View Post
    Many of the machines of old. ran on bearing msde from oak.
    Half of America was settled with wagons with oak for wheel hubs and axles.
    A frame made with 2X4's and two pieces of oak for bearings would sure be a simple way for a home builder without a welder.
    Yes sir, oak or cherry was popular right up until about the 80's for many mailing machines at the post office. Just keep them oiled regularly and they will also last forever.

    The cement mixer is a great idea if you have the room to store it.

    I am thinking of a new design already for my next one I make. I was thinking of designing it so the motor sits under the rollers instead of on the end that way it would be taller but more compact as far as the footprint would go.
    Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch.
    Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. -Benjamin Franklin, 1759

  9. #9
    Boolit Master Cadillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Deepest South Texas
    Posts
    569
    Just found this thread today, and find it quite interesting as I am in the process of building my own. I don't weld, but have a table saw and am pretty fair at wood construction, as I made all my own shop benches, shelves, and drawers, so am confident that I can do this with wood. Interestingly enough I have been planning on building mine on an upright cabinet on casters, and having the motor mounted below the shafts on a lower deck. This way it will be at waist height when loading etc., but I can move it out of the way in my crowded garage/shop when not in use.

    I have the 30" shafts on order, and they will be supported by three pillow block bearings each to prevent flex/sag, as they will support and drive two heavily loaded Thumlers drums end to end, with lateral movement controlled by shaft collars bearing on the drums' drive rings. The formula used to calculate final drum speed is exactly what I needed to learn to get my final RPM fine tuned from the start.

    Many thanks to hunter64 for this valuable technical data!
    There is some ammo and more ammo. There is never enough ammo!

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Cadillo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Deepest South Texas
    Posts
    569
    Hunter,

    Many thanks. With your help, I got mine up and running at the proper rpm. It carries two of the Thumlers drums, but loaded to about three times the brass capacity as they will carry when driven by the two Thumler machines they came off of.

    I encased my 1/2" shafts in 1/2" heater hose, which brought them up to 3/4" total diameter, then using your formula, I used a 2" primary and 6" secondary pulley with my 1725 rpm 1/3 hp motor, which yielded a drum speed of 46 rpm. This machine is a LOT better than a Thumler!

    Thanks for the thoughtful and informative post!!!!

    PS

    Forgot to mention that my secondary pulley is mounted just alongside the middle pillowblock(Three per 30" shaft) and I mounted the motor underneath in the center of the chassis. My casters should be here any day. Once I get them mounted, I'll be able to roll it around the garage/shop as needed, and then store it underneath the deck of the table saw as planned from the outset. Mounting the motor underneath is a good system.
    Last edited by Cadillo; 03-03-2014 at 11:59 PM.
    There is some ammo and more ammo. There is never enough ammo!

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19
    Quote Originally Posted by dnotarianni View Post
    I got a couple old tumblers that are older than me but when I really need to tumble a lot of brass I use this. Fits 3000 .45 at 1 time
    Dave

    http://www.harborfreight.com/1-1-4-q...xer-91907.html
    I was just looking at this the other day - would it work for steel pin tumbling is my question ? I have a 20% off coupon that it itching to be used

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    37
    Anyone using a drum without agitators?

    If so how does it clean?

    I have to build a new drum and just wondering if I get the same results without the agitators.

  13. #13
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    37
    I had a 6" drum I built out of PVC and after filling it with water the first time I noticed it was leaking.

    Here is the fix for that:
    1) Get your shop vac out
    2) Duct tap the hose to the drum opening. Make sure you make it air tight as you want to create a vacuum inside the drum.
    3) Turn on the vacuum. The duct tape should start sucking in on the drum. Make sure you have a good seal. If the seal is good continue on.
    4) On the joints swab in some more primer. You should see it being sucked into the joint. Make sure to go around the whole joint.
    5) Let it dry for a min or so.
    6) Turn on the vacuum and swab the cement on the joints. You may have to keep going back to the same spot as the cement is sucked into the joint. Make sure to go around the whole joint. I kept putting cement until I had a slight build up at the joint.
    7) Let it dry. I waited about 12 hours before I started using it.

    CM

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
    a.squibload's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    2,136
    hunter64: good stuff, thanks for sharing plans & formula.

    chaotic: good technique, gets the cement where it needs to be.

    Wondering about the HF mixer with steel agitators (not like I'm gonna buy one),
    suppose it would be a good idea to spray the inside with something like
    automotive undercoat? Might not last with SS pins but would protect the brass.

  15. #15
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Hamilton, Oh
    Posts
    42
    Nice post, will have to build one of these! Thanks

  16. #16
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    37
    a.squibload: Jerry Miculek uses a cement mixer to do his brass. Check out:

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
    a.squibload's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    CO
    Posts
    2,136
    Wow that's a lot of brass, and he shoots more than just 223.
    Guess they don't slam around too much in the mixer.
    My drying method is dump 'em on a towel on the floor
    & check 'em tomorrow.

  18. #18
    Boolit Mold
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    18
    I did mine a bit simpler.

    I disassembled a treadmill, leaving the motor, pulley, and driven roller in place on the frame.
    Then I took the roller on the far side of the frame off and moved it backwards onthe frame toward the driven roller leaving a gap for a 4" drum to ride atop both rollers.
    O-rings slipped onto drum work to provide enough friction for the PVC to turn without slipping. You could also put the o-rings on the rollers.

    To move the second roller back on the frame, all you need is a drill, tap, and 4 pieces of aluminum angle. And some bolts.

    Much easier than building a new frame, rollers, etc.

    To keep PVC drums from leaking, you really need a fernco qwik-cap. It's a rubber cap held on by a pipe clamp. The threaded caps are virtually impossible to make leak proof.

    For my drum paddles, I just cut scrap pieces of PVC, doubled them up to increase their glued surface area, sanded the mating surface to match the curvature of the interior curve of the drum, then glued them in place. No possibility of leakage that way, and so far I haven't had one come free in probably 50k cases tumbled.

    This way, cost is basically the price of a used treadmill, plus the cost of 4" pipe and fittings and a qwik-cap. If you're good at scrounging/begging, you should be able to get the treadmill for free.

  19. #19
    Banned
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    579
    I replaced the metal paddles in my cement mixer with UHMW 12" thick x 3" wide x 12" long.
    Since I did this modification the brass is shinier.

  20. #20
    Boolit Man
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Southaven, MS
    Posts
    148
    hunter64, the paddles in my cylinder were about as tall as yours. After the first tumbling I found a lot of .223 cases wouldn't fit back into the shell holder. I cut them down a lot, but don't have any brass that needs cleaning since.
    I to cut a treadmill down for one cylinder, used pieces of the frame to set the idler roller close to the drive roller. I used stripes of the mat glued to the cylinder for traction.
    Wished I had bolted frames across the mat to use more cylinders at once.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check