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

  1. #21
    Boolit Man
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    design based on Hunter64's

    thanks Hunter64. I used your design and information as a bases for mine. a lot of changes were based on what I had or didn't have available in the way of both tools n materials.

    I built this about 18 months ago and only now figured how to get my pics down to an acceptable size.

    1/2hp, two speed (1140/1726) Kenmore washer motor, 2" to 7.25" pulley reduction, gets me down to 36/53 rpm's on large drum and 47/72 on the narrow drum.
    1/2" diameter steel shafts with rubber hose
    set screw shaft collars with fender washers attached to ensure drums don't wonder to one end or the other.
    23" X 8" blue fresh water schedule 80 pvc pipe,
    6" green waste water pvc pipe and assorted capes, reducers, plugs

    Vanes and permanent end plugs are made with PVC trim boards from Lowes. Used heavy, medium, and regular PVC cement to attach and seal all (no screws or holes in the drum). The PVC board is much less dense than the PVC pipe, so when I ripped the vanes down to 45s the porous flat side was glued towards the PVC pipe. Being less dense they melt-formed nicely against the round pipe. Vanes were held in place with a couple small sand bags for about 10 minutes each before moving to the next vane. I am seeing a little bit of wear on the vanes, but am pretty certain I will have been pushing up daisies for many years before they quit working.

    I kept one drum smooth inside (no vanes) for cleaning sizing lube off loaded rounds in dry media. I was worried about pointy loaded 556 rounds tumbling end over end and making those dreaded muffled boom, boom sounds.

    edited this in: I forgot to mention that I tied the drive and dummy shafts together with matching pulleys and belt. I was concerned that the drift shaft would have less friction on the inside of the rubber hose and possibly slip. I thought having both shafts driving equally would spread the torque to both shafts and prevent any slip. I don't know if that was a legitimate concern or not.

    lessons learned n stuff:

    if I had it to do again I would have used 5/8" shafts versus 1/2". 1K brass, 10-15 #'s of pins, and nearly 3.7 gallons of water equals a lot of weight and a slight bowing of the shafts. Of course I'd have to go with different pulley combinations to allow for the increased circumference of the rubber hose on the 5/8" drive shafts.

    my schedule 80, 8" pvc pipe was not perfectly round, either due to age or manufacture. had to make my own permanent end plugs and bought the 8" Non-Metal Hand-Tite Plug ($35+ from: http://www.pollardwater.com/pages_product/HTPLUG4.asp ) They work great. I did however trim off about 1/4" from wing-nut ends to make sure I had clearance from the pillow block bearing's grease zerks.

    Remember to inset the bottom permanent plug 3/8" so that you have something to hold onto when lifting or positioning the filled drum. Did I mention it is heavy?

    Cut and install vanes/ribs 1.5" below mouth of drum to allow room for the hand-tite plug. cut vanes on open end to 45 degrees so that it is a relatively snug fit against the plug and doesn't trap brass.

    the small diameter drum intended for smaller batches spins too fast and was a waste of time n money. better to have made a second shorter drum with vanes for smaller batches. just found me a new 8'+ piece of pipe in a construction site dumpster so now I have enough to make; two each of short/tall with smooth/ribbed drums.

    designing/making the washer motor mounts and wiring was a bit of a challenge. a purpose built motor would have been easier but way more than the $10 bucks I paid for it. Also 3 position switches are not cheap. I found some really cheap ones on Alibaba but they are only rated to 10 amps. Not enough for this motor. I bought two and had the contacts seized closed on one of them. so now I select the speed I want and then on/off via the wall socket plug. After over a year I am still watching for a heavy duty 3 position switch I can afford.

    as demonstrated by my Grandson, skipping the belt guard was not an option.

    hope this is a help to others............ too much trial n error stuff to include here. if you have the need I'd be happy to try and help via PM or phone.
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    Last edited by oley55; 01-08-2015 at 10:30 AM.

  2. #22
    Frosted Boolits


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    Looking for an RCBS A2 with the removable bushing. I need it to complete my A series collection. Please let me know if you have one you want to get rid of. Thanks!

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  3. #23
    Boolit Man

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    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
    That's funny, I do the same, I bought mine when they where making the poly barrel ones.


  4. #24
    Boolit Man loaded303's Avatar
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    Thanks
    just puttin' along

  5. #25
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    When I first ran across this thread I got this idea that maybe I should build a rotary tumbler. Well I did and just got it finished. It should be able to tumble 10lbs of brass with ease. Used an old band saw motor, 1/2" shafts & pillow blocks. Here is the finished project.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #26
    Boolit Man largecaliberman's Avatar
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    In bought an old cement mixer at a garage sale for 40.00 installed an old washing machine motor from a junk yard, bought a V-belt at a NAPA store and a timer at Home Depot. Works like a dream now for 8 years!!
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  7. #27
    Boolit Mold AW738's Avatar
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    Does anyone have a good source for the pillow block bearings?

  8. #28
    Boolit Man
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    AW738,
    Surplus center is always a good place to check for this kind of thing,
    http://www.surpluscenter.com/shop.ax...ions=price+asc

    Steve

  9. #29
    Boolit Master
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    This is the one my son made for less than $50.00. Left shafts long until we figure out if we need a bigger tumbler. Also making a smaller one for small batches.










  10. #30
    Boolit Man
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    Quote Originally Posted by AW738 View Post
    Does anyone have a good source for the pillow block bearings?
    I bought mine off Amazon I think. not home right now otherwise I'd pull out my receipt.
    “Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. But, the Marines don't have that problem.” Ronald Reagan


  11. #31
    Boolit Bub

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    Glue and cleaner are designed to be used with the cleaner wet. You have to work faster and is the reason Plumbers tape both cans together.
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  12. #32
    Boolit Mold
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    This is a great project. I will try this.

  13. #33
    Boolit Master
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    Wish I could see the pictures!


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  14. #34
    Boolit Master



    NavyVet1959's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fiberoptik View Post
    Wish I could see the pictures!
    Photobucket changes strike again...

  15. #35
    Boolit Bub

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    I built my own but i tried to use heater hose for the rollers and the heater hose from the parts store does not fit on my 5/8 rod well. Can anybody reccomend a hose that will fit snugly on my rollers and give grip for a pvc drum?

  16. #36
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by Ianagos View Post
    I built my own but i tried to use heater hose for the rollers and the heater hose from the parts store does not fit on my 5/8 rod well. Can anybody reccomend a hose that will fit snugly on my rollers and give grip for a pvc drum?
    I currently have some 8x19x6mm bearings on order from eBay. They're headed this way on the proverbial slow boat from China, so it'll probably be a few weeks before they get here... Assuming that they actually do in fact manage to make it into my mailbox... I seem to have a problem with things either being delivered to the wrong address or possibly going home with the postal worker instead. The latest thing to disappear was a package of 20 shift registers (74HC595) -- not exactly something that you would think that a postal worker would have a use for. I don't know if these bearings will be the right size for what I hope to use them for, but if not, they're pretty cheap and I figure I can make an adapter on my mini-lathe to work around it.

  17. #37
    Boolit Mold
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    Instead of pillow blocks, has anyone thought of using casters from Harbor Freight? Mount them upside down, spaced properly and let the 'drum' turn on them. Only slight engineering changes to the drive.

  18. #38
    I was told by a friend that they do not hold up. He advises the use of only pillow blocks only.

  19. #39
    1/2 or 3/4 inch pillow blocks are the best.

  20. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by mdhillbilly1 View Post
    1/2 or 3/4 inch pillow blocks are the best. The size depends on container size and axle size. We have seen one that was an 8 foot long unit. The unit had 3/4 inch pillow blocks. The unit ran two units connected with a second belt that interconnected the two single tubes together and ran on a 3/4 HP motor.


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