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Thread: Ideas for home-made tumbler?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Ideas for home-made tumbler?

    Anyone got good ideas for a homemade case-tumbler?

    Yes, I can buy one, but I like tinkering with strange stuff and have some spare time

  2. #2
    Old metal coffee can driven by a belt or rollers
    I had a rock tumbler I got at a yard sale for a couple bucks a long time ago
    same principle

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    JSnover's Avatar
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    I like the coffee can idea, that's probably the simplest and cheapest way.
    It shouldn't be hard to copy a vibratory tumbler. A large bowl on top of a small electric motor (maybe an old drill motor?) with an offset weight on the shaft.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master HotGuns's Avatar
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    Get a piece of PVC pipe...the 8 or 10" dia. stuff. Cut it about 10 inches long. Use some plywood for the ends and screw it to one end. In the other end, thread some 1/4 studs in it PVC and leave it about an 1 and a half long, and use wingnuts to secure the plywood cap to it.

    Use an old motor and rig it to run it. You'll need to put a couple of wodden paddles in the PVS to agitate the brass and the tumbler meduim.

    Not hard to do. I made one many years ago that worked great and had alot of capacity.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Some good and easy ideas here, just keep them coming!

    I migth go for drillmotor and PVC-pipe, guess I finaly can use that old singelspeed Black&Decker for something

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    The first one I rigged up I started with an old elictric ice-cream maker, It took some reinforcing but I used it for about 3 years.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master

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    I was thinking the same thing - just how hard can it be to make a rotary tumbler like a little ball mill or rock tumbler?

    I started surfing around the internet a year or so ago to get ideas or at least try to get good ideas and save some time. I found these links:

    http://www.unitednuclear.com/ballmill.htm
    http://tomaszewski.net/Kreigh/Minerals/Homemade.shtml
    http://igor.chudov.com/projects/Homemade-Rock-Tumbler/
    http://ktcatspost.blogspot.com/2007/...k-tumbler.html

    I also had several other good links but they are dead now and I was unsuccessful find the same info.

    I have an idea in my head and will be building it soon. I am thinking even simpler using one roller and a slotted guide to hold a can with a shaft out each end. The can shaft is guided in vertical slots and the can rests on a driven shaft/roller with rubber (hose) covering. Turn the roller and the can turns. I would drive the can directly but the roller is used to reduce speed so small sheave on the motor, large sheave on roller, small roller drives large diameter can giving further speed reduction.

    I will post pictures when I get mine done. It will be a while though. I just finished an archery spine tester and am working on shotgun slugs now. I also owe no34570 some testing on PP boolits. One thing at a time!

    Good luck.

    Longbow

  8. #8
    Boolit Master oksmle's Avatar
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    A suggestion for what not to do: For years I got away with filling a 2# coffee can about 1/2 full of corncob media & then added a double handful of cases. Taped the top shut with black electrician's tape & put it into Mrs. oksmle's clothes dryer along with a load of wet laundry. By the time the clothes were dry the cases were pretty clean. Then once I couldn't locate the electrician's tape & substituted masking tape. Bad mistake.... Masking tape melted & you can imagine the rest....

  9. #9
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    62 chevy on blocks in low gear. Knock the rear fender off. Drive belt of the rear wheel turns a beer keg on 4 casters from a rolling chair. Use old conveyer belting for the drive belt.
    Gianni
    [The Montana Gianni] Front sight and squeeze

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Scrounger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MT Gianni View Post
    62 chevy on blocks in low gear. Knock the rear fender off. Drive belt of the rear wheel turns a beer keg on 4 casters from a rolling chair. Use old conveyer belting for the drive belt.
    Gianni
    Oh, you mean a HillBilly Tumbler! Also Paint Mixer, Cement Mixer, Blender, and Bread Machine...

  11. #11
    Boolit Master


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    An old clothes dryer that has quit heating, or remove heating element and tape wires, fasten container to back of drum. The motor will run on 120 volts, as will timer, the timer can be used if wanted, but best is to use a off-on switch. Metal bars scewed to inside of container walls will insure tumbling. A plastic 5 gal. pail wwith a lid fastened with bungee cords would be a large capacity tumbler' Dale

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    Use a cement mixinig tub from Menards, the kind you are suppose to roll on the ground. Set it on roller skate wheels and turn it with a small DC motor and a belt. The tub will hold a S#i^ load of brass and the ridges inside make it tumble real nice. Or just buy a cheap cement mixer and put a door on it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master Reverend Recoil's Avatar
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    Twenty years ago I got an idea for a vibrating case cleaner from an article in the American Rifleman. I bought a small 110v vibrator motor from WW Granger for $10. I punched some holes in the bottom of a new paint can and bolted the vibrator motor. This assembly was hung by the bail with a coil spring. It would clean fifty 30-06 cases with walnut shell media in two hours. It made a lot of noise, especially when a case chattered against the side of the paint can. I now have a Lyman Turbo tumbled and am happy with it.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Urny
    Elko County, the old heart of Nevada

  15. #15
    Boolit Master at heavens range
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    I seen one made from the unit out of a vibator chair. Made a nice tumber and any size drum you put on it works.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master Morgan Astorbilt's Avatar
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    This is the one I built using an 8gal. olive drum and a D.C. variable speed gear motor salvaged from a conveyor belt. The drum rotates at 45rpm, using a transformer and full wave rectifier. Has a 12hr. timer, and there are 4 wooden vanes installed like a cement mixer. It's counterbalanced, and tips for emptying. Have never been able to determine the capacity, I've tumbled over 1000 .45LC cases at a time with no trouble.
    Morgan






  17. #17
    Boolit Master JohnSmiles's Avatar
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    I don't care how long ya read these posts, there is always someone out there to remind ya you are still just a novice at this . . .

    "Your rights are no greater, nor are they any less, than those of your fellow American."
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  18. #18
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    Built a square box from 1/8 plywood, door on side, length of all-thread through the middle. Pully from junk box, motor from an old box fan.
    The square corners provide agitation.
    Figgered it would last till I got somthing better, that was three years ago.
    grit yer teeth an pull the trigger

  19. #19
    Boolit Master At Heavens Range 1945-2008 brshooter's Avatar
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    Haborfrieght.com has a 1.25 cubic ft. Mini Cement Mixer on sale now. 1/4 HP motor, was $139.99, now $99.99. Item # 91907-1VGA Just the ticket for 1000 45-70 cases.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master Morgan Astorbilt's Avatar
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    brshooter, That's probably the best way to go. Sure saves a lot of work. Should be some way to install a lid on it to kep the dust down.
    Morgan

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