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Thread: Using a tumbler?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy borg's Avatar
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    Using a tumbler?

    Did a search on this, but nothing came up. Has anyone used a tumbler to coat, shake method doesn'
    t work with high humdidy. Whatcha you got?

  2. #2
    Vendor Sponsor Bantou's Avatar
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    Look it up on YouTube. Several guys on there have done demos on it.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Happiness is a warm .45

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I use an old Lyman vibratory tumbler that was given to me. Was so worn out, had to pull motor and rebuild with new bearings. But have had good results with it, kinda noisy so it runs for about 15 mins. While I’m out of the room. Good coating tho,just pain to dump when unloading. Use it for large batches, works very well with Smokes powder and poly beads from craft store.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master


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    I made a cannister for my Thumbler Rock Tumbler that holds one of my #5 plastic food storage containers. Just like shake 'n bake: boolits, Airsoft BBs, and powder to into the container, container goes into the tumbler, and in 10 minutes, I've got perfectly coated boolits ready to go into the oven. Not a high-volume set-up but holds enough boolits to fill a tray for my countertop toaster oven.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    I made a cannister for my Thumbler Rock Tumbler that holds one of my #5 plastic food storage containers. Just like shake 'n bake: boolits, Airsoft BBs, and powder to into the container, container goes into the tumbler, and in 10 minutes, I've got perfectly coated boolits ready to go into the oven. Not a high-volume set-up but holds enough boolits to fill a tray for my countertop toaster oven.

    Bill
    Bill, do you have any info or a link where I can learn to make my own DIY canisters for a rock tumbler?

  7. #7
    I use a older vibratory tumbler. Problem is the bullets bounce around pretty violently and knock the powder off. I was running them through twice to get complete coverage.
    Got tired of the twice thing. I picked up a fan speed controller. Sort of a light dimmer but heavier duty. I slow down the tumbler to half speed and use the air soft bb's. It will completely coat 200 9mm in a few minutes. Avoid the temptation to put too much powder in.

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy
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    I have one of these and a 1# powder bottle fits fine on it. I add about 100 boolits and my PC powder and let it spin for a few minutes, pour them out and stand them up, bake and size. Click image for larger version. 

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  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
    Bill, do you have any info or a link where I can learn to make my own DIY canisters for a rock tumbler?
    Doesn't take much... a clean 1 gallon paint can (your local paint store will probably give you one or two), a couple strips of anti-skid tape (like for bathtubs and showers), an aerosol can of sealing foam, and a bit of scrap 1/4 (or thinner) plywood. No link but I'll post a few pics and you should be able to figure it out pretty quick.

    Bill
    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  10. #10
    Boolit Master Drew P's Avatar
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    I use my thumbler for coating hitek. I have a dedicated 1 gal plastic jar that fits inside the hex drum. It’s like a mini concrete mixer.

  11. #11
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    Doesn't take much... a clean 1 gallon paint can (your local paint store will probably give you one or two), a couple strips of anti-skid tape (like for bathtubs and showers), an aerosol can of sealing foam, and a bit of scrap 1/4 (or thinner) plywood. No link but I'll post a few pics and you should be able to figure it out pretty quick.

    Bill
    Perfect, thank you. Already forming an idea in my head for this.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master


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    Quote Originally Posted by Dimner View Post
    Perfect, thank you. Already forming an idea in my head for this.
    1 gal. paint can.
    Non-skid tape is 3M 'Safety Walk' but any bath/shower tape will work.
    Foam is Red Devil 'Foam Fill.
    #5 container is 1 pint 'Rubber Maid' but you can use any #5 that will fit inside your paint can.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "I'm not often right but I've never been wrong."

    Jimmy Buffett
    "Scarlet Begonias"

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    I tumble coat 6 pounds of bullets at a time with a vibrator tumbler. However, a standard tumbler is too aggressive, so I modified a couple of small tumblers by replacing the small tumbler bowl with a 5 gallon bucket secured with two all threads that allow me to adjust the tension and amount of vibration. if humidity is running high simply preheat the bullets and dump into a running tumbler.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraschenbirn View Post
    1 gal. paint can.
    Non-skid tape is 3M 'Safety Walk' but any bath/shower tape will work.
    Foam is Red Devil 'Foam Fill.
    #5 container is 1 pint 'Rubber Maid' but you can use any #5 that will fit inside your paint can.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I like this! I have a base for Thumblers tumbler and empty paint cans.

  15. #15
    Boolit Mold
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    I use the lyman with the small bowl and has a clear cover so I can see the progress

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldsman View Post
    I use the lyman with the small bowl and has a clear cover so I can see the progress
    By replacing the bowl with a bucket I am able to dial in the amount of vibration as well as increasing the capacity on a flat surface. I found my Lyman was too aggressive, have you noticed a darker coloration to your powder due to lead dust in the powder coming off your bullets?

    I use the lid for the bucket to contain any dust. I don't need to watch the progress because I can tumble for a few minutes or 30 and my bullets do not get damaged.

  17. #17
    Boolit Grand Master
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    Why not just hand shake the container like we all did in the beginning? Has always worked for me and only takes about 30-40 seconds. EXCELLENT coatings ever time. And is good upper body exercise!

    And leave the tumblers and vibrators for cleaning brass.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master






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    its the only way I do it anymore. I have a cheap Frankfort arsonal vibrator off of midway. It will do about 15lbs of bullets at a time. Just dump them in dump in some powder and let it go for 15 minutes. Dump them in a media separator and then on parchement paper. The powder sifted out with the media separator goes back in the tumbler for the next batch that is tumbling while the first batch cooks. I tried adding plastic bbs and even buckshot but found it works just as well without them and I get much better coverage then I did shaking butter container and its a lot less bother and work. I know that tumbler has done at least 500 lbs of bullets and is still going strong. Did over a 100 lbs in one day for a buddy last summer. It took a crap one day and I thought it was toast. Pulled the bottom cover off and found that the vibration had broke off a connector on the motor. two minute repair and its back to work.
    Soldier of God, sixgun junky, Retired electrical lineman. My office was a 100 feet in the air, closer to God the better

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    I coat 6 pounds of bullets at a time and cook 2-5K bullets in a single cook. That's a lot of shaking to do by hand, but no effort at all for a machine, not to mention speed.

  20. #20
    Boolit Buddy
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    I don't know if all tumblers have a counterweight on the motor shaft but my Dillon does. I'm thinking you could fabricate a shorter one, it should reduce the intensity of the vibration.

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