Just wanted to say thanks for all of the threads and comments regarding tumblers. It has really helped me. I managed to get hold of a beach tumbler like this one http://www.ukge.co.uk/UK/product.asp...For=&PT_ID=382 from a car boot sale for 8 (I felt very smug!).

I struggled at first to get it to work, but I soon found out I was putting too much shot in the barrel and therefore making it too heavy to rotate well. I now work my small jewellery items in this for around an hour or so with around 500g of stainless steel shot and a small amount of barrelbrite and water. My silver and copper comes out a treat!

Thanks to everyone for their advice and for posting all of the problems they have had.