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Thread: Which tumbler/media do I need?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Question Which tumbler/media do I need?

    Hi

    I need to buy a tumbler and was thinking of either the Evans double barrel or the 3lb tumbler - both from Cooksons. Sorry I can't post a link as I'm new here.


    Has anyone got experience of either of these and would you recommend them?

    I hand stamp initials on small sterling silver discs but sometimes the discs may have very small scratches. What tumbling media would I need for these - I was thinking that I would need the round or satellite shaped shot rather than mixed which has the small pins in.

    What about the plastic cones or ceramic shapes - would they be suitable to get fine scratches out before using the ss shot to burnish and shine?

    Thanks - Rachel

  2. #2
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    I have no experience of abrasive media in tumblers, nor have I seen anyone else here writing about it. From what you say you might already have used our search box, and realised that tumbling with shot and soap only burnishes, but will not remove scratches.

    Sutton Tools, if you phone them might be able to give you advice about ceramic chips. If you don't have huge numbers of disks, then rubbing them on a flat piece of MicroMesh and going up three or four grades, will give a splendid finish. Again, put it in our search box top left. Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    Thanks for your reply Dennis. I do have an old tumbler that is on its last legs and have used the mixed shot on my discs but they sometimes have pitted marks on them which I now realise is because of the pins in the shot. I've just ordered the Evans tumbler and some round shot so hopefully this will work better.

    I normally get through around 50 discs a week but as the business is expanding we are getting to the point of needing a more time efficient way of doing them. At the moment we cut them out of sterling sheet but this leaves a lot of sanding on the backs to be done. I have found a supplier of the ready cut discs with the holes in which saves an awful lot of time but on some of them there are a few fine scratches. Hoprefully a good few hours in the tumbler will smooth them out somewhat.

    Thanks - Rachel

  4. #4
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    That's a lot of disks. I have seen very good results with magnetic polishers, which although they use pins, don't seem to result in pin marks. Certainly those who use them are very enthusiastic about them. Again, Sutton tools would advise. Dennis.

  5. #5
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    Mag polishers leave a slight frosted coating on the metal, if you use the pins. They then need a little buffing to get them shiny. I have tried with round bearings, but not too successful, although I will keep trying. Vibe ratify tumblers would probably be a good option. I believe they take many grades of cones, sand, and walnut husks to get an amazing shine.

  6. #6
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    Jan 2013
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    Norwich
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    I find that stainless steel shot leaves tiny pitted marks on larger surfaces of silver pieces.... I have heard that walnut shells are an option... anyone have experience of this?

    Thanks

  7. #7
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    Well, it's Christmas, get cracking and find out. No, joking apart, no one here has yet admitted to using them, or any other abrasive media.

    The pits are due to the needles in mixed shot, but if you are tumbling mainly flat and two dimensional pieces, you can omit them.

    Although as mentioned above tumbling will not remove scratches and marks due to coarse abrasives, the result of burnishing with stainless steel shot and Burnishing soap 'B' is blinding. Dennis.

  8. #8
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    For your silver discs, have you tried leaving the plastic on the silver while you stamp them. They should then be scratch free and won't really need very much polishing.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Norwich
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    I did get some walnuts Dennis... and have a pile of shells to try... still busy eating the nuts! I'll try removing the needles and see what happens.
    Good suggestion Carol - I have used tape to cover broader surfaces and it works well as tumbling gets to the smaller inaccessible parts and as you point out, polishing the larger areas is very quick!
    Thank you both - have a great Christmas!

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