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Thread: What Magnetic Tumbler?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    29

    Default What Magnetic Tumbler?

    Hi everyone,
    I was just about to buy a barrelling machine, when i read all the terrible reviews on this forum.
    I've gathered from all the threads that a magnetic tumbler gets better results, is less fussy to clean out and is quicker. I'm also looking for a more highly polished finish.
    Have I got this right so far?
    I tend to do smaller pieces, and work mainly in silver and gold. Rings, earrings, pendants. They're pretty solid pieces, so nothing really delicate.
    I've been out of the jewellery game for such a long time (20 years), that i'm catching up with all the new tools and equipment on the market.

    Anyway, can anyone advise on where to buy a magnetic tumbler and which one? I'm not producing in high quantities, so wanted a starter machine (if one exists) and would love some recommendations.
    Or can you post a link to a previous post that i have missed?

    Thank you all so much. I don't know what i'd do without this forum.

    Sue

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Central London
    Posts
    8,202

    Default

    Hi Sue,

    Both machines only burnish, so although the result can be highly shiny, any scratches and blemishes will remain.

    The tumbler has problems with a pinprick texture, due to the needles, which showas on flat surfaces, but not on round wires.

    The main complaint with the magnetic polisher is that the needles can become so magnetised, they clump together and become useless.

    An inexpensive magnetic polisher is the Bumblebee, which is quite small but allows you to try the system.

    You might prefer in the end to do without , except for pieces made from round wire, burnished in a tumbler. Dennis.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Exeter, Devon
    Posts
    1,783

    Default

    I have heard that a lot of people are having problems with tumblers leaving pits, mine doesnt. I was advised to get my shot from Manchester Minerals as the rest of them left pits, but I have had mine for 5 years and no problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Cardiff
    Posts
    988

    Default

    Love my tumbler, but go through rubber barrels fairly quickly as the lids end up getting leaky. As Pat said, go for shot with no sharp pins (orbs and satellites are your best friends, flat ended pins are ok). Stainless steel shot too. I've had my inexpensive Evans tumbler for years, I treat it badly and don't give it enough love, and it still does a great job.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    cotswolds
    Posts
    3,311

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    A decent tumbler (I have barrels that are over 10 years old and still going strong) with good quality shot without sharp needles should do the job very well, and gives a shinier finish than a magnetic polisher. I use both, probably as much as eachother, so I'm not much help, but a lortone tumbler with some good mixed shot (I like the rio grande version as it's very well smoothed) and a bumblebee would be a good starting point.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Thanks so much all. Ok, I think i'm going to start with the barreling machine. So just need to choose the shot now.
    Either: CG Mixed steel shot with shapes
    Or: MM Stainless steel shot (5 types of pins, balls, saturns and bars)

    Best guess, which shot shall i go for? (I shan't hold you personally responsible).
    And thank you again

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Posts
    29

    Default

    Sorry Mizgeorge, only just seen your response. I'm going to look up your recommendations now. Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Wolverhampton
    Posts
    142

    Default

    A few moons ago I was teaching a group of students at Brums Jewellery School, the question that was put to me was "What is the difference between the tumbler and the magnetic polisher" both were situated in the same workshop, my own fault I always encourage everyone to question all information given and not take all answers as written in stone.

    A experiment followed and the results were as follows:

    Magnetic polisher was great with chain and rings but left large flat surfaces with a dull shine.

    Barrel machine with pins and shot was poor with chain and rings but gave large flat surfaces a brighter shine, (not as good as if you used a polishing mop)

    Then someone asked me what would happen if you used the magnetic pins in the barrelling machine, I didn't know the answer but ten years later I still use pins in my barrelling machine for chain and rings (not so harsh) and mops for polishing everything else.

    Carlton
    Be careful what you wish for.......... It might come true

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