SIMPLE vibration tumbler – easy cheap build – great results – by VOG (VegOilGuy)

SIMPLE vibration tumbler – easy cheap build – great results – by VOG (VegOilGuy)


Hi guys.
Today I’m going to be building a very simple, cheap but effective vibrational tumbler for
cleaning small metal parts and castings. I bought an electric sander for just £20.
I already had a plastic bowl, some scraps of wood, car body filler and a few bolts.
Other than that it was just a matter of putting it all together.
I initially wanted to be able to keep the sander for its original purpose as well as
making a tumbler from it, so the only tricky bit was working out how to make it stand upright.
This build was initially inspired by a suggestion from fellow YouTuber CaptainJerk. He was the
first to recommend I get a tumbler and since then several other people have also made the
same suggestion, so my thanks to them all
I hoped by using the Hook-and-loop fasteners on the sander I could attach the vibrational
platform on a temporary basis. This is dry coarse sand. I hoped it would
be a good medium. After running just half an hour I noticed
the hook-and-loop patch had worn free, so that spoiled the temporary fixing plan. However,
drilling a few holes and adding some bolts made a much stronger connection.
The tumbler seemed to be working well, but I found if I fitted a small funnel, it reduced
the amount of sand I needed and seemed to help the content circulate.
In absolute honesty, the sand didn’t do a brilliant job of cleaning things up, though
it removed some of the patina and plaster remnants. So my search for a better, more
abrasive media continues for the moment. However I had already but some walnut shells
which are said to be excellent for polishing. As you can see, the tumbler works.
Some of that patina is still there because the sand wasn’t the ideal choice, but the
walnut shells seemed to do a nice job of polishing. So that’s it for now. Take care guys. Thanks
for watching.

99 thoughts to “SIMPLE vibration tumbler – easy cheap build – great results – by VOG (VegOilGuy)”

  1. Great to see that works! What would be a better sand to use? Do you think if the bowl was spinning as well in the opposite direction would that make a difference 🤷🏻‍♂️ good job my friend 👍🏻

  2. IIRC Wood-based abrasives are for light cosmetic polishing and even in more energetic rotary tumblers are left running for many hours. This needs before/after comparison pictures. A few great tricks in your solution, I think the hinges & ziplocks along with three strategically placed dowels are all that’s needed.

  3. Hi Geoff, how about you try different sizes of pebbles and crushed rocks or a mix? I think I saw someone else also add Jiff and water. Any of those slightly abrasive household cleaners should work.

  4. Was it just me or did it get a bit sexual around the 5:16 mark🤔🤭🤭😁. Great work Geoff That make life a lot easier and free up some of your time👍🏻.
    I sent ya an email buddy😉

  5. Vibratory tumblers seem to be one of those products that doesn't seem to have joined the cost reduction curve, never quite understood why considering the relative simplicity and cost of core components. Some might say lack of demand, but in terms of volume of product many more would sell at lower pricing and other markets with high demand have so many more competitors and models of tool available. Great job!

  6. TRY TO FIND SOME WORN OUT SHARPENING STONES , crush them to suitable size and use dry as media . for polishing you could use glassbeads used for sandblasting, they come in different sizes but I would choose the finest granulation you could find , mix it with soapy water and you have an extreme polishing compound for that last super glossy shine

  7. Would glass beads be any better in the tumbler? Can buy 25kg bags on eBay cheap. I used it to shot blast motorbike frames but in a tumbler it wouldn't be as harsh on the surface

  8. Hmm. I have notifications turned on, but I had to see this video to find out about your Wildcasts casting. Nice video here, thanks.

  9. Well now, here's a tool I didn't even know I needed in my life until just now. Might have to hit the salvage shop after work today and see if they've got any sanders that need a new home. Brilliant job sir, thank you! 🙂

  10. Ha! Love it.
    I'm definitely going to have a go at this as I've been looking at commercial tumblers but balking at the price. The funnel trick is excellent.

  11. Universal motors on power tools aren't really designed for continuous use, I thought.
    A lower duty cycle is required to prevent overheating.

  12. Great idea! I'll be curious to how long the sander stands up to this abuse. 🙂

    I haven't seen a build video like this from you before. It is very informative, but for entertainment purposes the editing should be a little tighter. Easier said than done, I know.

  13. I heard nickels are great at polishing but I have never tried it. I know they have small ceramic stones but That might be a bit aggressive

  14. Try adding a bit of NuFinish or other liquid car polish to the walnut shells. Has worked for me in the past.

  15. I've used clay based cat litter, worked relatively well. There's also a site which sells small amounts of rumbling media. I'll add the link once I remember what it is… Great videos by the way.

  16. project idea for you.
    i bought an old book on amazon 'Handbook of Lost Wax or Investment Casting'
    in it they have a design for a wax injector to create wax replicas for lost wax casting, its an old design using old tech but can be modified using pids, seeing as wax injectors start around £300 mark for cheap and nasty devices i figure it may be a popular vid to make

  17. Ah! You´ve pinned a hater´s comment so we can all wonder what prompts people to be unpleasant online. AVE does the same.
    What a resourceful build! I always like to see a component fulfilling two functions at once; your clever inverted funnel´s a classic example.
    I also thought that the attempt to keep the sander unmodified was very worthwhile, though ultimately less than fully successful. It´s a good idea to try these things.

  18. This is just a theory my friend, so take it as you will.

    I used SOS pads to polish up some metal, they basically are a very fine steel wool with soap on it. I got rusted chrome to polish clean with some elbow grease, on my 74 Honda motorcycle.

    Perhaps there is a way for you to clamp down some pads on the bottom, pour some water (distilled I believe won't have any minerals/etc in it that could cause buildup or what have you.) Put whatever you may want to polish, and put a secondary layer, clamp it down somewhat, and I think you'd have much better results in a much faster time.

    If there's a way I can contact you, I can send the before and after pics of my motorcycle as proof

  19. Maybe I'll have to get a 1/4 sheet orbital palm sander to build on of these. £9.79 (plus parts) vs £41.43 ($13+ USD vs $55 USD) at harbor freight is probably worth the time spent.
    Although I may want to spring for the more expensive model with intensity control dial for a mock earthquake simulator.

  20. Nice work, I have several of those sanders that I really dislike anyway. The funnel idea is brilliant. As to abrasives we used a product in the plants called "Black Beauty" it is made from coal slag. Perhaps one of your mates has a coal forge and he could fix you up.

  21. Thanx for the shoutout Geoff!Great tumbler buddy!
    Don't get discouraged because that does do some of the work!
    Just need to find a different tumbler media.
    There's tons of different ones to choose from.
    I would probably try the 80 grit. Maybe 60?
    Also, there's the old ketchup trick! (soak your brasses and coppers in ketchup, and the patina comes right off! sort of)
    You have the fine polishing down to a science!
    Thanx for a great video Geoff!
    I might make one of these for my metal projects.
    Drive my neighbors into the loony-bin! 😀

  22. Forever improving. Your onto something there. You'll hit upon a great medium I'm sure. The actual build was quite ingenious actually..
    Blessed days sirSir, Crawford out

  23. I've heard that sand blasting with regular beach sand is dangerous as it can cause silicosis, so I'd imagine using regular sand in this machine would pose some danger. Finding another medium definitely the way forward.

  24. Great video. Hopefully the small sander is capable of prolonged operation. For cheap tumbler media, litter for hamsters etc. from the pet shop is said to work quite well.

  25. Love this idea. Can't wait to get my channel fully up and running so I can try some of your ideas on this side of the pond and maybe share a few of my own. Keep up the good work.

  26. Jeff I would suggest adding ceramic media. Depending on how abrasive you want it to be. Plan ceramic will be the most abrasive, Use the walnut as a buffer for the ceramic media. Do a search on rock tumbling with ceramic media. This method will come up. The smaller the ceramic media the better it will be at getting in all the nooks and crannies of the cast. The ceramic method is also used in metal work to polish and clean metal.

  27. For deburring I've used pea gravel. Sometimes I soak rocks in acid (vinegar) to roughen up them. Crushed up sand stone works good. Old china smashed up.

  28. Google stainless steel pin tumbler. Lots of homemade versions. Mostly used for cleaning and polishing cases for reloading. It does an amazing job though.

  29. I use prism shaped ceramic media, about 1/4" on a side, but that won't get into the fine detail of those castings you're trying to do. (I use a ball mill to clean and de-rust classic car parts.) Perhaps a very coarse sand, or shot blasting media. Here in Switzerland they grit icy roads and footpaths with "split" which is a stone chipping, about 1/16-1/8", that might work if you can find it. For polishing (I also restore clocks) I use walnut shell, which I get at the pet center (used as reptile bedding). Adding some brasso to the walnut shell helps.

  30. Just as I'm on a binge looking at these things on youtube, you have put up another great idea. I'm tossing up whether to go for a rotary or vibratory tumbler, but daresay it'll come down to what parts I can scrounge up from my pile of bits. I have seen folks mention the clay based kitty litter as a respectable media for moderate duty cleaning, though I am yet to test it. Makes sense in theory, and cheap as chips, too.

  31. You could try diatomaceous earth, it's the shells of dead diatoms, basically silica and come in 2 main types. The freshwater one is safe for human consumption as it's smoother than the salt water one which is far more spikey. Would add a rubber seal to the lid though as the grain size is very small.

  32. you should make the bowl easy to switch out. cut the large screw and use one of those really long nuts to to join two screws together that way you can just keep your course medium in one bowl, then move the part in to the fine medium bowl and screw it on. you can move it down the line with only high finish polishing at the end. that way you can be super lazy! you should make a strainer for the parts too, because you are only dealing with one sized medium this becomes super easy. if you don't want to even bother with pouring the medium back into the bowl you could just make 2 bowls for each medium. also if a vib sander is too expensive for anyone to make vibration you just need to attach a bar with a weight at the end to any motor's rotation. it's the best way to make your girlfriend happy.

  33. Meh dedicated vibe tumbler is super cheap compared to sander and parts and time and then when your junk parts wear out you will have to search for replacements. All that plastic should be rubber for a reason.

  34. I said Id watch it for ideas, now i feel a bit daft, I've been trying to think of the best way to attach a motor, never thought of a sander. Nice job

  35. Great idea! I’m not sure if this was asked already but I was wondering if this would also work with glass pieces in order to smooth out the edges?

  36. @VegOilGuy you could get some different sand blasting media a try, like zircon, garnet or glass, they shouldn't be too expensive..

  37. Add a shot of liquid car polish to the crushed walnut shells. It will cut the time needed to polish and do a much better job!

  38. This is smart. The plastic bowl is cheap enough to replace as a sacrificial part from regular use, and you could also unbolt the bowl and bolt on a dowel or something and use it to vibrate Sand for bedding lost foam patterns, or refractory the next time you have to re line your oil burning furnace

  39. Try aluminum oxide sand blasting media, they are very hard and sharp little grains. I have only used it for sandblasting but it's the only media I have seen that when sandblasting it will basically leave a sandpaper like finish on the steel.

  40. Simple? Instead of cheap motor with unsimetric weight, simple to obtain. Using a sander?😂😂😂😂😂
    It goes simpler.😉
    Nice video.☺

  41. Bentonite clay from cat litter might be a cheap abrasive or the fine gravel that goes in fish tanks? Thanks for the build idea I was about to buy a brass casing polisher for reloading. You just saved me more than $100. I'm going to check out the rest of your vids for thou art subbed. Arise, Sir VegOilGuy Knight of the Subscription List!

  42. or you could go to a pawn shop and get a vibatory cleaner made for reloading ammunition for about fifteen bucks…..

  43. I think you may have spent more time and materials trying to keep the sander usable as a sander than you would have just buying a second sander haha

  44. Try some aquarium ceramic filter media. You can get it in small beads or small squares about the size of a piece of gum.

  45. speed the video up, just enough that your tools look like cutting through butter…just like Matthias Wandel, AvE and others.

  46. Nice work! Awesome to see someone using stuff that would otherwise sit around collecting dust. In regard to the medium sandblasting works a treat on tired metals that aren't too thin as does soda blasting (bicarbonate soda) while watching I wondered if a mixture of the two mediums may produce a better result? That said I don't own a vibration tumbler so I could be miles off the target in that thought? none the less cool build.

  47. 2:55 don't do that subscribe thing, it's super douchey. And especially not 4:03 or 6:49. 7:19, also annoying.

  48. you can find 10kg corundum bags for around 20 bucks for sandblasting, that should be a good option.
    you could also ask a waterjet cutting company for a bit of their used abrasive, it should still be good enough for low duty polishing.

  49. They made a worthless floor sander which was just a large vibrating sander,. Wonder if a very large bucket would make that sander useable?

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