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