Yet another rotary tumbler

JackO

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I made my attempt in replicating Biggdawg tumbler design. For flexibility, I have chosen to make a frame out of unistruts bolted together. This way I can adjust the size later if needed.

Unfortunately I was not able to find PVC 8 x 6 coupling, so had to make a 6 in drum. I am still on lookout for 8 in and/or 10 in PVC fittings to make a 8 or 10 in drum. If you have an access to reasonably priced fittings, I would appreciate a hint, or I would gladly buy them from you, or trade for something.

I believe, we do have some plumbers at NES, hopefully somebody will be able to help.

If you are looking to build a tumbler, I would be glad to help.



Tumbler1.jpgTumbler2.jpgTumbler3.jpgTumbler4.jpg
 
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JackO

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That thing is humming! What do you think you're into it for?

It really depends what you have and what you want to buy. I already had unistruts for the frame. I bought a set of four pillow bearings on ebay for $43:
1 2" Pillow Block Bearings UCP201 08 New 4 Pieces | eBay
I also had a 1/3HP motor, but you can find 1/3 or 1/4 HP motor for $40-$60.
1/2" steel rods are several bucks and available from Lowes or Home Depot.
My major expense was building a drum. A 2' piece of sewer pipe from Lowes was $16, cap and reducing coupling - maybe another $15 or $20, can't remember. I also used a piece of 2" PVC pipe that I split in halves for agitating blades and bolted them inside the drum.
Pulleys and belt are available from local hardware stores for maybe $10-$15.

The bottom line, one can make this for $100 - $150.
 
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turbo89

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What's the main advantage of building one Vs. buying one? Volume of material you're able to tumble per dollar spent?
 

JackO

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turbo89

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I think, Cerberus answered it for me.

Here are the links to the Biggdawg's pages. I hope you will find some answers there:
Biggdawg Tumblers stainless wet tumblers
How i built my own rotary tumbler - AR15.COM

Check the options available to buy one, the prices, etc., and decide if it's worth
to build one yourself.

Good info. I'm running a Thumler Tumbler I got with the reloading equipment I got from another member. It works great... but I'm always interested in other options.
 

TBalls

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Nicely done. I've been toying with the thought of building one and using the unistruts is a great idea! I've actually been "hand" tumbling my brass (i.e. water tight container shaken by hand for 5-10 minutes). It's a bit labor-intensive, but the results are more than acceptable.
 
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I can literally get you anything you want, do you want schedule 40 or 80? How much pipe do you need? I probabley have some kicking around.
 

JackO

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I used 4 blades, although Biggdawg used just 2 in 6" drum.Orientation doesn't matter, as the drum can be put on the tumbler either way. Just orient all the blades in the drum the same way. Split PVC pipe is not the best idea for the agitators. I will be building a 8" drum, and plan to use rectangular plastic pieces instead. This way I can drill into them, and use sheet metal screws to attach the blades. The screws will be hidden inside the blades.
 

Boris

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This is an excellent build, very simple and clean, you get 5 out of 5 AKs.

This design is usually called "ball mill" and if people search on ball mill, there are a few more ways to make it. You can put some sand with big steel balls (or just scrap nails) and grind it really well.

I was thinking of building something similar but using an old propane tank for bigger capacity.
 
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Hint: Don't use anything in the construction (propane tank) that is carbon steel with the stainless steel pins. The carbon steel will RUST, and coat all of your nice shiny brass with a light coating of red rust. Yuck.

Stick with plastic and stainless steel for anything that contacts the water, brass, and SS pins.

Congrats on your amazing build, Jack-O.

Looks similar to mine in concept, but yours looks more professionally done. I'm just a back yard gadget maker. You're obviously an engineer.

Here's mine:
[video=youtube_share;5u4mSA6BbRc]http://youtu.be/5u4mSA6BbRc[/video]

BTW, I only used ONE blade in mine. It didn't seem to matter that it isn't symmetrical or "balanced".
 

JackO

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Thank you, Duke. I wish my engineering skills are half as good as yours "backyard gadget maker" skills.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 

JackO

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Jacko,

What's the cost of you making one for me [smile]

Maybe group buy.... haha

I never thought about making tumblers for sale, but would gladly help you to build one. Send me a PM with your phone number.

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
 
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