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Looking To Buy A Rock Tumbler/polisher


Ramo

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Looking for something that works well, and doesn't break the bank. Not looking for something industrial, just for a few things I have laying around.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Ramo

For one species to mourn the death of another is a new thing under the sun.
-Aldo Leopold
 

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Hello!

I have had very good luck with rock tumblers from Harbor Freight Tools. They have a 1 drum (3Lb) and 2 drum (6Lb) variety that are all metal construction with rubber barrel(s). The unit itself is very simple, well built and the replacement belts are easily available from the website/store. Starts at $44.99 but is often on sale for less or you can use one of their regular coupons. Instructions are very basic and the unit does not come with any grit or polishing compound.but works well with anything out there. Most of the time your going to be buying polishing material (grit) separately and then using whatever instructions come with the polishing medium and ignoring the instructions with the tumbler itself. Even with rubber barrels the unit is still fairly noisy but that is par for the course with rock tumblers. Here is the link for the single barrel:

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-lb-rotary-rock-tumbler-67631.html

Only problem I had was that I didnt screw the retaining nut on tight enough and the way it was sitting on the unit meant that the rotation of the barrel was in the correct direction to slowly unscrew the nut. I didnt notice it till it had unscrewed fare enough to push up against the edge of the tumbler and jam the barrel and the motor overheated and actually deformed the metal heat shield. The unit would work, but I oiled the bearings, let it cool over night and it fired up fine the next morning and has been running since. That of course was my fault and only reflects on how durable the unit is and not on anything wrong with the unit. I have turned out a couple 5-6 week long loads of material that looks great. The unit does not leak at all and I have been very happy! Everything has been minerals so far but I am going to try and find some raw orthoceras to see how fossils turn out in it.

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