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Old April 1, 2005, 07:50 PM   #1
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Case tumbler rpm's? Homemade tumbler

What's the rpm range on case tumblers? I'm going to make my own because I'm just so darned tight! I'm going to make a fixture to keep a container in place on my treadmill. What kind of media would be good to use? Would Kitty Litter work OK?
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Old April 1, 2005, 09:28 PM   #2
steve fuller
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I made a tumbler using a motor from a microwave turntable, turned too slow I think you need about 30-50 rpm. Don't use kitty litter I tried it and it was a mess, plugs up the primer pockets and leaves dust all over everything. Sawdust (not shavings) works very well however.
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Old April 1, 2005, 09:29 PM   #3
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I use a cement mixer . I would still use corncob. The brass will not be as shiny as it would be in a vibratory tumbler.
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Old April 1, 2005, 09:52 PM   #4
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To be honest, the prices of the cheaper vibratory tumblers are so low, if you had to buy any parts to make one, I think you would be ahead to just buy a vibratory tumbler. They usually last for many years.

Vibratory Tumbler

However, if you're really "thrifty" you can use a rock tumbler from any hobby/toy store. The problem with rock tumblers, they are usually really small.

I'd stay away from the kitty litter, don't know about the sawdust thing, I'd suggest a cheap vibratory tumbler and corn cob media.
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Old April 2, 2005, 02:17 AM   #5
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I use corn cob media that I pick from the local pet shops or WalMart, at much cheaper cost, like about $2.98 for 7 lb bag, be difference from the high dollar stuff found on many gun supply sites...

Works well, shines the brass...
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Old April 2, 2005, 08:49 AM   #6
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The proper speed is 48 RPM if memory serves. I know a comm. reloader with a custom, made 6 sided, 5 foot dia. tumbler. It was made by a tumbler manufacture who said the proper speed was such. Hope this helps.
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Old April 2, 2005, 02:03 PM   #7
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That's a very interesting approach. Assuming you are using a 5 gallon bucket for the container, something like 7-8 mph belt speed should work fine. Each mph should work out to about 5 rpms rolling a bucket.
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Old April 2, 2005, 02:18 PM   #8
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I used a tumbler until I got a vibrator

Case vibrator you guys!
Corn cob is the best and cheep and put a little liquid brass polisher speeds things up. I still have the tumbler and it runs 40 to 50 rev per minute.
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Old April 4, 2005, 01:40 PM   #9
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Why even bother with tumbler/vibrator ?

I haven't made any progress in my real cheap treadmill tumbler. But, I got to thinking. Why even bother with the corn cob media, polish, etc. Isn't the main thing to use clean cases so the dies don't get scratched. Why not just put them in a mesh bag or enclosed basket and put them in the dishwasher? Yes, they wouldn't be polished but that's just for looks, right?
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Old April 4, 2005, 02:00 PM   #10
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I almost got my material all together...

Click on Homebuilt Brass Tumbler
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Old April 4, 2005, 05:33 PM   #11
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Cloudpeak, the main reason I use a tumbler is for it's easy of use and efficiency.
Dump the cases in, turn it on, come back in a few hours, nice clean shiny cases.

I tried the case wash thing a few times, to be honest, it wasn't worth the hassle to me.

Check out Edwards home build one (link above). It's basically the same as a "store bought" one. They are very simple in design and are more or less, a big bowl with an electric motor underneath, with a metal plate mounted on the end to throw the motor out of balance, thus, causing it to vibrate the bowl.
The ones you buy have a lid, but to be honest, I never put the lid on mine.

Hint: The little motor underneath looks JUST like one from a cheap bathroom exhaust fan (about 10 bucks at Lowes).

I don't know if you can buy the parts needed to build one as cheap as you can buy one of the cheap tumblers from Midway, but if you have the stuff laying around, it would definately be worth looking into.
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