Who uses a vibratory tumbler

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Ron Miller
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Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by Ron Miller » Sun Dec 09, 2018 5:54 pm

I just bought a HarborFreight 18 lbs bowl vibratory tumbler. I want to use this to clean valves, push rods, connecting rods, etc. What do you guys use for media?

Thanks for looking,
Ron Miller

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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by lefty o » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:33 pm

i dont use one for auto parts, but for reloading. for brass i use either corn cob or walnut. for what you want to do, id be looking at a ceramic media.

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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by ijames » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:56 pm

We had two Royson model C tumblers in the shop at my last job, and we used their ceramic media and solutions (CNC machine shop, sheet metal, and welding fabrication, not automotive). We were cleaning and deburring stainless steel, mild steel, and aluminum sheet metal and small machined parts. Mostly used 1/4" diameter ceramic cylindrical media with ends angle cut at 45 degrees. They cut fast but would ding up the flat surfaces so too aggressive for valves. Go to https://www.royson.com/ and browse, then give them a call and ask for advice - they are helpful and definitely the experts.
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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by 427dart » Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:33 pm

Try a bag of the crushed walnut shells which you can find at pet stores.

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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by Sparksalot » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:00 am

You mentioned pushrods, unless they are old school solid never use your new device on them. Tubular pushrods will get abrasives harbored inside of them which you don't want roaming around inside your engine.

In industry nothing other than solid pieces are put through vibratory abrasive cleaning.

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Dave Koehler
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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by Dave Koehler » Mon Dec 10, 2018 8:38 am

Walnuts won't touch carbon fused valves.
You will need something tougher like mentioned earlier.
I had a valve tumbler years ago. It kind of worked. A couple of rotating baskets inside a container.
Looked like this> http://www.axeequipment.com/tumblers.html
The baskets rotated through some water and chemical in the bottom of the box.
Media was steel flying saucer shaped inside the baskets with the valves.
I say kind of worked because it had to run at least a couple of hours to get the job done.
Naturally the sales rep claimed it as a 15-30 minute job.

The HF bowl isn't really suitable for cleaning using the dry method.
The green plastic? triangle shapes that HF sells kind of works but they disintegrate fairly quickly and leave a thick green dusty mess on/in the parts.
You will need a baby pump to circulate some liquid through it along with the media
Other than professional media suppliers Eastwood might be worth a look to see what they offer.

I have a couple of the HF bowls for shining up tarnished parts and minor deburring of machined aluminum parts.
Works fine for that. Just be prepared to leave it run for 24 hours or more.

Just for giggles here is an idea. http://www.boyerfour.com/projects/tumbler/tumbler.htm
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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by tresi » Tue Dec 11, 2018 1:54 am

Put pieces of hose on the valve stems to protect them. Cat litter can be used for an abrasive.

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Re: Who uses a vibratory tumbler

Post by Ron Miller » Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:25 pm

Guys,

Thanks for the replies and suggestions. :D
Ron Miller

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