Friday, May 21, 2010

Results of Tumble Polishers Comparison

For those who missed our May meeting and tumble polishing demo, here is a quick overview. Betty Chaisson brought her Magnetic tumble polisher. At $500, it's a great option for those wanting to polish a lot of small items quickly. It looks like a mini food processor and work by whirling very tiny stainless steel pins in a solution of tumbling medium. Check out various other magnetic tumblers and mediums at Otto Frei.

Betty warned us not to mix metals when polishing silver. Tumbling work hardens fired PMC items as well as polishes....the longer you process, the shinier the piece gets.

Jennifer Finley brought 2 Rotary Tumblers - one a Lortone and one an economy model from Harbour Freight. Janie also brought her HF model - which had disappointed her by leaving a dark patina on a silver piece. (The Lortone small jewelry model retails for about $85 while the Harbor Freight model is under $40.) This type of tumbler also uses stainless steel shot, which will cost about $30/lb and is not carried by Harbor Freight.

Some rotary tumbler barrels are constructed from black rubber, and should be cleaned by running without sure to check the instructions! Even the magnetic tumbler info says to clean the tumbling medium/shot before using with jewelry.

TIP: Clean the shot by tumbling in flat Coca Cola.
TIP: Shot must be cleaned and dried after use, and stored dry to prevent rust!

Look before you buy! and know what use you will be making of your tumbler. Read How to Choose a Tumbler, Tumbling instructions, and know what you need before you purchase.

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