I was thinking of buying one, for just that purpose.  Cleaning Prewar wheels, among many other uses.  From reading the reviews, it seems to work great, for their price, BUT only downside is they are apparently noisy when operating.  I need to read a little more, to see the best β€œmedium” to use, in the drums.  They sell single & double drum tumblers.

Just as important as the tumbler is the media and the techniques... Don Kelly in the Facebook group lays it out nicely.

The rotary tumbler are noisy, but a lot less expensive .  Reloaders that tumble a lot of brass also use vibratory tumblers.

The cheap ones do not have timers generally. Harbor Freight and eplay are good places to start.

Prewar Tin...Any maker, any gauge, anytime!

my brother has always used harbor freight tumblers and do a perfect job if you want train wheels all polished up n look  like brand new when done. he uses different grits sand and the main thing is buy stainless steel sheets about 1/16 or so and use punch out tool to make washers when the washers shear off from the sheet it leaves sharp edges which work perfectly and the edges wear down from tumbling and plate the wheels he takes the wheels off the axles to do this it works perfectly with steel wheels ! you can buy the grit from harbor freight also!

 

We use "THUMBLERS" tumbler. It is about a 1 gallon size.  I use green Ivory soap, about a 1/8 cup,  old screws #4 or larger, about 1 cup full, fill tumbler half full w/ water, throw in items to be tumbled, can be brass or nickel wheels, etc.  Do not mix heavy items such as driver wheel gears, or steel truck frames w/ the brass items, or the brass items will take a beating.  I leave tumble for about 8 hours.   Next, open tumbler, drain off water in a 'sifter', rinse thoroughly, remove the tumbled parts from the screws, and set out on a towel to dry. If doing wheels, make sure to allow at least 24 hours to allow water in wheels to completely dry. If not dry, it will ruin the polishing media.  This completes the "CLEANING" stage.  We use walnut shells for polishing. I found the cheapest place to buy is at "Bass Pro Shops", or "Cabellas".  The walnut shells are green in color and come in gallon jug size. To polish:  Put your 'completely' dry items in tumbler and pour in about 5 cups of the walnut shells.  I let this mixture tumble for about 3 - 4 days.  I then pour all items into the strainer, sifting the walnut shells into a cardboard soda box, ( these are about 14" X 18") , to catch the walnut shells.  You can reuse the walnut shells over & over for about a dozen times before changing or adding new.  The parts come out beautiful.  Harry 

"THE OLD MAN"

Henning's Trains - Celebrating 75 Years, 1939 - 2014

TeleDoc posted:

I was thinking of buying one, for just that purpose.  Cleaning Prewar wheels, among many other uses.  From reading the reviews, it seems to work great, for their price, BUT only downside is they are apparently noisy when operating.  I need to read a little more, to see the best β€œmedium” to use, in the drums.  They sell single & double drum tumblers.

I use crushed walnut shells as a media.  Works great.

 

Melvin

Our tumblers are about 1+ gallon size.  I think the Harbor Freight containers are about 1 quart in size. The bigger units do the best job for me.  I had the smaller Ones and got frustrated w/ the lack of 'tumbling' area.  Harry 

"THE OLD MAN"

Henning's Trains - Celebrating 75 Years, 1939 - 2014

Jim Waterman posted:
terry hudon posted:
george posted:

Evil Bay has walnut shell media.

 

thanks,just ordered some

what did you buy, Terry - Harry said he uses 5 cups in his Thumler Tumbler.

Jim

I bought med and fine shells,,,,,,been under the weather for a couple of days,,,,but feeling spunky now ,will try this adventure late,,,,,,,thanks to all for your help,terry 

terry hudon posted:

ok I did it,,,bought this yesterday,i will start with brass steps and journals,i would think I could start with the fine,,but you guys have given me some super tips on other ways to do it,,,hummmm thinking,where do I get walnut shells harry,,for you !!!!IMGP2851IMGP2852

this is the one I got jim

Rob English posted:

Just as important as the tumbler is the media and the techniques... Don Kelly in the Facebook group lays it out nicely.

The rotary tumbler are noisy, but a lot less expensive .  Reloaders that tumble a lot of brass also use vibratory tumblers.

The cheap ones do not have timers generally. Harbor Freight and eplay are good places to start.

When I reloaded, I had the vibrating tumbler.  I could load around 400 or more .45 ACP brass into it, and I just fire it off.  I used mostly walnut shell media as I found stuff like corn cob to not be aggressive enough to do the job.

terry hudon posted:

ok I did it,,,bought this yesterday,i will start with brass steps and journals,i would think I could start with the fine,,but you guys have given me some super tips on other ways to do it,,,hummmm thinking,where do I get walnut shells harry,,for you !!!!IMGP2851IMGP2852

Terry,

Are these tumblers "MADE IN CHINA"?

Bob Nelson

navy.seal posted:
terry hudon posted:

ok I did it,,,bought this yesterday,i will start with brass steps and journals,i would think I could start with the fine,,but you guys have given me some super tips on other ways to do it,,,hummmm thinking,where do I get walnut shells harry,,for you !!!!IMGP2851IMGP2852

Terry,

Are these tumblers "MADE IN CHINA"?

Bob Nelson

I look on the machine and the booklet,,,didn't say,,,its harbor freight ,Chicago tool brand,,,now sure where its from 

Tumblers; "wall nuts" 😏

th [46)

Likely not drinkers to do this πŸ˜‚

Almost any automotive painters supply house will have walnut shells. Big sacks of it actually. It is sandblast media too and sandblasters can hold many gallons of it, 5-25gal for an average one.  Might even ask the guys at the body shop for a price if there isn't a supply house near by. Might not be hard to beat paying todays shipping costs locally.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





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