Hi! I have rock tumblers! And I tumble all sorts of things, mainly broken glass to make jewellery with but also rocks and ceramic.
And that is plastic pos.
THIS is a real rock tumbler, I’ve got the double barrel one, been going for nigh on 10 years now, and you can plug it in and leave it running for a 100 days if you need to. Most good jewellery supply stores will carry them (jewellery, not craft supplies) or you can order them direct.
I’ve had good luck using sandblasting sand as tumbling grit, cheaper too!
Edit to add: @Mister44 - hello fellow tumbler!! I see you covered the Lortone tumbler! I’ve never had one, but they intrigue me!
EXTRA edit: !@#$!#$%#@$%@#$ stupid Harbor Freight and they’re not shipping to Canada! Damn them all to hell!!
I knew that about you…
I got one for Christmas when I was 5 or 6. Not that loud. I got used to the noise. Slept right through it. When you are that age and a full on geek, those things are cool. (It was the 60s.)
I prefer a plane sander of some sort with a spray attachment. Way more fun to put planes and facets on your polished stones.
I have a Thumler’s dual barrel model. I run it in my basement and can’t hear anything from the floor above.
I’m a silver smith/jewelry maker so I rarely use the tumbler for polishing stones. I use it to tumble finished pieces in steel shot to harden parts that have become annealed during soldering. Tumbling time in this application is only 3-4 hours instead of weeks as is normal for rock polishing.
I got one at Harbor Freight a while back to make “beach” glass for a project. Big but cheap, cheaply made, and absolutely perfect for the purpose. Every so often the kids get it in their heads to make a batch of tumbled rocks. We keep it way the hell out in the barn because it is annoyingly loud.
I had one as a child of the 80s and left it running in my basement so the noise wasn’t bad. I made horribly ugly jewellry with the resulting polished stones and inflicted them as gifts on all my female relatvies for christmas that year. Was fun, but I never turned it on again.
sorry, i just thought we were playing that game where we make broad generalizations about something with which we have very little experience.
Your advice is excellent for those who wish to tumble rocks.
But are those the right choice for someone like @jlw who just wants to piss off an annoying relative by giving the relative’s kids a cheap,noisy plastic POS?
I mean, no point investing in quality for that, is there? Especially if the higher quality units are quieter.
Your selections may be better for actual Makers, but do they represent maximum Bang-for-the-Buck when it comes to cleverly annoying people you don’t like very much?
I’d rather send this theoretical kid a cheap rock tumbler and a karaoke machine, rather than a quality rock tumbler.
My handlebar mustache/man purse/skinny jeans/clark kent reading glasses forgives you.
Quantity over quality. The plastic one is louder but will break eventually. A good quality tumbler will provide a life time of annoyance.
Just fill your pockets with sand and rocks every day…
Verily, it did not previously occur to me that these could be serious, practical devices. How enlightening.
It makes me wonder if some of the other questionable widgets in the toy catalogs of yore might have had functional embodiments.
Yes, and if you really want a handful of polished but otherwise ordinary rocks there are easier ways to get them.
Is that the modern substitute for a drum set?
Indeed. My dad uses his to polish brass casings for reloading.
X-ray specs. It’s a little known fact that most X-ray machines are just mockups and the technician is actually looking at you with the specs via a one-way mirror.