The world of metal tumbling is fascinating, but getting started can be hard if you’re a newcomer. This beginner’s guide to metal tumbling as a hobby will help you learn where to begin.
Start tumbling shining pieces today!
Choosing a tumbler
When you start metal tumbling, the first thing you’ll need is a tumbler. The two types of metal tumblers are the rotary tumbler and the vibratory tumbler. Rotary tumblers are generally more inexpensive, but they work much more slowly. Vibratory tumblers are loud, fast-working machines that will get your metal pieces polished in as few as two hours. Vibratory tumblers are bigger investments, but they can make a big difference in the amount of time you spend polishing your products.
Choosing your medium
The next step in getting ready to tumble metal is to choose the proper tumbling medium. You’ll need to think about the shape and size of the materials you’re tumbling and what kinds of scratches you’ll need to remove. The various tumbling media have different uses, so be sure you choose the right medium for your task.
Deburring your metals
Metal burrs are deep scratches or protrusions in metal, which you’ll need to remove. You can deburr metal by hand with the proper files or use a deburring machine if you’re working with larger volumes of metal. Sometimes metal burrs won’t come out in smaller or less powerful tumblers, so it’s important to address burrs when they arise. Get yourself a set of files or a deburring tumbler to get the deeper knicks and scratches out of your piece.
Choose a cleaning agent
When you tumble your metals, you’ll also want to add a cleaning agent to the mix. Investigate which cleaning agents work best for whichever type of metal you’re tumbling to make the right choice. Choose a high-quality yet low-cost cleaning agent to tumble your metals.
Dispose of your waste
Once you remove your metal pieces from the tumbler, you’ll be left with a slurry of waste to get rid of. Slurry can contain small shards of metal and chemicals, so disposing of it properly is important. Let your slurry air-dry, and dispose of the small metal filings carefully.
Clean and dry your finished product
After your finished product comes out of the tumbler, you’re going to want to clean and dry it to give it a lasting shine. You can celebrate your newfound success with tumbling when your metal pieces are ready for finishing. Remove any residue and water to leave things with a lustrous shine.
Thanks to this beginner’s guide to metal tumbling as a hobby, you’re ready to get tumbling! Start shining your metal pieces to a brilliant polish today.