Looking Into A New Hobby? Tumbling Drums Can Be Used For Finely Crafted Jewelry, Crafts And More


When in doubt? Upgrade your equipment. This goes for tumbling drums, your food crusher and just about any machine that needs to produce good quality products in a short amount of time. When you spend far too much time tweaking and maintaining your machinery instead of working, you’re wasting valuable money that could be spent elsewhere. Hobbyists, budding brewery owners and curious agriculturalists alike will all benefit from learning more about their tumbling drums and how they can be kept in working order all days of the year.

What are tumbling drums? They’re exactly what they say on the tin. Created out of steel (and occasionally additional materials like vinyl and recycled steel mixtures), they’re used in multiple manufacturing plants to speed up the production process. They can smooth down jagged edges and create a more uniform finish for all sorts of minor and major materials, cutting down on human labor costs while adding a boost in efficiency. Jewelry artists, farmers and plant workers are just a few people who benefit from a good tumbling drum.

Tumbling drums come in more than enough sizes to suit any professional or hobbyist. The most popular barrel dimensions on the market usually have a diameter smaller than the length. Horizontal barrel speeds will also vary, as low as 20 RPM and as high as 38 RPM, with the choice depending on what exactly is being tumbled. Some manufacturing plants need a higher speed to keep up with demand, requiring hardy tumbling drums to grind down rough exteriors in a matter of hours. Other hobbyists, such as jewelry makers, may only need a smaller and slower set.

For dry tumbling it’s best you keep your barrel speeds at 28 to 32 RPM so you don’t run the risk of breaking your materials. Plastic parts are able to be polished to an impressively smooth finish equivalent to the finest hand buffing. You can expect anywhere from 10 to 15 hours to get the results you want, though any doubt can be mitigated with the aid of vibratory screeners. These useful tools fall under two categories, dry and wet, and are used to separate your materials into different grades for a more accurate processing result.

What else can you expect alongside your tumbling drums? The number of parts that can fit safely into a standard barrel is best determined by its overall size, the type of part, the fragility of the equipment and the desired end result. Keep in mind parts normally account for about a third of the total barrel load. You should also remember that barrel load heights (this means both parts and media) shouldn’t be less than 45% or over 60%. Some users try to glean too much product out of their machine and end up with an inferior finish.

Vibrating equipment may be closer to what you’re looking for if you need extremely fine particles to be separated and smoothed. This shaker will have a fixed frame, with the drive the only part vibrating the screen cloth. This high frequency vibration is best suited for particles that are a mere 1/8 in 3 mm down on a 150+ mesh base. No matter what you’re looking for, you can rest assured modern tumbling drums and crusher machines are more than suited to the task. The last thing you should do when creating a product or starting a hobby is doubting your equipment.

Is it up to snuff?

The following two tabs change content below.
Sarah Todd

Sarah Todd

Sarah Todd, an investment banker, is a reporter and researcher for one of London’s leading media outlets. Formerly a trader and market maker at FTSE, she turned to media during the global recession. This website features some of her best and favourite articles, from all parts of the business world. Please let her guide you and your enterprise along the path to prosperity.