2007 - Volume #31, Issue #6, Page #36[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Big Tumbler Cleans Parts Safely
John Sloane, Eastwood Company, says, "The most common use of our tumbler is for small brackets and hardware from collector cars. The tumbler lets you load it up and forget it, with only periodic checks to see if the parts have reached the desired stage."
The key to the tumbler's effectiveness is the media or material used in the tumbler and the adjustable vibration, from mild for gentle cleaning to aggressive for quicker cleaning. Eastwood sells a wide variety of media from plastic pyramids to ceramic and hardwood cubes. The plastic and ceramic media are impregnated with an abrasive. One media, Dry Shine, is treated corncob pieces. It is used to produce the mirror shine on metal. Additives such as Fast Etch, a dilute phosphoric acid solution, leave a protective coating on the cleaned metal.
"Fast Etch will inhibit rust for a while, but it is good to get freshly cleaned steel or iron recoated," says Sloane. "However, tumbling won't leave it as oxygen hungry as sandblasting."
Some media will wear away faster than others, and most media will need to be cleaned periodically. Hardwood cubes and corncobs may need to be refreshed occasionally, as well. However Sloane reports using a tumbler for 7 days straight with no discernible change in the media size.
"You can overdo it, but tumbling is a more controllable process, and you can stop before you actually damage tolerances," he says.
Eastwood's jumbo tumbler features a high-density, polypropylene, 22-in. diameter bowl. It can hold up to 50 lbs. of media and parts and sells for $549.99.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, The Eastwood Company, 263 Shoemaker Rd., Pottstown, Penn. 19464 (ph 610 705-6284; toll free 800 345-1178; Jsloane@eastwood.com; www.eastwood.com).
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