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KnittingMetal

Strange Tumbler Question

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I just purchased a tumbler (cheap one from harbor freight)

(http://www.harborfreight.com/3-lb-rotary-rock-tumbler-67631.html)

So when I got my tumbler it smelled a bit like motor oil, not to say that's as the smell, it was a rubbery scent that reminded me of motor oil. I decided to forget it and try out my new tumbler with some aluminum pieces with white rice (it's what I had on hand). So now my pieces smell somewhat bad.

Has anyone else had this problem?

I'm going to throw in a few cedar blocks and see what it does. I'm just very curious if this has happened to anyone else.

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Have you washed the barrel out? I find tumbling a few rounds with just stainless media and a water and soap mix takes care of issues like this.

If you don't have any stainless tumbling media any type of ring that can get wet would work for this too. Some dawn dish soap and some water and rings for 8 hours and change the water and soap mix depending on how dirty the water is and repeat. Can take a few rounds to clean the tumbler to a point that is not smelling odd.

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Have you washed the barrel out? I find tumbling a few rounds with just stainless media and a water and soap mix takes care of issues like this.

If you don't have any stainless tumbling media any type of ring that can get wet would work for this too. Some dawn dish soap and some water and rings for 8 hours and change the water and soap mix depending on how dirty the water is and repeat. Can take a few rounds to clean the tumbler to a point that is not smelling odd.

rgr, I'll give it a whirl, pun intended albeit bad.

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Owning a Harbor Freight tumbler myself, tumble baking soda for awhile so it makes a coat on the barrel and then wash the thing out with dish soap and water. Run a paper towel on the inside of the barrel while drying. A whole lot of nasty gunk usually comes out.

Edited by Gunter

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Just one more question, how fine is other peoples walnut media? I picked some up from a pet store and it seems very small. Just wondering. Photos (perhaps with a coin for scale) would be quite helpful.

Edited by KnittingMetal

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Owning a Harbor Freight tumbler myself, tumble baking soda for awhile so it makes a coat on the barrel and then wash the thing out with dish soap and water. Run a paper towel on the inside of the barrel while drying. A whole lot of nasty gunk usually comes out.

I'm going to have to agree with Gunter. I own one of these myself and the smell is due to the rubber of the barrel not being vulcanized properly, which is also what causes the "gunk" that comes off after a good cleaning. Based on my past experience with this tumbler, I would make the following suggestions...

  1. Follow Gunter's cleaning instructions
  2. You ABSOLUTELY MUST loosen the mounting of the motor and slide it over until the belt is as loose as you can get it or you WILL break belts like crazy. Eeven with the belt that loose it will work just fine. I've had mine for about 2 years now, and the last belt I had ran for just over a year before it broke. Last time it broke I just replaced it with a couple decent rubber bands and it's been working fine ever since

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