Instructables
video DIY Vibration Polisher
So, if your thinking about making this project I would only advise you try it if you already have or have access to the more expensive parts that you will need (motor, springs, hardware). If you had to buy everything new you would just be better off buying a cheep commercially made machine. But if you think you can make it on the cheep and you need a project to take up a weekend, than go for it!

To make the vibration Polisher you will need:

Automotive valve springs X4 new or used. I went with new witch ran me about $9. total.

Drilled gum rubber carboy stopper x4 about $5. total

"J" Bolts with nuts and washers x16, 3/8" to 1/2"  carriage bolts with nuts and washers X4, length of all thread rod at least a couple inches longer than your bowl is tall x1, and miscellaneous wood screws, nuts, bolts and washers.
total $10.  With some stuff I already had.

Some scrap plywood. total $0.00

A decent size motor. Mine was around 1/3rd hp. x1 total $0.00

Plastic bole with lid. x1 total $0.00

Automotive funnel. x1 total $1.00

 Total cost for me was about $25.00 not including the polishing medium witch was another $25.00

I hope this helps someone out there, and let me know if you need any advice if you decide to make your own.
Thanks for watching!


I have entered this project in the ShopBot Challenge so if I were to win the grand prize I would use it to start a furniture and or boat building company. With such a sophisticated tool at my disposal I would be able to quickly prototype my designs, refine them and finally mass produce a finished product. The list gos on in my mind of all the uses this tool would have for me, but mostly it would mean the start of a new career.
Best of luck to all,
Nate D.

nice videos! how long does it take to polish a few small pieces?

SuppliesFox8 months ago

Just a tip: Some of your vibration power is being absorbed by using a soft plastic bowl. I recommend either switching to a brass/copper pot or at least a much stiffer plastic bowl. Anyway, very cool. Thank you for sharing!

dropkick9 months ago
Just a tip for all of you that want to polish brass (reloaders):
You can get inexpensive ground walnut polishing medium at pet stores, it's sold as lizard bedding.
dropkick9 months ago
Just a tip for all of you that want to polish brass (reloaders):
You can get inexpensive ground walnut polishing medium at pet stores, it's sold as lizard bedding.
henry731 year ago
Hi! I would like to build a bigger machine like yours. I have a tireservice, I would like to polish wheels with it. What do you think how long does it take to polish wheel with it? How big engine should i use to this machine?
Thanks in advance!
Henry from Hungary.
bcavaciuti1 year ago
nice machine i wonder if the plastic bowl absorbs the vibration and a metal one could be better theyre almost as cheap aswell
jrad70002 years ago
Props to you keep up the good work
OctopusHook (author)  jrad70002 years ago
Glad you liked it, I will.
black hole2 years ago
Voted! Hope you win. Also, a very good project.
OctopusHook (author)  black hole2 years ago
Thanks! I hope I win too so I can start doing some CNC Instructables ;)
pfred22 years ago
Third time was a charm huh? I think if you worked on 3 completely different designs you might come up with something even better.

Personally I'd try just springing the bowl and leaving the motor fixed. I wouldn't go with the out of balance flywheel either, least not directly connected to the motor. Can't be good for the bearings.

One design that might work (yeah yeah rough drawing I know):
Shaker.jpg
OctopusHook (author)  pfred22 years ago
I'm sure I could come up with a better design but my goal was to make a vibration polisher that was cheep and affective. Which I did, and for the amount of time and money I put into this I feel like I got a better deal than if I went out and bought a ready made machine for 4x what I spent on this one.

Yea, motors are not happy when they are ran out of balance and I'm sure I'm reducing its lifespan buy doing so. At least its getting used for something at all though.

Anyway, thanks for the comments and the drawing. It's already giving me ideas, I think something like that would work. I would make a 4 or 5 or 6 piston design. The bowl would sit on springs with the pistons arranged in a circle under it. The motor would turn a crank shaft that would drive the pistons into the bottom of the bowl one at a time in a circular pattern. That should give the desired rotation of the polishing medium in the bowl.

Now I kinda want to make that just for kicks. We'll see if I get a wild hair one of these weekends...

I only drew enough to get you thinking. But yeah the bowl would have to be on springs too. Initially I envisioned it with two drive shafts and 4 connecting rods. But it'd probably shake pretty bad, (good) with even just one. Twice as good (bad) as your off center flywheel that is just doing one shake per revolution.

Then I was thinking why have a motor at all. AC electric current is supplied at 60 Hz which could be pretty shaky too I'd imagine. Take a big transformer and remove the secondary winding from it and put a metal plate over it separated by a spring. Put what you want shook on top of the metal plate.

Might have to remove the outer transformer arms to get the magnetic field to extend further though. Not like I've ever tried to turn a transformer into a solenoid before.
OctopusHook (author)  pfred22 years ago
Yeah, for that matter just fill up a huge subwoofer with polishing medium and play a looped bass track through it.
That might muddy the sound.
OctopusHook (author)  pfred22 years ago
As long as it did the job I wouldn't care what it sounded like.
That isn't the attitude most speaker shoppers take.
OctopusHook (author)  pfred22 years ago
Well as long as it did the job as in it polished parts. Yeah, if I wanted it to also sound good I'd have to do something other than just filling the cone with polishing medium. Even then there would be added noise just from the medium and parts vibrating around. So in the end i think I would just forgo trying to get any good sound out of it and just try to make it polish parts well.
rimar20002 years ago
Very good work, thanks for sharing.
OctopusHook (author)  rimar20002 years ago
Thanks, hope it helps.