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How do I make a rock tumbler? Perhaps not from scratch, but by adapting something else? Answered

I'm not necessarily technically minded, so preferrably without having to rewire or solder things...



Try my rock tumbler.
I built this one for polishing brass bullet casings for reloading but it also makes a good rock tumbler with the right polishing media.


The simplest way would be to put your rocks etc (grit, water) in a plastic tub and roll it around for as long as you need. Wrap it in bubble-wrap and duct-tape and give it to your kids (or your neighbours' kids) to play football with for a day or two.

Rock polishing is done in 4 steps and each step takes the constant rotation, 24 hours a day, for 7 days. The rubber barrels used to actual tumblers are made so the rocks actually ride up and over the rocks below. But yeah i guess that could be a simple way.

Many years ago I know of an older man who made his own rock tumbler/polisher from an electric motor with belt drive (washing machine) and an old tireThe tire was attached to a circular piece of plywood fitted inside the tire on one side using wood screws, with an axle shaft centered on the plywood, mounted so as to rotate freely; the driven pulley attached to the shaft. Appropriate design for mounting of the motor and belt tension mechanism followed, and the tire was angled so as to not require a lid to keep everything inside. Calculate for slow speed revolution of the tire assembly. Simple, using parts recycled/reused, and effective. Beware of dust from abrasion/abrasive material; minimize by adding water to create a sluce-type mix. Your experimentation will determine what works best for you. Good luck, and Cheers.