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  1. #1
    Super Member
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    Dec 2007
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    6,331
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    Ohio
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    JD 5520, 790 TLB-- Kub L4300, B7800, MX5100

    Default Build a giant parts tumbler?

    From time to time I have piles of rusty metal ag parts that I normally brush or scrape and then paint, which takes too much time and never really does a very good job. So I've been thnking maybe build a giant rotary or vibratory tumbler. Something like a case cleaner on steroids. Certainly it would do the job but it would have to be rugged to hold the weight and it would need to be big.

    I could use a plastic 55 gallon drum by running a pipe through the center and gearing down to an electric motor. I would have to figure out some way to make a cover so the media and parts don't fall out. I could also put the barrel on an angle like a cement mixer so things wouldn't falll out but I don't think the cleaning action would be the same.
    For that matter, maybe buy a new Harbor Freight cement mixer and fill with media but I don't want to spend that much to just clean parts. plus I'm not even sure it would work. How about a 3-PT cement mixer?
    Maybe I could make a "vibratory" cleaner like a case cleaner but I have no idea how those things vibrate. Maybe just build a vibratory platform and set the barrel on the platform?

    A big tumbler or vibratory cleaner seems like a workable idea and I have not seen this discussed before.
    Anyone built anything like this or have any ideas?
    ******

    May I be the kind of person my dogs think I am,

  2. #2
    Super Star Member J_J's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    18,235
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    JACKSONVILLE, FL
    Tractor
    Power-Trac 1445, KUBOTA B-9200HST

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    Perhaps a used cement mixer and convert it to use a hyd motor or leave it as is using AC or engine driven. If you are trying to tumble heavy small parts, you may beat the tub up pretty bad.

    A 1/4 in tub would be better, and lay it on rollers and drive it by a rubber tire wheel.
    J.J.

    When I works, I works hard. When I sits and thinks, I goes to sleep.

    Git er done.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member bikerdib's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    579
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B3300SU

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    I don't know if anyone has built something like you are discussing but I do know that some have used cement mixers for the purpose you are discussing. Why not wait till Harbor Freight or Northern Tools has one of their big sales? I have the 4.1 cubic ft. model from Northern and I've lost count of the number of bags I've put through it. Just be sure to have it running before you add any ingredients; that's where most people mess up. I remember reading a review where someone was complaining that the motor burned up after only the 4th bag of mix. Turns out he was putting all the ingredients in the mixer then turning on the switch.

    Cement Mixers - Portable Cement Mixers - Electric Cement Mixers | Northern Tool

    Cement Mixers at Harbor Freight Tools

    BTW, Harbor Freight has been running ads in lots of magazines lately with some big discounts.
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  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2005
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    3,755
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    nicholson, pa
    Tractor
    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    An old dryer? just run it on no heat. There are holes in the tub, you might be able to put screen in there or spray it with a bedliner to plug the holes.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Mar 2010
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    2,126
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    CT235

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    Dip it in Mollasses. It will completely strip the metal. Pressure wash it, do your body work, prep work, and then paint.

    You must use ag mollasses that it sold in bulk at the local feed store.

    Technical Molasses bath made me a believer !! - THE H.A.M.B.
    Tim.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Aug 2007
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    97
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    L3400

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    I saw an article where a fella made a rock polisher.... actually a boulder polisher. He used an old ( Large) tractor tire... bolted steel plates where the rim should go then ran a shaft through the middle. There was door in the side he had cut out. He was making lots of money selling polished landscape rocks from rough boulders out of his fields. Dont remember how he spun it.

  7. #7
    Super Member crash325's Avatar
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    Feb 2011
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    5,684
    Location
    Tucson AZ
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    New Holland TC-45

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    I've been using a Harbor Freight 3.5 cu mixer to tumble horse shoes. They have been thrown in the dirt for years, are really cruddy & rusty. Takes a little while and is real noisy. Only problem has been from not clipping the nails off of them. Once they get tangled up its a pain to get them untangled.

    Just using river bottom sand and odd ball scraps of metal as a medium.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -tumbled-shoes-jpg  
    ::"I STARTED out with nothing....I still have most of it."

    New Holland TC45 1,300+ hours - FEL - back hoe - post hole digger - Hydraulic Gannon - cement mixer - pressure washer - 1975 Dodge 500 flat bed - 1974 chevy C65 6 yard dump truck.
    All home made by me. loading forks - 2 drags - roller - Sheep's Foot - Pusher (to unload flat bed truck.) - pickle fork digger - Log splitter -

  8. #8
    Elite Member wdchyd's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    2,728
    Location
    Hooksett, NH
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    How about using electrolysis.......washing soda & battery charger

    Restoration guys do it all the time

    Rust removal by electrolysis

    http://youtu.be/R5I5WBG5HPw
    2010 Kubota B2320 FEL & BH65
    If it ain't fixed don't broke it!

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/content/...-month-wdchyd/

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    97
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    L3400

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    Or a cheaper, less work intensive method look up "removing rust with electrolysis" on you tube. Easy with very little work. It works really well.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Aug 2007
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    97
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    L3400

    Default Re: Build a giant parts tumbler?

    You beat me to it

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