How to build a tumbler cheap

who consider a small project of making a Rotary tumbler for Wet Stainless Steel Media tumbling of brass (and other parts).
I'm getting questions here and there and decided to write what I know and researched in the past to help anyone who consider a small project of making a Rotary tumbler for Wet Stainless Steel Media tumbling of brass (and other parts).
The basics of a tumbler:
A drum holding the parts, Stainless Steel media and water spinning to polish and shine brass and parts.
The drum spins on a motorized shaft, that is driven by an electric motor.
You can buy one of many tumblers offered in a variety of sizes from many companies.
While buying a small 3-6lb tumbler is ~ $100  if you need to tumble larger quantities it gets expensive.
Prices are ranging between hundreds to thousands of $$$ if you need a 20-80lb tumbler.
If you are a little resourceful and have few hours to spare and basic "putting together" skills you can build a large tumbler for less than $100
You will need the following parts in order to assemble your own tumbler.
1. Electric Motor
2. a drum
3. pulley and a belt
4. 2 x shafts and 4 ball bearings
5. a flat surface to mount all of the above.
6. few screws nuts and bolts.
The key is getting all the parts for cheap.
Here are few suggestions.
1. Electric motor can be found in many stores but are normally over $100, You can get cheap electric motor if you don't buy a motor, for example a 3/4HP electric bench grinder at Harbor freight only cost $50-$60 if we ignore its "grinding" abilities, HB bench grinder is a double shaft 3/4 HP motor that cost about half of just a motor. The upside is you have 2 shaft and can build dual drum tumbler from one grinder.
http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-shop/stationary-grinder-buffer/6-inch-bench-grinder-39797.html
Scrap yards will sell you motors for $10-$20 I would dare to guess that about 50% of the scrap yard motors are good and working just fine. GO to the nearest scrap yard and find a working one.
White appliances have motors in them like a washing machine, get your old one or buy one from craigslist for $30-$50 and you got a motor and few more parts. (don't forget to sell the scrap yard the body and left over's).
Think creative and you'll find many motors around you for cheap or even free.
2. the drum can be made from 10"-12" PVC pipe you can get them at your hardware store or in the scrap yard. If you know a plumber or have a plumbing business nearby go and ask, they throw away the pipe that you need.
If you wish to spend a few bucks and get something that was designed for this use don't go and buy a tumbler drum as they are expensive instead order online a Manual mortar mixer for $25-$30, it will have all the capacity you need plus have a sealed cup and inner mixing fins.
http://www.rona.ca/en/ciment---concrete-mixer
You can take a 5 gallon bucket and use it as a drum just use good straps to hold the lead.
There are many things that will do the jobs just look around.
3. Pulley and belt can be found in many places starting from the garage nearby through the auto store and scrap yards.
4. Shafts can be found in any scrap yard, metal shop and most likely hardware store.
Thats it.
all you have to do now is get them assembled.
Pay attention to the pulley size that you need! the pulley is reducing your motor speed.
Don't forget that you have another speed conversion when the drum i=s rolling on the shaft!
If you need help in calculating RPM here is a nice calculator to help.
http://www.blocklayer.com/pulley-belteng.aspx
Watch few movies on you tube to get the idea of what you need to build
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5u4mSA6BbRc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2tPp6kRsa8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDWB2N5hEEo

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