Whether you polish rocks, jewelry, or metal parts, it’s important to maintain a vibratory tumbler barrel or bowl to keep it working well. Here are some pointers on how to extend the life of your vibratory tumbler barrel.
Beware of Jagged or Coarse Parts
Angular rocks or metal parts with sharp angles need a round of tumbling in a rotary tumbler before they’re placed in a vibratory bowl. Rotary tumbling will file off sharp edges that can damage the lining of your vibratory bowl. As the liner wears down, jagged parts can damage the interior of the bowl, shortening its useful life.
Lubricate and Inspect Parts
A vibratory tumbler bowl may include its own lubrication system, or it may be a model that the user is expected to lubricate manually. Check the manufacturer’s manual and instructions to ensure the machine is getting proper lubrication at the right intervals.
When it’s time to check the motorized parts, it’s also a good idea to inspect belts, springs, and shafts to check for wear. Be mindful of the manufacturer’s warranty, and don’t perform any work yourself that would void the warranty or possibly damage your machine.
Keep Compound Clean
Rinse compound after every cycle to prevent residue build-up inside the barrel. Also, check the compound delivery system, if your machine has one, and flush it with clean water after each use. Keeping media clean and residue out of the delivery system will help extend the life of a vibratory tumbler barrel.
Inspect the Lining
Urethane liners protect the inside of some vibratory tumblers. If the liner wasn’t there, the media and compound in use would wear down the metal interior of the bowl the same way they work on rocks or metal. Check the manufacturer’s specification on liner thickness and expected useful life. When the liner wears down to below the recommended thickness, it’s time to replace it.
Keep the Stand and Base Pad Clean
Vibratory tumbler bowls rest atop stands or base pads as they do their work. Little bits of rock or metal underneath the barrel will vibrate along with the bowl and cause damage. Keep the base for your barrel clean and free of debris from prior cycles. Check the bottom of your bowl from time to time to ensure there are no bits of metal or rock that could harm it.
AccuBrass supplies vibratory finishing equipment for deburring, polishing, and burnishing and can supply media and compound for processing parts made from different types of metal.
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