Rotary Tumbler Belt

Easy ways to clean parts, remove broken bolts, etc.

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Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Bill Hudson » Fri Feb 03, 2012 5:46 pm

Quite a while back I purchased one of these puppies http://www.harborfreight.com/garage-shop/tumblers-vibrators/3-lb-rotary-rock-tumbler-67631.html Ralph had used one of these to clean many, many pounds of bolts. He indicated that you would need to get replacement belts because they broke regularly (he was right). His source of replacements was O-rings from NAPA. I was unable to find what I thought was an adequate replacement, therefore, I did not use it much.

I started a project that was going to require a large number of bolts, nuts, washers, etc. to be cleaned. Bite the bullet and use the sucker! Sure enough, I broke the last belt that came with the tumbler. Now to find a replacement, that worked. After several dead ends, I think I have found a superior replacement.

The belt I got is a V-belt from a, ready for this, vacuum sweeper shop. It appears to be extremely strong and should last a long while under heavy use. I'm sorry that I did not have the presence of mind to ask which model sweeper it fit, however, the number on the belt is 38528-034. There were at least a dozen of those belts hanging there, so they should be readily available. $5.99 + .37 (for the governor) = $6.36. I'm going to go back and get a spare, however, I don't plan on using it for a long time.

Bill
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Feb 03, 2012 6:57 pm

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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Bill Hudson » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:26 pm

Great, Jim. Cheaper too!!! Got my spare belt ordered.

Bill
Last edited by Bill Hudson on Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Don McCombs » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:31 pm

What are you using for tumbling media, Bill?
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Bill Hudson » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:34 pm

Don McCombs wrote:What are you using for tumbling media, Bill?


Don,

Black Beauty and Simple Green. The ratio is TLAR (That Looks About Right). :) :)

Bill
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby John(videodoc) » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:44 am

GReat minds think alike Bill. Just got my tumbler in. And got my first load of clean bolts out after about 6 hrs. Cheeze that water was nasty. Next load in. Using purple power and comet.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby John(videodoc) » Sat Feb 04, 2012 4:48 am

They say great minds think a like.

Got my tunbler in thursday. Already have two loads through it. works great.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Rudi » Sun Feb 05, 2012 1:21 pm

I have been kinda lax on that. Princess no longer stocks the tumblers. I need to order one of them puppies.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Hengy » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:22 pm

Bill Hudson wrote:The belt I got is a V-belt from a, ready for this, vacuum sweeper shop. It appears to be extremely strong and should last a long while under heavy use. I'm sorry that I did not have the presence of mind to ask which model sweeper it fit, however, the number on the belt is 38528-034. There were at least a dozen of those belts hanging there, so they should be readily available. $5.99 + .37 (for the governor) = $6.36. I'm going to go back and get a spare, however, I don't plan on using it for a long time.

Bill


Bill, I love your tip for the rock tumbler, but had to chuckle when you referred to the Vacuum Cleaner as a sweeper!! That is a western PA, Eastern Ohioism if I have ever heard one. I haven't heard anyone call it a sweeper since I lived back home in PA!!!

Nice tip, though!

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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby BigMatt » Wed Feb 08, 2012 3:28 pm

MikeInWisconsin wrote:Bill, I love your tip for the rock tumbler, but had to chuckle when you referred to the Vacuum Cleaner as a sweeper!! That is a western PA, Eastern Ohioism if I have ever heard one. I haven't heard anyone call it a sweeper since I lived back home in PA!!!

Nice tip, though!

Mike in La Crosse, WI


I used to call them sweepers until my wife (from California) made fun of me. Now they are vacuum cleaners. They also call parking garages - parking structures. Man, this could be a whole thread on its own. Sorry for the thread jack.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby alfreema » Mon Feb 24, 2014 1:47 pm

Ok I borrowed my friends Harbor Freight tumbler and put three wheel weight bolts and nuts in it and let it run for about 18 hours. It didn't work very well.

I tried using 2oz Simple Green plus 8oz water plus a handful of Comet.

Did I dilute the Simple Green too much?

Did I have way too much liquid in the jar?

Did I use enough Comet?

I really don't have a clue as to how to improve the results.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby Bill Hudson » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:05 pm

alfreema wrote:...I really don't have a clue as to how to improve the results.


This advice from Ralph:
Do Not Overload it !!!!!!!!!
it says 3 pound but that is the sand water and cleaner and bolts. I put what would amount to a set of front and rear lugs(20) and a set of square wheel bolta and nuts ( in a load). Put some degreaser powder tide or mean green or your favorite cleaner put some sand and water and let it tumble for about 12 hours . I have cleaned 100 plus pounds of bolts and hardware and it does a good job.


I think the key is an abrasive (sand) of some sort. I used Black Beauty, to my dismay, worked on the rust great. However, it also ate up the drum, now paper thin and many leaks. Use the sand.

Bill
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby RaymondDurban » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:14 pm

Agree with Bill, use sand in there as well. I use degreaser (undiluted) and sand in mine and it works great!
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby alfreema » Mon Feb 24, 2014 10:15 pm

Can you guys give me any concept of quantity of sand and degreaser (or anything else you use)? I mean, like 1/2 cup sand, 2 cups sand, "handful of sand", 1 squirt of degreaser, 1/2 cup degreaser?

I just really have no idea how much "stuff" to put in there. I don't want to hurt the tumbler, but obviously if I don't put enough in it's a complete waste.
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Re: Rotary Tumbler Belt

Postby RaymondDurban » Mon Feb 24, 2014 11:48 pm

Well, it depends... I never really measured to tell you the truth. Every time I use it, the ratio without a doubt changes as parts are removed with sand/degreaser coming with. So, I just add a bit of each every use. You want enough of each to create a slurry that will be in full contact with the items as it turns over. With just the sand blasting sand from HarborFreight with degreaser, I've had no issues with thinning of the sidewalks or breaking of belts, and I've really put the tumbler through its paces with small parts/nuts/bolts/washers... So just a guess to get you started, I'd say 1/3 sand, 1/3 degreaser and then the items to be cleaned, leaving a bit of room for air.
Sorry I don't have a more exact answer.
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