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Advice on barrel tumbler

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  • Advice on barrel tumbler

    I have read in the past some good advice on this forum regarding polishing silver etc. but I wonder if anyone could advise me on barrel tumblers that they may have or are using. My family said they would buy me some equipment for Christmas ! and I would love a barrel tumbler. I have been on Walsh's web site, and they have a 'Pioneer Range' with a 1kg shot capacity priced at £138.00 (inc VAT) ! I would prefer to get the best one I can, and I would not need a large heavy duty one, but the best quality that anyone knows of would be really helpful.

    Many thanks


  • #2
    I am using a very small hobbist one I got second hand off Ebay for a £5 but I hope to upgrade to a proper one very soon.

    So I'll be interested in the response you get


    • #3
      I have just logged on to ask pretty much the same question! I've made my first pieces, but they are in dire need of a good polish! Family is also going to buy me a tumbler for christmas.

      Can I add a couple of questions, what type of barrel is needed, I've noticed that you can buy plastic or rubber, is there any advantage to either of these?

      Also, I was in Walsh's shop and someone in there said that if you use ceramic shot first it gives a better finish and removes tool marks, can anyone give any advice/opinion on this?

      I'm hopefully going to get mine in the next week or two, I'm going to need to to make all my christmas presents!


      • #4
        Yes I hear ceramic shot gives a much higher polish...I have no idea about the cost of that though!

        I use a magnetic barrel polisher, which is great as it uses tiny pins and gets into every little nook and cranny and gives a good finish - not highly polished, but pretty much everything I make I just polish up in there and the job's done.

        They are more expensive than the barrel tumblers though so unless you'll be using it a lot the tumblers should be fine. Make sure you get some fine shot in there otherwise it won't polish into corners and things! We have one at the college I teach at and it leaves unpolished areas around settings etc, where the steel balls won't reach!
        Emily Richard Jewellery

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        • #5
          Ceramic shot is used for a matte finish, not for a high polish.