Saturday, May 12, 2012

trying out a tumbler

mary jane dodd

this is a tumbler that a friend lent to me... it can be found at target, toy r us and of course - amazon... i have not been using it long, and in fact, don't know if this particular model is the one that will best suit my needs... it serves as an example only... 

it is one of those big additions - and i am not referring to cost here - and what it does is pretty important and helpful... 

tumblers will harden metal components - ear wires, clasps, etc. - and remove sharp edges... adding another level of professionalism to your work... it will save you time... if i had to rank it in terms of my other tool/investments, it would be pretty high (and make me wonder why i hadn't tried it before... oh right, i know - that resistance we have to new things as much as we are intrigued by them...)

an excellent post on tumblers can be found here... 



5 comments:

Artisan Beads Plus said...

I bought a tumbler a couple of years ago to save time with my porcelain beads. I was given that tip by another bead artist. After bisque firing (non textured) beads, you simply put them in the tumbler together (no shot) for about two hours, filling water to top of beads and one drop of Dawn dish detergent to smooth out any roughness, including around the holes. It is a MAJOR time saver. I still need to buy some shot and try it with copper.
MaryAnn
PS Do they sell shot at Target?

Stacie Florer said...

I can't imagine making metal jewelry without tumbling it. The finish is incomparable to anything else I have ever tried. I have a Lortone Single Barrel that I use numerous times per week, for the last 7 years. Never had a problem with it, and it is one of the most used tools in my workshop. What it does to ear wires is fantastic...I use a cup burr and tumble...makes the ends as smooth as butter. You will love it! I use stainless steel mixed shot in mine with a drop of Dawn and a little bit of water. The Lortone tumbler is fairly quiet, and the motor is very simple. The barrel is some sort of spongy material that cuts down on the noise. I did A Lot of research, and after 7 years of using the Lortone, I can honestly say I wouldn't use another one. So glad you posted this..since as a metalsmith, I am sort of passionate about tumbling your work if you sell it. The difference in quality is night and day.

Julie Holmes said...

I too have a lortone. It's a workhorse and saves SO much time. If you do buy steel shot (it's not cheap) make sure you never let it be exposed to air wet...it will rust badly. I just keep mine under the soapy water and no worries!

Libellula Jewelry said...

Another vote for Lortone...I've got the double barrel and love it. I am able to tumble both silver and copper at the same time so, it saves me a lot of time.

Now, I need to find an inexpensive source for an extra barrel. I want to try the slightly abrasive media that leaves metal with a satin finish and will need a dedicated barrel to use with it.

gelfling50 said...

I have a rock tumbler I use and love it. By the way I am hosting a Book Giveaway on my blog. The name of the book is "Making bead & wire Jewelry" Just follow link below to the instructions on how to be eligible for this fabtabulous giveaway sponsored by LARK CRAFTS

http://jaacquelinesjewels.blogspot.com/2012/05/thats-right-this-book-is-up-for-grabs.html

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