DIY parts cup cleans your parts well


Tumbling parts is a method of deburring and cleaning relatively small objects. This is done by capturing the parts and supports inside a rotating container. Agitation continually moves the media around all surfaces and corners of the room, smoothing them out for a uniform finish. The backing can be anything from specialty ceramic shapes to ball bearings and even sand. This process can be performed in wet or dry conditions. Think of the beach, the rocks are smooth there. This is due to the fact that the waves repeatedly rub the sand and stones, resulting in round, smooth shapes.

[imp22b] recently entered ammo reloading and needed a way to clean your used bushings. The housings are made of brass and after a little online research, [imp22b] discovered that a wet tumbling process with stainless steel pins for the brackets was a proven DIY method for this housing material. He then found a commercially available tumbler to model his build, in this case a Thumler Model B. Certainly there’s no need to reinvent the wheel here.

As you can see in the photo, an aluminum extrusion was used as the frame. 4 pillow blocks with shafts between each pair are mounted on the frame. A motor drives one of the bearing mounted rods which in turn spins a container resting on the rods. [imp22b] started with a 1/15 hp engine that he had running but was not powerful enough so he had to upgrade to a 1/3 hp unit. The container is made from pieces of standard PVC pipe and contains the holder and the housings with a little water. A little Lemon Shine and Dawn detergents are also added and help clean the rooms. After a few hours of tumbling, the envelopes look pretty good.

If you are interested in making your own more simple tumbler, look at this one that uses a hand drill or this one that uses a can of coffee.

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