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Author Topic: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler  (Read 1891 times)

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Ryaly2dogs

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Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« on: August 29, 2016, 11:42:19 AM »

Greetings all:  Still somewhat of a newbie to the board, having posted on saws, grinding, etc.  I am seeking a good starting point for a vibratory tumbler, to do some finish fine and polish of mostly jasper/agate preforms.  I have been rotary tumbling literally since I was a 10 yr old kid.  30 days is a bit long a wait for some of my projects, and I'd like to venture into vibratory.

I am interested in a relatively low noise (lots of neighbors in my cul de sac) set up.  I see Thumblers and the Raytech TV-5 a lot...are these worth a closer look or are the Diamond Pacific a better way to start?  Price does factor in for me.  Interested in your thoughts.  Also, if any used out there, I would be interested.

Cheers.
 :coffee2:
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irockhound

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Re: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 12:33:31 PM »

You realize that you are going to get a ton of different answers, sort of like "Whats your favorite stone?".  I will pop in with the first of many responses with what I use and like.  I bought a Ultra Vibe 10 and it is pretty quiet for a tumbler.  It does a good job on finishing if you use a media to help carry the final grits and polish.  The price on it was very good for the size.  I have not been disappointed with it.

Addendum - From Orrum below, Agree I only use the V tumbler for finish work and never rounding, not enough drop and roll action for rounding stones which is why the primary tumbler is a rotary too.  Good catch Orrum, didn't think to mention that.
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Orrum

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Re: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2016, 05:07:38 PM »

X2 on the many opinions! LOL
One sentence... Get a rotary for rounding.
One word for a vibe... Loto.
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yukonjade

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Re: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2016, 08:46:15 PM »



   I have used a GYROC virbrating tumbler with good results, 6-7 days for finished stones.
 I bought it used,new ones are abought $250.00 they are made specifically for tumbling
 unlike some on the market that are repurposed ammo shell case polishers.
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peruano

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Re: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 06:18:57 AM »

Until you go pro, its possible the Raytech Tumble Vibe 5 is the best deal.  Its got good capacity, can handle some pretty good sized rocks (if properly mixed with smaller stuff and loaded correctly).  I have one that I've used a great deal for more than 4 years.
I also have the small Gyroc (Model B).  Its also good, slightly smaller, tends to slip its belt or be more finicky about how many rocks it will jiggle.  Its not as easy to clean out since at least on mine the bowl is difficult to remove.
A real work horse also small in size but lacking the center cone compensates for that size is the mini sonic (by  Diamond Pacific).  It has a slightly different action (rolling in one direction instead of the vortex rolling of the others), but it really moves things and works well.  Mine is the older model without adjustable speed control.  Any one of these three machine is a reasonable starter but if the price on larger machine is not a putoff, I'm sure they will do as well.  I have yet to hear anyone say one of the vibes from Harbor Freight (that are not recommended for rocks) is performing well for them so that one is not on my list.
I may have garbled the name on the mini sonic machine and will correct this post if confusingly so. 
I might add, I process lots of odd shapes, often preform my stones on the grinder/cab machine before running them, and often run beach or river processed stones rather than broken stuff that would normally require rotary prep and all of those facts may make it easier for me to function with these entry level machines.  BTW two were bought used and each has its own advantages. 
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Ryaly2dogs

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Re: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 09:02:29 AM »

Thanks for this information everyone.  It is helpful to me, giving me a starting point with which to peruse the market and gather more intel.  There are a fair number of suppliers of these devices, and winnowing out the performers from non-performers is my first goal.
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lithicbeads

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Re: Seeking advice on a good starter vibratory tumbler
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 09:08:18 AM »

I have used them all except harbor freight over the years  and have had problems with most . I ran them 24/7 so problems were to be expected.I think you would do well with any of the recommended vibes and as you become more familiar with the process you will enjoy the process more. Make sure you can order new barrels as they do wear out with very heavy use over an extended time and be careful not to use too much water as that will radically accelerate barrel wear.
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