- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Bezels
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- Prong Basket Pendant by Kim St. Jean
- NEW DVD Series – Stone Setting with Cold Connections
- New DVD Series – Stone Setting with Wire
- NEW DVD Series: Introduction to Stone Setting by Kim St. Jean
- Featured Tool: Bracelet Bending Plier
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Daily Wire Tip Aug. 25: Rotary Tumblers vs. Vibratory Tumblers
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
August 25, 2010
What’s the difference between a rotary tumbler and vibration one? Which is the best to buy?
-Maria in Toronto, Canada
A rotary tumbler is barrel-shaped, and rolls around simulating the work of ocean waves, usually using a combination of grits/polish and liquid. It is perfect for quickly grinding and rounding down sharp edges from rocks, and then to polish them. Please know that it can take a month or more to go from rough to finished polish, depending on the hardness of the selected rocks used.
A vibratory tumbler is generally run dry, using grit/polish and possibly an extending medium such as plastic pellets, and is great for pre-polish and polishing stages for water-smoothed rocks or slabs. A vibratory will polish quickly! However, it is not productive to use a vibratory tumbler for rough rocks, as it does not perform the grinding process.
Which one to purchase? Well, it depends on what you are going to use it for. Personally, I like to use a rotary tumbler to pre-form my rocks and then a vibratory to pre-polish and for the final polish.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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