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Old 06-18-2010, 09:50 AM
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Anyone build their own vibratory cleaner?

I know HF sells them and they are common among reloaders, but I have heard they are great for cleaning up old nuts and bolts.

I've got the idea loosely in my head how to go about it. Maybe even a tumbler like a rock tumbler but they might dull the threads a bit if left too long, not to mention noisy. Anyone seen a homemade unit?

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Old 06-18-2010, 11:15 AM
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Actually I think the tumbler makes less noise at least one that is not objectionable..and they are easier to make than the vibratory ones..one can put a timer on the machine to have it shut off after a certain amount of time in order to check progress of rust removal..

Sam
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Old 06-20-2010, 01:14 PM
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You can usually pick up a good new or used one at a gunshow for cheap.

I have no idea in regards to making one.
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:14 PM
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Go to a gun show and pick up a used one. The best media to use is crushed walnut shells.

Vince
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Old 06-20-2010, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankR
I know HF sells them and they are common among reloaders, but I have heard they are great for cleaning up old nuts and bolts.

I've got the idea loosely in my head how to go about it. Maybe even a tumbler like a rock tumbler but they might dull the threads a bit if left too long, not to mention noisy. Anyone seen a homemade unit?
I have a homemade rotary "tumbler" type mill. I use it to make gun powder, etc. with. If you were to use threaded fasteners like bolts in a mill like mine, it would beat hell out of the exposed threads, so a rotary mill for bolts is out.

AFA a vibratory mill, they are used widely in industry, there's no reason one couldn't be used (or made) that would work for rust removal of fasteners.

That said- rusty fasteners are not the preferred thing to use in anything approaching a "critical" application.
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Old 06-20-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 302 Z28
Go to a gun show and pick up a used one. The best media to use is crushed walnut shells.

Vince
Usually they are polishing brass. Will walnut shells work on rusty steel?
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
If you were to use threaded fasteners like bolts in a mill like mine, it would beat hell out of the exposed threads, so a rotary mill for bolts is out.
Do you think some sort of tape over the threads would stand up to the tumbling?
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Old 06-22-2010, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnunit
Do you think some sort of tape over the threads would stand up to the tumbling?
No, not for long, anyway. The tumbling action of a ball mill will surprise you as to how much material can be removed quickly. Tape would be chewed up in short order, and if the fasteners were rusty, the threads will likely need some attention anyway.

The way I've always done light rust removal, is w/a bench grinder/wire wheel. And eye protection!! It's labor intensive, but doesn't damage the fastener if done correctly, i.e. using a light touch, not allowing sparks to come off the work from heavy contact w/the wire wheel.

Media blasting is another option.
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Old 08-18-2010, 04:44 AM
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I picked up a media tumbler from Eastwood and have been very impressed with it. It came with 2 bowels and two types of media. The green pyramids will clean up fasteners without damaging the thread and the corn husk is for polishing.

I had some bolts that would have taken me hours on the wire wheel to do (not counting the time taken to look for the ones the wheel grabbed and flicked across the workshop) that came up like new. The great thing is that you can throw them in the tumbler and go work on something else. I also throw in a tablespoon of metal wash powder, which really gets the grease, oil, mud etc off.

They also do a brown pyramid media, which is more aggressive than the green but I have not tried it yet.
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Old 08-18-2010, 05:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mayhem
I picked up a media tumbler from Eastwood and have been very impressed with it. It came with 2 bowels and two types of media. The green pyramids will clean up fasteners without damaging the thread and the corn husk is for polishing.

I had some bolts that would have taken me hours on the wire wheel to do (not counting the time taken to look for the ones the wheel grabbed and flicked across the workshop) that came up like new. The great thing is that you can throw them in the tumbler and go work on something else. I also throw in a tablespoon of metal wash powder, which really gets the grease, oil, mud etc off.

They also do a brown pyramid media, which is more aggressive than the green but I have not tried it yet.
Is this a "wet" process?
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cobalt327
Is this a "wet" process?
For cleaning, yes. The media needs to be 'moist' but too much water hampers the process by dampening the vibratory action. I usually wet the media in a bucket and then tip it into the bowl.

p.s. I just noticed my spelling error. Obviously it comes with two bowls, not two bowels - that would just stink the place up!
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Old 08-18-2010, 08:11 PM
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I never built one,but a friend of mine uses the shop paint shaker.He puts a tempered glass window in a burlap bag and whacks it with a hammer,then puts the glass chunks in a gallon paint can with the small parts,nuts,bolts etc. puts the lid on the can and puts it in the shaker.a few minutes later the parts are cleaned up like new.He restored his own vette a few years ago and he did everything that would fit in the gallon can.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:08 AM
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I just did an *** load of bolts in a media blaster with # 7 glass bead. They came out really nice.
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