What happened to my tumbler?

Discussion in 'General Reloading' started by jtuck, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    I have a Chicago Electric vibratory tumbler which my wife bought me for Christmas two years ago. This tumbler has worked very well 'til now, but I'm not sure what I've done to it. I will try to describe the problem as well as can and add pictures to help:

    The other day I was tumbling brass when I noticed the drum on my tumbler was spinning freely and seemed to be loose. I gave this nut a quick twist to snug it up.

    About 45 minutes later I went to check on the brass and found the metal washer and rubber bushing had started wearing a hole in the lid.

    The metal rod to tighten the lid down was very hot to the touch and had also been worn.

    I'm guessing I screwed something up by tightening the nut down too much. Does anyone have any experience with these tumblers, or had anything like this happen to them?
  2. rondog

    rondog G&G Evangelist

    Sorry, but that's Harbor Freight products for ya. You either buy their "protection plan" to get replacements, or throw it away and buy another one.

  3. Dutch

    Dutch G&G Evangelist

    my old vibrator likes to vibrate my wing nut off as well. Had it forever, it has always done it. I have 2 rubber washers sandwiching the metal one. It is enough to stop it from vibrating lose.
  4. TGF

    TGF G&G Newbie

    Harbor Freight got ya, but on the bright side you can buy seven more like it till you have spent as much as a name brand would have cost you.

    My guess as to what happened is there was probably some rubber bits between the motor and the bowl that wore out and caused it to get loose and spin. When you tightened it down, without the rubber bits the shaking motion went to work on the part it had the most leverage on, that being the lid.

    Just toss it and buy a new one they are fairly cheap.
  5. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    I like Harbor Freight!Don't say anything bad about them or I will pout.Besides,where else can you order so many of the same thing for the same amount of money it would have cost for a good one to start with?
  6. DaTeacha

    DaTeacha Things are not what they seem. Forum Contributor

    Being cheap by nature and nurture, I would try to fix it. I'd get some large rubber washers, maybe even discs to replace things that look worn. Maybe find some heavy plastic that I could cut and either 'weld' or glue in where the hole is worn and redrill it. The motor still runs, it's the drum that's not working, right?

    Your last pick shows the threads are badly stripped. You can get JB Weld or somthing else to smooth that all over and then try rethreading it, or see if you can take that whole aluminum center column out and put a piece of steel in there.

    Before jumping into it, though, I'd analyze the cost of the parts I might need to fabricate, the hours I would spend messing with it, the fact that the wife got it for me, etc. etc. against the cost of a replacement. Even if I decided to replace it, though, I would mess around with a substitute drum, like a large Tupperware container, just to see what it might do.
  7. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    I too am cheap (although I prefer to think of it as being thrifty), and I plan on trying to fix it before simply giving up and buying a new one. Besides, I just purchased a fairly large order of reloading supplies and equipment, so I have to build my toy budget up before anymore substantial purchases.

    I will give it some thought and let you all know what I come up with. I am open to more repair ideas/solutions as well.
  8. res45

    res45 G&G Addict

    Get you a piece of the correct size threaded rod cut it to the correct length,put a little locktite on the end that goes into the base and run a nut down and tighten.

    Find you a new flat washer,rubber washer or make one and a new wing nut,you should be back in business.
  9. chesterwin

    chesterwin G&G Evangelist

    I'd look for the reason for overheating first. If correctible, then rebuild it.
  10. jtuck

    jtuck G&G Evangelist

    My suspicion is, once the bottom nut was tight, the all thread worked as a heat sink, conducting heat away from the motor.
  11. I'd be concerned about the heat. A fire might make your thriftiness very expensive!

    My personal experience with MidwayUSA causes me to suggest you consider buying their tumbler as a replacement. I had one and used it for more than ten years (got it shortly after I returned from Japan in '95) and a year or two ago it quit running. The motor pooped out, I guess. I contacted them to buy a replacement motor. They sent me a new unit -- postage paid!

    One can find a bargain at discount stores, but dealing with a company that stands by its products like Midway did, makes me continue to prefer to buy from them!
  12. Anything that viberates needs to have the nuts tightened from time to time.

    Anything that has a motor, or other moving parts, needs lubracation from time to time. Put a few drops of a non-gumming oil on the two motor bearings and the motor will likely run a lot cooler.
  13. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    I see what's wrong! It says Chicago on the sticker. Anything that comes from the city that has the Bears has to SUCK!
  14. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    I ain't gonna touch that, though I could!
  15. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    The Bears and Obuma.Neither one knows how to play the game.
  16. lynxpilot

    lynxpilot Constitutionalist Forum Contributor

    Ava, MO
    The heat is just from friction. You just need a tight fit to keep the metal to metal or metal to plastic from rubbing. The best vibratory cleaner in the world will still make the casings hot.
  17. Go to Cabela's and get theirs. 5 yrs now, I've even cleaned silver ware and jewerly in it. I've forgotten and left it on about five times overnight. Harbor Freight's stuff just don't have the quality you need.
  18. The Cabela's tumbler is probably the best bargain on the market. It's a re-branded Berry's tumbler. If you run into some money, Thumler makes the Cadilac of tumblers.

    Cabela's Case Tumbler, Tumblers & Scales, Reloading, Shooting : Cabelas.com

    reloading accessories, reloading products

    Thumler's Tumbler - Professional Polishers and Tumblers <- They use ball bearings in their motor.
  19. samuel

    samuel G&G Newbie

    For a cheap setup you can bag the media and casings up,put them in your wifes cleavage,(or other places on her) and take her for a long,romantic walk. (use a good bag that doesn't leak')
  20. gandog56

    gandog56 G&G Evangelist

    But if your wife's cleavage ain't big enough to jiggle you're screwed.