Tumbler Update


Tumbled Wood and Glass

I wanted to try and make driftwood after seeing some driftwood frames in a local shop.  I couldn’t find any information on tumbling wood, so i went ahead and chucked a few pine off cuts in with some glass.  I was pretty amazed by the results, much better than I expected.

The tumbler has been going for 3 months. I check it weekly to oil the rollers and to swap the contents out (or not as is often the case).  I learnt very early on to avoid getting oil on the belt, this causes the motor to spin, but the barrels pretty much just sit there for a week not moving.

The barrels tend to leak slightly, and leave a dusty white powder everywhere, but this doesn’t cause any real problems. One barrel even managed to fall off  at some point between my weekly checks.

I have at least 2 projects planned for the glass and wood,  but its a case of waiting for enough to be produced.

5 Responses to “Tumbler Update”

  • jenny Says:

    we seem to have many hobbies in common from the look of this page, ace stuff :)

    i just got a tumbler and really want to try some wood too, what kind of abrasive did you use for your? and did you add water? i’m worrying that water would make the wood swell and crumble rather than sand…

  • Greg Says:

    The piece in this photo was mixed in with a batch of stones and size 80 grit.

    I did add water, i had to leave the wood somewhere warm to dry for a while to dry off.

    the only downside is the wood takes on a greyish tinge from the grit, sand might give nicer results.

    I’ve also found that wood can sometime become stuck to other wood, which obviously lessens the tumbling effect.

  • steve Says:

    I just started trying to polish wood for jewelry and also haven’t found any info, so just took a stab at it. No water though and it seems to be working. You mention sand. Regular beach sand? If thats the case, playground sand (fine) and cement sand (course) would probably work. What do you think? Any other suggestions?

  • wayne Says:

    Hi there,

    Can someone tell me how big a ‘tumbler’ is please, as i no nothing about this subject and want to tumble some 7 ft planks.
    Can i buy one, is there a supplier somewhere?
    How long do you tumble a piece of wood for etc ?


    Wayne ( waynewilletts@hotmail.com)

  • Greg Says:

    Hi wayne,

    the tumbler I’m using here is small, maybe 4 inches in diameter and 4 inches long.

    you can get larger tumblers, often used for industrial processes/scale.

    To tumble 7ft planks you’d need a barrel that is at least 7ft long. Out of curiosity, why do you need to tumble 7ft planks?

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