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Post Info TOPIC: Rock tumbler to clean bolts


A Poncho Legend!

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Rock tumbler to clean bolts


Has anyone used one of these to clean old bolts? I've been pondering it for a long time and when it was in the current Princess Auto flyer I took that as a sign for me to try it!

If anyone has experience I'd like to know a few things.

-What material to put in to help the cleaning process

-How much to load it with bolts

-How long to tumbler them

-How it worked

t1.jpg



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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I can't offer any advice on this particular item, but I remember watching a Jay Leno video a number of years ago when he was showing a tumbler that would put a finish on bolts, but the bolts had to be clean. I use a wire wheel on a 1/4" drill to clean up bolts, screws & nuts.

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Carl,

I've never used this style for bolt cleaning, but I suspect you need to consider a couple of things

before purchasing this unit. First of all it's made for rocks.

Secondly is time, this isn't something that would take a few hours to do....

might take a day or more. Might be easier to use a product like Evapo-Rust to clean your bolts.

Evapo-Rust

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=evaporust&gclid=CjwKCAjw6fyXBhBgEiwAhhiZsjgRMeUFHfpbbR2BSBI1SwvCa00_LBKbukzZ-s40Cndcc0Z4EmQi1RoCAy0QAvD_BwE&hvadid=231030476554&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001316&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=962459992095117513&hvtargid=kwd-323935293274&hydadcr=20848_10090735&tag=googcana-20&ref=pd_sl_1414kjquyw_e

The other factor is noise. This might drive you crazy listening to this for an extended period of time.

The type we used  in our machine shop was a vibrator style tumbler (in a closet type room), and it was used mostly for deburring small parts.

The media we used was small triangular media that did a good job of deburring and cleaning.

hope this gives you some info.

-G

Vibrating Tumbler

https://www.amazon.ca/Frankford-Arsenal-855020-Quick-n-EZ-Tumbler/dp/B001MYGLJC/ref=asc_df_B001MYGLJC/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=292914485658&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17235028517957089752&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001316&hvtargid=pla-434304097653&th=1&psc=1

Tumbler Media

https://www.amazon.ca/Raytech-41-310-Triangles-Ceramic-Density/dp/B00065V0IA/ref=asc_df_B00065V0IA/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=335241488547&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4748494108224710115&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001316&hvtargid=pla-569776733233&psc=1

 
 


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A Poncho Legend!

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seventy2plus2 wrote:

I can't offer any advice on this particular item, but I remember watching a Jay Leno video a number of years ago when he was showing a tumbler that would put a finish on bolts, but the bolts had to be clean. I use a wire wheel on a 1/4" drill to clean up bolts, screws & nuts.


 I do the same but I've always been curious about tumbling them.



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



A Poncho Legend!

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Greaser wrote:

Carl,

I've never used this style for bolt cleaning, but I suspect you need to consider a couple of things

before purchasing this unit. First of all it's made for rocks.

Secondly is time, this isn't something that would take a few hours to do....

might take a day or more. Might be easier to use a product like Evapo-Rust to clean your bolts.

Evapo-Rust

https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=evaporust&gclid=CjwKCAjw6fyXBhBgEiwAhhiZsjgRMeUFHfpbbR2BSBI1SwvCa00_LBKbukzZ-s40Cndcc0Z4EmQi1RoCAy0QAvD_BwE&hvadid=231030476554&hvdev=c&hvlocphy=9001316&hvnetw=g&hvqmt=e&hvrand=962459992095117513&hvtargid=kwd-323935293274&hydadcr=20848_10090735&tag=googcana-20&ref=pd_sl_1414kjquyw_e

The other factor is noise. This might drive you crazy listening to this for an extended period of time.

The type we used  in our machine shop was a vibrator style tumbler (in a closet type room), and it was used mostly for deburring small parts.

The media we used was small triangular media that did a good job of deburring and cleaning.

hope this gives you some info.

-G

Vibrating Tumbler

https://www.amazon.ca/Frankford-Arsenal-855020-Quick-n-EZ-Tumbler/dp/B001MYGLJC/ref=asc_df_B001MYGLJC/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=292914485658&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17235028517957089752&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001316&hvtargid=pla-434304097653&th=1&psc=1

Tumbler Media

https://www.amazon.ca/Raytech-41-310-Triangles-Ceramic-Density/dp/B00065V0IA/ref=asc_df_B00065V0IA/?tag=googleshopc0c-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=335241488547&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=4748494108224710115&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9001316&hvtargid=pla-569776733233&psc=1

 
 

 I started using Evaporust last year after Beaumontguru was telling what a great job it did, and I agree. Just kind of looking for more options!

 

Thanks for the link on tumbler media, I may try that.



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



Poncho Master!

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I read some of the reviews and one user said that the walnut media was in effective in removing rust from nuts and bolts. In the description of the tumbler it states that the drum is plastic. Coarser media may wear out the drum.

Paul



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Poncho Master!

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I have an upright 5 lb pot vibrator style you can try out.A9E3446E-7EA3-48D2-BB32-2BC274604CEE.jpeg



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pontiax- (canadian pontiac X frame)1964 Parisienne 2dr. hdtop lagoon aqua metallic (Q)

 



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Upright model is the same as a cartridge cleaning unit for bullets. To restore the shine and clean the powder residue from inside the cartridge.
You might find one in KIJIJI gun hardware used for cheap...Use walnut shells

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A Poncho Legend!

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Well, I gave it a shot and you be the judge. I'm happy with the results.

I grabbed a handful of bolts out of my 3/8" bolt drawer. The before pic is the next load of bolts that will go in to the tumbler but the whole drawer is full of rusty greasy bolts that pretty much all look like this picture. 

I weighed out close to 2 pounds of bolts, added about a 1/4 cup of the media that comes with the tumbler and maybe a cup or a bit more of water. The directions say 3 pounds maximum in the drum.

This is what I got after about 8 hours of tumbling. 

20220820_090732[1].jpg

20220820_090651[1].jpg



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



Poncho Master!

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Nice !

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I would clean the grease and oil from them first. Then when they are clean, put them in the tumbler. This way you would get more use out of the media before you would have to change it....
What did you use for media?

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A Poncho Legend!

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The tumbler includes some little sharp stones. I can get a picture later.

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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



A Poncho Legend!

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A friend of mine works from home, does all kinds of mechanical work. He stopped in today and saw  my tray of cleaned bolts. "How did you get those so clean? Did you buff all those with the wire wheel?" I just laughed and pointed to my little tumbler rattling away on the floor...

I think Princess Auto will be getting another customer for one of these!

20220824_212732[1].jpg



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



Addicted!

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Wholly crap thats awesome! Im going to grab one tomorrow. Great find!

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4SPEED427 wrote:

The tumbler includes some little sharp stones. I can get a picture later.


 Carl, can you get a photo of the little sharp stones?



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A Poncho Legend!

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I thought they were stones they're so sharp but apparently it's walnut shell media, according to the Princess website. 



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



A Poncho Legend!

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Thought I'd do a before and after with the last batch I did. Not perfect when they come out but SO much nicer. If I want perfect I can put them in Evaporust after tumbling them. 

t1.jpg



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



Canadian Poncho Superstar!

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Maybe put some sandblast sand in it? Just don't wear out the container!



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A Poncho Legend!

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I've wondered about trying some blasting sand in there. I may just do that. I'm real happy with it for bolts but other stuff is only "ok" that comes out, like these clamps.

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They look great Carl!

Now that they are prepped and clean, you'll really need to do some kind of oxide coating on them. You certainly don't want to paint them.

I actually had very good luck with leaving clean blasted parts in a tub of Eastwood's Fast Etch overnight. They greyed up nice, and were resistant to rusting afterwards.

 

Plenty of DIY solutions can be found on line.

 



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A Poncho Legend!

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In my case too, the stuff that will go onto my own car suits the car very well if it still has a little bit of "age" on it. That's the look I'm trying for. I might toss a few of these pieces in Evaporust now to see how much change it makes. The thing I like about the tumbler is after my initial $50 investment, I've invested nothing. I've used about a third of the media that was included with it and likely there's been 50 pounds of stuff cleaned. 

Just looking at the 3/8" bolts alone I'm betting I've cleaned 20 pounds of bolts. 

20221020_084044[1].jpg



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1966 Strato Chief 2 door, 427 4 speed, 45,000 original miles 



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How will you stop them from rusting? Or do you want them to?

Generally, as we know, all factory fasteners came with a zinc oxide or Phosphate finish as a minimum. Of course, with regular driving in the wet, this eventually gave up and allowed rust. But now with minimum use, they could last for years and years if redone.

 

I suppose a light coating of oil might just suffice?



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A Poncho Legend!

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 Eastwood sells paints in aerosol cans that mimick the different bolt coatings. eg: Zinc Phosphate

They also sell a "Tin Zinc Electroplating system"

https://www.eastwood.com/ew-electroplating-system-tin-zinc.html

 

 



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wow!

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cdnpont wrote:

How will you stop them from rusting? Or do you want them to?

Generally, as we know, all factory fasteners came with a zinc oxide or Phosphate finish as a minimum. Of course, with regular driving in the wet, this eventually gave up and allowed rust. But now with minimum use, they could last for years and years if redone.

 

I suppose a light coating of oil might just suffice?


 So far the ones pictured in the drawer have been sitting there for a couple of months and that's how they look. I'm not sure, will they eventually start to rust? I make sure I blow dry them as soon as they come out of the tumbler. The few bolts in the drawer pictured that seem to have a little bit of surface rust are bolts that I haven't actually tumbled yet. 



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