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PVC Pipe - block tumbler


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Just spent the day putting together a block tumbler using PVC pipe and end caps. Had to cut the end caps down a bit but it works well. The whole thing comes apart by taking one nylex nut from the end of the shaft. Bearings were obtained very cheaply on EBay. Added a small 12 volt motor and now I can tumble a handful of blocks very quickly. 

 

Cheers

Steve. 

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I use the variable speed control from my Domanoff serving machine ( which I also use on my home made rope making machine) I experimented with different grit sandpaper in the tumbler and ended up deciding on 180 grit. I tumble them for a couple of minutes but because I use the variable speed control the number of revolutions in the tumbler depends (obviously) on the motor speed - not too fast, not too slow. I check the blocks as I go. Another pic of tumbler and some tumbled blocks below.

 

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Edited by hornet
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Y.T.

 

There are many mini food mixers on the market, some like the pic have a plastic spindle. Remove the blades from the spindle scribe lateral lines on the spindle wide enough to slide sandpaper in. Use PVA to hold paper which would be easy to u remove when paper lost its abrasive. Advantage some have variable speed, or use a speed controller.

 

Someone may have already posted this, have not figured what the cons would be if any.:huh:

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7 hours ago, Y.T. said:

I am trying to find a simplest solution as I only need to tumble 1 set of blocks every 5 years. Building a tumbling machine from PVC is too much work. If I can use mixer without ruining it this is best for me.

Building the PVC tumbler was a bit of work Y.T. but it was a fun project and gave me a sense of achievement (not dissimilar to building a model).  I have to agree with Mark though, the inflexible blades on a food mixer may be a little harsh for the job. You might like to consider making a whole new sandpaper ‘impeller’ to replace the blades on the spline completely or cut the blades off the attachment and replace with something more flexible. Post your  endeavours as I would be interested to see the results. 

Edited by hornet
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PVC pipe is great for our hobby. I use a length about 1200mm long capped at one end with plumbers resin and glue. I fill it with water and soak planks prior to bending. The uncapped end has another non glued cap on it to stop the planks popping out before they are soaked. I have used this for about 12 years and it has never leaked.

 

Cheers

 

Chris

 

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