Friday, February 20, 2009

Churning, Sloshing, and Grinding - Rock Tumblers

Rock tumblers can be a bit of a pain at times. These past few years I have burned up several of them. For this reason, I am writing this article to save you the heart ache, the pain in your neck, and the trauma of stress related rock tumbler angst.

I started off with my rock tumblers running and spinning in the kitchen. My husband and children begged me to put them somewhere else. I took them to the laundry room. The trouble with that was that the laundry room is next to my husband's office.

He complained so we put them in the garage. The trouble with that is that with both cars in the garage there was not much room. Also, I didn't go in there a lot and did not keep up with the tumblers to see if they were still running.

So, they went out on our porch. That worked for me because I see (and hear) them every time I come home.

Here are the tumblers that did not work for me (a.k.a. they are at the dump or back at the store at this moment).

#1 This beauty from Hobby Lobby really disappointed me. I opened it up only to find out that it can hold just a few ounce of rocks at a time. Definitely not for me. If I'm going to go through all the trouble of polishing rocks I want to know that I can polish a bunch of them. I took it back without even trying it out. It should be called, "Small Pebble Tumbler", in stead of a Rock Tumbler...

#2This Chicago Tumbler came from Harbor Freight. I love that store but their rock tumbler is not my favorite. I have burned up two of them... They look a lot like my favorite (keep reading) but the motor has a lot of plastic parts.

#3This tumbler came from Big Lots. It was a good price but again, did not last. I love the space age design and the programing. I purchased two of them and they both went on the blink. The first one ditched after about a month. The second one died after about 5 months. I liked the space age type programing and the fact that it can hold a lot of rocks but, the fact remains that they both "spaced out" on me. Ok, next...

#4 This is my favorite and most dependable rock tumbler. I purchased it from the Dixie Rock Shop near Cherrydale. It cost me about $65.00 and is worth every penny. It has lasted about four years now and I use it for several months every year. I put lots of rocks in there for my students. It is "fairly" quiet. Watch this video to hear it run.

So there you have it. Learn from my mistakes and don't think you can save money by purchasing a cheap rock tumbler. And oh, keep it far away from the kitchen!!

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