Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lessons Learned While Vibrating

The title is much more interesting than the actual subject.

I've been continuing to test the results of using a vibratory tumbler to remove rust and help refinish some parts. As a result I've learned a couple of things that I thought I'd pass along to anyone who stumbles across this post.

First, despite the tumbler being noisy and annoying you should not put it on the patio, beside your grill, unattended. My tumbler, let's call her Vicky, had a dream and wanted to fly. Having the aerodynamic form of a witches kettle and the propulsion of a potato, she only flew about 3-1/2 feet... straight down. The bowl, which holds the parts while they vibrate, loosened causing the amplitude of the vibrations to increase substantially. This caused Vicky to walk to and over the edge of the counter, plunging her to the cement below. Just before Vicky hit the ground her cord made a valiant attempt to save her but to no avail. All the cord managed to do was yank itself out of the switch, shutting down the motor - which was probably a blessing.

The other lesson learned was, "be patient". It took a long time for those parts to build up that layer of rust and grunge and it's going to take a long time for it to come off. Sure, you can spend hours with sand paper or a wire wheel on your grinder (I've done both) to remove the grime but both of those methods require your time and attention. A tumbler can do it while you do something else. It's nice to think that something is getting done without you having to be an active participant. The power of multi-tasking finally realized.

I'm sure, as Vicky and I get to know each other better, we'll have new adventures. I can't wait to try polishing something with walnut shells. I started a series of pictures showing the parts I was polishing but with Vicky's attempt at flying and the malfunction of my kitchen timer (another story for another day) I didn't get any other shots. Sorry about that. I'll make it up some way on a future post.

1 comment:

  1. Hey GymX, I'm impressed with the progress you're making - and you're doing it all properly (unlike me!). Keep up the good work, GBC