How to Use a 100-Year-Old Tumbler to Shine Metal
Kevin is inside the palatial, incredibly well lit, unbelievably ventilated, totally organized office of Kevin Caron Studios. Whatever you do, don't look back behind the camera setup!
You may remember this machine from a few videos ago when he used a gear puller to pull apart its gear reduction. Kevin has the motor back after the electrical shop rebuilt it and got the whole machine put back together.
Kevin was just tumbling some brass to see how well the machine works. He shows a couple of chunks of brass he's been turning (he's thinking about turning them into musical cattails).
For tumbling medium, Kevin is using ... more brass. He shows 1/8", 1/4" and 1/2" brass balls, some screws and some brass chain - he pretty much cleaned out his tool box of whatever brass he could find. It's a big hopper - it needs a lot of material to do the job.
What is the job? Kevin ron has been printing some bronzes with his giant and medium-sized 3D printers. A print from his medium-sized 3D printer will fit right into the tumbler. Tumbling 3D- printed bronzed cleans them up, polishes them, and gets them nice and shiny.
Oddly enough for Kevin, though, this is the only time the Internet has failed; he has not been able to find out anything about this machine online. According to the tag, it's a Tahara Silver Burnisher from The American Laundry Machinery Co. As near as he can tell, the tumbler was manufactured around 1905 - 1907.
It's easy to ease. It was probably used in a hotel, a restaurant or on a cruise ship for polishing silverware. They'd put their silverware into the tumbler and add some sort of medium - Kevin has no idea what - and some liquid, probably water, because there's a drain on the back.
There's also a drain inside the catch basin, which then probably channeled anything that leaked through it and would likely go out the sewer or, perhaps overboard, if you were on a ship. There's also a screen to catch any chunks while cleaning the tumbler so the debris doesn't go down the pipes.
How do you run it? Kevin snaps shut the tumbler's two latches, then unlocks the drum so it can turn. Next you line up the dogs to engage the coupler and the gear reduction, and plug it in.
Kevin runs the tumbler several revolutions. It's loud! He says that's why it is at the studio instead of in the garage or house.
How long does it take to shine something in the tumbler? Kevin shows a small sculpture he ran through it, and left it running for about 4 - 6 hours. He just put it in when he arrived and let it run until he went home.
Well, you might want to stick around another moment to see who makes an appearance in an unlikely place ....
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