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tumblers

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just curious, one of the most tedious parts of trying to make larger batches of crankbait blanks is hand sanding after the initial shape is cut and roughed out. Has anyone tried tumbling them in a drum with a medium like coarse sand and glass? My initial tests with such seem promising. has anyone else tried this?

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This has been discussed, not sure if it was here though.

Ive heard of builders using different containers & lining the inside with sandpaper.

I intend to make one soon, as soon as I make room for one :D

Someone even mentioned rigging one off of thier drying wheel & using the same motor for both. the only issue I saw was preventing the dust from reaching his drying baits on the wheel.

for those of you wondering what the heck were talking about, its a sanding tumbler, kinda like those lapidary or rock polishing machines.

its basically a container you put your rough baits inside, add some aggregate like silica, sandblasting grit, etc. & rotate the container to sand multiple baits at once.

it'll take some trial & error to time your cycles, but it looks like a time saver if you need to sand wood bodies without alot of tiny detail.

good luck with yours, keep us posted.

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The ones I've seen have sand paper glued to the inside walls and just the weight of all of the baits inside the drum was enough to make them come out smooth. I think the sand paper was about 220 grit.

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I use a dual drum lapidary system. Line the inside with about 80D, cut and fold some more sanpaper in about 1"x3" strips, about a dozen, add baits and tumble till you get the desired finish. Working on one now to do 24 at a time.

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Thanks again guys, you gave me the last bit of inspiration to perfect this thing I think!

I am using a large plastic drum which opens on one end, it sits on a stand made basically with kids training wheels to support it, and is rotated by a motor, much like a drying wheel like Red described. or take a look at the one used for Taxadermy at www.vandykes.com (a good source for many interesting items)

I believe that the rough glass finish beads will remain, but I will also install floppy fins around the inside radius that accept having sheets of sandpaper guled to them and slide into tracks, that way I can pull them out and change the paper.

will keep you guys posted on results.

oops, site above is a woodworking site, heres the correct link for taxidermy site...

http://www.vandykestaxidermy.com/search.php?q=tumbler

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This is very interesting to me, so I have a lot

of questions. I have given this a thought and

thought I was nuts!! I have a rock tumbler

although small, I could run tests.

Has anyone ever seen a bait that came out

of a sanding tumbler, and how did it look??

Can you still cut the lip slot before you put it in,

Or does the sanding mess up the slot??

Does it round the sharp edges on the bait or

do you still have to shape it before you put it in??

Will it work on balsa as well as hardwood??

Will it work on a balsa/hardwood combination??

Coley

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Hey Coley, I didn't know you had a stutter. :lol:

Nice Idea about the removable paddles.

I've been kicking this idea around myself, for a while. Here's a couple more:

- Rest a round container on a set of 4 wheels. Large plastic wheels from a kid's ride-on toy should work. They are fairly large in diameter and have a wide, flat tread area. Having just one wheel motorized should be enough.

- Maybe a popcorn can would work? I believe the sides are 90 degress to the ends. One end would be removable, but fit back on tightly.

- A 5 gallon bucket might work, if you could find one with straighter sides. Has a snap on lid, too.

- Cut two hexagons or octagons from plywood, for the ends of a drum. Make the sides from plywood and are slightly larger than a full sheet of sandpaper. Attach the sides with wingnuts into studs. This way, you could replace the sandpaper fairly easily. Looking at the drum from the end, the non-roundness would cause the lures to flip over. This one would have an axle from end to end and be driven that way.

- If someone in your family has an exercise bike, get them to power it. They're bikin' anyway, right?

- This idea is fun to think about, at least: Scoop up a clothes dryer off the curb. No need to worry about heat. As long as the motor runs, you're in business. You also get a timer and built-in paddles. Attach sheets of sand paper to the inside with spray on glue. One could do a VERY large load of lures. :D

- Just guessing, but as long as the drum's diameter in fairly small, tumbling crankbaits with pre-cut lip slots may not be a problem. I'd worry about them falling too far in a large drum and braking the noses off.

- I would think a tumbler would be useful for sanding lures that have already been roughed out, but not lures that are just cut from stock.

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Don't ask me how two post showed up in here.

I have noticed several others lately that show

up twice???

The edit button says edit/delete, when I go there

I don't see how to delete it.

Coley

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1 Has anyone ever seen a bait that came out

of a sanding tumbler' date=' and how did it look??

2 Can you still cut the lip slot before you put it in,

Or does the sanding mess up the slot??

3 Does it round the sharp edges on the bait or

do you still have to shape it before you put it in??

4 Will it work on balsa as well as hardwood??

5 Will it work on a balsa/hardwood combination??

[/quote']

1 The Guy I talked to about this was Ba Gills, he worked for Smithwick, who used Lee Sissons Duplicating machine, the machine left small spirals in the baits, so they used a tumbler to remedy this. He put up a graphic, now gone, but it was an octoganal shaped wooden frame with holes drilled all through it, he lined the insides with sandpaper & run it on an axle similar to the way we make our drying wheels.

professional tumblers use a wheel & the tumbler is place on the wheel, makes for easy removal. I figure you could use a coffee can this way for small amounts (10-15)

2 I dont see how it could remove the slot, but trial & error rules here.

3 the more you run it, the more it removes, Id worry about it shortening small areas such as the tail section. but of course the closer you rough the baits, the leass sanding time required.

4 sure, all woods, make sure you handle the dust properly on certain woods like cedar & other toxic woods.

5 thats a good one, i dont know if it would sand one type of wood faster than another, I'm thinking it would, again trial & error only knows.

Good luck bud.

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wow you 2 posted the same time I did :D

Good tips Larry! I like em.

Definately wanting pics of any finished tumblers, I enjoy making things like these just as much as I like making baits.

I might move this topic over to the "homebrew tools" forum if it goes anywhere.

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im just guessing but, 20-40rpm should be plenty, as long as the centrifugal force is low enough to allow the baits to "tumble" instead of sticking to the walls, it should work.

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The drums on my tumbler turnabout 40rpm, these are 5" dia. drums. With 80D sandpaper it takes 12 to18 hrs. to get a really smooth finish. Have not tried it with balsa, just basswood and poplar. I tried sand and glass beads but with either of these in 12 hrs I could tell no difference than when I put them in. The lining of the drum with sandpaper along with narrow strips of paper thrown in have produced the best finish for me.

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oh you guys are good!

what a perfect idea for that dryer that the element went out on! I knew it was sitting in the yard for a reason! I can control time and speed... and has built in paddles and lots of space to glue in sandpaper. I am going to load it with a couple hundred and see how it works!

stay tuned...

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A couple of ideas for you guys:

you could use the forms for pouring concrete pilings for a drum...

Instead of glueing sandpaper in couldn't you just spray on glue then put in sand/glass/etc. of appropriate size and give a tumble then let it dry?

Ideally, If you came up with a sleeve system, you could change out sleeves through the process, say one sleeve each for 120, 200 and 400 grits, thus not clogging your fine sandpaper with dust when doing initial rough sanding...

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I have a small rock tumbler. Last night I cut some

small blocks of different shapes. I lined the tumbler

with a 4" wide piece of 150 grit belt sanding paper.

I put some small pieces of 100, 320 and 220 paper

in with the blocks. It did a good job of taking the

sharp edge off and put a small radius on the

pieces. I ran it all night. I put bait in this morning.

Will let you know.

Coley

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