A post concerning the first use of a Mr. Deburr 300 vibratory finisher...
How's that for descriptive?
I'm posting this for those who might have questions, as I did last week, as to what to expect from machines like this.
It was taking way too much time to hand finish these parts, so after reading all the posts in the archive here I purchased a Mr. Deburr 300 vibratory finisher from C & M. There are few other choices out there in this size and price range. Northern Tool sells one from China, it is also sold for less with no name. The C&M is made here and the owner is extremely knowledgable and helpful. I don't know anything more about him, and I don't get kickbacks.
Here is the part after machining. It was taking me about an hour each to hand finish these, and I wasn't touching the pockets. I was pleased with the results after hard anodize, but with 5 parts of similar size in each assembly, it was taking way too much time and very hard on the hands. The tool marks do not catch the fingernail and are perhaps barely perceptible to the touch, but show clearly through after anodize.
Along comes Mr. Deburr
The instructions with the Mr. Deburr say that it MUST be bolted down solidly to concrete. However I don't like bolting things down, as I tend to rearrange machinery like a housewife does furniture. So I cast a concrete base, about 1600 lbs, and bolted it to that. There are fork pockets to move it about easily, a bit of a shelf on the left and right to stand the compound and media empty buckets. I also decided it would be rather high to dump heavy buckets of media into (even for me at five foot sixteen inches tall) so I extended it in front to allow standing on.
I set the base on some 1/4" neoprene pads, just to save the surface underneath. The block vibrates very slightly to the touch, like an electric motor is running somewhere near. It seems like this is going to work pretty well.
Here is a movie of the tub with the parts in it. Parts are about 8 x 7 inches for reference.
Here are the same parts, after 1 hour in the vibrator. The surface was described by Dan at C&M quite accurately as looking like galvanized. It is satiny but dead smooth to the touch. I am told the texture will disappear when they are etched for anodize, but I have not had that done yet. In trying a couple of different parts I have discovered that with this size media, it is more aggressive on a larger part than a smaller one, I think because the smaller ones tend to move with the media. Small parts took 90 minutes or so. On another part with small pockets (less than an inch across and 0.2 deep) the media did not get in there well, even after 90 minutes. I think you need space in the pockets for several pieces of media, or it does not cut very fast. That is an 0.060 radius at the bottom of the pockets which it pretty much got to, however on the second picture you can see its still shiny at the corner of the far wall, which is a 0.015 radius.
I don't like bolting things down either but wouldn't have thought of pouring a massive block like that.
Nonetheless, next time I have to move mine ( this is it's 3rd boltdown location ), I'll be doing just that.
Regarding the setup you have for the water flow.
What I did with mine is put a rubber furnco (sp?) on the bottom of the metal pipe and connected it to a 2" PVC U and brought the pipe up near the top.
The reason for that is the square tumblers ( like you and I have ) are quite a bit more aggressive than the round tumblers.
In some cases you need a little gentler vibration.
One way to achieve that is to let the water fill up above the stones. Apparently the extra weight and the slight "floating" of the stones reduce the
effectiveness of the abrasives and the end result will be a very fine and smooth surface even with more aggressive stones.
In your case ( just saw the new pictures ) you can tumble for an hour with a straight flow-through, and then let it fill up and tumble another 10 mins or so.
In addition, I use Palmolive dish detergent as the tumbling soap for AL. It will foam like a rabid dog, but does wonders to the visual aspects of the finished part.
That is an awesome setup... I like it a lot, and the finish looks amazing.
You can burnish with little porcelain rods to clear the crystalline texture. These don't do any deburring, they just rub on the surface and give it a soft polish. That way you don't have to fret about your anodizer's etch cleaning up the pattern. The porcelain isn't cheap, but it lasts essentially forever.
Originally Posted by swarf_rat
The compound (fluid) setup on this is a pipe across the back top, with 4 holes in it fed from a submersible in the bucket on the right. Interesting about letting it fill, I may try that - are you saying that you put a rubber pipe coupling on the drain and U'd it up to the top? Thought that would shake off... how do you drain? I got as part of the "start-up kit" a few gallons of compound that C&M sells. It could just be Palmolive for all I know.
Dan suggested porcelain stones for a polish as well, and suggested using balls rather than cylinders for aluminum. Since these get hard anodized which involves a fairly aggressive etch, I am going to see what that looks like before I do anything more.
I did get porcelain cylinders and also ceramic stars to use with stainless steel, but haven't tried that yet.
Yes, the balls are more suited for Al because they are gentler, but a downside of balls is they cannot get into corners, so they leave shadows in all the inside corners. Maybe, hopefully, your anodizer's etch will clear things up.
Originally Posted by swarf_rat
I thought that too, but no, it won't shake off.
And when I say U, it's actually a P-trap with drain, like this:
It has a plastic threaded plug on the bottom so drain is easily done.
As far as the compound, there are a whole bunch of different kinds.
I have the ones for steel with corrosion inhibitor. This is yellowish color. I also have a post-finishing rinse liquid which is green.
I also have a small amount of a red liquid, which works nice for stainless.
For stones, I have the green plastic triangles. Wicked nice ( albeit slow) finishes, but heaven help you with holes between .5 and 1".
I also have 1 3/4 cones, also plastic but beige. Fast acting, reasonably nice finish but does not get into small corners.
These both used for AL.
The idea behind the Palmolive was simply that all of the above compounds end up stinkin' to high heavens if you don't drain the bucket after you're done.
With the Palmolive you can stand yourself ( and your tumbler ) for a little while.
Nonetheless, clean water is a must for reliable and consistent results.
Ok, I cannot post the miserable image, so this is the P-trap I've used, except PVC:
We have gotten small pill shaped media recently for our mr deburr's and it works quite well, i prefer it over the green cones / triangles which we also have.
As for letting it fill, i tried it and for me it didnt work. Once a few inch's of liquid was built up in the base it became to much for the vibrating motor and it just made the whole unit reverberate on the floor even though its lagged down
I switched from the big green triangles like you are running to the little green cones and with a light etch at the anodizers it comes out as a beautiful satin finish with either clear or black. You do have to be more careful about media getting trapped in holes but I use foam rubber to pack in the holes and then blow it out with compressed air. As for the water, I set it to just barely dribble for the first two thirds of the time and then crank it up for the last fifteen minutes to wash the parts. The new soap that Dan has really seems to foam less than the older purple stuff that he used to have and also leaves less residue to deal with.
Good point about the balls not getting into the corners.
jvangelder, when you say pill shaped, what kind of pill? How big? Where did it come from?
I talked to my anodizer and he is happy to run me a sample which I may do. But he says that I will probably be able to see the 'galvanize' pattern through the hard anodize. It's not a bad look, seems to be what people in this industry do (this is sailboat hardware), but will be different than my hand scrubbed Scotchbrite look.
I got two different compounds from Dan, a purple one for aluminum and another one for SS (don't know what color that is yet). It foams a little but not excessively.
How do you guys deal with the nasty concrete-like sludge that settles in the bottom of the 5 gallon bucket? I swear we could spend full time cleaning ours regardless of what material we're tumbling.
Put a heavy trash bag in as a liner and then when it is ready to change you pour the water off first thing in the morning when it has settled and set the sludge bag out in the sun to dry and then dumpster it.
That does look pretty good. No pattern at all.
We have a stainless settling tank built for ours.
Originally Posted by coyotekid
Once the sludge gits up to the pump - if time allows we will toss a box fan on the tank as long as we
dare let the unit idle. (more surface area) Then we scoop it up with a plastic scoop shovel and transfer to an old coolant tank and let the
fan on it for however long it takes to dry it out completely, then toss in a seed sack and toss in the dumpster.
I am Ox and I approve this h'yah post!
Having no experience in tumbling anything : what about the parts hitting each other during tumbling and maybe causing marks ?
That can definitely be an issue with larger, heavier parts that have edges sharp enough to dent another part. Most of the time, if you don't try to cram too many parts in the tumbler at the same time, they can tend to keep a layer of stones between them so they aren't banging into each other. there are a lot of "tricks of the trade" involved with tumbling, how much media, what size media, how much water, how full you get the water to stay in the tumbler.... a bit of an art to running one successfully.
We also have a Mr. Debur - just wanted to pop into this thread and cast another vote for it as a happy customer... Those guys are friendly, and willing to help- they have even shaken parts for me in different medias before, when I was trying to get a certain look after anodize.
Money well spent- we use it a lot more then we thought we would. I am using the triangular media he had, also going to switch it to the cones once this wears out a bit. The triangles are just a bit more aggressive then I want.