Vibratory Tumbling Advice
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  1. #1
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    Default Vibratory Tumbling Advice

    Hi, I have 100's of small 316 stainless parts that I've tumbled to de-burr some sharp edges. The tumbling process has worked fine but there is a grey residue left on the parts that the customer has commented on, does anyone know of a cleaning process I could use to remove this.

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    I do mostly aluminum

    Use the soap they sell for this purpose

    rinse immediately upon removal from tumbler, like move the tumbler next to the sink

    then clean as normal

    Once dry it is a bitch to get off.

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    Depending on how small, an ultrasonic cleaner would be easy.

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    does your tubmler have a drain and constant running water? if not thats part of your problem.
    The soap works best, if not a good floor cleaner/ degreaser will work on ss. Ive used minerial spirits before in the tumbler before when I had no drains and no constant water to clean the grey off.
    but then you have to soak then in acetone or alcohol to get the mineral spirits off.

    we use ultrasonic cleaner with alcohol now if we have greying problems

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    Dish soap is just as good as the stuff specifically for tumbling IME. If you have recirculating water then make sure you filter it some, if not then rinse the parts off in the tumbler with fresh water before removing the parts, then a soapy water wash and rinse after. Do not let them even start to dry until clean.

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    As soon as you pull them from the tumbler put them in a bucket of water and rinse them off.
    Also putting in a drop of dish soap helped out a lot with the film.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmc1724 View Post
    Hi, I have 100's of small 316 stainless parts that I've tumbled to de-burr some sharp edges. The tumbling process has worked fine but there is a grey residue left on the parts that the customer has commented on, does anyone know of a cleaning process I could use to remove this.
    It sounds like you are not using a vibratory finishing compound (soap). If you wash your laundry, body, car, whatever without soap the results will not be good.

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    Just have a tub of fresh water right by the tumbler. I have run a ton of stainless through mine and even with soap and water flow it still has some residue. As has been said, don't even let them start to dry or you will be scrubbing each one. Pull em out and dunk em in the water.

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    Dont use dish soap use laundry soap such as tide. Wash parts and stones in clear water before they dry.

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    Other than using the soap which will help a lot, after the final tumble there is a corn cob media that you tumble in a dry drum and that will give the parts an extra shine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gmc1724 View Post
    Hi, I have 100's of small 316 stainless parts that I've tumbled to de-burr some sharp edges. The tumbling process has worked fine but there is a grey residue left on the parts that the customer has commented on, does anyone know of a cleaning process I could use to remove this.
    Vibratory finishing chemicals for component polishing and deburringSharmic Engineering Ltd

    I am using SX-IL/XI for mild steel, and deburring stainless, steel this one is soapy.

    SX90L for stainless steel polishing, this one foams up and gives stainless steel a shine.

    Corncob to dry and this will make it shine a little more.

    They send out samples which are about 1 litre bottles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malkey View Post
    Other than using the soap which will help a lot, after the final tumble there is a corn cob media that you tumble in a dry drum and that will give the parts an extra shine.
    I’ve also added a tin of Brasso to corncob, but eventually you end up with a dust in the bottom of the trough as the Brasso dries up.


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