Finishing fresh cut parts..... what do others here use?

so, after chipping off the little bit large dross and dressing the fresh cut parts with my hand grinder, I’ve been using my cement mixer and some standard 1/2" rocks from 'Depot i’ve found it pretty much leaves the finish i’m looking for. removes the mill scale, smooths grinder marks and de-sharpens the cut edges. the down side: my cement mixer wasn’t meant for 2-3 hour duty cycles aaaand after about 15-20 hours of use it stripped the drive gears… there’s $300 down the drain as replacement parts seem to be made of un-obtanium.

so now I’m on the hunt to either build something or buy something… but with my budget i need to stay in the sub $500 range.

media blast cabinets would work ok for my larger parts, but doesn’t seem very practical for the small parts.

are vibratory tumblers any good? I’ve seen the Harbor Freight 18LB one and it could work for my smaller parts, but some of my stuff might be too big to work well in it. also, how well do they remove the sharp edges? i watched the youtube video of the large one a guy built- his welds are definately in need of serious improvement, looked like eventually it would shake itself to pieces. the large commercial units are definately out of the price range.

i checked out rotating barrel tumblers, their initial cost is a this time too high for what i can afford if i want to stay married. i was looking at building a rotating barrel tumbler, the ones I’ve seen out there don’t look very complicated (we have plasma tables after all, so designing one, then cutting one out and welding it together wouldn’t seem that difficult)… are there any blueprints out there? if i do build it, what extra considerations should i take in the design?

A overnight soak in vinegar will remove mill scale and helps dross removal.
I also use a concrete mixer to tumble parts. It works great. Do you have a bargain finder or trading post magazine? Look for a industrial concrete mixer.


The harbor fright one is fair at best. I had one and it quit working after the 2nd use. It could have been fixed pretty easily but it did not work very well for what I was trying to do. I was trying to dedurr parts and it was not doing very well.

I did not do much research into the process so maybe it was just me.
I would think you can find something on you tube or google as I’m sure someone has already tried it.

Might find drum sander but these are know to leave marks. Big shops use multiple head drum sanders. Time = Money but better have a lot of business to support these types of purchases. GL

that’s good to know… for what it cost, the results don’t justify it.

i’ll search out an industrial concrete mixer. see what i can find.

I have some of this if you can find a machine shop to make those gears. But I can tell you right now its not cheap! :rofl: :rofl: