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Old 11-04-2012, 10:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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RatFink's Old school paint tumbler

I have been getting a lot of paint with separated fill recently, so I decided I needed to go old school and put together a tumbler for my paint. I had a free Saturday, so here we go...
Objective, to spend as little money as possible.
Step one scavenge the only free motor I had laying around.

next get all the things I thought I needed together. I had a bunch of old skid plate material laying around, as well as some 3/8 tube. A quick trip to the local hardware store for a bearing, some computer wire bushings and locking washers and a set screw collar. Total, $9.00

Next, burn out my patterns and drill some holes.

Mock the finished pieces up together, square and weld...

I had to make a pulley up from remnant hole saw centers, stacked up and welded together and welded to the set screw collar. I only used a bearing on the drive side to save money, the other three got nylon computer bushings. I slid some small 3/8 hose pieces over the tube to provide the rollers with some traction.

Well, of the best laid plans... the Vacuum motor was way too fast, even with the reduction, I didn't really do any math, just kind of went for it. I will be on the look out for a sewing machine motor in the future. In order to get the result I need, tumbling my paint, I put the good ol' Milwaukee to work.

After tumbling 500 balls for about four hours, I could see the fill looking more consistent, so the end result is proving to work out as I had hoped.
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Last edited by RatFink; 11-04-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 11:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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That looks very similar to the commercial ones made for paintball a good while ago. How fast is it spinning the last image looks pretty fast. It really does not have to spin fast to work.

Looks good
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Old 11-04-2012, 02:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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you should put a force feed hopper in your vacuum to wear it on your back and show up to our game as a ghost buster, gun can go into the vacuum tube.
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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That looks very similar to the commercial ones made for paintball a good while ago. How fast is it spinning the last image looks pretty fast. It really does not have to spin fast to work.

Looks good
It isn't turning that fast. I will try my grandpa's "photo tach" on it and report back.
Heinous, I don't know if I could pull that In a week...
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Old 11-04-2012, 04:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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oh, and you can buy a tamiya gearbox from hobby stores, comes with their own dc motors. used those to build robots back in high school.

TowerHobbies.com | Tamiya High-Power Gearbox HE
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Old 11-05-2012, 11:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey, would you look at the effects of tumbling on roundness? When you have a bunch that is elliptical, will tumbling make it better or worse? You would have to measure (on seam and perpendicular) and mark (number) some balls, then tumble them and measure again.

This might be a good use of all those printer guts I have laying around. They have the rubber coated roller shafts and lots of motor sets with gears.
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Old 11-05-2012, 02:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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you'd need to do a control before that, to first find out if the sharpie you use to mark the paint would warp the shell.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:26 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hey, would you look at the effects of tumbling on roundness? When you have a bunch that is elliptical, will tumbling make it better or worse? You would have to measure (on seam and perpendicular) and mark (number) some balls, then tumble them and measure again.

This might be a good use of all those printer guts I have laying around. They have the rubber coated roller shafts and lots of motor sets with gears.
We've used our tumblers to take dimpled and out of round paintballs and get them much closer to round. We will add a damp paper towel or two and can add a little heat [shortened dryer heating element] and let it roll. Depending on how bad they are determines how long and how well it works. If you add heat you just want to add a little too much and you'll just get a mess.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Spider, will do. I have another batch on deck to be tumbled. I'll do a control test at the same time to proof the theory.
Grendel, thanks for the maxi pad trick, the balls didn't want to "tumble" at first, so I added the pad and viola, tumbling action...
David, hope to see you this weekend.
Oh, and grandpa's old photo tach needs new batteries, so please stand by for the RPM reading.
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Last edited by RatFink; 11-05-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 11-05-2012, 03:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
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you'd need to do a control before that, to first find out if the sharpie you use to mark the paint would warp the shell.
That occurred to me, but that would be too much fun; sculpting paintballs with the selective use of sharpie. It's worth looking at either way.

I just realized that the case of elliptical paint in my closet will be sub 675 if I make it round.
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