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The bottle gods work in mysterious ways.

Fishnemesis

Member
Mar 11, 2021
20
13
So I've been thinking about making a bottle tumbler for a while. I'm too crafty (and cheap) to buy a fancy one so I was gonna figure out some way to concoct one. Then I was in a thrift store the other day and saw this. From what I gather it is some kind of lab equipment. I've even found 2 others online for sale (for about 10 times what I paid) but neither actually say what it was originally for. It was not intended to be a bottle tumbler but it's gonna be one now. I don't have to do anything but figure out a cylinder for it now. Does anyone have an opinion on copper vs plastic tumbling medium? (Remember I said I was cheap.) I've got a decent plan for a cylinder but if anyone has thoughts on that I'd love to hear them.
 

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ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
3,051
113
New Jersey
So I've been thinking about making a bottle tumbler for a while. I'm too crafty (and cheap) to buy a fancy one so I was gonna figure out some way to concoct one. Then I was in a thrift store the other day and saw this. From what I gather it is some kind of lab equipment. I've even found 2 others online for sale (for about 10 times what I paid) but neither actually say what it was originally for. It was not intended to be a bottle tumbler but it's gonna be one now. I don't have to do anything but figure out a cylinder for it now. Does anyone have an opinion on copper vs plastic tumbling medium? (Remember I said I was cheap.) I've got a decent plan for a cylinder but if anyone has thoughts on that I'd love to hear them.
Looks like a small laminating machine. I like copper. I cut up scrap copper electrical wire off the job. There are always scraps laying around. I strip the insulation off and cut into small pieces 1/8- 1/4" long. Tube 4 inch white waste pipe from the HomeDepot
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

Fishnemesis

Member
Mar 11, 2021
20
13
I think it actually is intended to tumble something. It's nothing more than a motor and rollers. One is fixed to the motor and the other can be adjusted for different widths. The rollers are about 16" so it should work I think. I tried out a round igloo water cooler as a potential cylinder and it looks like it is going to work perfectly. I just need to figure out a way to suspend the bottles so they aren't flopping around. I've got ideas on that but haven't had a chance to try them out.
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
3,051
113
New Jersey
I think it actually is intended to tumble something. It's nothing more than a motor and rollers. One is fixed to the motor and the other can be adjusted for different widths. The rollers are about 16" so it should work I think. I tried out a round igloo water cooler as a potential cylinder and it looks like it is going to work perfectly. I just need to figure out a way to suspend the bottles so they aren't flopping around. I've got ideas on that but haven't had a chance to try them out.
Cool. Is it variable speed?
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,783
113
To suspend you'll need stopples. The ones I use from Jar Doctor are about 6 inches long each. SO, That means about 12 inches of your Tube will not be holding a Bottle. You'll have 4 inches of room to tumble a 4 inch bottle? Unless you can make your own shorter stopples? Good Luck. LEON.
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
3,051
113
New Jersey
To suspend you'll need stopples. The ones I use from Jar Doctor are about 6 inches long each. SO, That means about 12 inches of your Tube will not be holding a Bottle. You'll have 4 inches of room to tumble a 4 inch bottle? Unless you can make your own shorter stopples? Good Luck. LEON.
Bigger tubes are better. I started with 4 inch diameter. I need to get 6 or bigger.
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

Fishnemesis

Member
Mar 11, 2021
20
13
Thanks for all the advice. The Cooler jug I was planning on trying has a 6" diameter but since it is insulated it is about 5" inside. It should work to get me started I think since I don't have anything big I want to tumble. The machine spins at roughly 75 rpm which from what I have read is on the faster side but not out of the range for bottles. It is not variable, but I think I can possibly make it so with an exhaust fan control. I saw one on amazon that this would just plug right into that has an adjustable dial. I know I can change the wheel size on the motor but that seemed like more work than I have the time for. I just picked it up the other day so I am still brainstorming to options. Thanks again for the advice.
 

ROBBYBOBBY64

Well-Known Member
Jan 11, 2020
3,051
113
New Jersey
Thanks for all the advice. The Cooler jug I was planning on trying has a 6" diameter but since it is insulated it is about 5" inside. It should work to get me started I think since I don't have anything big I want to tumble. The machine spins at roughly 75 rpm which from what I have read is on the faster side but not out of the range for bottles. It is not variable, but I think I can possibly make it so with an exhaust fan control. I saw one on amazon that this would just plug right into that has an adjustable dial. I know I can change the wheel size on the motor but that seemed like more work than I have the time for. I just picked it up the other day so I am still brainstorming to options. Thanks again for the advice.
I do around 50 rpm's. You can get a variable speed control from harbor freight. Does not work with soft start or brushless motors.
ROBBYBOBBY64.
 

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hemihampton

Well-Known Member
Oct 6, 2006
6,783
113
Bigger tubes are better. I started with 4 inch diameter. I need to get 6 or bigger.
ROBBYBOBBY64.

Bigger is not always better. Bigger is better for bigger bottles, like Quart beers, but for a regular 12 oz. Beer or Hutch you want smaller. I use a 4 inch for regular size Beers or Hutch's & 5 Inch for Quart Beers, Square Bitters, ect., ect., LEON.

P.S. You want no more or no less then 1/2 inch between your bottle & the wall of the tube.
 

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