Homebuilt Brass Tumbler

by Don Ashe

List of Materials

  • 1 - small AC motor
  • 5 - 1/4-20 threaded rods, 6" long
  • 1/4-20 nuts
  • 1/4" washers
  • 8 - 1/4" inside diameter springs, 2" long
  • small plywood square (approx 6" x 6")
  • large plastic bowl, preferably with a lid or a plywood circle for lid
  • small steel bar, 1" x 1/2" x 3" long, for counterweight
  • Construction

    (details will vary depending on the particular components selected)

    1. Cut plywood square large enough for motor and 4 rods for mounting unit to bucket
    2. Drill four holes outside the motor for the threaded rods and one for the shaft. (you may want to make a cardboard template first)

    3. Use the plywood square to mark and drill the corresponding holes on the bottom of the large plastic bowl and the bottom of the bucket.(make the center hole on the bowl 1/4", regardless of the size of your motor shaft)
    4. Cut the center of the bucket large enough to clear the motor.
    5. Drill 5 holes in the plywood square to match the shaft and mounting holes of motor.
    6. Mount the motor to the plywood square.
    7. Fabricate a counter-weight and mount it to the shaft. There are many ways to do this, depending on what you have on hand. The best method is a steel bar with a hole in one end. Cross drill the bar and thread the hole for a setscrew. Alternatively, drill a hole in a pulley and bolt a weight to it.

    8. Attach 1 threaded rod through the hole in the center of the bowl.

    9. Attach the remaining 4 rods to the bowl.
    10. Slide the plywood/motor assembly onto the rods. Adjust the distance to the bowl to allow adequate clearance for the counter-weight. Fasten loosely.

    11. slide 4 springs and 4 washers onto the rods and insert the rods into the holes in the bucket.
    12. From underneath, add a washer, a spring and another washer to each rod. Secure with 2 nuts.
    13. Attach a power cord and optionally a switch to the motor. Fill with media, add brass, fasten the lid and wait about 2 hours...
    1999 Don Ashe