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Viceroy 馃煩馃煩馃煩
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone polish rocks? My kid thinks he wants a tumbler for Christmas and I'm happy that he enjoys good old-fashioned things rather than a bunch of electronic games. On the other hand I hate to spend a lot on what may be a flash in the pan.

If you've done this before, how would this one from Cabela's be for a kid? ...

Thumler's Tumblers MP-1 2-lb Rotary Rock Tumbler : Cabela's
 

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I had a smaller rock tumbler when I was a kid, but it was a hobby that didn't even make it through the first batch rocks due to my dad not liking the amount of noise it made and taking it out back and destroying it. None, the less I know people who own rather large ones and take the hobby really seriously and make and sell the polished rocks as jewelry. Pretty cool how the ugliest rocks can become works of art.
 

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We have the same tumbler. It's a fun hobby but it's also a loud hobby. Run the tumbler in a shed or sound-proof room. The best thing is that you can also use it to clean brass!
 

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Hirschj盲ger
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If you get the Thumblers and your son loses interest, you can use it to wash/polish spent brass.

Aqualung
 

Righteous Dude
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Lol How about a brass tumbler? Useful!

I always wanted a rock tumbler. It always seemed like a neat and harmless hobby...
 

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That is the one I bought my kids years ago. That is a decent price too. As others have said, you need to put it some place where the noise won't drive you crazy. It isn't really that loud but you will hear it 24/7 for days and days on end. My kids got bored after just one batch. I can't recall for sure, but seems to me that it took a few weeks to polish the rocks we used. You have to go through several days with different grits each time, just like any sanding project. I enjoyed it more than they did. Still sitting in the basement ready for retirement or the future grand kids I guess.
 

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Thumlers is a step up from the Harbor Freight and would probably be better for the kids as it's somewhat simpler. Actually, for kids if going the HF route I'd start with the single drum one, about $43. But if the Thumlers is in your price range it is a better product.

That being said, I have the double HF one and it is fine for brass and you can do a lot of brass at one time.
 

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Oooh, I do have a strange liking for "Harbor Junk" and have one nearby. :) Didn't know they carried anything like that.
I drive by HF most days. Sometimes my truck winds up in their parking lot. I'm not sure how that happens. Same thing happens at the LGS. Weird. :D
 

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I was into it for a while about 30 years ago. It really is amazing, the beauty you can find in some ugly stones. I found a place on my work bench in the garage to set it up so it wouldn't drive the wife crazy.
 

Viceroy 馃煩馃煩馃煩
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks Planeguy. Cabela's ended up having a great sale on Thumbler's and free shipping, so going to give it a try. More of a family purchase, as I realize it's no substitute for a Christmas "toy", but I do think the kids will find it fascinating even though it's a long process. I find by keeping the kids away from all the tablets and smartphones and high-end video games (we've never bought any of that stuff for the kids) they prefer good, old fashioned kid stuff that actually builds knowledge and intellectual curiosity. :)

Kind of nice knowing it can do double duty on brass!

Yes, Bozz, it's going out on the garage work bench.
 

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Had one as a kid, garage sale find. Probably gave $3.00 for it ? It was cool, Did a few batches of rocks, but honestly, after your 3rd batch, you really start to accumulate a bunch of rocks your never gonna do much with. Make a necklace for grandma, etc. Most use it 2-3 times and then back in the box.
 

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Anyone polish rocks? My kid thinks he wants a tumbler for Christmas and I'm happy that he enjoys good old-fashioned things rather than a bunch of electronic games. On the other hand I hate to spend a lot on what may be a flash in the pan.

If you've done this before, how would this one from Cabela's be for a kid? ...

Thumler's Tumblers MP-1 2-lb Rotary Rock Tumbler : Cabela's
Uh, no. Not that one.

Thumler's Tumbler Model B Rotary Tumbler : Cabela's

Then when he gets board waiting for polished rocks after a few weeks, you can use it to polish your reloading brass.

Honestly. Its weeks. Plural. This is NOT a fast hobby. Really, its typically 3 to 7 weeks IIRC. I did a lot of tumbling when I was a kid as well as cutting and polishing cabs into jewelry. If he has the typical attention span of most modern kids, this hobby will be over real quick. Especially when he finds out he can go to the dollar store and buy a bag of tumbled rocks for a buck.

Unless you have a source of stones you want to tumble thats not already available in a polished state, you may wish to re-think this.
 
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