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Dirt Cheap Ball Tumbler

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Dirt Cheap Ball Tumbler

Old 05-07-2010, 03:01 PM
  #1  
Boone & Crockett
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Rube Goldberg would be proud.

Some of you youngsters may not know about old Rube. He was inventor, engineer, artist, and cartoonist who drew newspaper cartoons back in the 1950's and 60's, with fanciful and complicated contraptions to do simple tasks.

Anyway, I recently had a casting session in which I cast about two hundred .575 balls. I had some pretty good ones, but a lot of them had wrinkles.



I'd once read a post about putting cast balls in a vibratory case cleaner without polishing media to smooth them out. I tried it once and that didn't work out for me, at least not in my Midway case vibrator.

I figured something like an old fashion barrel tumbler would work better, but I don't have one. So I searched through the accumulation of useless stuff in my combination boat shed & shop and came up with an old barbecue pit rotisserie motor, the drive pulley from a clothes dryer, some little 1" casters (saved from some long ago thrown away furniture?) and some scrap wood.

Putting them all together, I came up with the contraption in the pictures below.





I used a Pyrodex jug for the drum and the leg from some panty hose for the drive belt. (No, not my panty hose - you big silly.)

In my first attempt to tumble some balls I found the drive belt would just slide around the smooth surface of the Pyrodex jug. So I hot-glued a strip of sandpaper around the jug. No other glue that I had would stick to the plastic jug.



In my second attempt, I found the balls would just roll around without the tumbling action needed, so I modified the jug by hot gluing eight strips of thick plastic (cut from a 55 gallon plastic drum) to the inside of the jug.





The third attempt was a success. I put 50 balls in the marvelous magical machine for about an hour, and was rewarded with nice round smooth balls that "almost" look like commercial swagged balls, except you can still see a little dimple where the sprue was.



I don't know that they will shoot any better than the ones with wrinkles - probably not. But they look better to me, and anyway I had fun with the project.

So, if you want to see the Rube Goldberg Ball Tumbler in action, take a look at the video below (which may or may not work).

I ended up tumbling all 200 balls in 50-ball batches, and that panty hose drive belt is getting pretty frazzled and is about to break.

http://s210.photobucket.com/albums/b...urrent=010.mp4

Last edited by Semisane; 01-31-2011 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 05-07-2010, 03:38 PM
  #2  
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When I grow-up, I wanna be like Semi

Semisane is MY Hero
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:29 PM
  #3  
sup
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McGiver sane Pretty cool
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Old 05-07-2010, 06:44 PM
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PATENT IT before someone else does. You could sell the plans online for 10.99, and be one of those overnight millionaires we always hear about.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:11 PM
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I like it, I like it a lot.
Art
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:25 PM
  #6  
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Tim and Karen, my next door neighbors, are real nice people. Tim's an avid deer and duck hunter and owns his fair share of firearms (all modern though). So I guess that's why Karen didn't get all upset when she saw me taking a sight picture with the .58 on her little Jack Russell Terrier a few days ago.

Still, she looks at me kind of funny now and then.

For example, I was checking the tomato plants along the fence this afternoon and Karen asked me "what was that funny rattling sound coming out of your shop all morning?"

"That was something I rigged up trying to get the wrinkles out of my balls" I replied. "By the way, do you have any old panty hose I could have?"

There - she looked at me kind of funny again!
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:36 PM
  #7  
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Gee I wonder why she looked at you like you were a couple french fries short of a happy meal...

What would have happened if you took your grill rotisserie motor and the skewer that you normally stuck in a chicken. Then built a simple wooded jig to hold the thing off the ground and attached the motor to the other end? The reason I ask is, I have an old rotisserie in the shop that still works fine. Took it off my old gas grill and it would not fit the new one, so I bought another.
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Old 05-07-2010, 07:58 PM
  #8  
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That may work Cayugad, but those rotisserie motors are geared down to a pretty slow rpm. I mounted that big pulley from the back of a dryer drum to get the canister spinning a little faster.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:12 PM
  #9  
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Well I remember when I was a kid, I had a rock polisher. And it also turned real slow. We used to find all sorts of rocks to shine up. I was thinking that rotisserie would act the same way.
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Old 05-07-2010, 08:33 PM
  #10  
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Can't hurt to try. Probably would just take a little longer.
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