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Old 02-14-2020, 10:30 PM
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Well it hasn't died yet but makes a mean noise when running and does not move the media like it use to.
Looking at some at Midsouth Shooters Supply since they are only a few miles from me.
I do in store pick up and save quite a bit of money.
Any advice on a $100 or less tumbler?
Thanks for any responses!
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:32 PM
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My RCBS works like a champ! That's my story & I'm sticking to it!
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:51 PM
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I've been using a Lyman Turbo 1200 for 3-4 years now and so far it's holding up. Before it, I had a Turbo 1200 I had bought back in the early 80's and it finally died about 3-4 years ago. I use the original tumbling basket from my old one on this new 1200 as I think it's made better and has a solid lid instead of a slotted one like the new 1200 has.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:09 PM
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I got six years out of my first Hornady tumbler, and so far about three years out of the RCBS one. The design is just based on the idea of the thing beating itself to death as it vibrates, so I don't think we can expect them to a really long time.

But... a lot of them appear on the gun boards "used" as people leave reloading, either because they got tired of it or they are passing over to the other side. Some good deals there, if you have the time to look for them.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:38 PM
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Orange, Tan, Green............

pick one,

and hope for the best.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:52 PM
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I have an old Midway tumbler I have been using for at least 15 years. The only problem I have had was the center wingnut inside the basket would sometimes get a little loose and the hard rubber cushions between the basket and the frame would fall out. I replaced the cushions and tightened the inner wing nut and was good to go.
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Old 02-14-2020, 11:59 PM
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I have killed 3 blue MidwayUSA tumblers, 2 Harbor Freight specials, and then I bought a Thumbler's Tumbler (vibratory bowl) from MidwayUSA on sale for about $150. Yes it is expensive, but it is BIG, it is FAST, and it is quiet. I have a fourth MidwayUSA tumbler that I won in a Bullseye league as a 'door prize', I didn't win because of my shooting skill.

Thumbler tumblers have a reputation as buy only one, and it lasts a life time.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:12 AM
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I'll bet there are only a very few manufacturers that make most or all of the tumblers that are sold under many names. I've had the big Dillon Model for about thirty years and it works fine. I used a small Midway a lot for about twenty years and it quit. Bought another small Midway and I expect it to last a long time. And that's coming from someone who generally avoids Midway-branded stuff because of its lesser quality.

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Old 02-15-2020, 12:19 AM
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I have a Thumblers Tumbler still in service for twenty five years.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:41 AM
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I have been using a Lyman Turbo 1200 vibrator tumbler for... hmmm... over 30 years now.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:46 AM
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I agree with the Lyman comments. I burned one out and they sent me a new one for a great price so I now have 2 bowls.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:14 AM
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I ditched tumblers for fear of the dust they produce but every now and then the Harbor Freight ones call to me. Anybody know about those?
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWARREN123 View Post
Well it hasn't died yet but makes a mean noise when running and does not move the media like it use to.
Looking at some at Midsouth Shooters Supply since they are only a few miles from me.
I do in store pick up and save quite a bit of money.
Any advice on a $100 or less tumbler?
Thanks for any responses!
I've had a Lyman Turbo 1200 for at least 15 years and an older Lyman for at least 25 years.

The older one prompted me to buy the newer one when it started making a lot of angry sounding noises. However, I was shooting a lot at the time and a second tumbler was a good thing, so I looked into what was causing the noise on the old one. And the bowl on the older one heavier and better made.

They are very simple devices, with an electric motor that spins a weight that causes the bowl to vibrate on a bed of springs.

With mine, two thing were wrong:

1) The springs on one side compressed slightly; and

2) what looked like silicone adhesive securing the springs (along with bolts) were loose. I concluded the silicone helped keep the bolt from vibrating loose.

I took it apart, re-stretched the springs to a consistent length, then re-attached and re-siliconed the springs to the base and the bowl.

It ran just as good as new, and has been running fine for the last 15 years. In fact, it's still the go too tumbler as the lid on the lighter weight bowl on the newer 1200 has cracked (but duct tape does wonders).

----

So it may well be worth taking a look at yours and doing a DIY repair, before replacing it.

Last edited by BB57; 02-15-2020 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:31 AM
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My Lyman 600 is at least 35 years old. I have wore holes in the bowl twice and patched them both times. The eccentric(thing that makes it vibrate) came off the motor shaft I fixed that..........Still running! Have used it to polish over 300 lbs of shot I made........It keeps going and going and going.......
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:50 AM
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I bought a rock tumbler at a garage sale about 25 years ago. Paid $15.00 For it, as I recall, and it works great. Idon’t know what they go for new, but you might look at those.
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:55 AM
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I have had a Midway for about 30 years and it is still running. Have you noticed most of them look alike, except for the color? My guess is that most are made in the same factory.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:21 AM
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If they carry Thumbler's Tumblers brand and you want a unit that will last go with it.
They even make a commercial model vibrating type .

50 years ago I bought a Model B rotating drum to polish rocks . Uses different abrasive grits and water and you run the unit for weeks at a time . I got out of rockhounding , started reloading and used the model B for polishing brass , even did wet tumbling for a while .
This unit is set up for rock polishing so it runs at a slower speed that units designed for brass polishing only...it's somewhat slow .
A sale got me a Thumblers vibrating unit made for brass ...much faster , it's going on 10 years old and doing just fine , no dust either.
The rotating Model B is 50 years old and I've only replaced a few belts .
I've discovered that vacuum cleaner belts last for decades and you can get 2 belts for $2.50 at Wally Mart... much better than factory belts or O-rings .

The Thumbler's line of polishers are good and worth the money .

Gary
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
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I ditched tumblers for fear of the dust they produce but every now and then the Harbor Freight ones call to me. Anybody know about those?
I've been using their 2-drum, 6 pound tumbler since 2015. I wet tumble with stainless steel pins. It's been working fine for me. This set up is not for the volume reloader, but it's working fine for me. I can clean about 180 .45ACP brass and 200 9mm at a time. No more toxic dust, it's quiet and just adds a couple more steps to your case prep.
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
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I have had a Midway for about 30 years and it is still running. Have you noticed most of them look alike, except for the color? My guess is that most are made in the same factory.
I've been running my Midway for about 30 years also. It still works like the day I bought it. I shutter to think about how many cases have seen the inside of that bowl! I have looked at the China Freight stuff and I have to admit that if I need to replace my Midway, I think I will be adding to the trade deficit!
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:52 AM
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I have had a Midway for about 30 years and it is still running. Have you noticed most of them look alike, except for the color? My guess is that most are made in the same factory.
Is it the Midway 1292?

There's a Consumer Product Safety Council recall on
them, for tendency to catch fire.

Midway exchanged mine last year (I'd taken an extended
break from reloading).
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Old 02-15-2020, 11:57 AM
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Is it the Midway 1292?

There's a Consumer Product Safety Council recall on
them, for tendency to catch fire.

Midway exchanged mine last year (I'd taken an extended
break from reloading).
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure about the model number but I'm going to check on it. The little switch on the power cord crapped out about ten years ago and I just replaced the whole cord without the switch.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:02 PM
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I have a Thumler's Tumbler that I've had since the early 80's. It still works great and the only things I have ever replaced was a drive belt and the belts that hold the lids on the drums.

A few years ago, my wife got me a Lyman Turbo 1200 for Christmas and I use it more than the Thumler's now.
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:12 PM
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25 years with my first and only Franklin tumbler. I think about a new one once and awhile, but mine will not quit. Guess I got my $40 worth and more!
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:44 PM
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I started out with a Dillon 750 that I picked up pretty cheap, but the motor burned up after a year or so. Contacted Dillon and it turned out it was close to 15 years old and no warranty. New motor was twice what I paid for the tumbler originally. Then I picked up a harbor freight cheapie for $30. Still going strong after a year and a half, but I donít use it much after I picked up a new in box Lyman Cyclone wet tumbler for $75. Iíve found that wet tumbling is the way to go for me. I still use the HF one occasionally for small batches.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmj8591 View Post
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure about the model number but I'm going to check on it. The little switch on the power cord crapped out about ten years ago and I just replaced the whole cord without the switch.
I got lucky, with mine.

I made a cross-country move, about the time the
recall was issued (late Nineties), and didn't do
any reloading or tumbling until 2019. Never saw
the recall, at the time.

Had some .38 brass to reload, so dragged everything
out and set the tumbler up in backyard shed and let
her run. Came back in an hour to check, and tumbler
was humming loudly, but not vibrating...and HOT.

Turned out the potting compound in upper 'bearing'
assembly on the motor melted, and dripped down
into armature, binding it to the laminated frame. All
the metal motor parts were scorching hot. When I
got online looking for a replacement motor, I saw
the recall info.

CPSC, Midway Arms Announce Recall of Tumblers | CPSC.gov

It took some follow-up calls and emails with Midway,
after I sent the 1292 back, to get the free replacement
sent. Guess my transaction being "late", they were
less familiar/out of practice with the process.

I did some reading on the "shaded pole" motor design,
and they apparently tend to run hot/warm, to start with.
The replacement Frankfurt tumbler came with a sheet
metal panel across entire bottom of base, totally blocking
any airflow to cool motor. I took that off, and only run
it with base raised off floor, to let air flow through.
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:10 PM
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They replaced my motor years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve912 View Post
Is it the Midway 1292?

There's a Consumer Product Safety Council recall on
them, for tendency to catch fire.

Midway exchanged mine last year (I'd taken an extended
break from reloading).
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Old 02-15-2020, 01:52 PM
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I have a Lortone Lapidary Tumbler that my brother bought at least 45 years ago. I got it when he quit reloading about 30 years ago. I use it a lot and recently replaced the belt. It has about a gallon size rubber container that holds about 300 .38 Special cartridges.

I looked it up and mine is similar to the Q12 which they list for $235. Expensive, maybe, but a life time investment!
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Old 02-16-2020, 01:05 AM
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Thumbler's Tumblers make a very good vibratory brass tumbler. It held up better than a RCBS, Lyman Turbo, or 2 Frankfort Arsenal. The Thumbler's uses the same heavy duty motor that the rotary rock polisher uses. It lasted about 8 or 9 years of heavy use while the others lasted on average 4 years! Costs more but worth it!

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Old 02-16-2020, 02:14 AM
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The Harbor Freight model works fine, costs about $55. They last me about four or five years which may not seem too long but I use it every week year round. And as someone else said they vibrate, a lot, which is the worst thing possible for machinery. How many hours they last is more telling than how many years and I doubt anyone keeps track of the hours.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Engineer1911 View Post
I have killed 3 blue MidwayUSA tumblers, 2 Harbor Freight specials, and then I bought a Thumbler's Tumbler (vibratory bowl) from MidwayUSA on sale for about $150. Yes it is expensive, but it is BIG, it is FAST, and it is quiet. I have a fourth MidwayUSA tumbler that I won in a Bullseye league as a 'door prize', I didn't win because of my shooting skill.

Thumbler tumblers have a reputation as buy only one, and it lasts a life time.
I Have an ultrvibe18, use it every week going on 30y now, still runs strong. Buy once cry once.
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Old 02-16-2020, 02:37 AM
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I have an orange Midway 1488 I've had for a considerable time (20+?, maybe 30, I don't know). It has been reliable. I added a toggle switch way back when and that seems to be holding up too.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:11 AM
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I'am on my third Lyman 3200. The first one stopped working and i sent it back and got a replacement, The replacement would only work for a few minutes and would stop, I looked it over and there was no fan blade inside ... I called customer service and they sent me another one which am still using today. I have tumbled over 50,000 cases.Good machine.
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Old 02-16-2020, 03:48 AM
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I've used the same Lyman Turbo 1200 for well over 20 years (I guess they really did build some things better years ago). I recently switched over to a Thumbler's Tumbler for the wet stainless pin and Lemi-Shine/Dawn method, which I'm sold on.

And then there's the Jerry Miculek brass cleaning method... one heck of a brass tumbler :

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Old 02-16-2020, 05:55 AM
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Mine is a Lyman Turbo 1200. About 6 years old. Sounds like something is worn out and it jumps around, had to put heavy items around it to keep it in one place.
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Old 02-16-2020, 11:19 AM
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Back before Christmas I went to a porn....er pawn shop and bought a used Hornady loaded with media and just over a 100 Starline 45 auto cases...Cost a whole 15 bucks. I have run it at least50 hours out on the front porch since. I happened to buy really cheaply over 9000 bullets that had been coated tin moly coat. Been cleaning them all up(Works fine). I figured the moly coat would coat the inside of the bowl but hasn't happened. I mean it owes me nothing right now and it is still going strong. I have a few others Dillon 750? and a Dillon 2000? the big one and didn't want to use them. I'll bet that ol Hornady one will be running for the next 10 years. I gave a friend who was a little underfunded one of the old Midway machines I had and after a few more years it quit and evidently it had a recall on it. Midway replaced it.. He's still using the replacement after many more years, I can guarantee you he has at least 50,000 rounds of brass all tumbled and ready to be loaded in about every caliber. He believes in being prepared. He has it all sorted in 50 cal ammo cans and (coffee cans) I gave him at about the same time. He told me he went into a pawn shop back in Delaware(after going with pawn shopping out here) and found another Lyman tumbler for 20 bucks so now he has 2 tumblers. Usualy the darn things work for a long time normally
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Old 02-18-2020, 06:56 PM
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Not to hijack the thread, but I ended up contacting Midway about the recall. They answered that they no longer have parts for the 1292 but will replace any that are subject to the recall with a Franklin model, which I'm guessing is pretty much the same machine. They went on to tell me that if the tumbler has an aluminum plate on it's bottom, it is not subject to the recall. Mine has the plate so I will continue to march with my electrical tape repaired power cord and hope that it or me doesn't burst into flames!
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:02 PM
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Where do you get the stainless steel pin media? Do you have to order it?
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Old 02-18-2020, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by max503 View Post
Where do you get the stainless steel pin media? Do you have to order it?
My Lyman Cyclone came with 5lb. of pins. Iíll need to add more at some point due to attrition. The prices Iíve seen are around $7-$10 per lb. from the manufacturers.
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Old 02-21-2020, 07:23 PM
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I use a tumbler made in usa by Thumler's in Washington. Costs way more than 100 dollars. Most everything else is made in China and is kinda cheap. Try Ebay- you might luck out and find and older tumbler made in usa.
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Old 02-21-2020, 08:19 PM
Johnnu2 Johnnu2 is offline
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I couldn't say this any better... my Model B is as old and only replaced the belt maybe twice:

"If they carry Thumbler's Tumblers brand and you want a unit that will last go with it.
They even make a commercial model vibrating type .

50 years ago I bought a Model B rotating drum to polish rocks . Uses different abrasive grits and water and you run the unit for weeks at a time . I got out of rockhounding , started reloading and used the model B for polishing brass , even did wet tumbling for a while .
This unit is set up for rock polishing so it runs at a slower speed that units designed for brass polishing only...it's somewhat slow .
A sale got me a Thumblers vibrating unit made for brass ...much faster , it's going on 10 years old and doing just fine , no dust either.
The rotating Model B is 50 years old and I've only replaced a few belts .
I've discovered that vacuum cleaner belts last for decades and you can get 2 belts for $2.50 at Wally Mart... much better than factory belts or O-rings .

The Thumbler's line of polishers are good and worth the money ."
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