Using a Barrel Tumbler as a Silver Burnishing Machine
Silverware Polishing Machine: A Commercial Application for our 2-Bar Barrel Tumbler
Sometimes we come across customers that are using tumbling machines in unexpected ways. Most metal finishers are machinist, auto parts refurbishers, in the oil industry or maybe ammo brass recyclers. So it peaked our interest when we had a customer who was using our 2-bar barrel tumbler machine as a silver burnishing machine for polishing high-end silverware for restaurants. It’s exciting to see someone find a use for our product that we have not seen before and solve a problem they had.
We created our on burnishing machine for silverware in our test lab.
We were curious about how this worked and decided we had to try it for ourselves. First, we got our hands on some tarnished silver plate utensils and ran them through a rotary barrel tumbler in our test lab.
Here’s what we came up with. The silverware was tumbled in a eight gallon octagon barrel on a rotary barrel tumbling base with porcelain media. We tried 3/16 x 3/8 angle cut cylinder as well as the 4 mm spheres. Along with the media a small amount of concentrated burnishing compound was added to the water. The silverware was tumbled for about 30 minutes. At that point most of the pieces came out clean of tarnish and shiny. A few of the large pieces with more tarnish were put back in and ran for another 15 minutes to get them as polished as desired.
The results of silverware polishing in our own silver burnishing machine.
We found that both tumbling media worked well but worked especially well together. The cylinders seemed better at removing tarnish and the spheres did a better job at polishing.
The reason the octagon barrels make good silverware polishing machines is because the motion of the tumbling slides the media and burnishing compound over the piece which produces a nice shine. In contrast a vibratory machine would have a micro pounding effect and be too aggressive for using as a silverware polisher machine.
Using the bench-top two-bar rotary barrel tumbler in combination with the hexagon barrels is a great solution for several reason. The size of the machine can be more practical than some machine with large footprints. These machines are a very economical solution in businesses that already have very high equipment cost.
And lastly the ease of operating these machines can be a big help. Operators can be trained in minutes and there is not much room for error. A great simple way to add sparkle and shine to the diners table.
So that was our silverware burnishing machine experiment for the week.
We would love to hear about your unique tumbling application!
Have you have used vibratory finishing tanks or rotary tumblers to solve problems or ease a process that is outside the outside the norm?