Professional Rock Tumbler by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC (Improved Quality Sept. 2016)
|Price:||+ $38.11 Delivery|
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- RESPECTED QUALITY - This premium tumbler comes with National Geographic's 100% satisfaction guarantee and a 1 year warranty
- PROFESSIONAL FEATURES -Includes a speed control and shutoff timer for faster tumbling times and better polishing results
- BUILT TO LAST - This powerhouse machine will last for years and features a 2lb leak-proof rubber barrel which makes less noise than other tumblers
- A COMPLETE HOBBY KIT -Includes Pro Series tumbler, 1lb rough gemstones, four polishing grits, jewelry fastenings, information guide, and instructions
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From the manufacturer
Professional Rock Tumbler Kit
Polish Dazzling Gemstones
Take stones and turn them into gemstones! We've included a 1 lb assortment of rough gemstones to get you started, but polishing stones from your backyard can be even more fun.
Perfect for beginners and advanced hobbyists
This top-of-the-line rock tumbler from National Geographic includes many unique features that will give you faster polishing times and better results.
Create Custom Jewelry
With the included jewelry fastenings, you can create a custom ring, keychain, and even earrings and necklaces!
- Leak-proof noise reducing rubber barrel
- Tumbling-speed control settings
- Powerful motor built to last for years
- Automatic shutoff timer
Explore Geology With National Geographic
Learn all about gems and rock tumbling with National Geographic's best selling rock tumbling kit. Make any stone sparkle, investigate rock formations, and create your own custom jewelry that is sure to leave an impression. An absolute necessity for any rock collector, this kit will bring your passion to the next level.
But the fun doesn't stop there! This tumbler can be used to make sea glass, polish metal scraps, and more! Join National Geographic and explore your world, and all its hidden beauty.
|Starter Rock Tumbler||Professional Rock Tumbler|
|Powerful Motor Lasting for Years||✓||✓|
|Jewelry Fastenings (6pcs)||✓||✓|
|Gemstone Learning Guide w/Instructions||✓||✓|
|Rough Gemstones||1/2 lb assortment||1 lb assortment|
|Automatic Shutoff Timer||✓|
|Tumbling Speed Controls||✓|
|Noise Reducing Barrel Design||✓|
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
UPDATE: The sealer lid has a defect. The rubber gets loose and comes off. I learned this the hard way when I came home to an awful mess of glass and grit spilled all over my work table. The seller says they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, but I've emailed them twice and no response. I sealed the rubber piece back to the lid with E6000 glue, but I'm not confident that will hold for long.
I collect rocks wherever I go and finally decided to buy myself a rock tumbler. Enter the A-R1, a highly reviewed tumbler from ages past. I made the mistake of buying it used, which I don’t recommend for any beginner—how can you tell if it works right! The A-R1 is simple, mostly reliable mechanism, without any switches or timers. But I couldn’t figure out if I was doing it right and gave up….
Enter the National Geographic tumbler.
I was super happy to have the opportunity to try tumbling again. So I set up both my tumblers for a real go, and was immediately happy with the NG. The instructions were simple (with pictures), the barrel lid seals properly (yes, you stick the seal on, then the lid, and tighten them together), and comes with a spare belt (a 4” O-ring), which I threw on my needy A-R1.
While it’s nice the NG instructions are clear, they are almost too simple. The kit comes with some rocks you can test with, and some small packets of grit. But the packets don’t say how much grit they contain, and the instructions don’t say how much grit to use with this tumbler. I wanted to test the tumbler not for what came with it, but for sustained use. So I tumbled my own rocks, with grit I had bought in bulk. I used 4oz of the roughest grit… which I think was too much, but it worked.
The A-R1 recommends running rocks of similar size and smoothness, e.g. all river rocks. You fill the barrel about half full, put in the grit, cover with water, seal with the lid, and begin tumbling.
The NG tumbler has two electric controls, one for days and one for speed. Instructions say run the first grit 3-5 days, on the highest setting (I chose 4 days). The A-R1 runs at a slower speed, so has to run almost twice that time. The second round runs for 6-8 days… mysteriously the NG setting for days only goes up to 5, so you have to remember to start it again once that finishes.
All in all, you’re looking at about 3 weeks for the entire cycle. I’ll post results.
One more thing I love about the NG is that it’s actually really quiet, considering it’s a rock tumbler. I put mine in the garage and barely notice it when I’m in the house. If I had to keep it inside, I don’t imagine it would be any worse than the laundry machine or dishwasher.
Quick setup, easy maintenance, and good results so far!
Electric tumbler base with 2-prong plug, day timer (max 5 days) and speed (1-3)
2lb barrel with nice, sealing lid
2 belts (4” O-rings, for gear/rolling mechanism)
Grit for 1 full cycle (4 packets)
Pack of gemstones to experiment with
Some jewelry fixings (necklace to put gemstone in, etc.)
After each cycle, you wash the rocks and the tumbler. DO NOT wash them in your sink! I recommend filling a plastic bucket with water and washing them there, then dump the grit-filled water outside and rinse the bucket with a hose.
(Pictures show the rocks before, the rocks in the barrel, then the rocks after the first cycle.)
I've added a picture of some finished-tumbling rocks. They are shiny and beautiful!! Also, a picture of the unit after this time. Notice the black powdery stuff. The barrel got too close to the rollers on the right and it began grinding at the lid. If I'm careful to set the barrel all the way to the left there is no problem, but if the lid touches the right it will grind. And get all over the place. Eeeeew. But otherwise, still going well!!
I rant the rocks and others of the grit provided and was rather disappointed at the result. Further experimentation with my other, newer and far cheaper rock tumbler, led me to the conclusion that there was far, far too little grit provided. Research and experiment has led me to believe that you should use a level Tablespoon for every pound your barrel holds for the coarse and medium grit and half that amount for the fine grit and polishing step. You can also, supposedly, burnish your stones by using about a Tablespoon of Ivory Soap flakes and tumbling the stones, with water as per the grit, for three to six hours or overnight. Ivory Snow would also work if you can find it at the grocery. Some person on line was selling a box on line for thirty five bucks if you can believe that.
My guess is you can grate dry bar soap with a common food grater the way you grate cheese and onions. My guess is also that any soap, as opposed to a detergent bar like Zest, will work. Soap leaves a residue which is probably what you want on the stones the way you want wax on your car. Detergent, usually Sodium Laurel Sulfate, commonly known as shampoo, does not which is why it won't dull your hair and you can save the beer rinse for the beer.
I am just starting this rock tumbling routine with my grandkids but the first thing I found out is that the first step, the coarse grit, is what rounds the rocks off. Statistically, I guess, all the rocks should eventually wind up oval or round it you ran them long enough with coars grit. They could also grind away completely which is what sand basically is.
Beware dumping grit down toilets or drains. Some of it is almost like drywall mud when the tumbler is opened up.
I love National Geographic by the way. I used to live in Maryland and drive into D.C their building all the time to look at the displays and buy books and maps. The magazine still makes a dandy gift though, as a real science journal it is past it's day.
it is very noisey. I guess what do you expect from rocks tumbling in water.
this is the professional model not the cheaper plastic one others complain about.
i only filled about 60-75% with rocks so is has room to tumble. After just the first 3 days of tumbling I looked at our rocks. way cool!