Recently I had a picture of my home made tumbler online. I have had numerous PM's in regards to how I built this. Speed, RPM ect...
I am going to have to break this into parts. I will do this as I build it. Currently Wendy and I have the frame complete. This tumbler is smaller in drum size opposed to the one I had posted. This drum will be 27 x 18 for approximately 37 gallons. You can use these same plans to cater to your needs. I am by far no wood working expert and only own a handful of wood working tools. If I can make one, anyone can make one. I was looking in a Van Dyke catalog and tumblers run as much as 800.00 and I hear shipping is a killer as they are drop shipped and oversized. I see some of the motors only being 1/20 hp. I will be using a 1/9 hp on this one. I paid 20.00 and 11.00 shipping off Ebay. It has an rpm of 27 and I will be gearing it down to 13 rpm. Mostly used for birds. I have plans on doing one for mammals that will turn at 21 rpm. I will be trying to do this one for under 200.00.
miter saw, drill, 1/8" drill bit and phillips bit.
Supplies for Part 1:
(3)- 2 x 3 x 96 we chose to use 2 x 3 instead of 2 x 4
1 small box of 3" drywall screws
1 small box of 2" drywall screws
1 bottle of wood glue
paint and brush (optional)
This laser saw was on sale this week at Sears for $99.00
First start by cutting (4) 20" pieces of 2 x 3 one end at 45 degrees and the other at 19 degrees.
Next cut (2) 10' pieces with both ends cut at 22.5 degrees, this will be for the top of the frame.
Next cut (2) 16" pieces with both ends cut at 22.5 degrees, this will be the center brace of the frame.
Next assemble the first frame end which should look like an "A" At all of our joints, we predrilled with a 1/8" drill bit to prevent the wood from splitting. We also used drywall screws instead of nails as the grip is 60% stronger. Additionally, at all the joints, we used wood glue for added strength.
Next assemble your second frame end just as above. When put together, you may have "rabbit ears" as Wendy is pointing to in the photo above. Just mark and remove them.
You should have this at this point.
Next cut (2) pieces 32" long, both will be straight cuts. This piece will connect to both frame ends which will make the base for our tumbler. Secure one end of the wood to the side of a frame end then secure to the other frame end to the wood. Repeat for the other side. Remember to pre drill and use wood glue for added strength.
At the end of this step you should have the base for your tumbler.
At this point, we painted our frame and let it dry over night.
Today we built the base for the motor to set on, this will work for most motors as most motors have a 4 hole base plate to mount to. Mine did not, so I will clamp mine in place and use a rubber pad along with this base. This works for side shaft as well as front shaft motors.
As you can see in the pic, I had added an extra piece of 2"x 3" along the bottom of the frame on the motor side. This is to help with torque as well as hold the motor base in place. All I did for this piece was hold an over sized piece of wood behind where I wanted it, and marked it with a pencil, then cut for a perfect fit. See above pic. Next I had a scrap piece of 2 x 2 that I cut to 6 1/2" and mounted it to our frame this will support our 8" top base plate. You can see in the above picture I am securing it to the frame.
Next I cut (2) pieces of 3/4" plywood 8" x 8". One piece for the motor base and I cut the other one in half again for the motor plate supports.
This completes the motor base plate to the frame. You can see approximately how the motor will sit.
In this pic you can see that this frame is more than sturdy enough. I am 6', 240 lbs. and it easily supports me and the wood glue is not even dry yet.
As for the drum you can make a wooden one or purchase a plastic barrel. I have a wooden one 27" x 18" all the side were cut at 22.5 degrees to make a hexagon. Then strap ends together. Trace inside or outside for ends of barrel and screw together. I have my wood cut at 22.5 degrees at time of purchasing the wood. Many lumber yards will do this for a small fee. I don't have the saw needed.
The hardware came in that I ordered from E-bay. You can get the items from Granger, but will cost a lot more. I will post the address for the E-bay site at the end.
The parts that I ordered off Ebay were 5/8 pillow block bearings, 2 sprockets size 40, and 10 ft. of #40 chain, as this is the smallest length they sell, it is easily cut down to the size needed. The end caps to hold the drum are 4" x 4" - 1/8 thick flat stock with 3 1/2" - 5/8 round stock welded to the center all other items were purchased at Home Depot, Lowe's or local hardware store. The motor was also purchased off Ebay, this motor is a 1/9 hp Bodine with an rpm of 27at the shaft. I geared it down to 13 rpm by changing sprocket size using a 10 and 24 tooth sprocket. This ebay company sells a wide variety of sprocket sizes. This give you a wider variety of options by gearing to your choice with sprockets. Many people pass up good deals on motors through Ebay because the rpm may not be what they are wanting. It is very easy to change the rpm with sprockets. Some motors may require modifications such as I had to install a cord and a motor frame. But I only paid $20.00 and this motor lists for $364.00.
This picture is of the end caps. These cost me $10.00 each to have custom made. You can call a welding place near you or the company I used does mail order.
To begin installing hardware, the hinges, latches and knob are all self explanatory to place on the drum. Pic of drum with hardware.
After this, you need to find the center of the drum on both ends. It is very important to have exact center. To do this keep criss crossing from end to end and make small lines in the center as shown in pic.
Now you need to drill 4 holes in the steel end caps. It is important to clamp your end cap to a scrap piece of wood when drilling these 3/8" holes. (Holes do not have to be perfectly straight, just one hole in each corner)
Next, trace one end cap onto a piece of stiff paper or poster board and mark your holes, then criss cross to find your center. Make sure you trace from corner of paper to corner of paper, NOT hole to hole. This is going to be a template for one end cap.
End cap with 4 holes.
next, using a paper punch or the 3/8 drill bit, drill out the center hole along with the 4 holes in each corner on the paper template. Now you will have a paper template of one steel end cap with 5 holes in it. The center hole is to see and locate the center of the drum. Use spray adhesive on the back of the template to hold in place as in pictures. Be certain to have the center hole in template aligned with the center markings on the drum.
Next, drill through the 4 corner holes of the template into the drum. Do NOT drill the center hole. After drilling all 4 holes, remove the paper template. Place your steel end cap over the drilled holes, you may need to rotate your end cap until all 4 holes align. Repeat this process for the second end. Again, you must have one template per side. After this is complete you now have the exact center located.
This is how your end cap should align when placed on the drum. Again, you may have to rotate the steel end cap to match the holes.
From inside the barrel insert 1 1/2" 3/8 round headed bolts upwards through the steel end cap. Place a washer and a nut onto the bolt and secure tightly. This is a picture of the bolts inside the drum. You must use this type as to not damage fur or hair when tumbling.
Next, place pillow block bearings on both ends.
Do not tighten pillow block bearings in place yet. Set the drum on top of the frame with the pillow bearings resting on top of the frame. Align the pillow block bearings on the frame where everything looks centered. Pre drill 1/2" holes where the wood bolts will secure the pillow block bearings in place.
After pre drilling, insert the wood bolts to secure the pillow block bearings to the frame.
Next, take your upper sprocket and slide it over the shaft above your motor and align the two sprockets. (Motor sprocket and upper end shaft sprocket as in the picture.)
Once they are aligned, tighten the allen screws on the upper sprocket and both pillow bearings. Securing everything in place.
Next, wrap the chain around the two sprockets, measuring the amount you need. Mark the link that you will need to grind and punch out.
Next, place that link in a vise and grind off the ends, then place the chain on a piece of wood and use a center punch to knock out the link. If you are off by just a little, you can adjust your motor height with washers or shims. It is highly recommended to put a chain guard on your tumbler, simply by an "A" out of 1 x 1 and covering with a piece of plywood.
Next, with the master link, secure the chain to both sprockets. Recheck all nuts, bolts, screws, ect. Your tumbler should be operable. I am trying to include a youtube link with a short video with this tumbler in operation. If the link does not work, you can copy and paste. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjgG8P5QSK0
It operates very smooth and quiet and is probably 10 times stronger than any you could purchase.
Below are the addresses, places or links to where I purchased the items for this tumbler.
Lowe's / Hardware and wood
Home Depot/ Hardware and wood
VanBuren Steel / End Caps/ 327 Davis St. Belleville MI 48111
Ebay seller(industrialsales719) sprockets, chain and pillow bearings. Go to sellers store it has a ton of items. Combines shipping and got my items to me in record time.
Ebay / Gear motor/ I am not putting the sellers name as he does not have any more motors. However, go to Ebay and type in gear motors AC and you will find numerous motors. Do not be afraid of higher or lower rpm's as you can gear them down with sprockets. The total cost of this tumbler to build was $142.57.
Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have fun!
If you need any help or have any questions, please feel free to ask. Thanks so much Dave.