Submitted by jamie on 04/15/2004 at 09:30. ( )

can i use an old clothes dryer for a tumbler thanks jamie

Return to Beginners Category Menu


This response submitted by Jeff "458okie" W. on 04/15/2004 at 09:34. ( )

Just disable the heating element.

Jeff W.


This response submitted by Susan on 04/15/2004 at 14:47. ( )

You'll also need to bondo the holes in the drum to seal it, and see if you can locate a small reduction box to slow it down a tad-if you don't change the belt and pulley system on it.-Don't forget to bondo the lint trap shut as well.-Susan


This response submitted by The Rookie on 04/15/2004 at 15:25. ( NaturesTrophies,aol )

I remember your response from a few days back on the same matter and wondered where a reduction box could be obtained? I've already got the old dryer sitting around and have been taking notes for it's modifications. I've also read that a dryer won't give the height of fall needed to effectively act as a tumbler. Anybody using this method with good results on deer, or will this only work for birds? Thanks for any thoughts . Peace- Jeff F.

dryer/ tumbler

This response submitted by Josh on 04/15/2004 at 15:45. ( )

Hello there, I was trying the same thing with a dryer, but don't know for sure if it would get the hieght and fall like jeff said. The hides I have been doing were just small Beef calf hides and I can't seem to get them to become pliable after oiling and tumbling, Should a guy put in more hides, or I thought maybe something like baseballs or some media of the sort would help "Beat them up" would appreciate any thoughts! Josh

Commercial dryer

This response submitted by Robert b on 04/15/2004 at 19:35. ( RBJWtaxi@aol )

I got a dryer that works great for buffalo hides 3 foot drop turns slow runs on 110 its the big coin operated unit ill sell it if anyone is intrested parts are obtainable

Clothes Dryer Tumbler

This response submitted by Susan on 04/16/2004 at 00:24. ( )

Hi Jamie!
After Jeff's directions about the heating element, remove the drum from the cabinet and use bondo to seal the holes up in the drum. Be sure to seal-up the lint trap too. Look around to see if you can find a gear reduction box to install on it to slow the rolling motion down a bit, unless you want to change the pulley/band set-up to do it. Install a door(we used a piece of ply wood cut to fit snugly in the drum opening) with a band of rubber to help seal in the powder. Piano hinges work great for this-and you'll need a door handle. A power switch mounted in a convienent place will avoid a bunch of bending over. A big tray that will fit under the drum (while it runs) will aid in keeping the mess to a minimum. We like to use cedar pet/bed shavings and add a large cup of DP as needed(every 3-4 sessions). This helps distribute the DP close to the hair folicles while "fluffing" the fir, drying the tumbled hide, and to a certain extent it even deodorizes it. Try to tumble the hide after it has allowed to completely drip out-or try drying it out some by gently rolling the hide in a towel. After tumbling, shake out the excess tumbling material back into the drum and mount away! Our tumbler has worked great for us about 8 years now. Good Luck- Susan


This response submitted by Susan on 04/16/2004 at 00:37. ( )

OOPS! Sorry about the multiple posting, I'm having a bit of a problem
with my IP working right. I could read the first posting and my comp went down while I was typing, then I re-typed and it went off-line, and finally when I got it to come up this time I saw the full postings for this forum. Sorry about the re-peats.
We use only DP along with cadar pet/bedding shavings in our tumbler-but with great results. The dryer timing needed to be slowed down a bit to get optimal results-with full size deer hides on down to deer capes, bobcats, squirrels, minks, and skunks(tumbled right before drum contents to be changed for the season). On occaision we have tumbled elk capes-turning the cape inside-out half-way through the tumbling process. -Susan


This response submitted by Susan on 04/16/2004 at 00:45. ( )

A reduction box can be found at your local electrical supply store- new, or you can try finding one at a junk yard that processes electrical machinery-used. The dryer/tumbler will work for birds ,but you have to change the tumbling medium to that corn-cob-stuff and slow the drum rotation even more than for the above application(furred critters) so as to be gentle enough to not tear up the feathers.-Susan

no bull

This response submitted by hawk on 04/16/2004 at 09:22. ( )

Dryer can be used, just use old towels in it with your hides and bird skins works great! Towels help in soaking up excess water and slow down hide tumbeling rate the more towels the better. Just remember no heat and it will work. Its what i have used for years.

No Bull...

This response submitted by Susan on 04/16/2004 at 16:38. ( )

Themain reason for tumbling with the DP and cedar shavings is to help fluff the fir to get complete coverage with the DP, at the same time it drys the cape (to feel like the skin on your arm ) and NO SLIMY FEELING(YUK)hide. Susan

P.S. I'm going to change my IP as soon as I can, be talkin' atcha later!-Susan


This response submitted by Susan on 04/16/2004 at 16:44. ( )

Hey Josh,
Have you ever compared the drum sizes of a dryer and a commercial tumbler? Same size-just different width. As for "height and fall", the only difference I could spot between this kind of a tumbler and the kind to "break" Leather tanned hides is the number of(and size of) baffles, or paddles inside the drums. -Susan

Not sure

This response submitted by Brent on 04/16/2004 at 18:44. ( 3D )

Why you would want to go to the trouble to buy a gear reduction box and all. I used an old dryer for 10 years just the way it was (with the heating element disconnected) I cut a couple of pieces of plywood and screwed it over the holes. Since then I have built a 55 gallon drum tumbler and use the dryer motor AND belt to run it. Works like a champ.

To "break" hides soft your not going to do it in a dryer OR regular tumbler cause the drop is not enough. For that I built a 6 foot diameter drum,.......I was told at LEAST 6 less. Optimum speed is 17.5 rpm

Return to Beginners Category Menu