Has anyone built a tumbler using the plans sold by Research Mannikins?if you have was it worth it and was it difficult to find the necessary parts? thanks
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The plans are fairly simple if you can weld, or have a buddy that can. I have my plans and I am in the process of collecting parts on the cheap here and there. Should be a breeze once I start. The toughest parts to get are the motor (very specific size and speed), the barrel(used ones arent always available), and the big drive pulley. I have found sources for all this stuff here in Wisconsin. I had some of the metal on hand, we have a barrel distributor near here, and a local company that I finally found that had the drive pulley. E-mail me if you need help locating the stuff
out of 2x4's, and it works great. It just takes a bit of ingenuity.
thanks for the information. I am ordering the plans next week. Thanks again.
Well, here is one idea, and you may have already considered this one. use a household clothes dryer. simply disconnect the heating element. already has a timer, already turns, you can even add a seperate dial to control speed of motor turn in between the power feed to the motor. If you are using a finer medium, you may wish to fill all the holes in the drum, just skimming over them using either fiberglass or bondo.
another option for parts like pulleys etc. would be your local salvage yard. the underside of a washing machine has a nice big one, and usually a boxed mounting bracket. I really don't see the size of motor of being an issue since you are installing a speed regulator on it anyways, just depends on the amount of electricity you are set up to run,ie; 110 household,220, 3 phase, etc. we have tons of 3 phase available to us, but choose to use this on as few things as possible because of the cost to operate.
I've never seen the "inside" of a professional drum... Are there "paddles" along the inside like a regular clothes dryer? So, if you use an old dryer as suggested, do you take the paddles out of the drum or leave them in? Also, with a regulator controlling the speed...what kind of RPM are you looking at when tumbling a hide? Is it different for birds/ducks vs. deer/mammals?