I'm building a tumbler for deer hides and black bear hides. I was wondering if a 3'x6' tumbler would be wide enough. I have limited space but can go with 4'x6' if I have to. Thanks in advance.
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Definitely go with the 4 X 6! If you go 3 X 6 you'll regret it! The width determines the size of the skins you can efficiently tumble. The more narrower it is - the more you are limited to doing only smaller skins and capes. If you throw a Bear skin in a narrow Drum - it will likely fold and roll into a ball and recieve very little action. You should prefer that your skins remain open during the tumbling process and over-all recieve the benefit of the dropping sawdust and the other skins. Folding and rolling does nothing for softness.
just as important as a good size tumbler. is make sure you have the correct r.p.m. on your tumbler. to slow, the hide will just roll. to fast, the hide willstick to the tumbler wall. 17r.p.m. is a good speed.