Diy medium scale tumbler

Well I posted a pic of my tumbler and was asked for a build list so here it goes. I built it for under $40 mainly because I had most of it laying around at home, but I’m sure you could get the rest for probably 40 more.
Half sheet of 3/4" plywood or MDF. I used plywood and covered it in formica to make it slick.
1 8’ 1"x2" the smoother the better as you want everything as smooth as possible.
1 3’ piece of 1/2" all thread
4 1/2" nuts and 5 washers
1 1/2" wing nut
Silk screen fabric. I got mine off Amazon, 1 yd of 120 mesh screen was $10.
Rotisserie motor for a grill and it’s mounting bracket
Plastic tote 32"x18"x13"deep
3’ long piece of 1/2" all thread

First cut 2 16" dia circles out of the ply wood and 1 15" dia circle. On one of the 16" circles go 2" in from the edge just under half way around. Ahh a picture will work better here cut one circle like this after drilling a 5/8" hole in both 16 in circles exactly in the center.

Next cut the 1x2 into 2’ lengths. And same everything smooth or cover in formica like I did. Next screw the 1x2 to the plywood in 4 places 90° apart and attach the other circle at the other end. It should look like this

Now you need to prep the tote. I drilled 5/8" holes in each end where the handles are like so

Now you will prep the threaded rod too make the axle. I’m using a rotisserie motor off a grill to turn it. Mine like most all has a 1/4" square drive so you need to make one end a square like so
Make sure it fits the motor drive

You’ll slide the rod in one end through the little hole you drilled, before you get all the way through the other end piece you need to put on the rod in this order: washer, nut, nut, washer. Then slide the rod through the other end. Now slide axle in one of the holes in the tote and then slide back the other way until it’s through both holes. Now you can put your rotisserie motor on its bracket and slide it on the drive end you made earlier. This shows you where to mount the bracket to the side of the tote to be in line with the axle like so

Now you motor is mounted you can center the frame in the tote and mark the threaded rod at reach end in case it moves taking it out. Take frame and axle out of the tote and put the remaining washers and nuts on each end of the frame and tighten them to hold the frame in place. Remember the nuts and washers you put on the middle of the axle? You will run a nut and washer combo to each end of the frame and tighten against the plywood. Make sure you pinch the wood tight as this is the connection to drive the tumbler. .
Now you’re wondering how in the heck you close the big hole. This is where the smaller circle you cut earlier comes into play. Drill 5/8" hole in the center of it and then cut a slot from that hole to the edge 5/8" wide like so
Notice the large cut out around the center hole. This is so it fits over the nut that’s already on the end of the frame. I used a half inch paddle bit since I couldn’t find my 1 1/8’ and made it work.
Now slide the lid over the axle and slide a washer down the axle and thread on the wing nut. Like so
The slot allows you to take the kid off without taking the wing nut all the way off just make sure it’s over the solid part of that end of the frame.
Now you can staple your silk screen on the frame. Pro tip go buy an electric stapler! I wish I did, my hand cramped for days after this lol

You’ll staple it like this on all 4 spokes and around both ends.
After that’s done load some frozen trim in with some dry ice, line the tote with parchment paper for collection, put the frame in and turn it on. It will look like this when done


@Daytripr69. Thanks for putting this up!!

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Cool project!
Thanks for posting :sunglasses: :+1:

… and here come the questions…
How much frozen trim and dry ice are you loading for a batch?
What is the shaft support (opposite end from the motor)? The plastic tote?
Any issues with material falling out the loading hatch while in operation?


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The loading hatch is closed with the smaller circle. I usually run 2-3 lb of trim and a couple lbs of dry ice. The support is the tote. I’ve had no issue with it

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I made one very similar to that a long time ago . I had mine sit on a wooden frame on top of a sheet of glass . Used frozen trim but no dry ice . It worked well enough than I switched to bubble bags .