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Thread: Tumblers

  1. #1
    Independent Owner kcount's Avatar
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    Tumblers

    Anybody have an economical solution to a tumbler for the polishing of frames?

    Thank you in advance!

    Kevin
    "If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs..."-Tony Gaskins

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    If you qo here you will probably find everything you need to run off a few frames at a time: https://rocktumbler.com/ You will probably still need the trusty buffing wheel.

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    Independent Owner kcount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    If you qo here you will probably find everything you need to run off a few frames at a time: https://rocktumbler.com/ You will probably still need the trusty buffing wheel.
    Ill take a look, need capacity for frames and temples both.

    if you stumblr on a cheap wire core insertion machine, let me know! lol
    "If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs..."-Tony Gaskins

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    rbaker
    what is that?
    Сant find anything about frames.

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sendycrox View Post
    rbaker
    what is that?
    Сant find anything about frames.
    Kindly refer to the original post. A "tumbler" is often used in the manufacture of polymer ophthalmic frames. It is a rotating drum in which frame components and various abrasives are used to rough polish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    Kindly refer to the original post. A "tumbler" is often used in the manufacture of polymer ophthalmic frames. It is a rotating drum in which frame components and various abrasives are used to rough polish.
    Thanks. For example, is a one-party consent state. Meaning, only one party, you in this example, is required to give consent in the recording or monitoring of your activities, especially of your property check spy .
    Last edited by Sendycrox; 10-07-2019 at 02:42 AM.

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    Forgive me if this is all stuff that you already know, but I've had some hard won lessons looking for exactly what you're looking for...

    I've found that rock or jewellers tumblers are far too small to do anything much, even if you leave them going for a week. Can I ask if you're making or restoring frames? It might be ok for light polishing of frames that are already in decent condition. But in that case a bench polisher would do at least as good a job.

    Barrel size isn't an issue of how many frames you can fit in - it's the height that the frames drop from as it's turning that does the business. In my experience anything smaller than about 30" diameter isn't really big enough to remove enough material. You also need at least two stages, a cutting phase to remove scratches and tooling marks, and at least one polishing stage.

    I've found that, since I handmake a very small number of frames, a bench polisher with satin mops and a 3 stage polishing process does the job very well but takes some time. Any more than about five frames in a batch, and I send them to my friend who tumbles them for me.

    A forum member made his own, which looks impressive.

    I also wondered whether a poly drum cement mixer might do the job, but we don't get them here in the UK.

    If you know any experienced frame makers in your area, they might know of someone who has barrels sitting unused. Since everyone in Europe stopped manufacturing frames, there are apparently a lot going unused, at least in Europe. My frame maker friend just got a set from an Italian factory that haven't been used since the 80s, for free, and apparently there are more. He's been in the business since the 60s though, and knows absolutely everyone.

    All of which might not help, but I hope that it does.

    Good luck

    Andrew

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    Independent Owner kcount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yed View Post
    Forgive me if this is all stuff that you already know, but I've had some hard won lessons looking for exactly what you're looking for...

    I've found that rock or jewellers tumblers are far too small to do anything much, even if you leave them going for a week. Can I ask if you're making or restoring frames? It might be ok for light polishing of frames that are already in decent condition. But in that case a bench polisher would do at least as good a job.

    Barrel size isn't an issue of how many frames you can fit in - it's the height that the frames drop from as it's turning that does the business. In my experience anything smaller than about 30" diameter isn't really big enough to remove enough material. You also need at least two stages, a cutting phase to remove scratches and tooling marks, and at least one polishing stage.

    I've found that, since I handmake a very small number of frames, a bench polisher with satin mops and a 3 stage polishing process does the job very well but takes some time. Any more than about five frames in a batch, and I send them to my friend who tumbles them for me.

    A forum member made his own, which looks impressive.

    I also wondered whether a poly drum cement mixer might do the job, but we don't get them here in the UK.

    If you know any experienced frame makers in your area, they might know of someone who has barrels sitting unused. Since everyone in Europe stopped manufacturing frames, there are apparently a lot going unused, at least in Europe. My frame maker friend just got a set from an Italian factory that haven't been used since the 80s, for free, and apparently there are more. He's been in the business since the 60s though, and knows absolutely everyone.

    All of which might not help, but I hope that it does.

    Good luck

    Andrew

    Thank you for the information. I'm in the US outside of Chicago specifically. Frame making has never been common in the US. Thus there really is no one to ask or equipment to hunt down.

    Kevin
    "If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs..."-Tony Gaskins

    So I built Prentice Optical Lab.

    Prentice Optical Lab
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    Glenview, IL
    (847) 729-1700

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    Master OptiBoarder rbaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kcount View Post
    Thank you for the information. I'm in the US outside of Chicago specifically. Frame making has never been common in the US. Thus there really is no one to ask or equipment to hunt down.

    Kevin
    Kevin, you must be young whipper snapper. Prior to the mid sixties the vast majority of ophthalmic frames sold in this country were made right here in the good old US of A. My first job, at 16 years old, was at the American Optical factory in Southbridge, MA. Lenses and frames went off the loading dock by the truckload. The boys out in Rochester, NY, B&L and Shuron Continental were also major players as were Titmus, May, and a whole pant load of other companies.

    On the "tumbler" issue; AO had probably 50 or so tumblers with 8' in diameter barrels running 24-7. I do believe that they built the tumblers in-house and I recall the abrasives came from Norton Company.

    We should also recall that "zyle" or Zylonite was manufactured just up the road in North Adams, MA by the American Zylonite Company which was formed in 1881 to manufacture cellulose nitrate plastic including blanks for the manufacture of ophthalmic frames. We might also recall that Attleboro, MA was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World" for its many jewelry manufacturers who produced all of the gold filled "findings" (eye wire, guard arms, hinges, etc) used in the fabrication of gold filled frames and mountings.

    Prior to 1970, if you lived in central or eastern Massachusetts you had family or friends cranking out eyewear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    .....We should also recall that "zyle" or Zylonite was manufactured just up the road in North Adams, MA by the American Zylonite Company which was formed in 1881 to manufacture cellulose nitrate plastic including blanks for the manufacture of ophthalmic frames.....
    And when cellulose nitrate was found to be a dramatically bad idea, the moniker of "zyle" was transferred right over to cellulose acetate.

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    Master OptiBoarder optical24/7's Avatar
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    Well, I'm not sure if my farm tumbler would work on frames. Send me a few and I'll throw 'em in and see what happens...


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    Quote Originally Posted by rbaker View Post
    Kevin, you must be young whipper snapper. Prior to the mid sixties the vast majority of ophthalmic frames sold in this country were made right here in the good old US of A. My first job, at 16 years old, was at the American Optical factory in Southbridge, MA. Lenses and frames went off the loading dock by the truckload. The boys out in Rochester, NY, B&L and Shuron Continental were also major players as were Titmus, May, and a whole pant load of other companies.

    On the "tumbler" issue; AO had probably 50 or so tumblers with 8' in diameter barrels running 24-7. I do believe that they built the tumblers in-house and I recall the abrasives came from Norton Company.

    We should also recall that "zyle" or Zylonite was manufactured just up the road in North Adams, MA by the American Zylonite Company which was formed in 1881 to manufacture cellulose nitrate plastic including blanks for the manufacture of ophthalmic frames. We might also recall that Attleboro, MA was once known as "The Jewelry Capital of the World" for its many jewelry manufacturers who produced all of the gold filled "findings" (eye wire, guard arms, hinges, etc) used in the fabrication of gold filled frames and mountings.

    Prior to 1970, if you lived in central or eastern Massachusetts you had family or friends cranking out eyewear.
    While I am aware that there was a large manufacturing base in the US at one point and to be honest on the subject US made Eyewear is again on the rise. State Eyewear (which just acquired AO) is just up the road from me and Kala out in California is hard at work as is Copper Hinge in St. Louis.

    More specifically though I was referring to offices that make frames in house. A Bespoke service if you will custom designed and built for an individual client. This is where I am focusing a significant amount of my time for my office. This is a concept more common in Europe and generally outside of the US. While I know of a few people that are designing and making frames in this way, to say we are in the minority is an understatement.

    In the 30+ years I have been in the optical world the very notion of making frames in house has been unheard of. Which is a shame as I believe more opticians would find it quite rewarding personally and professionally.
    "If you don't build your dream, someone will hire you to help build theirs..."-Tony Gaskins

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    Quote Originally Posted by kcount View Post
    While I am aware that there was a large manufacturing base in the US at one point and to be honest on the subject US made Eyewear is again on the rise. State Eyewear (which just acquired AO) is just up the road from me and Kala out in California is hard at work as is Copper Hinge in St. Louis.

    More specifically though I was referring to offices that make frames in house. A Bespoke service if you will custom designed and built for an individual client. This is where I am focusing a significant amount of my time for my office. This is a concept more common in Europe and generally outside of the US. While I know of a few people that are designing and making frames in this way, to say we are in the minority is an understatement.

    In the 30+ years I have been in the optical world the very notion of making frames in house has been unheard of. Which is a shame as I believe more opticians would find it quite rewarding personally and professionally.
    This is similar to the state of affairs here. The friend I referred to founded and ran the eyewear branch of Anglo American when they still manufactured in London, cranking out a huge number of frames. His brother long since took over the company and moved manufacturing to China.

    There are a few of us here in the UK making frames these days, but really not many, and most are trained in France. Even a lot of the 'bespoke' (actually usually made-to-measure) services operating here will measure you up in shop, then have your frames manufactured in China and shipped over within 10 days. The craftsmanship is pretty great (even if the frame designs aren't). That's globalism I guess.

    Anyway, I should have been clearer - I meant finding an old hand who might be able to help you seek out factories that are now dormant or operating on reduced output that might have tumblers sitting unused that they'd be happy to be rid of. I'm afraid I don't know enough about the industry in the US to know whether that's a stupid suggestion.

    Good luck with it kcount. I mostly make frames to order, and while I mostly use horn I do make in acetate more often than ever these days and my setup is pretty cheap and bare bones. I'd love to hear how things are working out for you.

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    A 3D printer may work for small production. If you’re talking about 2 or 3 a day, I don’t know if a tumbler would be as economically feasible as hand polishing which would be an extremely small investment to begin with.

    I think I could make a Zyl frame with a template, my router, reciprocating sander and bench polisher. Could rivet hinges, the only thing I don’t have in my garage is a wire shooter. But I wouldn’t want to make so many like that to fill a dispensary.

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