Rock and Metal Tumbler, 3lb Capacity #69-281

SKU 69-281
Lortone model 3A single barrel rotary tumbler for grinding and polishing jewelry components. This quiet power tool has a 3-lb. capacity. It features a hard rubber barrel to minimize noise and a durable motor that lasts for years. We use it with ShineBrite and steel shot (sold separately on our website), to clean, work-harden, de-burr and polish sterling silver, copper or brass jewelry components and freshly-made jewelry. (Note: It's good practice to have a separate tumbler barrel for each type of metal, to prevent cross-contamination, or even accidental plating!) Simple to operate. UL approved. 120 Volt plug (US standard). Comes with a one-year warranty. Operating & Care Instructions for Model 3A Lortone Rotary Tumbler (PDF).
Need more info? See More Details and Related Products below.
Brand: Lortone
Country of Origin: United States
Bin: WH-J-19
Sold by: eaches

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More Details

Lortone, Inc
Jewelry Tumbling Instructions

1 to 2 pounds of stainless steel shot mix required (per 3 lb barrel)

Note: Before first use, run barrel with the stainless steel shot mix and 2 drops of soap for 15-20 minutes to clean the inside of the barrel.

  1. Open the Barrel: Remove nut and washer, press down on bolt with thumb while lifting up on outside of outer lid with fingers. If outer lid is difficult to remove, insert washer between edge of outer lid and barrel, twist to loosen. After outer lid has been removed, lift inner lid out by center bolt.
  2. Add Tumbling Media: Put 1 to 2 lbs. stainless steel shot mix in barrel.
  3. Add Jewelry: Add pieces of jewelry to barrel. Add enough water to just cover top of jewelry and shot mix (barrel should not weigh more than 4 lbs. full). Add a few drops of ShineBrite* (see instructions on bottle).
  4. Close the Barrel: Wipe the mating surfaces of the barrel and inner lid clean with a damp cloth. Press inner lid into barrel until it rests on shoulder. Press outer lid firmly down onto the barrel. Install washer and tighten nut.
    Knurled nut only needs to be snug. Do not use tools to tighten. Over tightening of the nut can cause the inner lid to distort and leak.

*What Kind of Cleanser/Soap?

We highly recommend ShineBrite, because we have used it regularly for over 30 years, and have never had problems with it. Lortone’s original instructions say: Add a drop or two of mild dish washing soap or hand soap. If using burnishing soap, make sure to use mixture diluted to manufacturer’s instructions. Do not add more than 2 drops of soap, and do not use detergents, soaps containing anti-bacterial additives, or any other harsh chemicals, as damage to barrel and leakage may occur.
To this we’d like to add: The #1 problem that people have reported with their tumblers, is damage to the inside of the barrel, from using soap that contains additives that attack the rubber. For decades, people have recommended a very basic unscented Dawn, but that has become harder to find, as scents and antibacterial options become more popular. Beware of lemon scented soaps: it may be natural, but citrus attacks rubber and will leave the inside of the barrel sticky. Simple Green is also a popular recommendation on jeweler's forums, but we haven’t tried it.

LORTONE Rotary Tumbler Instructions and Parts List (PDF)

See Related Products links (below) for similar items and additional jewelry-making supplies that are often used with this item.

Shipping Information

Due to size and weight, free shipping and $8.65 flat rate are not available for this tool. Also, shipping may be higher than quoted during order checkout; if it is, we will contact you with your actual shipping cost.

Approx. Size

3 lb capacity

Ratings & Reviews

3 Reviews

  • 4 stars
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  • 3 stars
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  • 2 stars
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Lortone 3A tumbler

by Patsy: prop. pattiskoe jewelry| 1/8/2016 0:00:00

received my tumbler today, but cannot get the lid off.. followed directions to a T, outer rim came off but inner ring won't budge..called and was on hold for 30 minutes .to no availe..left meesage for call back..waiting... wonder if others had this problem......

R&T Response

by Polly| 2/23/2016 0:00:00

Hi Patsy, Sometimes this tumbler gets suctioned shut like home-canned goods. When that happens, I squeeze the rubber barrel a bit to change the pressure inside the tumbler barrel and that usually allows the seal to break so you can pull the inside lid out. I have this tumbler and have used it for years. Saves me a ton of time (I avoid hand polishing whenever possible). ~Polly at Rings & Things

First time

by Michael G.| 8/4/2017 0:00:00

I'm currently on stage one of my first 3 lb. Mix of stones. Peeked in at my 1 pound quartz rock and it's looking fine. The little rubber thingy on bottom side (1 on each corner); the one near motor, the adhesive melted off and the thing won't stay attached.
[R&T Reply: Hi Michael, is it the "foot" that came off? (The rubber feet help prevent vibrational noise and/or scratching on the surface that you place the tumbler on.) I'm sorry to hear that; I think it might be a problem that happens more often when we ship in the summer. You can replace those with the little adhesive dots that are sometimes available in grocery stores, in the housewares section, or sometimes in furniture, craft or hardware stores.]