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"What type of tumbling media should I use?"

Current question:

December 6, 2021

Q. Tumbling/deburring .008" holes.

I need help with creating a slurry type of de-burring mix with ceramic tumbling media for stainless steel where small holes and parts as small as .008" and such can be de-burred.

Has anyone tried mixing ceramic media with bead blast media for de-burring purposes on stainless steel that has actually worked other than clogging the holes ... with a decent 64Ra (microinches) finish.

Cleaning and clogging issues? How easy to clean?
Aluminum oxide? What size?
Glass bead/crushed bead? What size?

Any help would be greatly appreciated

Jose Cardoza
- San Jose, California

December 8, 2021

Q. Need help converting hand de-burring to automated de-burring medical stainless steel parts where holes & slots are as small as .003"-.010".

Part itself is around the .085"-.145" but holes and slots are small and want to automate the de-burring process; we do centrifugal wet tumble with 2 mm x 2 mm ceramic media which takes care of the part but I need help with the holes.

Will adding aluminum oxide or glass bead media to the ceramic media help de-burr the holes? Is there any premix slurry compound or abrasive mixture out there than can help out with this.

No need much for mirror like finish but at least a 23Ra-63Ra finish

Any help speeding up the process would be greatly appreciated.

Jose C

Jose Cardoza [returning]
- San Jose, California

December 18, 2021

A. You might want to look into magnetic tumbling with SS media sized to not go through holes. Media will polish and reduce burrs but not remove them. To deburr you need a first step using ceramic media.

tony kenton
AF Kenton
retired business owner - Hatboro, Pennsylvania

Closely related Q&A's, oldest first:

"Deburring and Edge Finishing" by Laroux K Gillespie
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Q. I work for a local company here in Austin, and we have decided to add refinishing golf club heads as part of our service. I have been at it for a few months, mostly learning on my own. I have gotten pretty good results, except on mirror finish heads. I use a variety of different grade abrasives and everything is working fine except during the final stage. Apparently I do not have the tools or know-how to get the fine scratches out before I start buffing. We have a small vibratory here, and I was wondering if you could recommend a tumbling media that would take out these scratches. What order do tumbling abrasives go in?

Nicholas West
Golf club repair/refinish - Austin, Texas, United States


A. I am not good at being brief, especially when talking about media applications. If there are a 101 ways to cross a river, there has to be 1001 ways to achieve mirror finish results. Briefly, ceramic and plastic media shapes come in different compositions. Compositions determine the rate of decomposition and the size of the abrasive grains. Metals, hardness, and the existing surface finish must be taken into account before proper media selection and you may need more than a one step process. When polishing, you do not want abrasive at all; therefore, you want to use steel or porcelain shapes or dry organic media. The shapes with the proper compound will get you a reflective good quality finish; however, if you want a good jewelry like mirror finish treated dry organic materials are the way to go. There is a lot more detailed information on my website under media and applications: www.novafinishing.com.

tony kenton
AF Kenton
retired business owner - Hatboro, Pennsylvania

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