Using a Magnetic Tumbler
I am excited to report that I got a new toy today: a magnetic tumbler. I love anything that makes my job easier!
It is very easy to use. The first thing I did before putting any jewelry into it was clean the magnetic tumbler pins. To do this, I put a small amount of pins into the air/water-tight plastic container:
After the 30 minutes is up, you will need to rinse the container and the metal tumbler pins. You might want to use a strainer for this, although it's not necessary. Pour out the soapy water and rinse until the water runs clear. You can also take a paper towel and wipe the sides of the container if there is any leftover debris.
The process for tumbling jewelry is exactly the same. Fill the container with the clean tumbler pins with water and soap, then put the jewelry you want to clean into the container.
In this case, I put some headpins I wanted to clean, some finished jewelry (including chain), and even some stones. I wouldn't put anything too soft (like turquoise or coral) into a tumbler but in this case (quartz) it's okay. If you have any doubt about a stone, don't do it.
Set the timer for 30 or 40 minutes, and flip the power switch. When the jewelry is done, you will need to rinse it and dry it.
Here are some of the finished pieces that will be going into my Etsy store later!
When you are not using it, be sure to take the plastic container holding the tumbler pins off the base so they don't become de-magnetized. It's also a good idea to unplug the machine when not in use. To prevent rust, store the pins in the container with water and rinse them (as explained above) before using the tumbler again.
I got my tumbler at A to Z Jewelry Supply in Downtown Los Angeles, but there are many different online retailers and brands to choose from.