Tumbling Media for Matte Finish?

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  • Blackhawk

    Blackhawk
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    Mar 3, 2008
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    Pollock LA
    What would be the best tumbling media for a matte/frosted finish on aluminum? I've made some .22 loading blocks for giveaway to my 4H shooters that I coach. They are made out of old aluminum barstock with quite a few dings and dents. Polishing doesn't seem to help and only brings out the imperfections that I want to hide. I plan to tumble them and see how they look.

    I don't have a tumbler yet and have never used one. Your thoughts for a first-timer looking for a matte finish on aluminum?

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    dwhaley929

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    Dec 14, 2016
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    Baton Rouge LA
    As I recall the kitty litter looking stuff in a vibro finisher produced a somewhat matte effect. Sand blaster sounds promising too. I've got a vibro finisher and kitty litter if you want to test it. Just have to figure out how to get it to you. Treboucher?
     

    sksshooter

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    Jul 28, 2008
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    Crushed walnut will give a matt finish. Corn cob will give a shiny finish on brass. Id assume they would do the same on aluminum but not so sure that block is going to tumble effectively in a normal tumbler. Sand blasting it would be the easiest. Find someone you know with a blast cabinet and it could be knocked out pretty quick. If you were closer id volunteer my the use of mine but if i recall pollock isnt right down the road from me.
     

    dwhaley929

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    Dec 14, 2016
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    Baton Rouge LA
    Crushed walnut will give a matt finish. Corn cob will give a shiny finish on brass. Id assume they would do the same on aluminum but not so sure that block is going to tumble effectively in a normal tumbler. Sand blasting it would be the easiest. Find someone you know with a blast cabinet and it could be knocked out pretty quick. If you were closer id volunteer my the use of mine but if i recall pollock isnt right down the road from me.
    I think you're right on the sandblasting. I've got a cabinet too but same distance issue.
     

    Blackhawk

    Blackhawk
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    Mar 3, 2008
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    Pollock LA
    Like @gunnut suggested, I think that blasting would allow me to address the worst dents and dings a little better than tumbling. The Harbor Freight blasting gun is a good choice for the experiment, and I already have the compressor. I can also think of several other projects for a sand blaster so just makes sense.

    I'll probably also eventually pick up a tumbler when I start reloading again.

    Thanks all for your suggestions and offers.
     

    Mitch Dufour

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    Mar 21, 2009
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    Ruston
    Nice work and hats of to you for encouraging the kids.

    Wet automotive type sand paper will work just fine. Work up into the grit size that makes you happy. Sand blasting can work but may be hard to be consistent with it.
     
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