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950gm Rubber Drum

Kitiki sells a range of tumblers and accessories including plastic drums, rubber drums, full-size drums, half-size drums, stainless steel shot, stainless steel pins, barrelling compound, 80 grit, 220 grit, 400 grit, cerium oxide, and plastic pellets. They're listed on the shop page.


Manufacturers describe their tumbler drums as being 3.0lbs, 2.0lbs, 1.5lbs, 1.0lb, 1400gms, 900gms, 700gms, 500gms, full-size, and half-size.

However, 3.0lbs is not the weight of the drum: it means it holds 3.0lbs of stones, but which stones? 1400gms means it holds 1400gms of something, but what? And full-size means it uses the whole width of their tumbler.

The correct way to measure capacity is to state its volume, usually in cubic centimetres or litres. However, remembering that 1cc of pure water weighs 1gm, the weight of water is often used instead.

We measured drums from several manufacturers, and put the catalogue and the actual sizes in the following table. The highlighted drums are the ones included with the Kitiki rotary tumbler kits. It's the actual capacity that's relevant.

drum catalogue capacity in lbs catalogue capacity in gms actual capacity in gms length in mm diameter in mm
plastic 1.0 500 560 72 113
rubber 1.5 700 510 75 113
rubber 1.5 510 510 75 113
rubber 2.0 880 760 105 113
plastic 2.0 900 700 87 113
plastic 2.0 700 700 87 113
rubber 3.0 1400 950 135 113
plastic 3.0 1400 1150 143 113
rubber 3.0 950 950 135 113

Plastic drum lids need to stand in hot water to make them easier to push on. To free the lids, the whole drum needs to stand in hot water. There's a slight risk that, as you pull the lid off, you'll spill your work, shot or grit, and soapy water.

Rubber drums use a different lid mechanism: at one end there's an inner metal lid, a rubber sealing ring, a metal outer lid, and a retaining threaded-collar. They're easier to work with than plastic drums, and much quieter in use.

If you want to do shot-tumbling and grit-tumbling, you should use two barrels: marked so that you don't mixed them up. One stray grit particle caught in the drum will scratch your shot-tumbled work: the scratches are quite hard to remove.

A silicon lubricant is used during the manufacture of rubber drums. Before use, clean the drum with a scouring pad and some washing-up liquid.


The stainless steel shot, included in some of the rotary tumbler kits, is actually a mix of shapes, such as pins, planetoids, and spheres, designed to deal with the range of contours on jewellery.

Although the shot is 100% stainless steel, always leave it immersed in the tumbler mix of water and cleaner, or rinse it and dry it carefully. If you need to replace the shot, don't economise and buy plain or mixed steel: it'll soon rust, make a mess, and ruin your work.


Grit is the generic name for the abrasive particles used to grind and polish. Generally, it's graded silicon carbide: an angular, hard, sharp, material which fractures into smaller angular particles, making it an effective abrasive.

Grit sizes are confusing, for example: 400 grit particles are not twice the size or half the size of 200 grit particles. You'll soon learn which grit to use for different materials, shapes, and finishes.

Grit should be handled and stored carefully to prevent contamination from stray larger particles that will scratch. Keep the tubs sealed until you need to use them. In use, transfer a small amount into a working container, to minimize the risk of contaminating the whole tub. And wash the drums thoroughly before and after use.

When you've finished, empty the grit into a cloth-lined sieve, rinse it thoroughly, and spread it on some cloth to dry. Be careful not to flush away any grit as it may collect in the basin trap.


Cerium belongs to the group of elements known as the rare earth elements. To produce the polishing powder, about 80% of cerium oxide and 20% of other rare earths are used, resulting in a pink-ish powder.

As polishing is the final step in the surfacing process, don't expect to remove marks or scratches made during previous steps shaping or finishing.


Barrelling compound, sometimes called gallay compound, is a special soap used to keep the barrel and shot clean, lubricate the tumbling, help the polishing action, and minimise rust. The drum needs about a level teaspoonful.


These products are in the on-line shop, so use the shop link below the menu bar near the top of the page. Alternatively, visit the Cherry Heaven Shop in Corfe Castle village.


Cherry Heaven is an EU distributor for Paragon Kilns made in the US, Advance Kilns made in Canada, Efco Kilns made in Germany, Kitiki Mini-Kilns made in Turkey, and UltraLite Kilns made in the US.

Cherry Heaven is a UK distributor for Art Clay made by Aida Chemical Industries in Japan and BronzClay made in the US, and an EU distributor for AccentGold For Silver paint and Metal Clay Veneer, both made in the US.