I decided that it was time to start cleaning up some of the rusty parts that have accumulating since I started working on things, especially 'the53'.  A sandblasting cabinet would be great, but just not practical.  It's not the cabinet itself, it's the sound level of the air compressor required to operate one.  After thinking about for a bit I decided to go the Tumbler/Vibrator route.  A thread on the MG UKBBS came along recently and gave some very good leads.  Ideally, the best bet would probably be to purchase a system from Eastwood for about $200.  Most of the times that I purchase things from Eastwood I wind up being flabbergasted at their shipping and handling costs.  Through the BBS thread I ended up searching out other sources.
  Just about that time I received another one of the endless catalogs/flyers that I get from Harbor Freight.  This flyer had an ad in it for a Vibratory Tumbler System (Item #93252) for $49.99.  They also offered 5 pounds of Abrasive Media (Item #93832) for $16.99.  Shipping was only $8.99, totaling $75.97.  It arrived today, 8/21/08.
                                        (Images below are thumbnails, just click on them to enlarge)
Here's what I got for the money:
The opening is 8" in diameter:
The media that came with it looks like this:
I decided to give it a try, so I dug up a few rusty parts from 'the53:
and loaded them in:
After 1 hour I found this, not a lot of progress:

and here's what I found after 3 hours:

Must say that I'm a bit impressed by what's happening.  There was a lot of concern about the tumbler walking all over the floor or bench.  I'm not finding that at all.  For the first hour I had the machine just sitting on the concrete floor and fully expected it to start moving around.  Not a bit.  Next two hours were operated with the machine on a rubber pad on top of a work bench.  No motion problems.  Only problem I'm seeing so far is in trying to remember how many pieces I put into it.

I have no involvement whatsoever with Harbor Freight except as an occasional customer.  Information on Harbor Freight can be had from their website

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created August 21, 2008