Santa brought me a nice rotary tumbler for Christmas, a Harbor Freight model with a 3 lb. barrel, and I am trying it out today on some of my copper pieces. Not just for polishing, but for work hardening and deburring. I don't need clothes snagging on my copper chain or scratches on skin.
I am using about 2 lbs of steel shot and some plastic pellets.
So, it has been going for about 1/2 an hour now. After an hour I am going to check it and see how it looks. I am not sure exactly how long I need to tumble the jewelry.
I have been reading up on tumbling instructions and all, but it is still a learning experience for me. And it's not nearly as loud as I thought it was going to be. Sounds like a little dish washer and is sort of soothing.
I'll post some pictures later of the finished products.