Rock Discoveries

Rock Tumbling in Peace: How to Reduce the Noise of Your Tumbler

Rock tumbling is an exciting hobby that allows you to transform rough rocks into beautiful polished stones, which can be used for various crafts, jewelry making, and home decor. However, the process can be quite noisy, making it difficult to enjoy the experience and annoying to those around you.

Luckily, there are several ways to make your rock tumbler quieter, so you can enjoy your hobby without any disturbances. In this article, we will cover some tips for making your rock tumbler quieter and help you in choosing the right tumbler.

Tip #1: Importance of Choosing the Right Tumbler

The first step in making your rock tumbler quieter is to choose the right tumbler. A rubber-lined barrel, such as the one found in the Lortone 3A tumbler, can absorb vibrations and reduce noise.

It is essential to choose a reputable brand that offers good motor quality, as this can also reduce noise. A tumbler with a thicker, more robust motor generally operates more quietly than one with a smaller motor.

Tip #2: Placement to Minimize Noise

The placement of your rock tumbler is also an important factor in reducing noise. You may consider placing it in a closet, laundry room or basement, which can block the sound as they are not in close proximity to other living spaces.

If you live in an apartment, be respectful of your neighbors and try to limit the usage of the tumbler during times of the day when it is less likely to bother others. If possible, place the tumbler on a soft surface, such as a towel or pad, as it can absorb some of the vibration and noise.

Tip #3: Reducing Surface Vibrations

Adding soft materials such as a towel or pad isn’t the only way to reduce surface vibrations. Consider placing the tumbler on a soft surface that’s lifted off the ground.

For example, placing the tumbler on top of a stool or box that’s filled with soft materials like styrofoam or insulation prevents the transfer of vibrations to the floor, reducing the noise as a result. Tip #4: Regular Maintenance to Eliminate Creaks and Groans

Routine maintenance can go a long way in reducing the noise your rock tumbler makes.

Belts and bearings that aren’t correctly lubricated can cause creaks and groans. Lubricate the rollers, belts, and bearings on a regular basis to keep everything working smoothly and reduce noise.

Tip #5: Building a Soundproofing Box

A great way to reduce the noise your rock tumbler makes is to build a soundproofing box that supports proper ventilation. To build a box, use materials like MDF (medium-density fiberboard), insulation, and a styrofoam cooler.

The styrofoam will absorb sound while the insulation will prevent the transfer of vibrations. Do not forget to create a ventilation hole to ensure proper air intake and heat dispersal.

Bonus Tip: Adding Extra Insulation Material

While it can be difficult to dampen the sound of your rock tumbler, you can add extra insulation material to the barrel itself. The additional material added to the rubber-lined barrel can help reduce any noise by counteracting the vibrations.

If you already have materials similar to those of your tumbler’s barrel, you can add them during the tumbling process to prevent any noise generation.


Tumbling your rocks can be a relaxing, rewarding process, but the noise produced by the tumbling machine can be disturbing not only to those around you but also to yourself. Taking measures to reduce the noise of your rock tumbler can make your experience more enjoyable, and your housemates will appreciate it too.

Consider investing in the right tumbler, placing the tumbler in the correct place, reducing surface vibrations, regular maintenance, building a soundproofing box, and adding extra insulation material as petty bits to achieve improved outcomes and enjoy your rock tumbling experience. Rock tumbling is a fascinating and satisfying hobby that can create beautiful polished stones that can be used for various projects.

However, it can be quite noisy, which can be disturbing to those in your house or apartment. To minimize noise, proper placement of the rock tumbler is crucial.

In this article, we will discuss some tips and considerations for placing your rock tumbler to reduce noise. Tip #3: Placement to Minimize Noise

3.1: Choosing a Suitable Location

Choosing a suitable location is crucial in reducing the noise of your rock tumbler.

The ideal place is a space distant from living areas within your home, such as a closet, unused pantry, or laundry room. A closed-door and solid walls help to block the noise and limit its spread to other parts of the house.

Smaller spaces like closets tend to muffle the sound better, while larger rooms like laundry rooms can create an echo effect that is not ideal. 3.2: Consideration for Apartment Living

If you live in an apartment, it is essential to be considerate of your neighbors.

It’s best to place the rock tumbler in a location where it will cause the least amount of disturbance to other tenants. If you live on an upper floor, consider placing your tumbler either on a rubber mat or on a table as opposed to directly on the floor as a way of reducing noise transmission from your tumbler to your downstairs neighbors.

Tip #4: Maintenance to Keep Tumbler Running Smoothly

4.1: Importance of Routine Maintenance

Regular maintenance is necessary for keeping your rock tumbler running smoothly, reducing noise and extending its lifespan. By carrying out regular inspections, you can identify worn-out components, lubrication needs, and any issues that need fixing.

This will help in preventing components from breaking down and causing more noise. Regular maintenance can also result in a quieter machine, which makes tumbling easier and enjoyable.

4.2: Common Maintenance Issues and Solutions

Two of the most common maintenance issues that can increase noise levels in rock tumblers are belts and bearings. A broken belt can cause a lot of noise, so it is vital to replace the belt as soon as possible.

It is also essential to lubricate the belts periodically, as belts are moving parts that can generate heat, leading to increased friction that causes noise. Bearings carry the weight of the barrel as it rotates and distribute the force of the tumbler.

As such, they are among the components that wear out the most in rock tumblers. Regular lubrication will keep bearings running smoothly, reducing noise and increasing their lifespan.

For abrasion, it’s essential to check the barrel of the tumbler regularly for rust, chips, and scrapes that may be signs of wear and tear. A damaged barrel can cause uneven noise as it rotates, and the media inside can clunk around.

To prevent this, ensure to replace the barrel of your tumbler as soon as any damage is detected.


Rock tumbling is an excellent hobby that requires proper care and maintenance to keep it operating efficiently. By following our placement tips to minimize noise and maintaining its components regularly, your rock tumbler will last longer and operate quietly.

Always be considerate of your neighbors when placing your rock tumbler, especially when living in a shared apartment, as peaceful coexistence promotes harmony and good relations. A soundproofing box is an effective solution to minimizing the noise produced by the rock tumbler.

By creating a box that encloses the tumbler, you can enjoy your hobby without worrying about disturbing your family or neighbors. In this article, we’ll share some tips and considerations for building a soundproofing box for your tumbler.

Tip #5: Building a Soundproofing Box

5.1: Materials and Construction

To build a soundproofing box for a rock tumbler, you’ll need materials like a styrofoam cooler, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), and insulation. An ideal cooling unit is one that stands taller than your tumbler.

Thus, you’ll need to ensure your tumbler is surrounded by a material like MDF, which reinforces the body of the cooler, providing support to your tumbler. The next step is to apply insulation around the cooler and inside the box.

Use effective insulation material like fiberglass insulation, as it helps to absorb the noise. While choosing your insulation, ensure the material is thick enough to block out noise while still allowing good airflow.

Next, ensure that you create a ventilation hole in your soundproofing box. The ventilation hole allows heat buildup to escape and fresh air to enter for proper ventilation.

By leaving enough space in your soundproofing box for the proper circulation of air, you ensure that your machine doesn’t overheat. 5.2: Testing and adjusting for optimal performance

After building your soundproofing box, test it to ensure that it works.

One of the simplest ways to test your soundproofing box is by evaluating the level of noise when tumbling rocks in and outside of the box. It’s challenging to create a completely soundproof box.

Some noise will escape, and as such, ensure to test for the noise level after enclosing the tumbler in the box. If you find the soundproofing box not working correctly, make some necessary adjustments.

One approach is to adjust the ventilation hole and temperature of your soundproofing box. A well-maintained temperature setting will help with heat dissipation and prevent machine overheat.

It’s best to keep an eye for any unusual changes in temperature and observe the noise level of the tumbler whenever changes are made. Keep in mind that creating a soundproof box takes time, patience, and attention to detail, but the product is worth it.

With the right materials and approach, rock tumbling without noise disturbances can be a much more enjoyable experience.


Building a soundproofing box for your rock tumbler is an effective way to minimize the noise produced during your tumbling sessions. By choosing the right materials, constructing an adequate ventilation hole, and testing and adjusting your soundproofing box, you can achieve a quieter operation.

Ensure to keep an eye on the tumbler’s temperature, water levels, and ventilation, which help to optimize tumbling outcomes. In conclusion, reducing the noise produced by your rock tumbler is possible through proper tumbler placement, regular maintenance, and constructing a soundproofing box.

Noise reduction measures help to promote an overall more enjoyable tumbler experience. With the right tips and considerations, you can reduce noise, improve outcomes, and lengthen your tumbler’s lifespan.

Here are some FAQs covering key topics:

– Q: Will a rubber-lined barrel reduce noise in a tumbler? – A: Yes.

A rubber-lined barrel can absorb vibrations and decrease noise levels. – Q: What is the best location to place a rock tumbler in an apartment?

– A: A suitable location for a tumbler in an apartment would be in a place where it will cause the least amount of disturbance to other tenants, far from living spaces, or upper floors where the noise will not affect tenants downstairs. – Q: How do I test the effectiveness of my soundproofing box?

– A: Test the effectiveness by tumbling rocks both inside and outside the soundproofing box and observe the differences in noise levels to evaluate your box’s effectiveness. – Q: Why is regular maintenance important for a rock tumbler?

– A: Regularly maintaining the tumbler helps in extending its lifespan, reducing noise levels, and avoiding unexpected breakdowns.

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