Never buy a rock tumbler! If you have no idea what a rock tumbler is, consider yourself lucky. If your child has never asked for one, be thankful.
Zach has wanted one for a while. He wants to look at them every time we go to Hobby Lobby. Just the fact that he has to go to a “craft store” is torture for him. He finally found out they had model airplanes and rock tumblers, and since then it has been bearable. Every time we go he asks if he can have one and I always remind him he could spend his money. I even mention that they have 40% off coupons in the paper. He doesn’t want one that bad.
So, while shopping the Just Between Friends consignment sale last week, I found one for $7.50 and snatched it up. What a bargain right?! When we got home and opened it, it even had all the powders and rocks. It looked brand new. After reading the instructions, I was pretty sure it had never been used.
Do you know WHY it hadn’t? Because when the parents got to the part about “set the tumbler in a room that is not used frequently because it will make a loud noise” and “tumbler will remain in constant tumbling motion for fill- in- the- blank (anything varying from 2 to 5 days PER CYCLE)” they packaged it right back up. Are you kidding me? We added up time it would take to produce a smooth, shiny rock and at the MINIMUM it would be 15 days. That’s half a month of constant noise making, electricity eating rock tumbling. If we had a garage, it might have been a little easier to think about.
I didn’t have the heart to tell Zach no right off the get go. Afterall, he was saying things like, “I’ll keep it under my bed and nobody will hear it” or “Can we try it just one time pleeeeeaaaase? Then we’ll never do it again.” So, we loaded the thing up and put it in the laundry room. With towels over it. It actually didn’t sound too bad, just like your washing machine and dishwasher were going at the same time. I kept telling myself it was really a lot like “white noise” right? I would hardly notice it.
We left it going all night and by morning I really had forgotten about it. Until Zach mentioned he couldn’t get the tumbler started again. “You STOPPED the tumbling?” I asked him. “Uh huh”, he says in a this is not sounding like a good thing voice. After a few minutes of figuring out we would have to start the whole thing over, we all decided it was not worth all this drama and effort. Except Lilly. She was really mad at us.
But you know what? I happen to know of a few gift shops in the area where I can take them to get a whole bag full of those nice shiny rocks. Probably for less money that it would take to run that thing for a month. So, long story (I know you never wanted to read this much about a rock tumbler) short, it’s going back into the JBF sale so the next unsuspecting parent can grab up this great bargain!