It would be interesting to find out. Probably walnut shells for hardwood and corn cob for softwoods. I wouldn’t use plastic media. If I get a free minute I will try to experiment.
Oh, all I have is a vibratory tumbler. Not sure of the sand paper would work in there.
I sand tons of small pieces and I have thought of using a cement mixer with sand, but I haven’t tried it yet on account of not having a mixer. Maybe one of these day I will buy one, if it works it would be well worth the price.
As it is I use Mac mops and flutter sheets which have pretty much saved my life!