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Colorado Prospector - Gem and mineral prospecting and mining forums _ Gem and Mineral Specimen Finds or Processes _ Tumblers

Posted by: ColoradoProspector Sep 7 2007, 02:57 PM

Hey all,

How about we have a thread here for tumbling stones? wink.gif
We have been doing some and it's great fun to see what comes out in the process.

How many of you have tumblers and how have your batches been turning out?

Everyone wants to hear/see..... biggrin.gif

Here is a pic Fordtruckman sent over of he and his grandson's first batches.......Nice work guys......keep em' rollin'! cool.gif

CP

 

Posted by: Mrs.CP Sep 11 2007, 11:20 AM

Fantastic rocks guys! Keep up the good work.

We have been receiving alot of questions about tumbeling,
so I thought this link would help some.
It has all the steps and tips for tumbeling. Great referance!
It even has tips on gemstone tumbeling.

http://geology.com/rock-tumbler/rock-tumbler-instructions.shtml
smile.gif

Posted by: mystic mining Oct 6 2007, 02:07 PM

Hi denise you ever think about using car tires for the drum it works really well. We use racing slicks or golf cart tires, they work best. Its pretty easy to build one out of them, you can use one tire for each grit. You just need to make a rack with rotating shafts. Tires last a long time and its a lot quieter.
Smoky wink.gif

Posted by: russau Oct 7 2007, 07:32 AM

what a neat idea!

Posted by: ScottKS Oct 7 2007, 06:19 PM

You mean something along these lines laugh.gif

http://www.acc.umu.se/~widmark/lwtrumle.html

Posted by: Mrs.CP Oct 8 2007, 09:07 AM

Great idea Smoky, thanks!

Posted by: fanatic Nov 5 2007, 10:54 AM

I just picked up rock tumbler a couple weeks ago! I have my first load in right now. I bought a kit to get me started. The rocks supplied in the kit weren't enough for a load so I added stuff I've been picking up all over the place including right here in NY. Can't wait to see results! I'm hoping to get the grandkids interested. I'll be watching this area closely.

Thanx again CP's! You two are aces!

Posted by: nm jack Apr 20 2008, 09:21 AM

I was wondering about the difference in tumblers. I have a small 3lb. rotary tumbler but I am going to upgrade to something else as it doesn't seem to be doing
quite what I want. It could be me however, any tips would be appreciated. blink.gif

Posted by: Mrs.CP Feb 8 2009, 07:25 PM

I love the tumbler we have! We have a Lortone, 3 Lb. capacity twin barrels model.
Usually takes a week for each grit stage. What kind of tips are you looking for Jack?
Maybe we can help you out.

Here is a past webcam picture of some Colorado Amazonite we tumbled. smile.gif
They polished out great!


Posted by: Mrs.CP Apr 20 2009, 07:31 AM

I started a double batch Friday. Some assorted Agates in one, and Apache Tears in the other.
This batch will be done in May after all its grit stages. Always remember to keep the materials hardness the same in each drum, so it evenly works the stones to a better finish.
smile.gif

Posted by: Mrs.CP May 30 2009, 12:04 PM

The tumbling has been coming along nicely. Just finished the pre polished stage.
After several rinsings, you can see there is still little bits of grit left on the wet stones (Apache Tears).



What I do to make sure not to grit contaminate after each stage, is tumble in fresh water for an hour,
dump.......then repeat till the stones are grit free. This works great, then your ready to move on to the next grit stage.
groucho.gif

Posted by: Mrs.CP Nov 19 2009, 01:00 PM

Your post reminded me Scott, that I forgot to put a picture in of the finished stones.
Picture shows dry polished Apache Tears.



I think they turned out pretty good. I was nervous at first because they say polishing Apache Tears is for the more advanced rock tumbler. unsure.gif spock.gif groucho.gif
I have been giving them out to the adults, they seem to love them!

Good luck on your tumbling batch Scott, hope they turn out great!
We look forward to the pictures.
happy088.gif

Posted by: Mrs.CP Jul 11 2010, 06:54 AM

Here is a freshly tumbled batch of "Sweet Water Agates".........Who can tell me where these come from and why they are named that? music037.gif





Posted by: ASTROBLEME Jul 11 2010, 08:15 AM

Hi Mrs. CP,

I think those dendritic agates are from Wyoming and get their name from the Sweetwater River that is nearby.

Do those fluoresce under UV?

ASTROBLEME

Posted by: Mrs.CP Jul 11 2010, 01:58 PM

Good job ASTROBLEME , you nailed that one. Yes they do http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescence under UV (lime green). Want to see a pic?
biggrin.gif

Posted by: ASTROBLEME Jul 11 2010, 02:51 PM

QUOTE (Mrs.CP @ Jul 11 2010, 03:58 PM) *
Good job ASTROBLEME , you nailed that one. Yes they do http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fluorescence under UV (lime green). Want to see a pic?
biggrin.gif


Please share!


Posted by: ColoradoProspector Jul 11 2010, 05:47 PM

Be happy to share a pic. biggrin.gif Took a little bit to set up a light box and figure out the right camera settings to catch the colors but this pic did pretty well we thought.
In person there is alot more green color.



Posted by: EchoBravo Apr 22 2017, 07:24 AM

Looks like the last post was 2010... Well as a rock & roller myself I really love tumbling the local Minnesota Superior Agate smile.gif (the apache tears & amazonite look fantasic)






Posted by: swizz Apr 22 2017, 07:32 AM

Excellent Lake Superior Agates! I grew up in the U.P. (Ironwood) and did an awful lot of Agate hunting on the shores growing up. Great to see those, very beautiful collection. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: EchoBravo Apr 22 2017, 07:42 AM

My equipment.. I really like the Thumblers Tumblers as I have 2 of them. For smaller rocks I have a loretone tumbler. I replaced the white plastic lids with clear lexan glass so I can see the action of the rocks with grit. Nice to take a peek without opening the lid. :)


Posted by: EchoBravo Apr 22 2017, 07:47 AM

QUOTE (swizz @ Apr 22 2017, 10:32 AM) *
Excellent Lake Superior Agates! I grew up in the U.P. (Ironwood) and did an awful lot of Agate hunting on the shores growing up. Great to see those, very beautiful collection. thumbsupsmileyanim.gif


Thanks Swizz! Oooh the Upper Pen.. Home of the Copper filled Agates. How I would love to hunt for some of them rare beauties!

Posted by: Crusty Apr 22 2017, 08:00 AM

sweet setup EB! I've got a little HF double barrel one but do wish I had something bigger

Posted by: EchoBravo Apr 22 2017, 08:34 AM

QUOTE (Crusty @ Apr 22 2017, 11:00 AM) *
sweet setup EB! I've got a little HF double barrel one but do wish I had something bigger


Thanks Crusty.. I also have a smaller double barrel I use to polish the smaller agates & bits of pieces from cutting material. Those I usually give away every year when I am invited to the girl scout camp to talk rocks. Definitely a big hit with the kids. Handy little tumbler does a fantastic job. By the way I love reading about all your field work and info. I love that everyday I find new and informative posts from this club and its members. So cool! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: Denise Apr 23 2017, 06:31 AM

wub.gif Fantastic Agates! You did a great job tumbling them out. happy088.gif I also love how you added peaking windows to the tumblers, great idea!

Posted by: EchoBravo Apr 24 2017, 11:05 AM

QUOTE (Denise @ Apr 23 2017, 09:31 AM) *
wub.gif Fantastic Agates! You did a great job tumbling them out. happy088.gif I also love how you added peaking windows to the tumblers, great idea!


Thanks Denise! Yes it is very helpful when starting out as I didn't want to wait a full week to see if I was doing it right. So I found this really cool place that cuts lexan plastic and ordered some for my size tumblers. It saved me a few times when things didn't look right. smile.gif By the way those apache tears are beautiful and I stumbled onto your heart cabs.. Wow! That chrysocolla/chalcedony one was just breath taking. jawdrop.gif

I have more lapidary work I want to add but darn work keeps getting in the way whip.gif

Link to order clear or colored lids: (figured it could be used for other applications)

http://www.delviesplastics.com/c/Acrylic_Disks_Square.html

Posted by: EchoBravo Oct 16 2017, 07:40 AM

QUOTE (Mrs.CP @ Nov 19 2009, 04:00 PM) *
Your post reminded me Scott, that I forgot to put a picture in of the finished stones.
Picture shows dry polished Apache Tears.



I think they turned out pretty good. I was nervous at first because they say polishing Apache Tears is for the more advanced rock tumbler. unsure.gif spock.gif groucho.gif
I have been giving them out to the adults, they seem to love them!

Good luck on your tumbling batch Scott, hope they turn out great!
We look forward to the pictures.
happy088.gif


Hello Denise,
I am having issues with polishing my Apache tears, actually I think they should be called tumbler operator tears after the amount of time I have spent between the prepolish & polish stage...ha :). I have had the same struggles before with obsidian. I usually run them to a nice satin finish with 600g then wash everything with soap & water really well then on to the polish stage (alumina Oxide 1000g). First time polish was a week of operation using plastic pellets, all had a slightly rough look to them with what looks like leftover alumina powder on them even after a good wash. So I backed up to 600g to get that satin finish then polished for another week in alumina again. Same results. So I did a little research and noticed that the preferred media among successful obsidian tumblers was the ceramic media. So this time, since my last run was with alumina I did 2 more weeks with alumina again and the new ceramic media. Same results. For the life of me I can't figure it out. I wash really well between grits, as my current system works well for everything else harder than obsidian. Its a struggle for me to believe that running in clean water for half an hour would do better than me washing everything with a bristle brush and soap until the rubber is squeaky clean literally. But at this point I am willing to change my whole process to get my Apache tears to look like yours in the earlier pics. Any suggestions or preferred process that I should be doing to get them to that high gloss like yours would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
EchoBravo


Posted by: Denise Oct 16 2017, 08:18 AM

giggle.gif "tumbler operator tears"...too funny!

QUOTE
What I do to make sure not to grit contaminate after each stage, is tumble in fresh water for an hour,
dump.......then repeat till the stones are grit free. This works great, then your ready to move on to the next grit stage.


This really helps! I also wait till I'm done with all the stages before using soap to burnish them. Tumbling with the soap as the final stage works great. Amazing how much film is still left on them even after the polishing stage. I have also found that obsidian is the hardest to polish. I'm thinking it's because the grits want to stick to the smoother surface more. I also use a plastic noodle strainer on a bucket to rinse them, it helps to clean them off a bit before moving on to the next grit stage. happy112.gif

I hope this helps some! Can't wait to see the finished stones.
thumbsupsmileyanim.gif

Posted by: Mimimonilla Oct 16 2017, 05:56 PM

Very nice! They look great. Now what kind of stones are they?

Posted by: Denise Oct 18 2017, 06:54 AM

The stones he is talking about are Apache tears....an obsidian. happy112.gif

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