The all free Rock Tumbling Hobby Site - Photos.

Here I have two projects currently on the go.  The barrel on the left is tumbling quartz and the barrel on the right has carnelian and a large Agate Nodule (should be interesting!!!!).  As the project progresses - I will add more photos until the rocks are complete.

Click on each of the pictures to view in hi-resolution at full size.


Raw material before 80 grit tumble - Started on Date Tues May 20th



Took the lids off after 40 hours continuous tumbling - the larger pictures show that the 80 grit is still present (dark areas in the grey) so no recharge needed at this point.



Already after just 40 hours the pictures show how the pitting on the Carnelian has decreased and all of the sharp edges of the quartz have been eroded.



This is how the barrels look at Monday 26th May, 6 days after the project started.  Notice how smooth the liquid is now - smooth grey with no dark patches (see the upturned lids) - this shows that there is very little grinding strength left in the 80 grit.



In the sieve after a quick rinse, you can see how the batches are shaping up.  Notice that I have not used plastic pellets on the Carnelian, this is because I want maximum grinding on the large nodule in the barrel.



Both of the batches are coming on at closer inspection.  At this stage I feel that most of the grit had broken down after 4 days, so I will recharge the barrels in 4 days rather than wait for 6.  I went sea fishing to be truthful and so they had to wait a couple of days!!!



This is how the barrels look now after the recharge - notice how the grit is sharp and shining in the water, you can see clearly how it breaks down to nothing in just a few days and why its wise to recharge if you want faster results.



By Friday the 30th May, the stones are now at the stage where almost all of the pitting has gone, but the shapes themselves are still a bit too bulky for my liking.  So I am putting them back in an 80 grit for another 4 days.  They will probably need another two full cycles in addition to this at 80 grit before they are appropriately shaped.  The nodule has hardly changed at all :(



By Monday 2nd June - this is how the stones look.  Still not done - but close now - 1 or two more tumbles at 80.  Don't forget that the carnelian is just to grind the Nodule down - so they will be at 80 for a long time yet as there is not much impact on the large sample sofar.



OK, the date Friday June 20th - one month into the tumble, and I have done two more 80 tumbles on each of the barrels.  I removed the nodule and added more small carnelian chunks to the mix because it just wasnt grinding fast enough - a larger tumbler is needed so I will get one this coming week.  The stones are going in 220 grit now, and then into 400.  After this I will photograph them again, however there will be very little difference in them.   On the right, you will notice that I have separated the carnelian into two types, the ones on the bottom are more rounded than the top ones which have only done two 80 cycles. I have decided to go with this and will polish them this shape, as I think its actually quite effective to have a few more "angular" rocks in the collection.


I gave up on these - they were all chipped.

The carnelians are now complete, but having been away for a while (I switched off my tumbler) - the Quartz are not yet complete - the polish cycle takes a week or two longer for those.  The carnelians "are not bad" I give myself a 7 out of ten for them - I admit that if I left them in polish a bit longer they may come out with more of a shine - but not much different than they are now.  Quartz barrell is on the tumble now.