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Agate Burnisher... Gone Forever


Hi All,

I guess its time for me to step up to the plate and give y�all a new
tool. I’ve been using it for several years, and gave some to Jean
Stark and Katherine Palochak (Of Iridescent Patina Fame).

Katherine used it in her class with good results, and I have been
using it for seveal years for regular burnishing as well as Keum-Boo.

How about a burnisher that never gets hot?

How about one that costs about $1.00?

How about one that you can make yourself in 10 minutes?

How about one that can have any angle from horizontal that you can
think of?

How about one that you can change for a particular job?

How about one that does not stick to metal?

How about one that has a point on both ends?

How about one that can be round, flat, pointed, any diameter, any

How about one that will easily polish silver or gold?

I use pyrex rod.

A half-inch diameter pyrex rod x 48 inches long, from costs under $7.00. Cut it into 4-12 inch lengths,
and you got 4 burnishers with a point on each end for a total of
9��(Texas math).

Pyrex has all the above characteristics.

You can, using an acetylene-ox torch, melt the end and form it to
any shape.

Don�t like to use fire? Use your lapidary wheels and cut the end
and then polish it using 1200, 8000, then diamond polish.

Heat the end, grab the molton metal with a pair of long-nose pliers,
and draw it out to the thickness you want. Cool it off (air cool
rather than quench), cut off the excess on the end (you can use
sissors) , and then fire polish the end to get the ultimate

Fire polish is heating the end untill the surface gets �glassy�.

Heat the rod about an inch from the end, and bend it to any angle
that suits your job. I like about a 45 degree. If I�m doing
keum-boo, I like the angle to be a little bigger so I am not
directly over the kiln.

I came upon the idea when I was making pyrex marbles. I can hold a
half-inch piece with a 2000-3000 degree ball of molton glass on the
end, and it’s cool as close as 4 inches from the ball of glass.

You can buy any diameter (from 3 mm to 38 mm) that fits your hand,
but the bigger the diameter, the harder you can push, and the less
likely it is to break.

It will also polish silver and gold, and can be used to stir your
coffee when you arent using it��

And�if you drop it and break it, heat both ends at the break, melt
them together, let it cool, and keep working.

In my opinion, it beats the heck out of metal and agate burnishers.

If anybody is interested, I can custom make a set of 4 (8 ends)
for about $30 dollars for my time, or if interested, will write up
an article for LJ so yall can see how to make the burnisers.

I can put some pictures up on my Web site too if needed.

Hope someone gets lots of use out of this.

Love and God Bless


I’m a little behind in reading my posts, but I thought you guys
might want to be aware that an Orchidian, Randy Smith, is preparing
an article on Pyrex burnishers to be published to Ganoksin. Randy
sent me some to try out, and they got a workout at the last workshop
I presented. Everybody flipped over them! You can hold onto them, and
the way the properties of the glass work, it’s not necessary to dip
them in water. They glide over the foil without sticking. You can
make different points and ends. Those that had their fancy agate
burnishers felt they were on par with them, but I noticed they were
trying out Randy’s rods and using them for some things their agates
couldn’t do. OK, so besides, they had just paid an average of $20 for
their fancy agates, and it’s kind of hard to swallow your pride that
something simple works just as well, and in some cases better. So I
urge you to look for Randy Smith’s posting on how to make your own,
and if you’re not inclined to make your own,

Randy will make a limited amount of sets for a nominal fee, up until
he gets sick of making them.

Katherine Palochak


I would like to contribute my comments regarding Randy’s Rods.

I’ve used them for bezel setting stones and found them to be
wonderful for the application. I’ve requested smaller tips for the
tight spots. Many of the bezel burnishers on the market are wide,
when setting bezels close; the tool is too wide. I had created a few
custom burnishers out of metal, but if you’re not careful, they can
damage the stone. With Randy’s Rods, I didn’t have any trouble.

Great work Randy and I look forward to seeing your article in
Lapidary Journal !!

Terri Collier
Dallas, TX

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