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Beach glass, how much tumbling necessary?

Hello, I bought some beach glass from Mosaic Mercantile in North.
Cal. and for the most part the pieces seem fairly smooth, I am a
little concerned about wire wrapping them for jewelry…some of the
pieces seem a little pointy, and dont want anyone suing me later
because they got injured…I dont have a tumbler, but was wondering
how much tumbling is necessary…once the pieces have been
pre-tumbled? … Am I being paranoid about a patron injuring
themselves?? Has anyone else had this experience of buying
pretumbled beach glass? Does anyone have any more sources for beach
glass? If I have to buy a tumbler, what is the very basic kind I
can buy? They seem expensive.

Very curious to know anything…Lynn

I’m going to be a bit of a snob on this one. I live around the
ocean, and one of the things I collect (but don’t use for anything)
when I take my walks on the beach is glass. Mother nature does a
fine job of etching the glass, and there are no pointy edges. My
experience is there is a volume of white and brown glass, and to find
green…ohhh la la.

Don’t take offense at what I said, but again, if it has to be tumbled
I don’t think it’s real beach glass.


Don't take offense at what I said, but again, if it has to be tumbled
I don't think it's real beach glass.

Well…no…its not beach glass, its tumbled glass…but just try
and produce a production line by hunting pieces of glass on the beach
all day…lol…pretty impractical. If you plan on actually repeating
any of your pieces, it has to be tumbled glass, oooh la la or not.
Happy hunting :slight_smile:

Lisa, (wildflowers everywhere) Topanga, CA USA


There seems to be a flaw in your logic ! Real beach glass HAS to be
tumbled; the fact that a natural process tumbled the UN-NATURAL glass
is academic. Furthermore, if you were to use an UN-NATURAL process to
tumble the UN-NATURAL glass your product would be indistinguishable
from the litter that has been carelessly thrown on the beach by slobs
who would have kiddies’ tootsies lacerated.

It seems to me that we would all better serve mankind if we did not
romanticize the hazardous trash left on the beach by irresponsible

On the other hand, last week, while I was beachcombing at my favorite
beach, I could not help picking up the most beautiful piece of
Emerald green beach glass that I have ever seen. It was a perfectly
round cylinder about a quarter of an inch in diameter and an inch
long. Unfortunatly, the process that mother nature used was too
aggressive and, in order to further enhance its beauty I am going to
give it a subtle frosted effect by tumbling it in 600 grit. Voila,
beauty is where you find it. I’m going to make a custom 14 K bell cap
for it and mount it as a pendant.

How do we reconcile these antithetical perceptions of beauty ? My
neighborhood is busy buzzing about the “horrendous” plastic flowers
that a geriatric couple just conspicuously placed in a planter on
their easy maintenance “lawn”. Their reasoning may have been that
they were too old to keep up with those of us who have yards bursting
with spring flowers. Are we wrong to imitate nature with plastic ?
Should we petition our legislators to outlaw those bilious blobs of
plastic which seem to dominate every American cemetery ? Public taste
is ethereal and un-controllable. What does it portend for natural
gemstones…? The moving finger writes and moves on…Ron
at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

Ron, I just have to get my 2 cents in here. I have always pondered
the question about real and fake. Beach Glass, Tumbled
Glass…Natural Saphire, Lab Grown Saphire, …Natural Ruby, Lab
Grown Ruby…Naturally conceived baby, Petrie Dish Conceived
Baby…The first was the Brown Baby in Australia over 20 years ago
is she and all the others since “Fake Children?” or UN-Natural
Children? Susan

Lynn, Try using some aluminum oxide sandpaper from the hardware store
to smooth the edges.

Wrap the paper around a sponge. The sponge is a slightly giving
surface and allows the paper to flex slightly. Spray the paper with a
little water and rub the sharp edges against it.

Don’t expect this method to remove major spurs. It will dull and
slightly smooth an edge and won’t change the frosty surface look of the
glass in any great way. If you need to remove larger burs get out your
diamond bit and flex shaft. Immerse the piece of glass in a shallow
tray of water to keep the diamond bit cool and remove the sharp edges
on the glass using the bit. Again the matt surface of the tumbled
glass shouldn’t change noticeably.