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How to stabilize dendritic Dolomite?


#1

Good morning, I have a material that I do a lot of work with and I
need some advice. The material is a dendritic Dolomite with
beautiful tree and shrub scenes and usually fairly solid, however
some of the best scenes are formed along cracks that have not healed
over and when they are cut and polished the cracks are visible as
well as breaking sometimes in the process. I have tried the
following: -Used Opticon, but the liquid did not solidify in the
cracks, only on the surface, fell apart when cutting. -Broke pieces
first, then 5- minute epoxy to glue the pieces together and then
Opticon, held together but cracks visible after polishing. -Soaked in
mixture of acetone and 5-minute Epoxy, did not hold together. -Cut
and polished pieces first then Opticon and re-polishing, cracks still
visible. The material is fairly soft (5 on mohs scale). Dopes
anybody have any suggestions as to how to stabilize this material.
If you would like to look at some of the finished pieces, visit my
website http:/www3.sk.sympatico.ca/gkoshman/ Thanks Gerry


#2

Did you heat the stone after applying the Opticon? Opticon requires
a heat source. I use a 100 watt lightbulb in a work lamp pulled down
to about 2 inches from the stone for about 30 minutes. If that’s not
doing the trick, you can top that off with “Slo Gap” which is for
super stressed areas. I’ve stabilized some pretty chalky stuff with
Opticon though. It should work. You can also give it more than one
application.

Also, when I work soft stones I start with a 220 wheel. I never use
heavy grits on soft stones because it’s just too stressful. I also
try to go as easy as possible and don’t lean in on it.


#3

All, I am very hesitant to reply to this request. Any advice given
may prove wrong without actually seeing the rock and experimenting
with it. You can try impregnating the rock with anyone of a number
of highly viscous penetrating solutions now available. Look to the
solutions used in window and antique glass repair. I did some
experimenting with them several years ago and got side tracked by
other business before I had enough experiments conducted to make
valid assumptions. My initial tests of these sealers were fair on
filling cracks in quartz and helping to stabilize azurite. Opticon
was not made to stabilize materials. It was made to fill cracks in
quartz and similar materials. I know that it has been used for many
years for other uses with varying degrees of success. If I were you I
would weigh the time and expense of stabilizing the material versus
the gain in having the material made useable. Have you considered
making the material into doublets with a quartz cap over the
dendritic material. Or triplets if the material is still too soft.
My opinion is that in the end some materials just are not met to be
used as jewelry items. Leave them alone and appreciate them as they
are.