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[Question] Polishing fluorite


#1

I have a large piece of green fluorite a customers wants polished. I
have it ground and sanded down to a 600 grit. This was all done wet.
I thought on my test end that it would polish about the same as agate
as this spot took a nice polish. But when I had the whole piece ready
for polish, it did not seem to be working. It would not take a
polish. What am I doing wrong. In the morning I am going to go back
and resand with the wet 600 grit diamond and see if it was a poor
sanding job.

Any other suggestion?

Larry
Where it is spring break here in Portland, OR and I have to get some rocks
polished before school starts again and takes a lot of my time.


#2

Larry, Once I worked with a fluorite I had to make a pendant with. The
stone is so soft I made a few scratches while working. So I repolished
it the same way I polish gold: first tripoli with a low speed buff,
then rouge again with low speed buff. It was perfect.

Fady Sawaya
3D jewelry designer
fady@fadysawaya.com
http://www.fadysawaya.com


#3

Larry - Fluorite does not respond to the same polishing treatment
that agate does for two reasons (at least): it is far softer, and it
has multi-directional perfect cleavages. Depending on how "gentle"
you are you can use chrome oxide on leather, tin oxide on leather, or
diamond paste on synthetic fabric to achieve a good polish. Remember
that the material has some heat sensitivity, so go slowly and keep
the stone cool.

Jim Small
Small Wonders


#4

Larry, have you tried polishing the fluorite with cerium or alumina.
I have had good success with those. Also, are you sanding with a meta
600 lap or a resin bonded lap? If metal I would suggest going finer,
like 1200. Bill Navran