Sealing a beach stone?

I have begun using “found” stones that are black and white and
particular to the shores of lake champlain, in vermont. the stones
are quite porous and powdery - for example, they will turn the water
in the tumbler black. they are plenty smooth for my purposes, but
I’d like to know how to “seal” the stones once I have set them into
silver. I have tried bees wax and a variety of oils, all of which
are quickly absorbed. Can anyone recommend something that sits on the
surface of the stones so that they are sealed, much like a urrathane
seals wood? thanks for any suggestions!

Susan B. Tobey

Susan, I have heard of people using ceramic/grout sealer like they
use on ceramic floors. Im told it works well but have never tried it
myself, Lori

Can anyone recommend something that sits on the surface of the
stones so that they are sealed, much like a urrathane seals wood? 

I would recommend a super glue (CA) like Hot Stuff. Or you can brush
well mixed epoxy on the surface of the stone. Epoxy brushing is an
old technique from the turquoise business for sealing porous stone.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan


One way I ‘fix’ pourus stones (not to fix cracks and large holes -
for that use Opticon) is to take two part clear epoxy and mix up a
batch. Add acetone until it is ‘watery’. Warm the stone (don;t heat,
just warm) and put the stone into the solution. Wait a few minutes,
remove and let cure on some foil. The warm stone will suck the
mixture in and it will seal the small holes.

Cheers from Don in SOFL.

Hi Susan,

I have used beach and river rocks in jewelry for years and have had
good luck with “Renaissance Wax”. You can get it at various places.
I get it at a wood working supply shop. You can Google it. Follow the
directions on the jar and do a couple of coats. It warms the color
of stone/rock nicely and protects it. ( And I always warn the
customers against using harsh cleaning agents.) Hope this helps.


Hey Susan, I’m sure there are plenty of better products available for
your needs, but I’ve had a similar problem with porous pebbles and
just used the closest thing to hand; clear nail varnish. But these
were for exhibition ‘art’ pieces and not heavy-duty jewellery so I’m
not sure if this helps. It’s a quick fix with a good aesthetic
result. I’m sure other Ochid-ians will have much better solutions for
you though, and I’ll be glad to hear them too! Kind regards,


There is something called ‘water glass’, not the proper name which
I’ve heard seals stone.

But I have no personal experience using it. Perhaps someone else has
more accurate info.

A woman sculptor I knew told me she used a liquid which she got from
a sculpture supply to seal stone.


There is something called 'water glass', not the proper name which
I've heard seals stone. 

This is sodium silicate (water glass). It will adsorb into the stone
and react with CO2 ( carbon dioxide) from the air to gel (harden).
Any place that sells ceramic supplies should have it… Or you maybe
able to scronge a little from a potter.



Yes ‘water glass’, which is actually sodium silicate, can also be
used. It is a very useful item…farmers sometimes use it to coat
eggs to keep them fresh, etc. It is vey easy to use (just Google it
and I’m sure you will get a ton of info) but I have found when
purchasing it, you have to get a gallon at least. That can get
expensive and I ended up throwing away a bunch as it has a shelf

There are several other items that can be used as sealer.
Archeologists have some outstanding ‘glues’ used to fill broken
pottern or bones to stabilize them such as HXTAL NYL-1 which is a
two part resin formula and is available from

It too is fairly pricy and one must be careful when using it, but it
is very permanent.

I know there are othes out there but suggested the epoxy and acetone
because it is cheap, readily available and easy to use. Cheers from
Don in SOFL.


Water Glass is sodium silicate. There is a long article on Wikipedia
about it at Sodium silicate - Wikipedia.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


I am not sure what the “woman” was talking about concerning sealants
for glass, or “water glass” but I DO have a great sealer I swear by
for glass AND stone that is archival, dries perfectly clear, mixes in
a 3 to 1 by weight/2 part mixture and lasts up to or over 100 years
once cured. I use it to “stabilize” stones and as my adhesive for ALL
of my glass that needs to be sealed or have a tiny fractures glued.
It’s called Hyxtal NYL-1. It is more expensive than other adhesives,
but in my mind that is okay because I know the stuff WORKS!

I learned all about this “epoxy” type adhesive during my glass
blowing classes in college. It is about the only glue that my
professors would consider at all acceptable for an archival piece of
art. This is because of its archival nature and the fact that it has
no yellowing at all. I actually used to order it from a place that
specializes in museum service products. I now get it through Talas. I
have used it many times to stabilize wood and stone, even on an
almost life size sculpture of alabaster! It seeps into and loves
cracks actually like it seeks them out. The only disadvantage I have
found with it is that is has a long cure time, (up to a week for
total hardness, depending on how deep it has to go into the stone or
glass you use it on). I just love this stuff, and because it is an
approved archival adhesive, it’s the only one I trust. Not to sound
like a commercial, but here is what the rage is all about for this

XTAL NYL-1 is a crystal clear, non-yellowing epoxy adhesive
formulated to perfectly match the index of refraction of most glass.
It can be tinted to match the coloring of porcelain and ceramics as
well. Used correctly, it can withstand the ravages of time for the
long term preservation of art pieces of various media.

Also, it is grind-able on lapidary equipment, polishes to as high a
shine as any stone I have ever cut & polished, I have used it to
stabilize many cut stones and it polishes up as if there is nothing
there. You definitely would want to note that any stones you use it
on have been stabilized (just good business practice as a lapidary &
jewelry professional to ALWAYS note when a stone is enhanced or

A few other things that are nice about the long cure factor:

A) After mixing it, it is kind of runny for some time, so you can
put your item under the vacuum bell and remove even the tiniest of
bubbles! (This is real important for filling larger fissures in
lapidary work and repair of broken glass)

B) It stores up to a week in the fridge in a sealed container so I
don’t have a lot of waste. I can just pull it out and use what’s left
on other stones I am cutting that need stabilized

C) You can file items with your files and it cleans up really easy,
not harming the files at all

D) Its practically INVISIBLE: where-as when I have used regular
epoxies I can always see the epoxy.

E) Hyxtal can also be thinned down easily with the correct solvents
(kerosene), so I can pull it up into a syringe to inject deep into
tiny fissures, and cleans up easily.

F) Once cured it holds stone & glass together even when used on an
outdoor sculpture. And because it does not yellow in the sun you
can’t even see that it is there.

Hyxtal can be found all over the web, but I order mine from

They seem to be the cheapest, and also have reasonable shipping. You
can order in just a small to medium bottle, or get it in much larger
quantities, there. Also to keep in mind: If you are mixing more than
a few drops at a time, you should weigh it with a scale. It really
does require accurate mixing to cure properly. That is the only draw
back I can think of with Hyxtal, and a small one in my opinion, I
don’t mind pulling out my digital scale to weigh it while mixing for
such a fantastic and virtually invisible bond.

Anyway, hope that helps!

Teresa, thanks for that summary of Hyxtal.

I hope readers appreciate the info you’ve presented. I’ve known about
Hyxtal but have not had the occasion to use it. I met a lapidary who
did amazing (to me) things with Hyxtal. The one thing you didn’t
mention is that it cures with ultraviolet light. But that may not
always be the case; there may be different varieties of Hyxtal.

One point of confusion the “woman” sculptor was sculpting materials
other than glass.

I’m archiving your info. Thanks again


First, you are very welcome. I get a lot of education from Ganoksin,
and enjoy getting more with each issue, myself.


There are instances where you can cure it faster with Ultraviolet
light, and I DID forget to mention it. Also I forgot to mention why
it is so archival, it apparently passes the “PH” test for what
museums consider to be archival, meaning it does not cure in an
acidic state. What I DO find strange about that is that glass itself
is acidic, but that is mostly in its molten form. (I blow glass, so
have a little bit of education there, but I am NOT at all an expert
on the subject of PH balances)

Also, I didn’t want any of the gem experts to feel I may have jumped
on their “territorial knowledge” about how to treat fine gems. LOL I
am a baby there. I use it mostly to stabilize agates and semi
precious stones. Also woods, as it will seep into them as well. I do
know there are other adhesives used by those “experts” who make &
stabilize scale sets for knife & gun handles, but I had a
conversation with a Master Bladesmith about the Hyxtal, since I
already use it in my studio, and she said there was no reason I could
not use it for scales, as those that cut & stabilize the woods (and
more) often just use resins of different types, and don’t list WHAT
they use to stabilize the product.

Glad I actually could be of help to someone! Thanks all you
Ganoksiners for all your shared knowledge!


"experts" who make & stabilize scale sets for knife & gun handles", 

Teresa what do you mean by ‘scale sets’?

We’re all students no matter how long we’ve been doing what we’re
doing. Also, those who ‘don’t know’ what they’re doing often make
interesting points.


Hi Kevin,

Sorry bout leaving anything obscure. Scales are the term given to
the handle pieces that are made for the sides of knifes, guns,
sometimes silverware, basically hand tools that need a handle made.
They most often come in sets of two, one for each side. There are
also times you would use a solid “scale” of stone or wood that you
would then drill the end out of to hold the “Tang” of a knife, or
other tool, in what is called a “hidden tang” design.

Because wood and other items like ivory and some stones are porous,
they need to be “stabilized” to give them strength and stop them from
shrinking, expanding or sometimes even actually falling apart (in the
case of softer woods). Often stabilization is done chemically with a
binder like Hyxtal or another type of hard drying adhesive and some
woods are treated with heat & pressure. I am no expert on all the
processes used at all, others I am sure have much more knowledge.

Hope that clears that up :slight_smile:

teresa is correct…i might add as im a damascus bladesmith if the
handles on a knife are not scales they will be a solid block…i sell
exotic hardwood for knives,I love calif buckeye as a wood but its a
soft wood and of little use unless it is stabalized.


i might add as im a damascus bladesmith if the handles on a knife
are not scales they will be a solid block..i sell exotic hardwood
for knives,I love calif buckeye as a wood but its a soft wood and of
little use unless it is stabalized. 

So where does the term ‘scales’ come from? It’s a rather odd term.
From you statement ‘not scales they will be a solid block’ Is there
some equivalency there?