can anyone tell me what media to use, and for how long, for
tumbling small pieces of garnet?
Hi Sandra, I saw the responses from Don and Doug, and would like to
elaborate for a moment. The tumbling thread we’ve been on recently
(and from time to time) has been pertaining to finishing metal. The
key point is that while you can use the same tumblers to polish
stone, the materials used in tumbling stone are different than those
used for metal.
Rather than using media, like abrasive cones or steel shot, stone
tumbling uses increasingly finer levels of grit… powdered abrasive.
Sometimes people will put some sort of media (walnut shell, plastic
pellets) in with the grit and stone to provide some cushioning, but
its the grit that does the work.
With a rotary tumbler, the rule of thumb is one week for each level
of grit, coarse, fine, pre-polish and polish… so a batch of tumbled
stone takes about a month. Teaches patience… Rinse the barrel and
stones well between grits, and don’t use an aluminum colander (will
mark the stones). Also, don’t pour the grit slurry down your drain
unless you have a good relationship with your plumber!
All the best,
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)