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Tumbling


#1

Hi, Fellow Orchidians, I have just ordered a small vibratory tumbler
in order to make my life easier. I do mostly beaded work and use a
lot of sterling beads and semiprecious stones which makes it very
difficult to polish. My hope is that the tumbler will make it all
easier. Is it OK to tumble the finished work when it includes soft
stones and amber or pearls? I imagine pearls should not be tumbled,
but I could be wrong. What would be the best medium for the finished
work? Can I tumble finished PMC pieces instead of burnishing? Should
that be a different medium?

As always I thank you very much for sharing such a wonderful pool of
knowledge.

Vera B.


#2

The vibra-dry polish may be your best bet, 25,000 grit You can order
it from several distributors. Diamond pacific is the new owner now.

However, each piece you make, with individual metals and different
stones and various patterns, etc… may require extensive
experimentation’s and different compounds and media.

You may also try non abrasive ceramic media cylinders combined with
sub micron size alumina powders…

Good luck


#3

hello turquise doesnt tumble well, though you can buff the stones
after being tumbled and it brings up the surface again. i have
tumbled amber before and pearls, and they are both ok but only for
short times, more to reshine a dull surface rather than polishing.
tumblers dont always get into the deep recesses of the work so any
highly textural surface soemtimes doenst look so good. dont leave the
work in for too long if some parts of the work is not being rubbed by
the shot otherwise obvious lines start appearing of dull surface next
to shiny surface.

hope that all makes sense.
barb


#4

Dear Barb, In response to your quote below, I would like to share a
bit of

turquise doesnt tumble well, though you can buff the stones after
being tumbled and it brings up the surface again. i have tumbled
amber before and pearls, and they are both ok but only for short
times, more to reshine a dull surface rather than polishing. 

Tumble polishing with a dry media (corn-cob, walnut shell or wood
products) treated with one of various compounds, (chrome oxide, iron
oxide, meta-gloss, diamond powders, etc. depending on what you are
polishing) can actually do a fantastic job on turquoise and many other
stones. There are many, MANY different stages and applications for
the various materials you can tumble finish and each one can save a
tremendous amount of time in the “final hand polishing” stage. We
have done sample mass finishing runs on materials from metal, plastic,
stone, egg-shell, wood, and various other things items that might even
be somewhat unexplained. The Rio Grande Product Lab does this service
at no charge and sends back a full report on the machinery, media,
compounds and time cycles along with recommendations of ways to make
your life easier. You might want to look into this by contacting Rio
Grande at www.riogrande.com.

Hope this helps with you finishing.
Joe Lovato
Neutec/USA
Rio Grande


#5

How do rotary and vibratory tumblers differ in the types of finishes
they produce?

Janet