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Walnut shell in tumbler


#1

Hello All

I have a medium size Raytech vibrating tumbler. I tried polishing
some black coral in it using Walnut shell and was disappointed with
the result.

After 36 hours I only got a slight shine. I am considering adding
some Tin Oxide or similar cutting/polishing powder in with the walnut
shell to see if it speeds up the process. Has anyone tried adding any
extra compounds to walnut shell for polishing anything from metal,
wood or coral or do you have any better suggestions.

Or if anyone has any ideas for polishing Black Coral in the tumbler
I wouldappreciate the help.

It does polish nicely on a mop with a little white Dialux but Im
just trying to cut down my time at the polishing motor.

thanks very much
Phil W


#2

Phil,… Having worked with black coral for going on 20 years, I
have tried just about everything to polish black coral in a tumbler
and nothing worked!! The best way to polish it is still on a cotton
muslim buff on high speed with ZAM. If anyone has had better
experience, would love to know!

Cheers, Don in SOFL


#3
After 36 hours I only got a slight shine. I am considering adding
some Tin Oxide or similar cutting/polishing powder in with the
walnut shell to see if it speeds up the process. Has anyone tried
adding any extra compounds to walnut shell for polishing anything
from metal, wood or coral or do you have any better suggestions. 

Walnut shell is a cushion and carrier for polishes. It doesn’t polish
by itself. I have no idea what would work best, but you might start
with the same compound you use on the wheel. I’ve seen Zam
recommended for black coral, too.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#4

Hello Phil,

You said.

I am considering adding some Tin Oxide or similar cutting/polishing
powder in with the walnut shell to see if it speeds up the process.
Has anyone tried adding any extra compounds to walnut shell for
polishing anything from metal, wood or coral or do you have any
better suggestions. 

Adding a compound to the walnut shell will definitely help. There are
such compounds that seem to be a blend of wax and polishing media. I
use a compound from Rio called Meta-Gloss. It doesn’t cut, but works
well to bring up a shine, or with shorter times will polish tarnished
pieces.

When you use a compound,follow the instructions. That usually means
to work the material (mine is like paste) through the walnut shell by
hand, then let it run in the tumbler for a while. Latex gloves are a
good idea when rubbing the compound into the walnut shell.

Think of the compound addition putting rouge or tripoli on your mop.
Periodially it needs to be replenished.

Judy in Kansas, where the strawberries are blooming - what a good sign!


#5

I hate to rain on the party but, I doubt if the tin oxide will help
polish the coral. Coral is about a 2.5 to 3 hardness but the oxide is
up around 6-7 on Mohs scale.

Tin oxide (proper name is actually stannic oxide and variations) is
an excellent polish for stones 7+ hardness. Also works well on
difficult to polish stones such as lapis lazuli, rhodonite, etc.

Still, would be interested in hearing how your experiment turns out.
Cheers, Don in SOFL.


#6
After 36 hours I only got a slight shine. I am considering adding
some Tin Oxide or similar cutting/polishing powder in with the
walnut shell to see if it speeds up the process. Has anyone tried
adding any extra compounds to walnut shell for polishing anything
from metal, wood or coral or do you have any better suggestions. 

Yup, you will need a polish to go with the walnut shells. Tin oxide
should do well, you can also try cerium oxide, powdered rouge, or
alumina of a suitable grade. Avoid silica or chrome oxide.

Nick


#7
Avoid... chrome oxide. 

Aw, come on, try it once. Being green is all the rage now.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#8

Simichrome polish works great! The most important thing to remember
is to use a very tiny amount of whatever polishing paste you use. You
never want the walnut shells to be damp or sticky with paste. They
should always feel dry.

Elaine Corwin
www.gesswein.com
Gesswein Co. Inc.
Bridgeport CT 06605


#9
Has anyone tried adding any extra compounds to walnut shell for
polishing anything from metal, wood or coral or do you have any
better suggestions. 

I have several separate vibratory bowls with my "secret compounds"
for different polishing scenarios. Red rouge and walnut shell for
all metal pieces. My old stand by almost never fail is a crushed up 1
lb bar of Zam with walnut shells for metals and softer stones like
turquoise, lapis, etc. I’m experimenting with different combinations
of corn cob and various polishes. I earn the nickname of “vibe
tumbler crash test dummy” almost daily.

Sometimes you have stones that just don’t want to take a polish.
There is always the final resort of Linde A on a leather pad…

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com