Hello! My name is Nathan, I have not tumbled rocks before, and I have questions for experienced tumblers.
The situation: I have a bunch of emeralds, rubies, and sapphires that are uncut and still have rock matrix on them. I want to remove the matrix from the gemstones.
My problem: I can't afford to buy all the proper supplies and equipment for tumbling.
My plans: I intend to make my own tumbler. I do not think the machine itself will be that hard to construct. However, I do not know what to use for a barrel. This brings me to my first question: What material should the barrel be made out of? Also, can I tumble emeralds (~8 on mohs scale) in the same batch as ruby and sapphire (hardness 9)? Or would that damage the emeralds? And if all I want to do is get the much softer matrix off the hard gemstones, do I really need very specific types of grit, or can I just use sand (hardness 7) or something like that?
Please stop me from doing something stupid that will damage my gems.
Post by JKowalski33 on Sept 5, 2004 20:12:38 GMT -5
Hello Nathan, I can't answer your questions on building the tumbler, but as for removing the matrix, it is my understanding that you can put the emeralds in the barrel just by themself without grit or water. They will tumble and the bits of matrix will break off, and leave the much harder emeralds separated. I don't have any experience with this, this is just a suggestion. -Jackson
Post by cookie3rocks on Sept 5, 2004 20:56:06 GMT -5
Hi Nathan, The only emeralds I have done sucessfully were quite large a had a lot of matrix, giving them time to grind down without desintagrating. I start them in 220 and check them every 12 hours, some are ready before others. I ran them with jasper and they moved along at the same rate, for the most part. I just threw in 3 big ones at the time, and 2 had to come out as they were not ready for polish when everything else was. I got one gorgeous dark green diomond shaped emerald that's gonna make a killer pendant. It has one little rough spot I'm still trying to figure out how to smooth. Good luck,
If you hit the speed bumbs really fast, you hardly feel them at all.
spend some time and look at the posts here and a lot of your questions will be answered. if you have a little imagination assembling a tumbler is not a big deal oh yeah and a little good junk helps. give me a shout and I will help I made a couple of frames. look back in general section and there are a couple pictures and a material list
God put his best work in ROCKS. Etsy store, arendsagates
About removing the matrix - I was just looking for the same type of information. In my case I found a few geodes and was thinking of removing the matrix to polish the egg shaped insides. While searching I found a link that gives some general ideas:
I’ve been tumbling some quartz-like materials with matrix in 60/90 and discovered that the process is diminishing the matrix quite fast. So instead of trying to break the matrix of my geodes, I will just place one of them in 60/90 to see if it will do the trick. I will be checking the process daily and will remove the experimental geode as soon all the matrix is gone and the inside ready to go to the next step. Sometimes experimenting with things works out, sometimes not, but, we always learn from it and it’s fun! Good luck with all of your projects!:-)
God of Multiple Parallel Universes Full of Rocks and Apprentice to THE ONE.
I used 4"ABS drainpipe, and you can buy the plastic cap for the the bottom and the temp clean out plug for the top of the barrel at the same place you buy the pipe. You should use some type of rubber to line the inside of the barrel also(cuts down on noise and keeps the rocks from getting beat up). I used 1/8" rubber sold in hardware stores for mine.
As far as the ems and rubies go, you can start grinding them together until you get them shaped, but then seperate them for the rest of cycle. Sand will not do very well for grinding these stones. Maybe to remove the matrix, but it will take forever for sand to do any type of shaping or polishing. You can purchase a small kit with all the stages necessary for under 20 bucks.
Thank you everyone for your advice! Right now I just want to remove the matrix from these gems, not polish them. I got the impression that sand would work for removing the matrix but not for polishing. Is that right? I'm very grateful for all of your help. Thanks.
rocktard: OK, ....where is my listings, I tried to add my pictures using the add attachment, it kept on saying the file was to big.
Oct 19, 2014 9:32:00 GMT -5
kimx5: Need help..have done everything to the rule week after week ...just took stones out after polishing process ...they look lovely while wet but they lose their shine when they dry out ...what have I done wt
Oct 19, 2014 12:29:56 GMT -5
kimx5: Ooopppss. ?.what have I done wrong I was going to ask ?
Oct 19, 2014 12:31:59 GMT -5
Fossilman: kimx5-go to the "Total Rock Tumble" site on this forum,you will get tons of help there...Not many people visit the "shout" page....Thumbs up
Oct 20, 2014 9:36:32 GMT -5
mr.mohs: only the mostly...mostly
Oct 20, 2014 10:51:57 GMT -5
Fossilman: He said he would,I said he wouldn't,but they thought he did,it turned out,he could have..............LMAO
Oct 21, 2014 9:15:14 GMT -5
hillquist: Just wanted to to the guy that was wondering about the Hillquist saw, it's a great saw, I have the 16 inch slab saw RF-14-16, the original Hill
Oct 23, 2014 20:09:45 GMT -5
Rockoonz: Hey hillquist I need the drum and clutch from the feed on a hilquist 24 inch saw.
Oct 23, 2014 23:41:03 GMT -5
drocknut: That's ok let em give me grief I got the rock so I'm happy.
Oct 24, 2014 20:48:50 GMT -5
wampidy: Grief? ? ? I aint givin ya no grief. I been givin ya humor. Did ya see where I said "she found it fair and square"? If that is grief what I give next will drive you mad as a hatter ya little squirt.
Oct 24, 2014 21:44:24 GMT -5
broseph82: Anyone with any extra arbors with hoods theyd like to get rid of on the cheap for a member? PM me please. thanks!
Oct 27, 2014 10:31:44 GMT -5
broseph82: Ill be slabbing some new BIG rocks today at the lab. Hopefully two of them produce some Paint Rock agate
Oct 27, 2014 10:32:32 GMT -5
snowmom: love coming to this site every morning, coffee in hand, and seeing what everybody has been up to.
Oct 30, 2014 6:23:49 GMT -5
wampidy: snow, what a plain Jane you are. Don't you know that us "in" people have moved up to cappuccino by Folgers and coming here with coffee of any sort and NO cinnamon and brown sugar pop tarts, I think, is a sin or something sinister.
Oct 30, 2014 8:37:02 GMT -5
wampidy: If I get up at my usual time, 4:30, we are here at the same time. Overslept today. Hmmmm the new cpap machine must be doing some good. I have not had this much energy in a long time. Catch 22, more energy, more doing, more back pain. Sucks but.............
Oct 30, 2014 8:43:22 GMT -5
snowmom: Jim, plain Jane plain black coffee... love that stuff. More energy good... naproxen works for me. Every day is a gift....
Oct 30, 2014 15:25:58 GMT -5
Fossilman: Black coffee,nothing better.................
Oct 31, 2014 10:03:45 GMT -5
mr.mohs: on the rocks!
Oct 31, 2014 10:10:00 GMT -5