I'm wondering if anyone has some good advice on how to tumble labradorite. I had a couple odd pieces in mixed batches from the Rock Shed, and they always looked good through stage 2 120/220, but then started looking worse in pre-polishing stage.
At this point I figured out what material I was working with, started learning about the Mohs scale, and decided to try tumbling a batch of labradorite on its own. As a newbie, maybe this was a bit ambitious, but nonetheless, here I am...So again, things are looking good through my grinding with 120/220, but I would appreciate any tips for pre-polising and polishing stages. I'd hate to ruin the batch at this point.
Should I tumble with an extra step of AO 1000 before polishing? Would a dry polishing be better than wet polishing? Any advice is much appreciated. I'm working with a Lortone 33B.
Post by charles kuchar on Mar 11, 2012 18:07:26 GMT -5
peachfront just sent me a piece of labadorite. it has three sawed edges, all square to each other. only one has any hint of blue. there are a couple of irregular places that have the blue though small. i am taking it to the rock club for the next meeting and finding out how to slice it for the best show. then i would try to polish with something llike a genie or something like that. charlie
Post by 150FromFundy on Mar 13, 2012 10:49:25 GMT -5
I have had little success in tumbling this material. The "labradorescence" effect is only visibly in one plane. If your rough happens to be oriented correctly, you will get some of the effect in small patches on your stone. To maximize the effect, you have to find the correct plane, cut the material accordingly, and grind/polish along that plane. This works well for clever cabbers, but not so well in a tumbler.
God of Multiple Parallel Universes Full of Rocks and Apprentice to THE ONE.
I've tumbled moonstone which is very similar. My advice is to start with your surfaces as smooth as possible so that the grit is less likely to get into cracks and crevices and make them into canyons. Using a wet saw, you can cut the sides and put your scraps into the tumbler as well. Adding rough which is softer and/or lots of plastic pellets for cushion helps.
I had some luck adding a couple slivers of Dove soap to the tumble. It slows down the action, but helps to buffer. More cushion in 500 and polish is advised because the slurry is thinner in those stages.
I'd try more cushion before trying to add an extra step of 1000. Good luck! Jo
Hey Charlie, this is off topic but related to your comment on labradorite sawing orientation.
I don't remember where I picked this up but when sawing chatoyant things like lab, spectrolite, tigers eye etc you can use a bowl of water (or thinned paint as it was presented to me). Hold the stone over the bowl and position yourself looking directly down at your stone between you and the water. When you get it oriented that you see with your eyes the best way to hold it for the best flash, lower the stone straight down into the liquid. It marks a straight level line on the stone that you can use to orient it in your vise.
It's worked well for me... There's advantages and disadvantages to using paint vs water, but an aluminum stick to mark the waterline has been good enough for me.
Post by charles kuchar on Mar 13, 2012 18:10:23 GMT -5
thanks for that tip... the 6" saw i bought from lynn was shipped today. and ordered some oil to use in my saws now. the old timers insist that oil is so much better. ok, i will try it... thanks. i will mention that tip at the next club meeting. charlie
Just to report back, the tumbled labradorite experiment was a bust. It probably looked the best after stage 3, but the polishing stage was a disaster, with lots of pits, grooves and cracks developing. I put this aside a few weeks ago and haven't been able to look at it since. Back to jaspers and agates and other more tumbler-friendly material.
Some day when I have more tumbler capacity, I'll give it another try, but right now I'll focus on higher percentage wins. Next time I'll take pictures too. It's all a learning experience.
Fossilman: As seen the blast zone on the maps they show,if and when Yellowstone blows is a southern zone,the east and west will suffer some,but not as bad as the southern states...About like Mount St. Helen did...
Aug 26, 2014 13:26:26 GMT -5
Shotgunner: meh.. unless it's truly cataclysmic and the sky darkens so long food wont grow...
Aug 26, 2014 15:29:33 GMT -5
Shotgunner: amanda1982 welcome to the sight. You walk with giants here and there is tons of reading to do. Get to work!
Aug 26, 2014 15:30:05 GMT -5
rockpickerforever: Ed's probably right, SoCal will be underwater by then. Global warming, ya know? My understanding on the ash cloud, it'll come full circle around the plant in no time at all. Just move to Montana now for a front row seat, and get it over with!
Aug 26, 2014 16:35:37 GMT -5
amanda1982: Wow been browsing and there is soooo much info. Now to figure out where to start and which machine to purchase. I wish I had a store close to go and look at the products. Online can be overwhelming sometimes
Aug 26, 2014 17:04:02 GMT -5
mr.mohs: amanda1982 be sure to post an introduction and your question in the VISITOR & GUEST section. I'm sure RTH will be one stop source of invaluable info
Aug 26, 2014 20:46:37 GMT -5
mr.mohs: I was jus think that super volcano would be such cataclysmic advent on the earth vunerable area would slide into the sea
Aug 26, 2014 20:48:02 GMT -5
nowyo: Probably not, Ed, the faults in CA aren't working that way. SoCal will continue it's slow march to the NW and become an offshore chain of islands in oh, 20 or 30 million years. If/when Yellowstone caldera blows we'll have time to say "oh s$#@.
Aug 26, 2014 22:12:02 GMT -5
mr.mohs: so if that sucker blows... none of us will be around to gloat : see I told you so?
Aug 27, 2014 1:02:50 GMT -5
arago: Hey Jugglerguy, I just followed your directions and am washing my rocks (for the first time ever!)in Dawn. Next comes the Borax...
Aug 27, 2014 20:34:48 GMT -5
arago: Wait, what? Did I just jump into a super volcano blow in Yellowstone and a tectonic drift discussion? [pours another glass of Cabernet...]
Aug 27, 2014 20:37:03 GMT -5
arago: Like I said, newb is trying to wash off the residue from his first tumbler run.
Aug 27, 2014 20:38:28 GMT -5
arago: Back to the discussion.
Aug 27, 2014 20:38:44 GMT -5
Fossilman: amanda1982....Go to Kingsley North.com,they are full of goodies and its a one stop store for all your tumbling and hounding needs...
Aug 28, 2014 8:54:45 GMT -5
catmandewe: The volcano at yellowstone finally blew?
Aug 28, 2014 15:29:49 GMT -5
rockpickerforever: Tony, if it did, I think you'd already know about it... Maybe next week.
Aug 28, 2014 15:47:51 GMT -5
Fossilman: Na',it just farted......That place has been burpin' for years though...I think we are lucky it has...
Aug 28, 2014 17:07:55 GMT -5
Fossilman: Would love to see what's underneath that place!!!!!!
Aug 28, 2014 17:08:34 GMT -5
nowyo: Just bought an 18 inch Highland Park saw tonight. Oh, woe is me. What will be the next fix for this junkie?
Aug 28, 2014 23:26:20 GMT -5
rockpickerforever: Oh, you got it bad, Russ. Do you get the DTs when you don't get out and cut rocks on a regular basis? Not the worst thing in world. I have shown great self restraint, 10" HP trim saw largest I have. It makes for a good excuse, can't saw those big rocks.
Aug 29, 2014 0:44:13 GMT -5