Post by rockhoundwv on Feb 10, 2017 16:21:06 GMT -5
Hello everyone! Here in West Virginia I have a jewelry store of sorts. I do a number of different things here. At this moment I am working on carving a heart from chalcopyrite. So long as you leave one side or surface it can be carved and not lose it's color. I use a tile saw sitting in a tub of water. You have to have wet gear such as a plastic apron. I've been using a contractors lawn and leaf bag with a hole cut out for my head and two holes for my arms. No it's not pretty but I've used the same bag now for 5+ years. I of course use a full face shield and (mickey mouse ears as we called them in the NAVY) hearing protection. No gloves though as the tile blade wont really cut you unless you get your hand or fingers caught in the blade slot. Had to stop for a moment and change 3 batteries in a customers watches. I have carved the stone and fit it in a watch case for one customer, making it into a bracelet. The chalcopyrite is a very soft stone so high speed anything is out of the question. Here in the shop I have 4 1lb. barrel tumblers 1 dual and 2 singles. You can not tumble it, it just shatters. I also have a dual unit but I use that for cleaning and de-burring rings, chains, etc. after welding or soldering. The other barrel, I take the used connoisseurs jewelry polishing clothes, cut them into 1" pieces there about, and put them into the barrel and tumble jewelry that needs a lot of attention.
I have tried to artificially color the chalcopyrite by several means. I've used the vinegar, sulfuric acid, vinegar and copper, copper sulfate and vinegar, etc. with no result from any. I've looked on the net and have tried them all and nothing. So in order to get this customers item out the door for Valentines day, I'm going to coat the surface with a clear spray sealer and call it a day!
Now if anyone has any other ideas or methods that have work for you, I would love to hear about it! Thanks: Mike