Post by EricD on Nov 10, 2019 12:20:10 GMT -5
Hello everyone. I'm Eric from Montana.
A few months ago I was given an almost unused Thumler's A-R12 tumbler by a friend of mine. Until then I had never even thought about getting into rock polishing.
I immediately went out searching for unique rocks (well, what rock isn't?) to start tumbling! A lot of the rocks that I returned with are what I call "field rocks". The kind you see in wheat fields/river bottoms that appear ordinary unless you look very closely or wet them. Most of them were already round. All of them were various hardness. I even picked up some broken smoked glass.
Being completely new at tumbling rocks, I followed the instructions and ran them for a week with SiC 60/90 to remove pits and blemishes, and proceeded to do the same length of time with 150/220 SiC, 500 SiC, AO TXP polish. I had not read about thickening the slurry or adding ceramic media, so as you can imagine my rocks got pretty beat up. In hindsight the bashing sounds should have alerted me to a problem.
I then decided I was going to do some reading and only process rocks in SiC 60/90 until I had a better understanding of the process. This forum has been an amazing source of information!! Special thanks to the documented experiments of jamesp and the time he took adding them to the forum.
After a lot of reading on RTH and other tumbling forums, I decided that I should buy a Lot-O Twin to do all but the shaping of my rocks, and at the recommendation of many of you to other people here, sourced one from Shawn at The Rock Shed close by in South Dakota. My experience with him was excellent, however my experience with FedEx taking 6 days to deliver it was not. It's a 9 hour drive from here, come on FedEx! I also bought 12lbs of rough rocks from Shawn, all 6-7 mohs, and stocked up on vibe abrasive and ceramic media. Those rocks should be a real pleasure to shine up.
I am now in the process of finishing the poor bashed up rocks in the Lot-O. Holy cow this thing is fast at it's job! I mounted it on top of 6 concrete pavers that are 2" thick with 4 1/4" concrete fasteners, and glued the pavers together with Gorilla heavy duty construction adhesive, at the recommendation of the local hardware store that sold me the pavers. It vibrated the concrete floor quite a bit, so I set the whole thing on 4 tennis balls with holes drilled in them to allow them to flatten a bit. It's now quieter than my Thumler's rotary.
I am using a variety of information for my vibe recipe from this forum and others, including information shared by jamesp, ingawh, Drummond Island Rocks, and Bikerrandy. Thank you guys and gals for all the useful information and photos you have shared of your experiences!
I am definitely going to try a load in the Lot-O with some AO 46 I purchased from The Abrasive Armory on eBay, after reading jamesp thread on how he has been going straight from AO 80 to 14k AO polish in his vibe. Such a great short cut!
It's a pleasure to be a member here, after lurking as a guest for a couple of months.
I apologize for the lengthy post...