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6 year old daughter got me into rock hounding and tumbling and now I'm addicted so here I am. We live here in E. Texas where there are no rocks lol. Looking to relocate to Arkansas within the next year.
Stage 1 - 60/90 Silicon carbide
Stage 2 - 120/220 Silicon Carbide
Stage 3 - 500 Aluminum Oxide
Stage 4 - 1 or 2 Micron Aluminum Oxide Or Tin Oxide. Basically the Finest Aluminum or tin oxide you can find.
Most "grit packs" that come with tumblers dont include a real polish, they normally have like 1000 or 1200 Aluminum Oxide which is really a pre-polish and wont quite get you the wet mirror shine that you would get with a 1 or 2 micron Aluminum oxide. You should be able to tumble quartz and quartzite together without a problem. If you got one of the national geographic style tumblers with 3 or more speed settings do all stages on speed 1. Dont dump your slurry from your rocks down ANY drain in the house it will turn to cement in your pipes and end up costing a fortune in plumbing repairs.
The problem with the grit packs they sell that are just labled stage 1,2,3,4 is that they never give you enough stage 1 and they neglect to tell you that you most likely will need to run stage 1 more than once to get the rocks smooth enough to move on to stage 2. Depending on the rock type you can be spending 2 weeks on stage one, up to a year on stage 1 with really tough agates. Stage 1 is the only stage you should have to repeat, once you get the rocks where you are happy with how smooth and defect free they are, you can just to 7 days on each stage 2-4. Some people Burnish between stages, which means they clean out the slurry, add water and either borax or a drop or 2 of dish soap, seal it up and run it a few hours to overnight. If you do this, same as slurry dont dump it down any drain in the house.
You typically change your grit or add new grit every 5 to 7 days on stage 1. Some people drain rinse and start stage 1 over with new water and grit every 5 to 7 days until all nicks, gouges,scratches are gone, and some people like me, just check the rocks every 5 to 7 days and add new grit in with the slurry without doing a full clean out. When you do buy grit, buy 7 times as much stage 1 as the rest becuse that is the stage you have to repeat until smooth and defect free.
Funny Side note, My Nephew actually Lives in Edinburgh Scotland so if you happen to run into a 6ft 7in tall American with long hair and a Scraggly beard tell him his uncle said Hi lol.
Any questions feel free to ask. What tumbler do you have, as in what brand?
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