Tumblers Seem to Come First

Working on the tumblers seems to be a high priority. Either that or this activity is what I like to do best and choose to do the work on the tumblers over other priority activities.

The tumblers produce the greatest quantity of material ready for sale. After sorting the materials in the polish tumbler load the material is ready for storage and later sales or  for photographing and putting on the web site for sales.

I like the web site to have as few “SOLD” spots as possible although I know it is good to have a few “SOLD” spots so people know other people are ordering from the site.

I enjoy getting material ready for the tumbler. Sometimes it is just getting some loose slabs ready.This may involve breaking the slab along any obvious crack in the slab or breaking off any jagged area left from the sawing process. Sometimes a slab will need to be broken into a more usable shape or size for “useful” jewelry stones.

At other times it is grinding that is necessary. I like to rough grind edges on certain stones so they will have a more pleasing shape. On many of the stones intended for jewelry work, like wire wrapping, I like to make a curved bezel on the stone. Because of the larger irregular size of these stones I do not try to make them have a complete dome. Part of it is left flat towards the center but this is not a distraction to a stone well wrapped.

If I am opening a tumbler barrel  that has gone through the rough grit, I check to see that the stones are really ready for the next smoothing stage. If some stones are not ready for the next stage I take these out and run them through the rough grit again at a later time. This rough grind step lasts from 7 to 10 day.

In the second stage, which again last for 7 to 10 days, I again check the condition of the stones. When these are ready the stones are ready for the pre polish. The pre polish stage is also 7 to 10 days long. After the pre polish they go into the polish stage. And again I run this stage for 7 to 10 days.

I will have to take some pictures of my tumblers and get them posted for view. One tumbler unit consists of a 5 gallon barrel on a home-made set of rollers. The other tumblers are 12 pound Lortone tumblers.

If any one has questions about my equipment or tumbling process, give me a shout.

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