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Author Topic: Rotary Tumbling Guide  (Read 7447 times)

ASI Industries

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Rotary Tumbling Guide
« on: February 17, 2013, 08:34:31 AM »
Last edited on 14 Sep 15 (GMT -10 hours).

Rotary Tumbling Guide
(C) Copyright ASI Industries  2013 - 2015.

Greetings Ladies & Gents, this is a rotary tumbling guide, which may be helpful to beginners & oldies a like.

Empty rubber barrel weights, average gross weight when filled to 3/4 capacity & external barrel dimensions:
Evans (UK) Size 0.68kg (1.5lb) = 0.46kg (1.01lb), 1.3kg (2.86lb), 85mm (3.3") Length
X 115mm (4.5") Width.
Evans (UK) Size 1.36kg (3lb) = 0.60kg (1.32lb), 2.5kg (5.51lb), 140mm (5.5") Length
X 115mm (4.5") Width.
Lortone (USA) Size 1.36kg (3lb) = 0.50kg (1.12lb), 2kg (4.4lb), 107mm (4.2") Length
X 115mm (4.5") Width.
Lortone (USA) Size 2.72kg (6lb) = 1.45kg (3.19lb), 5.5kg (12.12lb), 115mm (4.5") Length
X 200mm (8") Width.
Lortone (USA) Size 5.44kg (12lb) = 2.4kg (5.29lb), 14kg (30.86lb), 215mm (8.5") Length
X 200mm (8") Width.

Start:
Fill barrel 1/2 full with stones between 15mm - 25mm  (0.6" - 1.0")  for a [1.5lb] unit.
Fill barrel 1/2 full with stones between 15mm - 40mm  (0.6" - 1.5")  for a [3lb] unit.
Fill barrel 1/2 full with stones between 15mm - 65mm  (0.6" - 2.5")  for a [6lb] unit.
Fill barrel 1/2 full with stones between 15mm - 90mm  (0.6" - 3.5")  for a [12lb] unit.

Note: You will only get a few pieces at the largest size in your unit.

Then add pea sized (media) to fill to 3/4 full, then fill with water until it appears level
with rocks & media, add Borax for burnishing (washing), Silicon Carbide grit for
grinding or polish.

I always burnish before & after each stage with Borax i get it at the chemist under the
Brand "Borax Ph Eur" which is the pharmaceutical grade borax in a 500g (1.1lb) box / bag
it is 0.5 Micron (equivalent to 50,000 grit) back in 2009 it was £1.75 (AU$3.73, US$2.74)
and it lasted me about 3 years I now use Borax as a polish itself as the results are equally
as good as using Aluminum, Cerium, Tin or Zinc Oxide instead.

[1.5lb] half a level tablespoon, [3lb] 1 heaped tablespoon, [6lb] 2 heaped tablespoons,
[12lb] 4 heaped tablespoons for 16 - 24 hours.

Also if you are in a hard water area add 1 teaspoon of Borax to each load it will soften the water.

Media = Rocks, beads, sawdust, leather strips, ceramic pieces, plastic pellets.
F = Fixed grit.

Leather strips I cut-up a 1.067m2 (3.5ft2) sized chamois leather 165g (5.82oz) into strips about 25mm (1") long by 13mm (0.5") wide, into four lots of 41g (1.446oz) each.

It is best to use Silicon Carbide grit through out the entire grinding process
as it keeps on breaking-down into finer particles than using Aluminum Oxide grit,
which only breaks-down 50% then the grinding action stops completely.

F80 [1.5lb] 40g (1.411oz), [3lb] 60g (2.116oz), [6lb] 120g (4.232oz), [12lb] 240g (8.465oz)
Max load [6lb] 240g (8.465oz), [12lb] 480g (1.05lb)
Run for at least 5 or 7 days, If you check the the F80 grit at day 5 with your finger
& thumb, is it still gritty?

If yes run for 2 days more.
If no you've just saved 10 days over 5 cycles.

It works best if most of the rock is Moh's 7.0 like Quartz!
 
That becomes 1 cycle, then clean-out & reload for at least 5 cycles then check
for rejects when dry.

If you would like to skip the F220 stage on the last stage of F80 run for 9 days
if you were reloading every 5 days or 13 days for every 7 days.

Rejects: are stones that are pitted, cracked, broken, sharp points & edges.
Rejects go back in F80 for at least 1 cycle.

The good stuff moves on to the next stage.

F220 [1.5lb] 40g (1.411oz), [3lb] 60g (2.116oz), [6lb] 120g (4.232oz), [12lb] 240g (8.465oz)
Run for at least 5 - 9 days or 7 - 13 days, then check for rejects when dry.

Major Rejects (Breakages) go back in F80 for at least 1 cycle.
Minor Rejects go back in F220 for at least 1 cycle.

The good stuff moves on to the next stage.

F400 [1.5lb & 3lb] 30g (1.058oz), [6lb] 60g (2.116oz), [12lb] 120g (4.232oz)
Run for at least 5 - 9 days or 7 - 13 days, then check for rejects when dry.

Major Rejects (Breakages) go back in F80 for at least 1 cycle.
Minor Rejects go back in F400 for at least 1 cycle.

The good stuff moves on to the next stage.

It is best to use leather strips from F600 including burnish right through the to the burnish
after the polish cycle.

F600 [1.5lb & 3lb] 15g (0.529oz), [6lb] 30g (1.058oz), [12lb] 60g (2.116oz)
Run for at least 5 - 9 days or 7 - 13 days, then check for rejects when dry.

Major Rejects (Breakages) go back in F80 for at least 1 cycle .
Minor Rejects go back in F600 for at least 1 cycle.

The good stuff moves on to the next stage.

It is best to use leather strips from F600 including burnish right through the to the burnish
after the polish cycle.

Useful for stones that undercut badly like Labrodorite & Tiger's Eye.
F1,200 [1.5lb & 3lb] 8g (0.282oz), [6lb] 15g (0.529oz), [12lb] 30g (1.058oz)
Run for at least 5 - 9 days or 7 - 13 days, then check for rejects when dry.

Major Rejects (Breakages) go back in F80 for at least 1 cycle .
Minor Rejects go back in F1200 for at least 1 cycle.

The good stuff moves on to the next stage.

F14,000 = 1.75 microns PrePolish: Aluminum Oxide, "Aussie Sapphire's Alumina C AO" or Diamond.

It is best to use leather strips from F600 including burnish right through the to the burnish
after the polish cycle.

Polish all you need is 1 level teaspoon, however you can waste up to 25 Tablespoons
on a single [12lb] unit if you want to try the USA recipe, but whatever amount of polish
you use always re-use it.

I am still re-using 1/8th of a teaspoon of "Lortone's 1.0 microns AO polish"


The polish should take effect around 2 - 3 days, but open it on day 5 for a peek if everything
is ok you can either re-seal it & run it for a week or two more or teminate it there,
never let your stones dry out covered in polish as it sets like cement, always keep them
under water until you have done the final burnish.

F17,500 = 1.5 microns Polish: Aluminum Oxide, "RockShed's AO polish", Cerium Oxide,
Chrome Oxide (Stains green).

F25,000 = 1.0 microns Polish: Aluminum Oxide  "Lortone's AO polish", "Union Carbide's
Linde C AO", Tin Oxide, Zinc Oxide.

F50,000 = 0.5 microns Polish: Aluminum Oxide, "Union Carbide's Linde B AO", "Borax Ph Eur"
Diamond, French White Super Cerium Oxide, Super Tin Oxide,
Zam (Aluminum & Chrome Oxide (Stains green)).

F90,000 = 0.3 microns Polish: Aluminum Oxide, "Aussie Sapphire's Alumina A AO",
"Union Carbide's Linde A AO", "X3 AO", Diamond.

F100,000 = 0.25 microns Polish: Aluminum Oxide or Diamond.

Normally only up to F25,000 (1.0 Microns) is all you need in a Rotary or Vibratory tumbler,
however there are occasions when a certain stone needs more.

Warning!!!:
American Borax is on the Prohibited (banned) items list for the whole of Europe not just EEC countries, so don't buy American Borax as it will be refused access if found into any countries in the whole of Europe and you will loose your money and gain a possible a criminal conviction too!

American Borax is banned because it is highly toxic to the enviroment, aquatic lifeforms and
toxic to wildlife and humans.

As a citizen of any nation it is your responsiblity to know the laws of you nation, ignorance
is not a defence!

The benefits of using Borax over other detergents are:
1: No smell, 2: No lather,  3: It's cheap, 4: It softens hard water, 5: It cleans grit & polish off
your stones & barrel, even if you have intervidually scrubbed them clean.
6: It kills-off organic & vegtable matter that may be living on your rocks, that can cause gas
to form inside the barrel, that can lead to your barrel puking it's load all over your tumbler
& floor & creating a nasty mess for you to clean up.
7: If run for week it has the same effect as other polishes.

These stones were polished in Borax for one week, but the stones were not ready for polishing,
they were destined to go back to F80 grit.

. . . . . . . . . . . .
75.96 KB 1200 × 1080. . 90.66 KB 1560 × 1080. . 94.8 KB 1740 × 1080
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48.81 KB 1100 × 900 . . 69.45 KB 1250 × 1060. . 41.38 KB 900 × 791

Australian Amethyst it's crap as it is full of matrix (Moh;s 3.0 & 7.0).
Gold Tiger's Eye (Oban, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, U.K) it's crap too as it is full of differing
hardnesses between (Moh;s 3.0, 5.0 & 7.0)

The side effects of Borax is 1: It is Toxic to human health if consumed, 2: It is dangerous for
the enviroment, 3: It is abrasive to Calcite, Flourite & Limestone.

United States of America: Household Products database.
Products containing Sodium Borate Decahydrate (Borax).

You can also use grated un-perfumed/perfumed soap bars,  clothes washing powder
& liquid soap, however these tend to foam-up (lather) in your tumbler barrel.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2015, 05:57:08 PM by ASI Industries »
Andrew
ASI Industries = As i in does tries! : My definition.
I will try, i may never succeed in the goal, but at least by trying i have
a greater chance of success than never trying at all!

 Aussie Lapidary Forum: Rock Tumbling Guide!

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wildonsnow

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Re: Rotary Tumbling Guide
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2016, 01:57:39 PM »
Thank you for posting your notes on Tumbling, it took me awhile to get the gist of it, but it was very helpful.

pegatha

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Re: Rotary Tumbling Guide
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2016, 09:35:28 AM »
Have printed it off. Thank you from an oldie, will help when making my mind up.
Pegatha

 

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