2022-7-24: Saved from the tumbler

7/24/2022: Saved from the tumbler

Doesn't look like much. This little guy was a lake superior agate that didn't have a plan for so I threw it in the tumbler. It kept getting smaller and smaller without showing anything interesting but still had pitting, so I decided to take it out and slice it up. I'm glad I did.

Also - I'm trying something new this time. I reduced the picture sizes vs the other pages so let me know if you hit any issues with the site.

Here's why I took it out. Shows potential.

And here we are, slice up. Not too shabby.

Attached to the dop stick and girdle line drawn.

Then start grinding the dome. I don't know how others do this, but this is how I make the first few cuts. I hold it at a stead angle so I can see the girdle line and then rotate it. Please let me know if you have a better way!! I don't actually know what I'm doing.

This is what it looks like after the first cut. I never know if it needs to be further across or not. In any case, at this point, I grind that line down with another shallow angle and then start smoothing out the dome on the rock.

After the first soft wheel, this is what it looks like. This is usually the stage I miss a scratch so it's really important to look closely for any pitting or specks of light because those are probably from the coarse wheel. I actually went back twice on this one before taking the picture to clean up all of the problem areas.

If I did a good job getting all of the coarse wheel marks out, the next few grits go pretty quickly but it's really important to look and make sure nothing was missed. This picture is after the 600 grit wheel.

For comparison, this is after 1200 grit.

3000 grit.

Time for a new machine! This is a home built polisher. It's basically just a spinning leather pad on top of a piece of foam but daaaaaaang it seems to make all the difference.

Put a little blog of polish on there....

The polish really make the shine pop.

The final product. I really impressed my mother-in-law by popping it off of the dop stick after it was in the freezer. I was like "hey check this out" and she was like "ok..." Needless to say, I'm pretty much a hero.

Hey everyone, say "agate!"