2023-1-21: LSA Heirloom

I recently met up with some family friends who were cleaning out some things in their house. As usual when I interact socially with people, I started talking about my rocks. After the odd looks, they realized I cut and polish rocks, and offered a jar of agates they had collected over the years and had tumbled. I graciously accepted and a few weeks later I had a jar of Lake Superior Agates!

I decided to cut one open and see if I could make a pendant to give back as a thank you. Here we go!

Here they are. I'm hesitant to try this because of all the work put in to finding and polishing these. As they say, no guts no glory!

I selected this as my victim because it doesn't look like there are any obvious fractures and it has a nice pattern.

Made quick work of it on the 6 inch saw. I made one more slice not shown and chose the best of the three..

It's winter here and my hands are very dry. Oh yeah, here's the shape I chose to capture.

Rough grinding the shape is complete.

It works best to heat the rock and the wax when attaching a dop stick. I've found a mini torch works pretty good in a pinch but would rather use a dop pot.

Make sure to let it cool before handling.

Time to start cutting. Starting with the rough dome on the 80 grit.

Here's the first cut. I'm going to do the rest on the 220 because that crystal-ish area is a little softer than the rest and things could get out of hand real quick.

Dome complete

Moving on to the 280 grit. As you can see, a small fracture opened up in the quartz area so I'm going to try to go a little deeper to get rid of that.

Not too shabby

Like people say about me, it's starting to shine. This is after the 600 grit.

1200 grit, aka the magic maker

3000 grit. You can see the two distinct flourescent light bulbs from my shop light.

A little aluminum oxide polish

Compare this to the 3k picture and see if it's any shinier. Seems like it pops a little more.

Now that's looking fine. (that's also what people say about me)

A little pop in the freezer to get it off of the wax.

Falls right off after about 15 min

Marketing photo

And here we are, all finished up and ready to give away. I can only hope it becomes a new family heirloom

In other news, The Agate Whisperer has a new graffiti tag! It's really an all-occasion tag that can be used in many situations and social events, especially if you want to leave a lasting memory on the side of a train car. Feel free to get hold of me if you'd like your own AW branded koozie! You'll literally be the coolest. Plus, they're all hand made by me forcing my kids to make them.

As always, send me a note if you see something you like!