Polishing stones without a tumbler?

topic posted Fri, December 28, 2007 - 12:47 PM by  Whisperfae
Are there any good ways for polisihing stones other than a rock tumbler?
I have found some very pretty stones at the beach that I'd like to polish up a bit to use in making a mobile of ocean bits for a friend's garden... but I don't have a tumbler. I guess I could buy one, but I'd rather see if anyone has suggestions for other, um... less noisy methods first Heehee
These are nice flat stone that are uite smoothe already, but I'd like to shine them up and make the colors pop like they did when the stones were wet. I'm not looking for a super high gloss, just enough polish to make the colors stand out again.
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SF Bay Area
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    Re: Polishing stones without a tumbler?

    Fri, December 28, 2007 - 1:02 PM
    dremmel hand tools (and other brands) have some nice attachments to sand/grind etc.
    i got a kawasaki for Xmas and the attachments that come with it are S w e e t !
    i do use mine when making jewelry and for just such a purpose :)
    before that i was using 500 & 1000 grit sandpapers (silica wet/dry)
    good luck!
  • Re: Polishing stones without a tumbler?

    Fri, December 28, 2007 - 2:54 PM
    I made a bunch of necklaces out of shells & flotsam I found on a Big Chill type trip and sent them to all the peeps there. I used a tiny manual hand drill for the holes, which gave me a wicked blister (husband felt sorry for me and bought me a Dremel for Xmas, haven't used it yet). Then, I used Crystal Clear Krylon spray, two coats each side... this worked great (tried to scratch a test one up after and was really tough) it was easy and got all the nooks and crannys. Note: when makeing stuff out of found shells, be sure the're all dried out and that you whack em with something before you commence... I did this before and a lot of the shells were too brittle and crumbled, glad I found out before I gifted them.
    • Re: Polishing stones without a tumbler?

      Fri, December 28, 2007 - 3:26 PM
      Why don't you make a tumbler. All it is is a plastic jar that turns. Get a small motor, attach a belt to a set of rollers and bingo! There you go.
      • Re: Polishing stones without a tumbler?

        Fri, December 28, 2007 - 6:06 PM
        It takes a long time to tumble rocks into any type of shine...
        • Re: Polishing stones without a tumbler?

          Fri, December 28, 2007 - 11:10 PM
          Thanks for posting the questions, Whisper! Some weeks ago, I was searching all over the internet for the very same thing and gave up. I should have kmown someone here would have the answer! Thanks!
          • Re: Polishing stones without a tumbler?

            Mon, December 31, 2007 - 2:32 PM
            Thanks Everyone!!

            Julia, I have a knock off version of a dremel which works with dremel bits... Which bit are you having the best success with? These stones are already worn very smooth by many years of wave action, so I don't think they need any grinding or sanding, really I just want to polish and bring out the colors. When I used to cast sterling jewelry, I used red ocher etc. as polish... is there such a thing for stones as well?

            Denisey, thanks for the suggestion. I am hoping to find somthing a little more natural, that won't actually coat the stones, but will keep your idea in mind in case I can't!
            Thanks again.

            Anna, good point about making sure the mobile bits are sturdy enough to use! Thanks!

            Oooh! I am not Quite That crafty...! heehee Where would I find a tiny motor even? Yeah, not mecanically inclned... but thanks anyway!

            Affinity, yes it does take a long time, and tumblers are noisy... no bueno for a girl with migranes... hopefully we can find a better way!

            Das Bus, You are welcome!!

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