Claire and I got a rock tumbler.
Well, to be clear, I splurged purchased a rock tumbler on Amazon Prime Day because I’ve been eyeing a rock tumbler, as useless as they are as a novelty toy, since I was a kid and now that I have a kid who can appreciate such silly indulgences… well… you get the point.
We’ve been grinding (literally) through the polishing process for about three weeks and our first batch of rocks were put into their final polish this past weekend. Four one-week stages of progressively finer grit turn the rough stones from out landscaping (pictured) into glass gem-like treasures for which the kid is already planning to turn into jewelry for her and her friends.
It’s actually pretty neat, and though our first round will probably result in some mixed results I’ve learned a few things for future attempts.
I’ve got a better sense of what to look for in the rocks I pick up: colour patterns, for example, or shapes. Also the amount of pitting that is already on them that will not grind away with just a week’s worth of rough polish.
Also, next I think I might run a second round of the heavy grit, or at least run it for longer. The final stages build on that first round and the final quality is vastly improved based on early patience.
The kid is more invested than she appears. She’s got in there and got her hands dirty. She’s eager to see the stones as they come out for their inter-stage cleaning. And she’s got a memory for the effort that I can’t seem to muster: she remembers, or claims to, the original stones and “who picked them” and “who gets them” when they are finished.
I’ll post some pictures of our final results in a couple weeks.