Tips, Tactics, and Techniques
Each rock tumbler has it’s own recommendations for the best way to tumble stones. We recommend you keep in mind the hardness and size of your stones and check your tumbler at least once a day to make sure you are not taking off more material than you like.
As far as a generic tumbling process, we recommend the following:
1 week using 60/90 grit
1 week using 120/220 grit
2 weeks using pre-polish
3 weeks using polish
By Inga Holmquist
For a 4.5 pound capacity vibratory. The stones are just damp - no standing water is allowed. Add a couple squirts of liquid soap (dish or hand soap, just something cheep), a quarter teaspoon of psyllum fiber (Metamucil) and just a quarter teaspoon of 500 grade aluminum oxida powder makes a slurry that acts as a prepolish first, then breaks down at the perfect rate to become it's own polish. The whole step finishes the stones from coarse grind to final polish in just 24 hours.
Diamond Pacific has a really good article (linked below) that explains basic saw maintenance techniques. These techniques are applicable to either trim or slab saws with some slight modifications. Always refer to your saw manual if you have one, and if not, most manuals are available online. If you have no idea who the manufacture of your machine is, we have provided a link to all Lortone instruction manuals below.
From Becky Conwell
The Saw kept freezing up at a certain point, different materials. I took it apart, re-aligned the bearings, sharpened the blade...all to no avail, the saw kept stopping. One of my old rock mentors asked..is the motor drive belt looser than the carriage drive belt?!? Umm, why yes it is?!?! If you blade is spinning slower than the carriage...the carriage will ride up the blade, make it off-kilter, and freeze you blade up. Adjust your belts to match and your saw will cut like butter again.
The following video is an awesome informational video of how to clean crystals using a cleaner you can pick up at any local grocery store.