HI, I AM VERY NEW TO THIS SO I HOPE MY QUESTION ISNT STUPID. I LIVE IN CT AND HAVE BEEN COLLECTING ROUGH GARNETS FOR ABOUT 1 YEAR I LOVE THE COLOR AND MY KIDS HELP ME TAKE THEM OUT OF THE BIGGER STONES WE FIND THEM IN MY QUESTION IS HOW DO I GET THEM TO HAVE A POLISHED FINISH I HAVE A TUMBLER AND HAVE USED IT BUT I STILL END UP WITH A DULL YET SMOOTH FINISH ANY HELP WOULD BE MUCH APPRECIATED
Hi Sherman, welcome to the board!
You're in luck, if we can get "Mr. Tumbler Tom" to answer this question for you.
Hey Tom..your phone's ringing!!
Welcome to the best board on the web!!
I live in CT as well and have polished some of the garnets found at Green's Farm in Southbury.It took forever to get them to shine (about 5 months)the way I wanted them!
I would guess that your garnets are about the same quality as the ones I polished and if so it will take a little TLC to get them right.
If you can give me some info on the tumbling process you used I may be able to help.What I need is :
Make and size of the tumbler
What size grit you used in each stage
How long you ran the garnets in each stage
What type of polish did you use
The material you chose to start your tumbling h9obby can make you or break you and you started out with a very difficult material so hang in there.
If I may suggest something.
When you get your garnets to look like you want them too try a much easier material to tumble for your next load.
Jasper and agate are the norm and will come out like glass with a little effort and patience.
I have both and will be glad to send you some free of charge!
By the way,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,
I live in Beacon Falls,,,,,,,,
Where are you located?
Does anyone know if green's Farm in Roxbury/Southbury Connecticut is stll open to the public?
As far as I know it's still open.I haven't been there in several months but see no reason why it wouldn't be open.
Have you been there before?
The reason I ask is because it's not the easiest place in the world to find.I live 30 miles from there and have been there several times.
If you need info I'll be glad to help.
You'd be the one to know since you've been there soooo many times ;-)
Welcome to the board! I hope that you'll stop by again and often. You're bound to get an answer to just about any question here . . . not always right . . . but an answer! In this case, you are on pretty firm ground since we have expert Tumbler Tom to answer polishing questions. Just don't ask him about his notions regarding the War Between the States, because he and Wayne refuse to admit that it is over . . . and they were there!
If you're trying to start another confrontation between me and Mr.Brantley to draw attention away from yourself,,,,,,,,
It AINT gunna work buddy!!
I just wish I didn't accidentally delete the "ist-mobile" photo!!LOL
Tom said this in the above post....
"The material you chose to start your tumbling h9obby can make you or break you and you started out with a very difficult material so hang in there."
Notice the number "9" in the word "hobby".
...it might show up an9here! LOL!!
tom thanks for the info, i have a basic tumbler i bought at ac moore,i started off with heavy grit and tumbled for 2 weeks then to med grit for another 2 weeks then fine grit for 10 days then polish for 1 week these came with tumbler what i learned the second time around is that if i tumble the garnets at the heavy grit for a longer period of time they come out much nicer and the last batch really turned out shiny, however i would like to get them even more like glass and someone at work suggested i use diamond dust as the final step if anyone out there can suggest a place to get supplies for this hobby preferably in ct i would be most appreciative, i really love the look and feel of the garnets when they are done holding them up in the sunlight really accentuates their brilliance although i know i can get them to look brighter once again thank you all for responding and helping this neophyte out, i have definitely found a hobby i enjoy and my wife loves it too cause she says it keeps me from bothering her. the kids love it too.
I thought we lost you!!
I assume you collected your garnets at Green's Farm.If not let me know.
If you did collect them their you'll find it very difficult if not impossible to get them to shine like glass.The garnets are the crystal form and not the gem type of garnet.These garnets are collected more for display rather then tumbling due to their poor quality.I've polished some just to say I did it and it was a challenge to get them to shine up for me.
These garnets take forever to rough in correctly.You can start out tumbling one about the size of a big grape and if you're lucky you'll end up with a nice shiny pea!I roughed mine for months before going to the 2nd step.
Your procedure seems good but something else I should mention is that your barrel must be surgically clean before you use it for the polish stage.This is difficult to do as just one tiny piece of grit in the polish will ruin the whole load!!The best and only sure way to prevent cross contamination is to buy a separate barrel just for polishing and burnishing.Store this barrel in a sealed plastic bag and don't even think about handling it before you wash your hands up to your armpits!!
I don't now of any tumbling supplier in CT other then Raytech and don't even bother with them because they won't sell to us poo folk.Been there,,,,,,done that!!There are several web sites that you can buy your supplies from and get a pretty good price on them but if you want to buy in bulk (50lbs or more) Miles Supply is your best bet.The closest outlet to us here in CT is the one in VT.If you don't want to buy in bulk then I would suggest http://www.kingsleynorth.They may not have the best prices on grit but you will get a pretty good quality of it their.
Back when I used to buy 5lb boxes of grit I switched from kingsleynorth to another supplier in Mass. because the shipping was less and they sent me Graves grit.It was full of filler and didn't cut for beans.I gave them the benefit of the doubt and bought their again with the same results.
You asked about diamond powder and unless you very rich I would stick to silicone carbide grit.A 5 gram syringe with 5 carats of diamond powder is about 10 bucks.
I strongly suggest you take what you've got and move on to a more suitable tumbling material that "will" shine like glass.As I suggested previously,agate and jasper are great to work with and will polish up much better then your garnets did.
Something veryimportant to remember is that if you start out with junk,that's what you'll end up with.I am notin any suggesting that your garnets are junk,because they're not.It's just that they are a poor grade of material no matter how ya cut it.
If you need more info ask here or email me at : email@example.com
Make sure you put rocks ,etc in as the subject or I won't open it.
You can't trust just any body to polish yore sword. Specially if their name is Grant. KOR
Hi. I was searching for garnet polishing, because I have a a garnet in my engagement ring. I knocked my hand into something and scuffed the garnet on the top. Can this be fixed easily does anyone know? My husband did not buy this ring at a local store and I'm not sure where to take it.
Yes it can be fixed. You can take it to your local jewelry store and they can have one of there faceters fix it for you. It will have to come out of the ring to do this. KOFaceting Carl in WI
Hi. It seems I have attempted to do the same thing as the original poster and polish the crystal garnet. I tumbled the heck out of these puppies to no avail - any suggestions on how to get them in good enough condition to make jewelry out of them?
If I had a grape sized garnet, I would try to polish it on regular grinding and polishing wheels, like on a Genie. Make it into a cab or a two sided cab. You can wirewrap it for jewelry. Or cut a thin groove all the way around and then put the wire in the groove and hang it. If one of your local rock clubs has a lapidary shop, this would be the way to get it done without having to buy all the equipment yourself.
Hm, I wonder if one could easily put a hole in such a garnet for a bead? Seems like it would be a difficult material to do for beads.
My husband bought me a tumbler for my birthday. I got a Lortone double barreled tumbler along with the grit kit that came with it. His uncle gave me a massive stash of Idaho garnets from Emerald Creek that he dug many years ago. I have a number of good sized garnets along with many coffee cans full of smaller garnets. They are just amazing!! The color is beautiful. I don't really know where to start to polish them. There is the possibility that there could be some star garnets since they have been found at Emerald Creek. I am just so excited to get started on some of these garnets. I just don't know where to start. Do I need to get special grit? I know that garnets are very hard and hard to polish. I bought online a bag of tumbler rocks just so I could start tumbling something. I also just grabbed a variety of rocks that I have collected and dragged home over the years and put them in the other barrel just to see what comes out. Until I get some advise about the garnets, I don't want to start on them. I was very excited to find your site because I need all the advise that I can get!!!
Hi Ruth, welcome to McRocks!! First of all, hold off on your garnets. The natural enthusiasm is difficult to hold down; especially during this time of 'cabin fever'!
Read up all you can on tumbling, practice on your bag of tumbing rocks, note down all that you do for reference, and then go ahead and make your mistakes!! LOL
There is no shortcut for learning from your mistakes. You need to get your enthusiam behind ya, and above all; I don't think there is a tumbler out there that hasn't regretted redoing some of their regrettable moments.
There will be a lot of advice coming on this board for you. We've go some very knowledgable pros that have helped me. Take your time and follow their advice.
Happy tumbling!! dave t.
Thank you Dave! I don't plan to do anything drastic with the garnets until I get some sound advice. I live very close to the Snake River where I'm sure that I can find some interesting things to tumble. There are agates and jasper for sure. I also bought the bag of tumbling rocks just so that I could play with my new toy. I am enthusiastic, but I am also cautious. I have heard some conflicting information about garnets, so I look forward to hearing from those who really know what they are talking about. I have time since the process takes some time!! There is also a rock shop in Lewiston, ID where we go now and then to shop and I have been told that the guy who runs the shop is a very nice man and someone who has been doing this for a long time. I look forward to any and all the advice that I can get. It is nice to know there is a place to ask questions when I need advice
I also live in CT and have been collecting garnets for over a year. There is a spot near Vernon CT at Valley Falls that has some great Mica/quartz mix with good sized garnets. Bigger ones are .3-.5 inches across(idk if this is large enough for polishing). Ranging from dark purple to dark red And forming in faceted soccerball shapes. From looking at pictures online I believe they are Almandine. I'll include a picture of garnets I found with a similar(but lighter) color. I've been looking to polish, or at least effectively clean them so I can trade them to people who do wire wraps or make jewelry. As well as for my own enjoyment.
I have two questions for the forum. One, what tumbler and grits or polishes would you recommend for someone just starting to polish, but who doesn't want the cheapest equipment. Keep in mind the majority of stones I'll polish will be garnets. And two, I've also found another crystal in the mica/quartz mix, usually near the garnets. It's black, and seems to form in a skinny 2d diamond shape when viewed on end. Any stabs in the dark at what it may be? Attached Images