Rotary tumblers produce smooth, sleek, shiny, and rounded stones. They give you the perfect materials and resources for multiple different applications, from jewelry crafting to home décor. Here are the five best types of stone to use in a rotary tumbler that’ll give you the best results and allow you to get the most out of this innovative machinery.
Durable and Strong Stones
Rotary tumblers use grit mixed with water to make microabrasions. This slurry goes inside tumbler barrels with stones you want to polish. The barrel rotates and rubs the grit against the stones, smoothing and shining the stones’ surfaces. Although the abrasions occur at a micro-level, they can cause a lot of damage to fragile and soft stones.
Tumble stones with durable and strong properties to make sure you don’t end up with worn rocks and small fragments. Stones with a Mohs hardness score of five to seven are strong enough to withstand the microabrasions from a rotary tumbler, leaving you with beautiful final products.
Smooth and Compact Stones
Adding grainy and highly textured stones to a rotary tumbler causes multiple issues. They break apart easily, and the chunks can cause great lesions and abrasions on other rocks in the tumbler. They leave you with unevenly finished products and lots of fragments.
Smooth, dense, compact stones maintain their structure and reduce the risks of generating abrasive chunks in your barrel. They remain intact as they tumble and let the grit evenly sand them down.
Fractured stones, like granular rocks, break into chunks in a rock tumbler barrel. Lesion and fracture-free stones eliminate the possibility of useless fragments in the barrel. You can break fractured stones into smaller pieces and tumble them individually. As long as the stone is whole and undamaged, your rotary tumbler will produce great results.
Most rotary tumblers are small and compact, providing barrels with somewhat limited space. The ideal stones for rotary tumblers are around half an inch to a full inch in diameter. Opting for small stones allows you to tumble more per rotation and save time. The less surface area to wear down, the faster the tumbling process. Large stones can cause damage to your rotary tumbler, so it’s best to avoid adding them to the barrel.
Popular Jewelry Stones
No matter the intent of use, you want a stone that’s attractive, appealing, and possibly worth selling. Regular rocks you find on the ground or in rivers often come out of a tumbler with little to no luster or value. Instead, use mineral stones with beautiful designs and colors. Gorgeous stones like jasper, topaz, and quartz exude rich shades, distinct mineral patterns, and symbolic meaning. They provide lots of value and give you the perfect materials for jewelry, decorative artwork, and other crafts after tumbling.
The five best types of stone to use in a rotary tumbler are durable, dense, fracture-free, small, and attractive. Generate smooth, rounded, and valuable rock products with a rotary tumbler and the right selection of stones!
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