Thursday, November 10, 2005

Getting White Lines Out of Your Tumbled Stones

Often after tumbling rocks, you will notice white lines on your newly polished treasures. These lines are caused by polish getting in small cracks in the rocks.

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to fix this problem. However, you can try a few little tricks to get them out.

First, try putting the rocks back in a very clean barrel after you clean the rocks of ALL polish and any dirt that may have gotten on them. Put water in them as you have for all the tumbling stages.

Instead of putting in polish, put in any soap that doesn't produce suds. Ivory soap flakes work well but have become difficult to find in the stores.

After you have the soap and water in the barrel with your stones, you will want to add CLEAN plastic pellets. Do not reuse the pellets from the polish because they are contaminated with the polish.

Seal up the barrel and let it run for a few hours and check. If the white lines are gone, you are done. If they are not let it go a few more hours. This process can take up to 24 hours. If the polish has not come out by then, it isn't going to come out at all.

I have heard of some people grating up Ivory soap bars with a cheese grater. That seems to be working well. My wife got a little agitated when she saw me headed to the food processor with a bar of soap. You might want to get permission or purchase a cheap cheese grater just for this purpose.

Do not use dish soap, laundry detergent, or even dishwasher soap. They will not work.

As always, feel free to call or email with questions.

Rick

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