Has anyone used a stone polisher?

  WhiteTruckMan 23:23 11 Nov 2007

If you have then you will know the type of thing I mean. They are a small horizontal drum that you place small rocks, pebbles etc and some abrasive material like grit, along with some water in the drum. It then sits on a small motorised base that rotates it for long periods, to imitate the polishing action of a river or seashore.

I'm thinking of one for a christmas present for Mrs WTM, but I'd like to know if anyone has any opinions or advice about them, and do they really work all that well.


  Totally-braindead 23:39 11 Nov 2007

Know the things you mean there was one at school but I'm afraid I never used it.
Only thing I would say is that if its battery powered avoid it. They have to be on for a while and if it wasn't mains powered I would imagine it would eat through batteries. The school one was main powered and to be honest the only people I ever saw use it was the girls.

Is there a craft shop near you? Perhaps you could get a demo. I have seen some stones beautifully polished up and while it doesn't appeal to me at all I can see that it could be an interesting hobby for some folks, and its an unusual gift.

  Forum Editor 23:47 11 Nov 2007

I got mine as a present, and gave it a go. It's very satisfying, and it wasn't long before I was polishing every stone in sight; I used to collect bags full of them on the Norfolk/Suffolk beaches when we had one of our long weekend breaks.

The results can be stunning if you get good stones, but be warned - this isn't an instant gratification thing. The whole process consists of three stages, and can take 3 weeks if you have a single drum tumbler. You can shorten the process time dramatically (budget permitting) by using a 3-drum machine, so you have all three stages of polishing running at once.

My final tip is to get a rubber drum machine, the plastic drum models are noisy, and after three weeks of continuous tumbling you can feel like hurling the thing through a window if you have it anywhere you can hear it.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 23:49 11 Nov 2007

Youn can buy polished stones very cheaply and they have limited uses.


  Stuartli 00:02 12 Nov 2007

My other half used to have one (we got the stones off the beach or whilst out walking), but it wasn't very effective and, despite being brilliant at crafts, she gave it up as a bad job.

However, today's stone polishers are probably superior.

  WhiteTruckMan 00:04 12 Nov 2007

that you could even get battery powered ones, but that would be a non starter. Definitely a mains powered one. Noise isnt an issue as it can be left running in the shed at the bottom of the garden without bothering anyone. From reading some online sales bumf I'm aware of the long periods (3 weeks + ) that they need to run. I've seen multiple drum models, but had tentatively dismissed them, mainly on the grounds of cost for something that may turn out to be a bomb of an idea, gift wise. However, should it turn out to be acceptable, especially if it produces as advertised then it will be worth far more as a successfull present than simply buying some pre polished stones.

But does the constant action also gring its way through the drums? And I've seen special abrasive grits advertised, but are they essential, or can you just throw in your own aggregate mix?


  Forum Editor 07:01 12 Nov 2007

and you can buy spares, but I found that it's the end caps which take most of the punishment. You can buy spare caps pretty cheaply.

As for grit, don't be tempted to use your own mixture, buy the graded grits if you want good results.

Whatever you do, don't tip the slurry from the drums into a sink or drain - it sets like concrete.

  Bingalau 09:57 12 Nov 2007

Sounds like you will have your own miniature concrete mixer as well. Two pressies in one. She should be delighted. However I think my wife would hit me with it if I gave her one.

  wee eddie 11:42 12 Nov 2007

just outside Capetown in South Africa.

They polish Amethyst, Tigers Eye and many other types of semi precious stones and then ship them, to the UK and USA, by the 10 kilo bag.

I'm sorry if I'm ruining your dreams of a fortune but the Wholesale price only runs to a few pennies for each stone

  youtruth 12:15 12 Nov 2007

I am amazed to find that Rolling Stones are such a big hit these days.

Must be an age thing.

  Legolas 12:32 12 Nov 2007

Very interesting thread I had a look and this site looks good my apologies if you have already seen it. Not bad prices for triple barrelled polishers. click here

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