Rock tumbling

 ROCK TUMBLERS

 For  45 years Tri -Dee has sold Lortone Rock Polishing Tumblers. Built right here in Seattle Washington.  These are heavy duty rock tumblers meant to last you for years of collecting and polishing rocks.  Lortone rock polishing Tumblers are the absolute best value for your money on the market today.  You will enjoy the quiet and durable thick rubber barrel along with the sturdy metal base.   All LORTONE Equipment comes with a three year manufacturer's defect warranty.  
Tri-Dee will assist you if you ever need repairs.

Tri-Dee Distributors  - (360) 336-6131 10to5 PT        1to8 ET 
Please call us at 1-360 336 6131 or e-mail Sales@tri-dee.com to place an  order.
[How to Polish Rocks]   [Home] 
SMALL ROCK POLISHING  TUMBLERS:   Three compact LORTONE tumbler models offer 3 to 6 lb. capacities.  Each is quiet, sturdy, simple to operate, and gives excellent results.  All feature the patented LORTONE molded rubber barrel with a quick-seal closure, and a continuous-duty fan- cooled motor.  UL and CSA listed. 
ITEM# MODEL# SIZE DESCRIPTION PRICE

3A NRK   

3 LB Kit
# 081-091
12lbs shipping weight  
 
 
Includes our 3A  3lb tumbler,
4 Step Tumbling Media,
Plastic Pellets and Rough Stone. Shipping weight 12 lbs.
$109.94

45C NRK   

 
4 LB Kit
# 081-094
15lbs shipping weight  
 
 
Includes our 4 LB 45C tumbler,
4 Step Tumbling Media,
Plastic Pellets and Rough Stone. Shipping weight 15 lbs.
$149.73
001-92

3A  

1 1/2 LB Tumbler
6"x9 1/2", 
5 5lbs shipping weight  
  Quiet, sturdy and efficient. Extra-durable all steel base. Continuous duty fan cooled motor. Features patented LORTONE molded rubber barrel with quick-seal closure. One year warranty. Measures 6" W x 9 L. LORTONE's most popular tumbler sold today. It's the perfect size for most tumbling needs. Shipping weight 5 lbs.
Holds up to three lbs. Single 3 lb. barrel.
Special Order
004-91

33B
Special order only

3 LB Tumbler
6 1/4"x 16", 
8lbs shipping weight 
 
 Allows you to tumble twice as much at once or polish one load while shaping another.    Twin 3 lb. barrels. Special Order
004-92 45CNR 4 LB Tumbler
7lbs shipping weight 
 
High quality, top of the line tumbler with heavy duty, overload protective motor and extra-durable all steel construction. Features patented LORTONE molded rubber barrel with quick-seal, leak proof closure and 10-sided interior surface. One year limited warranty by manufacturer. Measures 6" W x 10 L. Popular size for tumbling  115 volt, 60 HZ motor. 
Greater capacity for medium sized loads or larger materials tumbler.  4lb. capacity .
 My favorite starter tumbler
Special order
MID-SIZED ROCK POLISHING TUMBLERS:  Three larger capacity tumblers for 6 to 12 pound loads boast the same outstanding performance as our smaller tumblers.  Designed for continuous shop use, they feature heavy duty overload protected motors and durable, welded steel construction.  Perfect for moderate production use or larger items.  All include LORTONE's patented barrels with positive quick-seal leak proof closures and 10-sided interior surface for optimum tumbling action.
ITEM# MODEL# SIZE DESCRIPTION PRICE
006-90
QT6 Special order only 6 LB Tumbler
8" X11 1/2", 12 lbs.
Single 6 lb. capacity. Special Order
006-91 QT12 12 LB Tumbler
Measures 11" W x 12 L. 16 lbs. Shipping 
High quality, top of the line tumbler with heavy duty, overload protective motor and extra-durable all steel construction. Features patented LORTONE molded rubber barrel with quick-seal, leak proof closure and 10-sided interior surface. One year limited warranty by manufacturer. . Designed for larger quantity production. 120 volt, 60 HZ motor. 
$ 199.97
006-92 QT66 12 LB Tumbler
11 1/2 "x 12 1/2",  18 lbs.
Same as QT12 but with twin 6 lb. barrels. $ 219.97

REPLACEMENT BARRELS:  Patented LORTONE Tumbler Barrels are made of long wearing synthetic rubber and feature an exclusive water tight seal.  10-sided interiors on the 4 lb. and larger models nearly double the tumbling action of old style 6-sided barrels.  Not for use with solvents or harsh detergents.

ITEM# BARREL SIZE INSIDE DIMENSIONS   DEPTH /      DIAMETER CAPACITY   (CUPS) PRICE
020-91 3 lbs. 4 1/8    /   3 7/8 2 3/4 Call
020-92 4 lbs. 3 1/2    /   5 3/4 5 for
020-93 6 lbs. 3 5/8    /    5 3/4 7 Pricing
020-94 12 lbs. 7 1/2    /   6 3/4 15  
POLISHING KIT:     includes: 
Step #1 16oz  60/90
Step #2 14oz  120/220
Step #3 12oz  Pre-polish
Step #4 12oz  Polish
#590-30 $ 24.98
5lb
Estimated  shipping
 Large 4 step Kit
with 5lbs of each step

#590-32 $89.87
26lbs shipping weight
 

One set of #590-30 ROCK POLISHING COMPOUND Will do the following
4 times 3lb rock tumbler,
3 times 4lb rock tumbler,
2 times 6lb rock tumbler,
 1 time 12lb rock tumbler,

 

Silicon Carbide Abrasive
The finest Silicon Carbide available for grinding, tumbling or lapping. Also available in bulk quantities.

Broad Grades
Economical for Tumbling and General Use
STEP #1  60/90 Grit                  5 lb. 24.95

STEP #2  120/220 Grit             5 lb. 25.95

STEP #3 Sisa Prepolish Extra fine  A great pre-polish          5 lb. 24.95
STEP #4  Aluminum Oxide Excellent cost-effective Alumina for a bright shine.
Cleans up easily
           5 lb. 28.95

Plastic Pellets
Used in the prepolish and polishing stages to cushion stones and help carry polish. also works well as a filler for small loads. Long wearing and reusable.     1 lb. 7.98     5 lb. 23.95



Rock Polishing Questions 

My lid keeps coming off my tumbler after a few hours. What am I doing wrong?
Most likely the lid is either not seated properly or the knurled nut is over tightened. Clean the edge of the lid and the shoulder inside the barrel well. Make sure the lid fits down against the shoulder. Install the outer lid evenly and firmly. Tighten the black plastic knurled nut finger tight. The stud doesn't need to project through the nut - leave a couple of threads showing. If the nut is over tightened it can actually pull the lid off the shoulder and cause it to leak. NEVER use any kind of tool to tighten the nut.

How can I get that wet-look polish on my stones?
Keep in mind that not all stones will polish to the same degree. Most high polishes are the result of a lot of trial and error. You'll find that what works for someone else won't always work for you but there are several things you can do to improve any finish. First, always make sure you clean the stones and the barrel thoroughly between steps. Contamination is the number 1 cause of poor results. Check your stones in the pre-polish stage several times. Remove any that have chips as the sharp edges can scratch other stones. Also make sure to remove any small chips floating around. Use plastic pellets during the pre-polish and polish stages. They help to reduce chipping and are especially valuable on softer stones. Take your time in the pre-polish stage. This prepares the stones for the final polish and, if rushed, will lead to a less glossy finish. Finally, don't be afraid to experiment. Try Aluminum Oxide, Cerium Oxide, or Tin Oxide until you find one that works best for you.

I'm using my tumbler for burnishing Silver jewelry and find that I get a lot of black tarnish on my work. This is worse than before ! Help !
Not all burnishing solutions are compatible with rubber barrels. This applies to burnishing soap, Tide, Liquid detergents and other compounds. It's made even worse by high concentrations. Unfortunately, there are many types of burnishing compounds available and we can't test much less keep up with them all.

We  don't recommend anything greater than 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. To prevent the black tarnish and damage to the barrel, cut back the amount of burnishing soap you're now using. If you still get the tarnish - switch to a different compound. Let me know what works for you and what doesn't (include brand names and where purchased).

Tumbling How to
    PREPERATION

  1. Wash the stones thoroughly. Be sure there is no debris attached to the stones. Use a brush and soapy water if necessary.
  2. Sort your stones by size and hardness into groups or batches. Soft stones will grind away before hard stones are ready for the next step. Stones of nearly the same size will have more points of contact and therefore will produce a more thorough and faster grinding action. If certain shapes or sizes are desired, you may want to pre form your stones by grinding them first remember to keep the stones cool with water.

    COARSE GRIND
  3. The amount of stones put in a tumbler barrel depends on the size of the barrel and the stones themselves. The best tumbling action occurs when the barrel is filled 50% to 60% of its capacity. Fill the barrel with your stones to 1/2" above the half-way mark. Remove the stones and weight them. This weight will help you to determine how much grit is needed. Record this weight for future reference. Use the following ratio to determine the amount of silicon carbide grit needed for your batch:

    One pound of grit per eight to ten pounds of rock.

    Put your batch of rocks back into the barrel and add grit accordingly. If the rocks are chips or have rough crude surfaces, start with a coarse grit (60/90 grit). If the rocks are water worn from tumbling in stream beds or already tumbled by ocean waves, start with a medium grit.

  4. If baking soda is available, add about a tablespoonful to the mix. The soda will help neutralize the gases that might be formed. Add water into the barrel so it is either just touching the bottom of the top layer of rocks or until it covers the rock by no more than 1/16 of an inch. Put the cover on and secure it. Place the barrel into position on the tumbler.

  5. Put the tumbler into operation and observe its action for a few minutes. Check for loose or slipping belts or pulleys. Listen to the sounds coming from within the barrel. Is there sufficient amount of action taking place? If there isn't, shut down the operation, open the barrel and inspect the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water. Put the cover back on and continue as before. If everything appears to be functioning properly, you can leave and come back periodically to check the operation.

  6. It will take an average of four to six days of coarse grinding. Sharp-edged or broken pieces of agate may require as much as 360 hours of coarse grind operation. After each 24 hours of operation, shut down the operation. Remove some stones from the barrel and examine them. You can add or decrease the grinding time according to how much more rough grinding you want performed. If you want to continue with the coarse grit, inspect the grit and the consistency of the mixture. If the grit no longer has sharp edges, you may want to add more coarse grit. If the mixture is too dry, you may want to add a little more water. Place the stones back into the container, seal the barrel, place it into position, and start up the operation. Observe and listen to see if the operation is functioning properly. You can leave and check back periodically. When the coarse grinding phase is finished to your satisfaction, you can proceed to the next step. If a few stones need more coarse grinding, you can remove them from this batch and re-tumble them later in another batch.

  7. Remove all of the material and stones from the barrel and place in a pan. DO NOT use an aluminum pan. It may discolor your stones. Plastic is preferred. DO NOT wash the waste material down your drains. It may harden in the traps or pipes and require major plumbing repairs to clear the pipes. Clean the stones, the barrel, the lid, the pan and any other part that has made contact with the grit mixture. Wash everything and your hands thoroughly. You do not want any previous grit particle left to contaminate the next mixture. It may produce scratches.


    MEDIUM GRIND
  8. Place the stones back into the barrel. If they do not fill the barrel to the half-way mark, you may need some filler material. The filler material is available from lapidary supply stores. Inexpensive marbles, plastic pellets, or crushed walnut shells make good substitutes. Add the filler material until the half-way mark is reached. Add about one tablespoonful of baking soda. Add 220 or "240 & finer" grit to the mixture in the same quantity as the coarse grit. Add water into the barrel so it is either just touching the bottom of the top layer of rocks or until it covers the rock by no more than 1/16 of an inch. Put the cover on and secure it. Place the barrel into position on the tumbler.

  9. Put the tumbler into operation and observe its action for a few minutes. Check for loose or slipping belts or pulleys. Listen to the sounds coming from within the barrel. Is there sufficient amount of action taking place? If there isn't, shut down the operation, open the barrel and inspect the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water. Put the cover back on and continue as before. If everything appears to be functioning properly, you can leave and come back periodically to check the operation.

  10. It will take an average of about four days, or 96 to 100 hours. After each 24 hours of operation, shut down the operation. Remove some stones from the barrel and examine them. You can add or decrease the grinding time according to how much more grinding you want performed. If you want to continue, inspect the grit and the consistency of the mixture. If the grit no longer has sharp edges, you may want to add more grit. If the mixture is too dry, you may want to add a little more water. Place the stones back into the container, seal the barrel, place it into position, and start up the operation. Observe and listen to see if the operation is functioning properly. You can leave and check back periodically. When this grinding phase is finished to your satisfaction, you can proceed to the next step. If a few stones need more grinding, you can remove them from this batch and re-tumble them later in another batch.

  11. Remove all of the material and stones from the barrel and repeat the cleaning procedures used after the coarse grit operation. Clean the stones, the barrel, the lid, the pan and any other part that has made contact with the grit mixture. Wash everything and your hands thoroughly. You do not want any previous grit particle left to contaminate the next mixture. It may produce scratches.


    FINE GRIND
  12. Extreme care should be taken from this point on to prevent the stones from chipping or breaking. Place some water in the barrel first and then place the stones gently into the barrel. If they do not fill the barrel to the half-way mark, you may need some filler material. Don't use contaminated filler material from previous operation. Add the filler material until the half-way mark is achieved. Add about one tablespoonful of baking soda. Add PrePolish or 500, 600, or "600 & finer" grit to the mixture in the same quantity as the coarse grit. Add water into the barrel so it is either just touching the bottom of the top layer of rocks or until it covers the rock by no more than 1/16 of an inch. Put the cover on and secure it. Place the barrel into position on the tumbler.

  13. Put the tumbler into operation and observe its action for a few minutes. Check for loose or slipping belts or pulleys. Listen to the sounds coming from within the barrel. If there isn't sufficient action taking place, shut down the operation, open the barrel and inspect the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water. Put the cover back on and continue as before. If everything appears to be functioning properly, you can leave and come back periodically to check the operation.

  14. It will take about 72 to 150 hours for the stones to be ready for the polish phase. After each 24 hours of operation, shut down the operation. Remove some stones from the barrel and examine them. You can add or decrease the grinding time according to how much more grinding you want performed. If you want to continue, inspect the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture is too dry, you may want to add a little more water. DO NOT add more grit. Place the stones back into the container, seal the barrel, place it into position, and start up the operation. Observe and listen to see if the operation is functioning properly. You can leave and check back periodically. When this grinding phase is finished to your satisfaction, you can proceed to the next step.

  15. Continue to take extreme care not to damage the stones. Remove all of the material and stones from the barrel and repeat the cleaning procedures used after the coarse grit operation. Clean the stones, the barrel, the lid, the pan, the sink faucets, etc. Wash everything and your hands thoroughly. You do not want any previous grit particle left to contaminate the next mixture. It may produce scratches.



    POLISH
  16. Allow the stones to dry and then examine them very carefully. Remove any stone that is chipped, broken, or has very sharp edges. The damaged stones will scratch the rest of the batch if left to remain. Place the stones gently into the barrel. If they do not fill the barrel to the half-way mark, you may need some filler material. Filler materials such as sawdust, wood shavings, cornmeal, walnut shells, and rubber strips (cut-up rubber bands) are ideal. They will help prevent damage to the stones by absorbing some of the tumbling (banging) action. Add the filler material until the half-way mark is achieved. Add about one teaspoon of detergent soap. Add cerium, tin oxide or Aluminum Oxide to the mixture in half the quantity as the coarse grit. Add water into the barrel so it is either just touching the bottom of the top layer of rocks or until it covers the rock by no more than 1/16 of an inch. Put the cover on and secure it. Place the barrel into position on the tumbler.

  17. If it's possible with your unit, reduce the speed of rotation by about twenty percent. Put the tumbler into operation and observe its action for a few minutes. Check for loose or slipping belts or pulleys. Listen to the sounds coming from within the barrel. If there isn't sufficient action taking place, shut down the operation, open the barrel and inspect the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture is too dry, add a little water. Put the cover back on and continue as before. If everything appears to be functioning properly, you can leave and come back periodically to check the operation.

  18. It will take about 48 to 150 hours for the stones to be completely polished. After each 24 hours of operation, shut down the operation. Remove some stones from the barrel, wash and examine them. If they become duller as they dry, then they are not completely polished. Carefully put them back into the barrel and polish them for another 24 hours. Inspect the consistency of the mixture. If the mixture is too dry, you may want to add a little more water. Seal the barrel, place it into position, and start up the operation. Observe and listen to see if the operation is functioning properly. You can leave and check back periodically.



    FINAL CLEAN-UP

  19. When you are satisfied with the polish results, Remove all of the material and the stones from the barrel and repeat the cleaning procedures used after the coarse grit operation. Clean the stones, the barrel, the lid, the pan, the sink faucets, etc. Wash everything and your hands thoroughly. Carefully place the stones back into the barrel. Add enough detergent soap powder and water to make a thick soapy solution. Tumble the stones for 6 to 12 hours. Remove the stones from the barrel carefully and place them in a plastic colander. Wash them thoroughly. Spread them on a cloth or towel to dry. Those that are properly polished will have the same appearance as when they were wet. If some stones are not satisfactory, you can re-run them later with another batch as fillers.

                                                                                    Local Rock and Gem Clubs

 

Bellingham, Washington
Mt. Baker Rock & Gem Club
http://mtbakerrockclub.org/

Everett, Washington
Everett Rock and Gem Club
http://www.everettrockclub.com/


Marysville, WA
Marysville Rock & Gem Club, Inc.
https://sites.google.com/site/marysvillerockngemclub/

Marysville, WA
Port Susan Gem & Mineral Club
9406 164th St. NE (98223-8904) Arlington
Meetings: 1st Wednesday, 12:00 pm
12015 Marine Dr., Marysville
No website as yet.

Mt. Vernon, WA
Skagit Rock & Gem Club
PO Box 244, Mt. Vernon, WA 98273-0244
Contact: Dave Britten
No website as yet.

Snohomish, WA
Snohomish Lapidary Club
9108 105th Ave SE, Lake Stevens, WA 98258
Contact: Glenn Morita
E-mail: gmorita@seanet.com
Website: http://members.aol.com/snoco/snohomish.htm

Whidbey Island, WA
Whidbey Pebble Pushers
PO Box 279 Langley, WA 98260
Meetings: 1st Wednesday, 7:30 pm
4-H Bldg., Fairgounds
No website as yet.

Oak Harbor, WA
Whidbey Island Gem Club
Box 224, Oak Harbor, WA 98277-0224
Meetings: 2nd Wednesday, 7:00 pm
Oak Harbor Senior Center
No website as yet


 

 

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