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How to Polish Rocks By Hand
Polishing Rocks by Hand
William Sent Photos
How to Polish Petoskey Stones
Rocks can be polished by hand using progressively finer grades of sandpaper.
If I have tumbled a rock in my tumbler and it just won't take
a good shine because it is too soft. It can often be shined up really nicely
with the polish on leather or the finest sandpaper.
- Start by selecting a soft stone such as
a petoskey stone,
or a similar stone with a hardness of about 3-4 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Harder stones can be polished by hand, but it will be a much longer process.
- Use a small hammer and/or chisel to remove any large protrusions from the stone, and
form it into the approximate final shape. It is hard to polish inside indentations, so
you are better off using a stone without indentations. (Gloves and safety glasses highly recommended.)
- Rub the stone on a slab of concrete to break off any small protrusions.
- Round the rock further by rubbing it on about a 50 grain sandpaper, until it is
the shape that you would like it to be when finished.
- Use a finer grade of sandpaper, about a 150, to remove the scratches left
by the coarse sandpaper.
- Use a finer grade of sandpaper, about a 300 to 600, to remove the scratches left
by the previous stage.
- Rub the rock on about a 1500 grit sandpaper or some leather
or denim with a little bit of polish and water on it until
it has a high lustre shine. Any powdered polish should work fine.
You may get a small tube of polish at most any hardware store
that sells dremel tools. The stone may take on the color of the polish
so a red rougue might color the stone red.
I highly recommend that the sandpaper and polish be damp so that dust will not
fly all over the place. Rock dust can be hazardous.
William sent me this photo of a fascinating basalt that he polished
by hand. He estimates the hardness
at 6 to 6.5 on the Moh's scale.
He estimates it took 3 weeks.
Seems like too much work. Can you just polish my rocks for me?
Yes. I am delighted to polish your rocks for you.
For details please visit my
Custom Rock Polishing page.
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