Is Rock Tumbling Safe?
Using a rock tumbler involves putting the rock, grit (a dry silicon or aluminum oxide powder, and water into a rubber tumbler barrel and then closing it up and allowing it to roll.
The tumblers themselves are completely safe, they do run slightly warm to touch so holding your hand against them after they have been running for awhile is not recommended.
The manufactures (both Lortone, and Thumler's) recommend that children under 6 use tumblers with adult supervision since some stones maybe small enough to choke on.
Can I Tumble Polish The Rocks I Find?
It depends one what tumbler you have. In any one of our tumblers you absolutely can! In cheap toy tumblers you must stick to their pre-tumbled stones.
Hobbiest rock tumblers such as Lortone and Thumler's that have solid rubber barrels and metal construction are meant to house any type of rock. So you aren't going to hurt the tumblers.
Some cheaper brands of tumblers such as Chicago Freight, Harbor Freight, and the toy tumblers such as Smithsonian brand are not meant to house any rock that is not pre-tumbled through the first 2 stages. Which is why they say you have to purchase their rock. So check your instructions on toy tumblers before trying your own rock!
How To Make Beach Glass In A Rock Tumbler
Making beach glass for aquariums, jewelry, table centerpieces and more is easy! And, it only takes 4 to 48 hours depending on the final look you want.
Simply fill your rock tumbler 3/4 of the way full with broken glass (handling broken glass can be dangerous so be sure to ask a parent for help). Then add water to the level of the glass, and finally add 4 tbls (depending on rock tumbler size) of 220 grit.
Let the tumbler run for about 4 hours and check on it, and allow the tumbler to run until the glass is as smooth as desired. Remember you can open the tumbler as many times as needed you won't hurt the tumbler or the glass. Save on grit and time by wiping off one rock at a time to see if they are done.
Teaching Acid Rain
Acid rain is created when water and sulfur in the air mix together to create sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is a moderately strong acid that will dissolve many types of stone.
The most commonly seen effect is on buildings and headstones that are made of marble or limestone. Sulfuric acid slowly dissolves marble and limestone and given enough time, it will remove all the details and etch the surface.
Showing the effects of acid rain is easy in a rock tumbler with just a few easy supplies. Continue reading...
Read More In Our Tumbling Corner
Did you know... there is a huge difference between toy brand tumblers and hobby brand tumblers. In fact the difference is so large it can actually effect how much you enjoy tumbling! For one toy brand tumblers are made of plastic barrels whcih doesn't seem like a bid deal until you think about rocks rolling in a plastic barrel 24 hours a day 7 days a week for 4 straight weeks! The noise will drive you crazy! Hobby brand tumblers are made of solid rubber, the same type of rubber your tires are made out of. Which obsorbs virtually all the noise! Both Lortone and Thumler's sound about as loud as running the average dishwasher.
Wondering what else you didn't know about tumblers? Hope on over to our tumbling corner to see more articles about rock tumblers, and the tumbling process!