Using a rock tumbler requires certain materials. Whether you're familiar with rock tumblers or just starting out, the information below will definitely come in handy. Study this list next time you're shopping for rock tumbling materials, and you'll be sure to bring home exactly what you need for a successful final project.
The rocks you use in your rock tumbler are largely a matter of your personal taste- but there are a few basic guidelines to follow. Make sure to choose tumbling rocks that suit the final result you're looking for- some rocks polish up more quickly and more effectively than others. Feel free to use rocks from your neighborhood or the landscape around you. There's really no rule when it comes to choosing rocks for your tumbler- just make sure they're relatively smooth and that rocks that will be tumbled together are all of approximately the same hardness.
The grit used in rock tumblers is a matter of contention among many tumbling enthusiasts. While most commercial grit is made from silicon carbide, there are a wide variety of other types available. Silicon carbide is considered desireable because it is harder than rock and results in efficient and effective tumbling.
In general, you'll need a selection of grit from coarse to extremely fine depending on what type of rocks you'll be polishing. Each level of grit will need its own stage in the tumbler. It is recommended that you use commercial grit as opposed to natural sand or other materials, which are often non-uniform in size and composition and can cause unpredictable results.
Polish is used as the final step in rock tumblers, and gives certain stones a glossy finish. Rock polish is generally an extremely fine grit powder, and it comes in a wide variety. Certain polishes are appropriate for certain types of stones, so read the labels carefully.