Re: Can I use a dremel or rotary tool to polish rocks?
Bob, I would ditch the dremel idea and hand polish . It is time consuming but not hard to do. BTW we teach this to the kids in our club.Joining a club and using their equipment is still the best idea.
1. stretch a piece of sail cloth between two dowels and secure it to the dowels. I usually sew a seam and slide the dowels in.
2. get a square plastic container the size of a shoe box and a spray bottle filled with water.
3. lay the dowels and sail cloth over the box and secure. this forms a cradle.
4. get several grits of wet dry sand paper usually 100, 200, 400 and 600. You can find finer paper at auto supply shops.
5. starting w/ the coarsest grit. lay a sheet of sand paper over the sail cloth, wet the paper then work the rock back and forth keeping the paper damp.
6. rotate the rock every time you change the grit size of the paper.
7. the final polish is a little trickier because you need to know what kind of rock you have. there are many possibilities, but assuming an agate or a jasper of some sort, you an get some cerium oxide powder and work it into the sail cloth or even use a piece of felt and work it just like you did with the sand paper.
It takes a lot of patience to use this method, especially with harder stones. Some practice is also needed. I have used this many times to work opals (finer grits and different polishes) and you can do it on autopilot while watching TV or reading a book.
From Liz - July 22, 2010 at 06:34:31