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Posted in response to Pilbari Jasper from Tom on December 02, 2012 at 10:20:57:

Re: Pilbari Jasper

Hi Tom,

This may sound counter-intuitive for Jasper, but have you tried aluminum oxide (alumina)? Glenn Archer of Australian Outback Mining gets an incredible polish on various jaspers (and everything else) with aluminum oxide.

I had a large cab I cut from some tiger iron I acquired from Glenn and could not get it much beyond a semi-polish with either cerium oxide or diamond. This is one of the few materials I've cut that just didn't respond to a diamond polish. But I knew for a fact this material would take a super polish because I had another piece that Glenn had cut and face polished.

So the next year at Tucson I asked Glenn what his process was. He told me he face polishes all his table pieces, which encompasses a wide variety of lapidary materials, using dry aluminum oxide.

If I recall Glenn said he was using large reciprocating laps. I simply charged a rotary buff with aluminum oxide and ran it on the dry side as I repolished the tiger iron cab - the improvement in the polish using aluminum oxide was significant.

Your own mileage may vary of course, but if you haven't tried aluminum oxide on your Pilbari yet, worth a shot...

From Bob Keller - December 02, 2012 at 11:00:24

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