Saturday, January 20, 2007

Shop Hints

This page has helpful tips and techniques with links to some very useful information on display lighting and mineral cleaning.

Shop News:
Our shop is temporarily closed pending relocation to a new location. Provisions have been made to provide members limited access to some of the equipment until a new location can be secured. Arrangements can be coordinated at club meetings.

Shop Hints

SCRATCHES: Stones sometimes develop fine threadlike scratches while being polished. These may be due to grit which has penetrated the polish-buff. One grain will do it. To clean, hold a strip of plywood or balsawood firmly against the buff. The grit will embed itself in the wood, leaving the buff clean. (from Ghost Sheet, via Pegmetite)

CUTTING POROUS ROCK: When cutting turquoise, howlite or any other porous rock under the hardness of 5, soak the material in water for about a week, and you will have no problem with the stone soaking up oil. (from Earth Science News, via the Palomar Gem)

CUTING GEODES: When sawing geodes look for the largest dome on the specimen. This dome was in an upright position while it was formed. Saw through the largest dome and it is likely you will get the best picture. If the specimen is elongated or egg-shaped, saw lengthwise to obtain the best exposure. While there is no certain means to determine the interior of an agate nodule, or geode, these ideas are likely to be beneficial. (from G.I. Nugget, via NOC News)

CLEANING SILICAS: Clean pyrite with dupont #7 radiator cleaner at 1 Tablespoon per quart of water. Rinse with silute ammonia and then clean water. This oxalic acid based product will also clean quartz and other silicas. (via Serendipity Gems)

CABS: To work our the flat area in the center of a cab, mark the preform with intersecting lines forming a cross at the center. When you have ground and shaped the stone to its proper curve, the cross will have disappeared and the flat spot along with it. (via Yuba Sutter Gems 5/97)

PETRIFIED WOOD: Petrified wood should be cut lengthwise of the grain. This produces a more varied pattern. Sometimes cutting crosswise will give good patterns, but this is not usually the case. Limb sections are rather on the scarce side as they tend to disintegrate before they petrify. If they are cut diagonally and polished on one end, it adds to their beauty. (via Gems of the Rogue)

Mineral Cleaning for Amateurs
By John Betts
Many specimens collected in the field do not look like the ones that dealers are selling. Most collectors become discouraged or frustrated. These articles will give a few simple techniques clean the pieces you collect.
For the specifics on each cleaning technique, please follow the link to
John Betts' Articles

Oxalic Acid
Muriatic Acid
Mechanical Methods
Brass brush and Dental Picks
Ultrasonic Cleaner
Sand Blasting
Air Scribe
Water Gun
The "Waller" Solution
John has a wonderful collection of other articles, minerals and related topics. Please visit his web site
John Betts - Fine Minerals

Display Lighting of Minerals

By John Betts
The subject of displaying and illuminating minerals comes up all of the time. Every collector understands that there is no sense in collecting objects of beauty, like minerals, if they cannot display and share their appreciation with others.
This article will present basic lighting considerations and solutions that are unique to mineral collectors.

For the specifics on each topic, please follow the link to
John Betts' Articles
John has a wonderful collection of other articles, minerals and related topics. Please visit his web site at John Betts - Fine Minerals