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 Post subject: Removing Feldspar Matrix from Sapphires?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 10:43 am 
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I have a fist sized chunk of feldspar matrix that is full of sapphires of all sizes, some pretty large, think blueberry muffin. I've been Googling for hours to try and find a good and safe way to remove the feldspar from the stones and the best I came up with is what I thought of on my own, grinding them out with my dremel tool!

Is there a faster way? I sure don't want to take the band saw to this chunk, it could have some outstanding stones in the center.

As far as origin, pretty sure it came from Afghanistan through China, I bought it as a specimen for five bucks and am very pleased!


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 Post subject: Re: Removing Feldspar Matrix from Sapphires?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 30, 2007 12:01 am
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Location: Vancouver, Canada
Hello Pameladragon,

Last time I was cleaning corundum specimens I used my flex-shaft, essentially the same as what you are doing.

I did purchase some cheap ruby wheels to do it, assuming that any contact with the corundum specimen would be unlikely to cause much damage. It worked and I was glad I didn't use diamond or carborundum wheels.

I also had some good success using a vibrating engraver, the cheap 'brap guns' sold for marking tools and other belongings. I removed the carbide bit and replaced it with a brass rod, It did remove some chunks quite nicely, noisy though.

Tony.

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 Post subject: Re: Removing Feldspar Matrix from Sapphires?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 11:52 pm 
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Thanks Tony! I figured I was on the right track. I have one of those cable attachments for my dremel too, I can see where it will be easier to use and less tiring than holding the entire dremel.

I also tried some mild acid, just in case there was a little calcite mixed in with the feldspar, but no luck, oh well, back to grinding!

Pamela


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