Polishing quartz
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Author:  johngemo [ Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:29 am ]
Post subject:  Polishing quartz

I've been buying a few samples from various suppliers and one has sent me
some nice smokey quartz. Unfortunately when looking at it at high resolution
I noticed patches of very tiny pits. This means I'm not prepared to sell them
on as they stand but I wondered if I could have a go at polishing them out myself.

The only tools I have that may help are a small oil stone and a dremel 300 workstation.
I'm not planning on doing this regularly but I thought it would be good to at least
have a go. And the stones themselves aren't high value so no problem if I mess it up.

Can anyone advise me on what to use - The pitting is just surface by the looks of it
all from the quartz supplier. I've read about various powders/diamond sprays etc
as well as using leather for buffing up but I'm not sure of grades or methods of use.

I get supplies from cooksons so obtaining stuff shouldn't be an issue.
I dont mind spending a bit on tools if people think I might come across this

Any advice welcome.

Author:  dchallener [ Tue Apr 02, 2019 6:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

Are these crystals you are trying to polish? If so, as a buyer, I won't buy any that have been "touched up". The whole point of getting a crystal (for me) is to have it be natural. Your buyers may differ, though - certainly there are a lot of "fake crystals" where all the polished sides are clearly not natural at shows.
If you are selling them for facet rough, it shouldn't matter to the buyer.

Author:  johngemo [ Wed Apr 03, 2019 4:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

Hi Stephen - thanks for the reply

It's one of the pitfalls of buying online I guess - at first glance
things look fine - then hidden issues crop up... I'm learning.

These are just polished cabochons that have surface damage.
Cutting from rough would be beyond me at present.

I've done a bit of reading online but I thought it may be a good
idea to get some input here before I start out wrong.
I don't want to be buying stuff used to polish diamond if polishing
quartz uses different materials for instance. You never know if
what you read online is right.

An off the cuff comment here is probably worth a dozen "blog" pages.


Author:  AlBalmer [ Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

With a Dremel tool, it's going to be hard to grind imperfections out of a cab without leaving an uneven surface. You need wide wheels, like those used to cut the cab originally. You could try using 3K diamond to get past the pitting (but don't be surprised if it just leaves you with more pitting), then polish with 50K diamond or cerium oxide.

I didn't respond earlier because, like dchallener, I thought you were trying to modify specimens. That's a no-no.

Author:  Stephen Challener [ Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

Yeah, you're going to hate doing it with a dremel. It could be done pretty quickly on a cabbing machine though. Typically cheaply made cabs are preformed (maybe on a machine) and then tumbled, so there isn't much care or qc in the process. Sometimes they turn out well, sometimes less so. Very cheap to do, and if you can hand select from a parcel you can get great deals. If you buy a larger parcel there is some inevitable waste.

Author:  johngemo [ Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

Thanks to both for the replies.

So something to put on the back burner then.
It's only the stock I've been buying to learn with so no big issue.
I may look into the cabbing machine and make a note of the polishing materials
for future reference though. (Maybe I'll get more time one day)
Thanks anyway.

Damn it... now I've seen the cabKing ... does anyone know how to get
96 hour days?


Author:  Gemse [ Sun Apr 21, 2019 1:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

johngemo wrote:
Thanks to both for the replies.

.. does anyone know how to get
96 hour days?


Well, its all a question of the right breathing-technique.Just have to find a Yogi to teach You 8)

best of luck

Author:  desertgem [ Sun Apr 21, 2019 2:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Polishing quartz

Damn it... now I've seen the cabKing ... does anyone know how to get
96 hour days?

The most man has been able to do seems a max of 40 hrs. If you are undergound in a cave with no info coming in that will tell your brain the time and day. This guy stayed under for 6 months and reached 40 hrs some times, but totally the average increased. ... in-a-cave/

I brought up this experiment a couple of weeks ago when I was lecturing to my class on the brain and sleep.

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