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clean abalone shells
https://www.gemologyonline.com/Forum/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=70&t=21295
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Author:  wilsonintexas [ Tue May 12, 2015 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  clean abalone shells

I picked up some abalone shells while in New Zealand. I started to clean hem with a wire brush and muriatic acid that I picked up on some u-tube posts.

There seems to be a lot of worm holes under the surface. I am not sure if this is something that I just have to get past (with more muriatic acid?) or if the acid is making it worse.

Not sure the best way to get a smooth surface.

I know that I need to be careful when cleaning the shells, I am using a mask at all times.

Author:  jooj [ Sun Jun 21, 2015 2:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: clean abalone shells

Hi wilsonintexas,

As far i know to clean shells here in French Polynesia, the common way is to use grinder wheel but you have to be careful the nacre's layer can be removed easily, and the best way is to use water to avoid dust, then you can use buffing wheel to finish the job. I guess it's pretty difficult to have an abalone shell without holes in it.

Hope it helps.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Sun Jun 21, 2015 11:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: clean abalone shells

Thanks for the reply. I will give it a try at the shop.

Author:  jooj [ Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: clean abalone shells

Hi wilson,

I have done this several times on black lipped's shell, make this on a test's shell for the first time and see how works the grinder wheel, you don't need to force let work the wheel, go slowly and have a keen eye the thin layer will appear.
If you force too much with the wheel you will change the surface's shell and bumps and pit will be done. It will be better if your grinder wheel can works with water. Don't go too fast with the buffing wheel you can heat the shell and burn it in some places.

Sorry for my poor english I do have some lacks to explain the step by step correctly, and may be you are experienced in this case my advice won't be really helpful.

:D

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: clean abalone shells

Your English is doing fine and I appreciate your comments. Hpow is the light bulb conversion going?

They are noce shells, I hate tko mess them up.


The local club recommended an acid wash, which also shows up n several u tube posts. When I tried it, it took off the surface, but that is when I noticed the holes, which I think are fro wrms, and not caused by the wash....... but I am not 100% sure,

These have a lot of small ridges, and I am not sure that I can keep the shape intact.

BUT, I may bring one into the local club and try it on a water cooled diamond wheel that they have.

I could also also try a little more acid wash and see what happens.

Author:  jooj [ Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: clean abalone shells

Hi wilson,

Yes you're right, Abalone's shells have ridges, may be a rubber wheel instead of grinder wheel will be better, but the rubber won't last long time, i don't know about acid but it seems an overkill solution in my opinion, not sure the nacre will appreciate.

I'm searching for a good E14 ceramic socket to switch the bulb.

Let me know if you done it well.

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