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 Post subject: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 5:52 am 
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Hello

I was just after some advice for an artist friend of mine whom is using opal rough in his pieces he is creating.

He wants to know if there is a chemical or some kind of way of removing sand from rough welo opal other than a dremmel type tool.

I don't think there is ? but was wondering if the experts here knew of a solution I could suggest to him.

Any advise would be appreciated
Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:10 pm 
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No. Welo opals are porous. You want to avoid any chemicals on them. They have been successfully tumbled at times though, with very impressive results. That said I haven't seen any after the frist few years they were out and everyone I talked to about it said it was not profitable to do. I loved the end results though.

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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:51 am 
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Thanks Stephen, as always i akways appreciate your advise


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 6:45 am 
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I've used a high-pressure water spray to remove some of the crud from opal


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:56 pm 
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That seems like a good idea. The dremeling is presumably already getting the opal pretty wet. Just no other chemicals if avoidable (not that it would matter, anything that dissolves that rhyolitey dirt will eat the opal just as happily).

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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:35 pm 
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knumo wrote:
I've used a high-pressure water spray to remove some of the crud from opal


Just a thought... If it will tolerate high pressure water, maybe plain water in an ultrasonic tank could be effective.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:37 am 
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pietra wrote:
Just a thought... If it will tolerate high pressure water, maybe plain water in an ultrasonic tank could be effective.

The problem I can see with ultrasonic tanks is the force being unfocused... much like the chemicals it will also attack the opal. A water jet means you can attack the sand first and stop before you hit what you want to keep.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 8:58 am 
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Opal and ultrasonics is generally a no no. This from GIA on the use of ultrasonic cleaners and gemstones.

There are many gems that are susceptible to heat and temperature changes and should not be cleaned in an ultrasonic regardless of whether they are treated or untreated. Some of these gems include tanzanite , feldspar (sunstone and moonstone), fluorite, iolite, kunzite, lapis lazuli, malachite, opal, topaz, turquoise, zircon, and others.

https://4cs.gia.edu/en-us/blog/gems-ult ... -cleaners/

The dremel is the best tool for removing the sand from opal. It is safe, accurate, and uncomplicated.


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:21 am 
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thank you kindly all :)


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 Post subject: Re: Cleaning Welo Opal of Sand
PostPosted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 1:05 pm 
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Glass bead sandblasting. I have used it many times with good result.

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