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Tumbler or Vibrator to Polish Stones

Tumbled Rocks. Stone Vibrator.

How to use a Tumble or Vibrator to Polish rocks/stones. What grits to use.

Tumbled Amethyst What is a Tumbler.

A tumbler is a piece of equipment used to polish rocks/gemstones  when a rock/gemstone is found (collected) it is usually rough, and dirty, big or small. To tumble a stone takes up to four weeks to bring out the natural beauty of the stone. nice and shinny. The Stones to your left are amethyst. Tumbled.

Tumbled Gemstone is. Any stone or rock that has been tumbled, brings out the beauty of a stone, true colours. Tumbled stones,  are a rounded stone, with no sharp edges.

Tumbling Your Stone to make it look like a Polished Stone.

A tumblers is a cylinder which turns with the assistance of a small motor. I have a twin tumbler. I fill two cylinder, with stones, and they roll and roll for one week until I change there grit.


Step By Step Guide to Tumble Stones in your Tumbler

  1. Cut and shape my stones, so they are about the same size.
  2. Half fill my tumble cylinder with rocks.
  3. Add washing up detergent 1Teaspoon full, cover rocks with water.
  4. First Grit Silicon Carbide 200 ,1 Tablespoon full
  5. Let tumble for One week clean out tumbler.
  6. Put rocks back in tumbler . do step 3 again.
  7. Second Grit Silicon Carbide 600, 1 Tablespoon full.
  8. Let tumble one week clean out tumbler
  9. Put rocks back in Tumbler, do step 3 again.
  10. Third Grit silicon Carbide 1200, 1 Tablespoon full.
  11. let tumble for one week, clean out tumbler
  12. put rocks back in tumbler, do step 3 again
  13. Fourth aluminium oxide Polish 1 Tablespoon.
  14. leave for one week.
  15. If rocks are not polished enough put them in again.
  16. the end.

When I tumbler my stones. First I like to get every thing  ready. To do this I like to have them nearly all the same size stones, and the same stones, like all amethyst in the one barrel. A tumbler, tumblers your stones and put a nice rounded side on all your stones. Some stones take longer than others, to do that finial polish.

Lortone Tumbler

The above tumble is the one I have. We can do two lots of stones at once. Takes around 6 weeks to get a nice polished stones.


Vibrators Equipment is  a bowl on a stand, that shakes and vibrates at the same time. A Vibrator, will polish the stone in about a week, the stone will be polished and shine, the stone come out the way they go in, some still have there sharp corners.

  1. Cut and shape your stones.
  2. Half fill your bowl with stones
  3. Add washing up detergent 1 teaspoon full and cover stones with water
  4. First Grit 200 Silicon Carbide 1 tablespoon.
  5. Let vibrate for 2 days, Clean out bowl.
  6. put stones back in vibrator, do step 3 again.
  7. Second Grit 600 Silicon Carbide 1 tablespoon.
  8. Let vibrate 2 days, Clean out Bowl.
  9. Put stones back in Vibrator, do step 3 again.
  10. Third Grit 1200 Silicon Carbide 1 tablespoon.
  11. Let Vibrate 2 days, Clean out bowl.
  12. Put stones back in vibrator, do step 3 again.
  13. Fourth aluminium  Oxide Polish 1 tablespoon.
  14. Let Vibrate for 2 days.
  15. Stones should be ready.

When cleaning between grits.

Make sure you clean your rocks/stone of all the grit, in the bowl or cylinder. Each grit can contaminate the other. Your mix in your containers between grits  is muddy water, and it takes a bit to wash it out.

Different between Tumbler and a Vibrator.

First off a tumbler is cheaper than a Vibrator.

Second a tumbler takes a long time to shine a stone/rock, 4 weeks Plus.

Third a vibrator only take a week to shine a stone/rock.

The end polish is nothing like the tumbles rocks.

The rocks are nearly the same shape  as they went in.

What Is Silicon Carbide Grit.

Synthetic- Silicon Carbide occurs naturally as the mineral moissanite. However, it is extremely rare, only found in tiny quantities in a limited number of locations.

All of the Silicon Carbide sold as a abrasive is manufactured, It is produced by placing a mixture of coke (  a fuel & carbon source) sand ( a Silicon source) and sawdust ( another Carbon source) in a electric resistance furnace and heating to a very high temperature. The silicon Carbide is then crushed and screened into specific sizes, These Grits And Powders are used as cutting, grinding and polishing Media, The small the number the more it take of your stone. The higher the number the more shin you get.

Silicon Carbide Grit.

Is a inexpensive it Combination of hardness of 9+ and low price, make it an excellent abrasive for rock tumbling. (lapidary work).

I have used all of the above my favourite is the tumbler, it takes a long time but you get some good results when you tumbler. Our tumbler is a 2 barrel tumbler. When you go out looking for stones/rocks there is always small stones. Pick them up they are great for the tumbler, you can make,  gemstone trees with them, and lots of other things.

Below is some tumbles you can buy. They come in all sizes. The bigger the tumbler the more rocks you can do at one time, remember it takes 4 weeks to finish polishing your rocks.

Need to know more before you purchase a tumbler, ask away in the comment box.

Did you know why.

One reason people join there local lapidary club, is to use there cutting machine.

I hope you have a wonderful day.

Please leave me a comment.

Bye Wendy

Silicon Carbide Grit. to used to polish stones.