All stone polishing is based on abrading away the surface with a harder material and since the hardest material known is DIAMOND, it is frequently used. Because of the high price of DIAMOND we resort to the next best thing, a substance called SILICON-CARBIDE, which is a man-made hard grinding compound. Before machines were invented, stones were polished by hand but it is very hard work on anything but the softer stones.
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A better way of polishing stones is to use a Tumbling machine (also known as a tumble polisher, rock tumbler, pebble polisher or stone tumbler); these are small electrical units, using silicon carbide grit as mentioned above. Rough stones, of equal hardness, are put in a barrel with water and grit and the barrel is slowly rotated. The resulting rolling of the stones over each other, with abrasive grit between them, causes a smoothing and rounding action over a 2-4 week period. Barrelling, for a further week, with a polish powder and water, produces a gleaming long lasting shine on most stones.Owing to the relatively low levels of cost and skill required for tumble-polishing it still remains the most popular way of beginning to learn stone polishing and is suitable for anyone from the age of about eight upwards.Machinery purchased to do this does not become obsolete when a grinder/polisher is obtained at a later stage, as offcuts from individual stones can always be utilised in a tumbler, so there is no waste. ***Please note our machines are for 220/240volt use only****