Does anyone do any rockhounding?

  • buschman
    Participant
    Pool 2
    Posts: 1586
    #2142858

    I am not sure where he buys the epoxy. I gave him the walnut and agates and helped lay that out. He did all the epoxy work and finish. I could ask him where he gets it. I believe it was called deep pour. He had a few different weight epoxy jugs for specific reasons but I do not know enough about it to give any good info.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4771
    #2142861

    Ok, I see menards sells it and was wondering if that stuff is any good or if it’s all the same pretty much?

    buschman
    Participant
    Pool 2
    Posts: 1586
    #2142866

    I have used the Envirotex brand from menards to do clear coats over wood with photos under it. Similar to a bar top pour. It worked great for that. I dont know how good it is for a thick pour?? 1-2 inch thick?? When I used the Envirotex it was about 1/4 inch thick pour.

    buschman
    Participant
    Pool 2
    Posts: 1586
    #2142867

    The photo above has about 80.00 of epoxy. The stuff he used is expensive!! I do know that.

    Deuces
    Participant
    Posts: 4724
    #2142982

    Found this bad boy the other day.

    lol

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2143022

    That’s a nice little johnson you have.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2165647

    We bought my daughter a HF tumbler for her birthday. We started our first batch tumbling this weekend. She and I are excited.

    fishthumper
    Participant
    Sartell, MN.
    Posts: 10111
    #2165654

    We bought my daughter a HF tumbler for her birthday. We started our first batch tumbling this weekend. She and I are excited.

    It is a fun Hobby. I got my Daughter one as a present when she was younger as well. The Biggest problem is the time it takes to see the finished results. No matter how much you or your daughter want to shorted the process and Look – Don’t. Each stage needs enough time to do its part in the final results. also be careful when mixing different rock type. Make sure they are close to the same hardness rating. If not the end results will not turn out well. I’d start with Tigers Eye, Quarts, and Jasper. They are a beautiful rocks and are easy for beginners to get a good finished product.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2165655

    We bought my daughter a HF tumbler for her birthday. We started our first batch tumbling this weekend. She and I are excited.

    Awesome. Just in case the same thing that happened to mine happens to yours, let me know, I have a sure fix.

    The motor on mine seized up in pretty short order. I returned it for a new one under warranty and replaced the plastic bushings with flanged bearings. It spins much more freely now.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2165669

    The Biggest problem is the time it takes to see the finished results.

    Yes, I watched an hour-long Youtube video the other day. He was a bit more obsessive than I will be, but it does take a long time. I have prepared her the best I can for that. )

    We’ll see how this first run turns out. I did order some interesting rocks off Etsy for Christmas, but this first run is just ones the kids have collected, so it might end up poorly. Time will tell.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2175741

    Our first batch of rocks finished up this weekend, and I can say that I was quite pleasantly impressed with how they turned out. It was a fun project for my daughter and I do do together, and she was excited to see the final results and show them off. Now that we know what we’re doing, we started another batch, too.
    Most of these were just rocks that she and our son had collected locally. Some of the ones that I thought were just blah turned out to be really cool after polishing.

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    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2175744

    Nice agate from that batch.

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    Gregg Gunter
    Participant
    Posts: 794
    #2175876

    The black one in the upper right looks like glass now. Fun project.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2175911

    Looks like you got a nice shine on those. The first attempt with my NatGeo tumbler my rocks were very dull at the end. I think the HF tumbler had better media than the NatGeo.

    Overall they look pretty nice. My only recommendation is to run that first stage as many cycles as it takes to get the cracks and sharp breaks smoothed out. Tough to do without a lot of rocks ready to go in the tumbler though.

    I end up having one barrel almost always on stage 1 and the other one cycling through stages stages 2-4. It’s not uncommon for a rock to spend a month or more on stage 1 alone.

    Spring can’t come fast enough for rock hunting. My daughter is getting the itch to do some agate hunting already.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2175914

    They’ve got great shine. I ordered media from Rock Shed.

    I did think about rough tumbling some of them longer, but the patience of a 9-year old can only be stretched so thin. I did 2 weeks with 60/90 carbide and decided they looked good enough for us. rotflol

    This next batch is some assorted stuff we bought on Etsy. They’re pretty rough, so I imagine they’ll take a while longer, but I think there will be some really cool rocks.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2175952

    So whenever we get rid of some of this snow, get out and find some Jasper, chert and quartz. They also tumble really well. Obviously agates too if you can find them.

    Good choice with rock shed. That’s where I get my stuff too. Get yourself some ceramic pellets too. They work really well as a filler for the media.

    Another tip I saw on YouTube from Michigan rocks, he swears by using 500 grit aluminum oxide for stage 3 vs using 500 grit silicon carbide. He says the shape of the aluminum oxide under the microscope is a more rounded shape vs the silicon carbide be a very rough and jagged shape. It sets up for the final polish a lot better.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2175957

    Yep, I’ve got the ceramic pellets and used that and 500 grit aluminum oxide. waytogo

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2205306

    Last weekend Isabelle asked if we could post an agate hunting trip on YouTube so we started a channel to post videos from. This is our first video of a short agate hunt last Sunday.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2205307

    Then we went again yesterday and had our best day agate hunting ever. Here’s a short video of our biggest one we found yesterday.

    Gregg Gunter
    Participant
    Posts: 794
    #2205397

    Very cool! I’m commenting on both posts. I like the buckets and scooper. Didn’t there were so many different types of agates. And the biggest one is definitely a “bomb”, pun intended!

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2205417

    Thanks! She was pretty jacked up the whole day after she found that one. It wound up being 10.7 oz so short of a lb.

    Ralph Wiggum
    Participant
    Maple Grove, MN
    Posts: 11666
    #2205475

    Very cool! I’ll need to watch your vids with my daughter.

    buschman
    Participant
    Pool 2
    Posts: 1586
    #2205502

    Thanks! She was pretty jacked up the whole day after she found that one. It wound up being 10.7 oz so short of a lb.

    Good work Matt!! My youngest daughter is a rockhound also. Great to have the kids out with us and learning whats right at your feet near home.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2205514

    Very cool! I’ll need to watch your vids with my daughter.

    Thanks! Hoping to post a full length video that includes the big agate from the short in the next couple days. I’ll post it here as well.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2205516

    Good work Matt!! My youngest daughter is a rockhound also. Great to have the kids out with us and learning whats right at your feet near home.

    Thanks! With all the sports and activities we have right now I just don’t have the time and energy to get the boat packed up to go fishing. This is a really fun substitute. I spend as much time scouting out new spots for agate hunting as I used to spend looking for new fishing spots. The thrill of finding a big agates feels the same as catching a trophy fish.

    Coletrain27
    Participant
    Posts: 4771
    #2205517

    we found some nice cold water agates last weekend in a local river. i never got any pics of them but we put them in our bird bath at home for the birds to sit on

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2205734

    Finally got around to putting the next video up. It’s a long one but easily our best day ever agate hunting.

    Biggill
    Participant
    East Bethel, MN
    Posts: 11203
    #2208118

    We went up by Moose Lake this time. Sorry for the terrible audio. Still learning.

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