Kid's Day at Prospector's Corner
The Geode was cut and the boys were excited.
Now time to make it even better with a great polish job.
I use 8 inch diamond wheels for my grinding and polishing. The 80 and
220 grit diamond are the hard Galaxy wheels. For the 280, 600, and 1200
grit diamond, I use the soft Nova wheels. For the final finish I use a
leather pad with polishing compound.
Once again I instructed the boys on safety. My main point this time
was, that if the piece you are polishing is too small
to hold safely, it should be mounted on a dop stick. For this, a pot is
used for melting wax. This wax is then applied to a dop stick and the piece
so, during polishing, the hands or fingers do not contact the moving wheel.
I use 8 inch diamond wheels for my grinding and polishing. The 80 and 220 grit diamond are the hard Galaxy wheels. For the 280, 600, and 1200 grit diamond, I use the soft Nova wheels. For the final finish I use a leather pad with polishing compound.
Once again I instructed the boys on safety. My main point this time was, that if the piece you are polishing is too small to hold safely, it should be mounted on a dop stick. For this, a pot is used for melting wax. This wax is then applied to a dop stick and the piece so, during polishing, the hands or fingers do not contact the moving wheel.
The first step was to look at the surface of the geode and see what kind of saw marks, if any, were present. There weren't any heavy saw marks, just minor, so I decided to start with the 220 grit wheel. This would provide a smooth surface to build a good polish on. Once that step is finished there isn't much difference to notice but it is very important to the final outcome.
Now we needed to get coolant to the stone. Without it the geode would ruin an expensive diamond wheel.The boys listened closely as I explained the five step process to polishing the geode.
We went through the 220 and 280 grit wheels and now we were going to the 600 wheel. This is where I told Daerek and Josh they would see a major difference. They were both eager for me to finish with the 600 wheel so they could see it begin to shine.
The boys watched intently as I finished with the 600, dried the geode and they got to look at the surface which was starting to look like glass. Next we would go to the final stone, the 1200 grit. Once finished with that I went right to the leather buffing wheel. I gave them a quick look but told them I wanted to dry it throughly with an air gun. This was to insure that no water was left in the crystal cavity.
The geode was now dried and I wanted them to get the most out of their first look so I took it out in the sun and handed it to them. There it was, a beautiful mirror-like finish, highlighting the shades of pink agate banding leading to the center cavity of sparkling miniature quartz crystals..
I could see Josh looking at that geode and could read his mind. Just about the time I had the thought, he asked if he might get one also. I told him to pick one out and we would cut and polish it as we did for Daerek. He brought one to me about the same size, one and a half inches in diameter. I noticed it wasn't very heavy and that it had a crack running almost all the way through it. I explained that the light weight could either mean that it was hollow or that it contained a chalky material. I pulled it apart at the crack and sure enough, it was filled with a powdery white substance. I suggested to him that he find another that was heavier but around the same size. The next one he picked out was a good candidate.
We went through the process again and the same anticipation was visible as they watched. This one turned out to be quite different from Daerek's, but also nice.It was solid white and black agate with a touch of red banding around the outer perimeter.
Wait a minute. What is this? Someone else just walked over from their truck. It was Amanda, Daerek's six year old sister. She was carrying her doll which she thought was more interesting than a bunch of rocks. That is until she saw how excited Daerek and Josh were. She just had to see what was going on. I can't say for sure what she was thinking but I do know that she liked what she saw. She arrived just in time to see Josh's geode being cut and polished.
The grand finale was yet to come. I had, on their arrival, promised that I would show them the inside of our "Big Luna". This was the first thing the boys spotted and I had told them they could only see inside after Daerek's geode had been cut and polished. The "Big Luna" is a 62# geode that I found by accident on one of our trips to the Baker Ranch. As I lifted off the cap everyone exclaimed their amazement with words like 'wow' and 'way cool'. The boys put their hands inside to check out the size of the cavity which was lined with orchid colored, sparkling druse quartz.
With that, Kid's Day at RockRoost was over and it appeared that everyone had a great time including this old Prospector.
Note: by the time we saw Daerek's Dad a few days later we were asked if Amanda could have her own geode. We were happy to oblige so that all three youngsters had their own little gem.
So come back and visit often and see what's new and exciting!
NEW Rockhounds Store
Baker Lode Mine, New Mexico
Deming, New Mexico
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