Petrified Wood - Rock Tumbler Rough
Petrified Wood - Silicified Fossil Wood
This item is a two-pound bag of petrified wood of mixed varieites - mostly in shades of white, gray and brown - but you might find a couple pieces of red Arizona wood. A few different types of wood are included in most of the two pound bags. In the rough state, many of these pieces of fossilized wood display visible wood grain that becomes more visible (and usually more interesting) when they are polished. See below for detailed photos of this material that we have polished.
We recommend TXP polish - an aluminum oxide compound - for polishing this material. It does a great job and is inexpensive.
We have tumbled a lot of this wood and some of the tumbled stones look like modern wood that has been tossed on the beach. Many pieces have a translucent character that enables you to see veils of wood pattern within the material. It's always a surprise to examine the polished material!
Small Sized Petrified Wood Mix
This petrified wood has been crushed to a particle size of approximately 3/8" (9 mm) to 1 1/2"" (38 mm) in diameter - just the right size for a small rock tumbler. The wood is silicified and that gives it a hardness similar to quartz, jasper and agates.
Chunky Sized Petrified Wood Mix
The chunky sized jasper mix is the same material that is described above only it is larger sized pieces. Pieces range in size from 3/4" up to 2 1/2" and it comes in a five-pound package. This chunky rough is sized for people with larger tumblers and more experience.
EASY Rock Tumbling Recipe:
Petrified Wood (3/8 to 1 1/2 inches)
The small petrified wood above has been crushed and sized to perform well in small rotary tumblers such as the Thumler's MP-1, A-R1, and A-R2. The size range gives the material a good tumbling action and eliminates the need for ceramic media. Our EASY Rock Tumbling Recipe works well for rough that has a Mohs hardness of 7 and has been crushed to a variety of particle sizes under about 1 1/2 inches. The recipe below is not written for the chunky material.
Recipe for Rotary Tumbling
Coarse Grit Step:
Fill your tumbler barrel about 2/3 full of rough. Then add 2 tablespoons of coarse (60/90) grit per pound of material in the barrel. Add water to just below the top of the rocks. Run the material in coarse grit for 1-2 weeks. One week in coarse grit will give you good results. However, we feel that two weeks in coarse grit gives you much better results.
At the end of all steps in the rock tumbling process, make sure to clean your rocks and barrel to reduce the chance of coarser grit contaminating the finer grit steps..
Medium Grit Step:
Put your cleaned rough back into the barrel. Then add 2 tablespoons of medium (150/220) grit per pound of material in the barrel. Add water until it is just below the top of the rocks. Let it tumble for one week.
Fine Grit Step:
Barrel slurry dumped down the drain will harden like concrete.
After clean-up, put the rocks back into the barrel using 2 tablespoons of fine grit per pound of material. Again add water to just a little below the top of the rocks. Tumble for one week. The rocks should now be smooth and possibly starting to get a slight luster.
IMPORTANT: Make sure that your barrel and rough have been cleaned thoroughly. Any grit carried over from a previous step will likely ruin your polish. Place the rough in the barrel with two tablespoons of TXP polish for each pound of material in the barrel. Add enough water to almost cover the rocks and let it tumble for one week.
Burnish If Needed:
Jasper, agate and petrified wood usually take a great polish. However, burnishing this material after the polish step can often improve the shininess of the finished stones. If you would like to try burnishing to see if it improves the look of your polished stones full burnishing instructions can be found here.
The photos above are from four pounds of Petrified Wood that we tumbled.
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