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 Home » Tumbler Rough » Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood - Rock Tumbler Rough

Petrified wood tumbling rough
$13.95 For
Two Pounds
(907 grams)


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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!

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.

The rough material in the photograph above is wet to show full color. The photograph below is of polished material.

Polished petrified wood
Our Favorite polished petrified wood
The photos above are from four pounds of Petrified Wood that we tumbled. Here's how we polished it....

Step 1: We loaded four pounds of petrified wood rough into the barrel of a Lortone QT6 tumbler with 60/90 grit silicon carbide. We then tumbled for ten days. Some pieces of this wood tend to splinter when it is tumbled so we didn't run the coarse grit step a second time as we normally do. We wanted to keep the finished pieces of wood as large as possible. Producing rounded rocks was not our goal - we wanted wood grain.

Step 2: We loaded the petrified wood into a single barrel Lot-O-Tumbler and ran it for three days in 150/220 grit, stopping every 24 hours to rinse and add two more tablespoons of grit.

Step 3: We then ran the petrified wood for 48 hours in a single barrel Lot-O-Tumbler with 500F grit prepolish. The material was now showing some nice wood grain and a slight gloss.

Step 4: The final step was 48 hours in the Lot-O-Tumbler with TXP aluminum oxide polish. We checked the wood at the end of 24 hours. It had a bright polish but we thought that a little more time would improve it. So we added one Lot-o-Tumbler cap full of water and allowed the tumbler to run another 24 hours.

We were really pleased with the results. Wow! There were a few different types of wood in the batch and just like modern wood it displayed different types of grain. Pieces that broke with the grain displayed long cellular structures. Pieces that brok across the grain showed round cell structures. Oblique pieces were even more interesting.

Total processing time was one week and five days.

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