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What Are Rock Tumbling Recipes?

The Standard Tumbling Instructions Don't Always Work.

Polished roughs
The photo above shows some of our roughs after being polished. The rock tumbling recipe found on each rough sales page is tailored to the material for best results.
Rock tumbling recipe for easy roughs
This easy recipe works for most material with a Mohs hardness of about 7 and a range of particle sizes from 3/8" to about 1 1/2".

What Are Rock Tumbling Recipes?

We have been running rock tumblers for many years. Sometimes with great results, other times the results were disappointing. Our Rock Tumbling Recipes are a way for us to share our knowledge and experience with you. We want to save you time, money and disappointment by explaining how we have gotten the best results with the roughs that we sell. We have tested many roughs over the years, and we sell only the ones that we have been able to produce nice tumbled stones with.

Standard Rock Tumbling Instructions

If you own a rotary rock tumbler, then you are probably familiar with the standard rock tumbling instructions: one week in coarse, one week in medium, one week in fine, and one week in polish. These instructions have been the standard practice for rock tumblers since the first rock tumbling machines were invented back in the 1950s.

The standard instructions work well for small pieces (under about 1 1/2 inches) of agate, jasper and petrified wood - the most commonly tumbled materials. These materials have a Mohs hardness of about 7. However, many people want to tumble rough materials that are softer, harder, in larger pieces, easily bruised, or broken by cleavage. In these cases, the standard rock tumbling instructions can produce less-than-satisfying results.

The standard instructions are a good starting point when running new material. However, as you run different material, you will learn that adjustments should be made to the standard tumbling instructions to get the best results possible. For example, materials that are...


To help you get the best results possible, we have tested and assigned each of the roughs that we sell to one of the following categories:



Rough that works well with the standard rock tumbling instructions. All of our crushed roughs fall into this category. They are agates, jaspers, and petrified woods that are sized "ready to tumble" - without the use of ceramic media.



Rough that needs media or time adjustments. The roughs in this category are generally larger / blocky pieces with not much variety in particle size. These materials might also vary in hardness. For each of these roughs, we provide a recipe that we have used to produce nice tumbled stones.



Rough that requires special care because it is fragile or bruises easily. Each material in this category has a recipe that is tailored to accommodate its potential issues.

A Recipe for Each Rough

On each page where we offer rough for sale, you will find a recipe that we have used to produce good polished stones. The recipes provided are specific for the material that we are selling and take into consideration their physical properties, particle size, and the supplies recommended for use. These recipes may not work on pieces of the same material from different localities or of different size.

Let Us Know

If you tried one of the recipes with our material, please let us know what you think.

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