Author Topic: Sandblasting quartz / chalcedony  (Read 538 times)

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Rei

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Sandblasting quartz / chalcedony
« on: January 06, 2016, 05:07:30 PM »
Hiya everyone  :)  A quick question for those of you with sandblasting experience.  I recently got my compressor fixed so have finally had a chance to break out the sandblaster that I bought a while back.  I have three types of sandblasting media - sodium bicarbonate for the super-delicate stuff, glass for the moderately delicate, and sand for the really hardy stuff. 

I've been working with the glass for now to clean off various mineral specimens I've found - some have responded to it well, others not so well.  A lot of my pieces are quartz-chalcedony, covered in basalt-related minerals. And a lot of them aren't coming off from the glass.  I'd like to try sand but honestly I'm not sure how it'll interact with my quartz-based specimens.  For one, I don't know what the sand is made of.  It's "sandblasting sand", they didn't exactly write the mineral species on the bag  ;)  If it's quartz sand, it's probably equal hardness to my specimens.  If it's anything but quartz, it's almost certainly less hard.

Can someone shed some light on this?  Is sandblasting sand primarily quartz sand?  Is it safe to use on quartz-based specimens like chalcedony?

jakesrocks

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Re: Sandblasting quartz / chalcedony
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2016, 08:54:26 AM »
Please don't use sand to blast quartz specimens. You'll give your specimens a frosted look. Glass beads should be slightly softer than quartz, and shouldn't hurt them. Switch over to soda for your final cleanup. It should make your specimens shine.
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Don


Rei

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Re: Sandblasting quartz / chalcedony
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2016, 11:03:42 AM »
Unfortunately glass doesn't seem to get rid of the basalt.  But that does answer my question, thanks  :)  I'll just have to find some new way to remove the basalt.