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Author Topic: Working soft minerals  (Read 370 times)

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jerrysg

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Working soft minerals
« on: October 05, 2017, 04:43:05 PM »

A couple of weeks ago we went with one of our clubs to the Four Metals Mine in southern Arizona and worked through the mine dumps.  Came back with a nice piece of rhodochrosite that I would like to work. Dimensions 2 3/4" x 1 1/4" x 3/4" at largest dimensions. Hardness has been given as 3.5.  Any tips, suggestions or hints on working this stone would be greatly appreciated. 
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gemfeller

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Re: Working soft minerals
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2017, 11:47:52 AM »

I cut a lot of Argentinian rhodo and find it quite easy going with some care.  I don't grind on any hard wheel coarser than 220 grit and I use much less pressure than when grinding hard agate or jasper.  I use a Genie and my sanding sequence on Novas is 280, 600, 1200, 3000 and -- if needed -- 8000.  Sometimes a kiss with Zam on muslin or felt will bring up a brighter polish.  Don't overheat! 
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jerrysg

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Re: Working soft minerals
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2017, 05:08:53 PM »

Gemfeller,

Thank you. That's exactly the info I was looking for.

Jerry
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irockhound

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Re: Working soft minerals
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2017, 07:55:00 PM »

Thats a quite unusual piece.  I have never seen a Lavender or Purple Rhodochrosite before.  Is that color unique to the Four Metals Mine?
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jerrysg

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Re: Working soft minerals
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2017, 08:29:22 PM »

Shot with my phone. Color is off. It is an opaque pink in real life.

Jerry  :embarrassed:
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irockhound

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Re: Working soft minerals
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2017, 09:27:38 AM »

That sounds much better.  Photos can be quite misleading that way.  The material looked great just didn't match real life Rhodochrosite.  It has great potential, good luck on the cutting.
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