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Author Topic: does old tumbler polish go bad?  (Read 565 times)

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does old tumbler polish go bad?
« on: February 16, 2020, 06:37:21 PM »

I recently picked up some old Lortone pre-polish and polish at a garage sale.  Both are white powder and came in tin cans.  I just got done running a batch through the pre-polish and polish, each for a week in the rotary tumbler (with plastic pellets).  I'm not impressed with the results I got.  I'm used to using TXP or various aluminum oxide which produces a much better finish.  So, my question is, does this stuff go bad over time?  Or, is it a compound that requires a different approach?  There's very little information on the aged labels on the cans, just Lortone Pre-Polish and Lortone Polish.  Does anyone have any idea what Lortone might have been passing off as polish 30-50 years ago?  I also noted that the polish, when mixed with water, was very white... like white paint.  Usually rinsing the drum is enough, but I had to sponge this stuff out.  Any ideas what I'm dealing with?


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Re: does old tumbler polish go bad?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2020, 07:25:31 PM »

Sounds like cerium oxide? The "can't get it out of the barrel" part at least! I haven't used mine in a while but it seemed like it always left a film. Have you tried doing a 24 hr wash cycle after the polish?
- Erika

I rock hunt in the Antelope/Ashwood area of the John Day river basin in Oregon.


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Re: does old tumbler polish go bad?
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2020, 05:15:31 AM »

Abrasives do not break down over time.  Polishing compounds are just very fine abrasive.  More likely it is just a cheaper material.  If it doesn't work will for hard stones it may be a better choice for softer ones.


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Re: does old tumbler polish go bad?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2020, 11:13:55 AM »

I always use a little cheap liquid dish soap in every step in the tumbler. It makes the cleanup much easier.


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Re: does old tumbler polish go bad?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2020, 08:24:46 PM »

There were a lot of cheap products in yesteryear. Eventually  better graded oxides came along but cerium of any grade can be frustrating at times.I use corncob with diamon powder in my polish tumblers now  with stunning results.
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