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Author Topic: Polishing River Jade  (Read 766 times)

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liveoak

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Polishing River Jade
« on: January 03, 2020, 04:51:21 AM »

I've recently acquired some "Jade" from Washington State. The guy actually collects the rocks in the river . It's pretty stuff- lots of different grain patterns. BUT - I'm looking for tips on polishing.

I've grinding with a diamond flat lap, then move onto progressively finer silicon carbide sanding belts

I've tried Chrome on leather,
Rapid Polish on leather, followed by Zam.
With the dry "Zam" on a muslin wheel,  I got cracking in the stone, as I guess it got too hot ?

Any recommendations for this kind of stone ?
Thanks, Patty
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Phishisgroovin

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2020, 07:38:00 AM »

Are you a washington resident?
Jade is a dry polish stone, Frank is king of the hill on jade.
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liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2020, 09:19:47 AM »

I live almost as far as possible from Washington - NW Florida .
Purchased the rocks off of E-bay.

I have a number of lbs of it- guess I need to keep experimenting ! ? !
Will dry dryer

Thanks,
Patty
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55fossil

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2020, 01:14:07 PM »

There is jade and then there is JADE.   So many river rocks containing jade or mixtures of jade and xxx combinations. Just read Frank's and other peoples posts and there seems to be a huge variety of rocks that are tossed in as jade. Even really good BC Nephrite jade comes in a variety that need different techniques to obtain a good polish. Tons of good jade information on this site....
All jade is not created equal.  So without a picture at the very least it is hard to toss out a realistic answer in how to polish a certain type of jade.  I have polished a lot of nephrite jade from BC and a few other things I was sold as jade. The only jade I found to consistently polish with one technique was high quality Cassiar Jade. I am sure there are many others. Feel free to look at some of my jade on ETSY at blueowyheegems or my flickr page at https://www.flickr.com/photos/blueowyheegems/albums/
PS:  I have only polished hundreds of jade cabochons. Others here have probably polished thousands.
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liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2020, 07:42:01 AM »

You're right of course, my "Jade" is likely a combination of things.
I'll have to see about taking a couple of photos.

I'm trying to work my way through a search on the forum for "Jade".
I did find a helpful bit from "Redrumnd". But I think his name is Michael.

I'm not sure who "Frank" is to search for his posts on the subject.
Can you direct me to that ?

Thank you,
Patty
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Stonemon

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2020, 05:11:55 PM »

Frank is lithicbeads on the forum. He is a wealth of info...
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Bill

liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2020, 06:49:25 AM »

Thank you, lots to read.

Patty
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lithicbeads

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 11:46:33 AM »

 Just got back in town and saw this  thread. Any questions  and I would be happy to try to help.
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liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2020, 08:37:11 AM »

Thanks Frank,
   I guess I should omit that I'm a newbie at this & probably starting out on jade is a mistake- but it's JADE (likely the only grade I'll afford)  and  I have a whole bunch of it.

  I've been experimenting with different methods- my sanding belts only go up to 5000 , and after that I've tried numerous combos.
Eventually I seem to get some polish - but the pressure I'm using seems wrong.

 I attached a photo so you can see the kind of rough I'm working with.
Was hoping for any extra tips anyone might offer.
Thanks,
Patty

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lithicbeads

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2020, 04:58:59 PM »

You can see the white cracks indicating enhanced schistocity. This schistocity ( layering) is often evident on the ends of the cobbles. Very schistose jade is often  a mix of very soft and harder nephrites which makes  orange peel also very likely. That is a pebbly surface  that resists improvement. I am usually successful with such cobbles but not with sic. You should put this rough away for when you have diamond sanding wheels which used half dry will work. The flat surface of the cobble is always the top of your stone and the flatter the stone the less  schistocity comes into play.Experienced cutters with the proper equipment struggle with jade of many types. Agates and jaspers are the best stones for sic by far but seldom do sic and oxide cutters get a diamond wheel type polish. Stunning polishes are possible with oxides but they are very very tricky.
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liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2020, 05:09:39 AM »

Thanks Frank for your response.
I will take your advise and put this rough aside until I get more equipment,
AND gain more experience.
Thanks again,
Patty
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lithicbeads

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2020, 10:30:38 AM »

Just a reminder  that all those pieces are cut wrong. The wid flat side of the cobble needs to be the top of the cab to minimize schistocity and problems but they are jade.
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liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2020, 12:02:11 PM »

Just to confirm - what you're saying is these cobbles should be cut in the horizontal plane, like in my photo ? ??

Thanks,
Patty
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lithicbeads

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2020, 06:11:27 AM »

Yes.I normally cut wide pieces the way you did initially then rotate them and cut again. Sic  was the only thing around when I got into lapidary and good cutters always believed that having an array of 600 grit belts was important. A very worn 600 belt was considered gold and would be used after  a worn 600 belt as if it were  a finer belt which in effect it was. A fairly new 600 belt is far to agressive  as a last sic belt.
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liveoak

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Re: Polishing River Jade
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2020, 03:36:40 PM »

Thanks Frank.

Knowing how to cut this Jade- or at least realize it's not written in stone ( no pun intended) how to- might be the game changer alone.

Fortunately the knife making trade has made SIC belts more available in finer grits.
Presently I have 400 through 5000 ( although I think the 5000 might be aluminum oxide).

I do have a flat lap with diamond laps up to 3000. But I have found the softness of these stones makes the process with diamond happen too fast for me, so I've been grinding on a diamond 360 and then moving over to the SIC on a belt sander.

It's a steep learning curve, and I do appreciate the advice.
Thanks again,
Patty

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