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Rebecca

Rock Tumbling

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The church I am working at has a home school ministry and I thought it would be a fun thing for the kids to learn about rock polishing/tumbling, so I brought in my little rock tumbler and a few rough gemstones that came with it and showed them how it works. They were a bit disappointed that it's going to take so long to have a finished shiny stone, but are excited to seeing the finished product.

The rock tumbler works by turning a barrel of rocks, sand, and water constantly for up to 3-4 weeks depending on your desired shininess or rock type. The tumbler that I got came with four different grits of sand, the first grit is the roughest type and just gets the rocks smoothed out, the final grit is the finest type and polishes the rocks.  The rocks have been tumbling for two weeks now, and are now at grit #3 and will tumble for another week before I change the sand again. 

The pictures are of the tumbler and some random rocks I found, before tumbling, and after the first week of tumbling. 

IMG_20181204_142529.thumb.jpg.b62126a05777d032ad12f3a229239e88.jpg IMG_20181204_142537.thumb.jpg.9c8626546f8e81e791e801c94f83395f.jpg

Before:                                                                                                                                                                    After 1 week:

1627495035_IMG_20181204_140123(2).thumb.jpg.63cce902f20029407f45a17ead4ae279.jpg  IMG_20181212_102652.thumb.jpg.c84903137ff526166775935d644458d2.jpg

 

 

Edited by Rebecca

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A good project that teaches patience. 

 Rom 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 
 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 
 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. 

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Wow! Beautiful rocks.

Thank you for the article on Rock Tumbling. Looking forward to the end result. The rocks in their natural state (full of dirt, scratches, grime, dross and imperfections),  were not as beautiful, or useful for public display, or for sale, as much as after they were polished, as before.

Right off the top of my head I can think of some illustrations concerning a new life in Christ, and the beauty of salvation, once the Lord polishes us up and takes away the "rough" edges off of us.

"Take away the dross from the silver, and there shall come forth a vessel for the finer." Proverbs 25:4

"If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work." 2 Timothy 2:21

 

Edited by Alan
spelling grammar

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On 12/20/2018 at 12:27 AM, heartstrings said:

Awesome! those are some beautiful rocks. What kinds do you have there?

Unfortunately I'm not sure. These are rocks that I had picked up while walking, and the rock book I looked at didn't have anything that looked like these. I'm still checking around, so hopefully I'll be able to figure out most of them. 

 

 

I decided to start taking individual pictures of the rocks, I should've done that at the beginning before I started instead of taking a photo of the entire grouping, because some of them are hard to see clearly and the 'after' photos don't show the colors clearly when they're in a large grouping, especially the darker colored ones. Because there are over 20 rocks, I'll just put my favorites on here. But first I want to show the results of the second week of tumbling. 

This is what the rocks look like straight out of the tumbler. The sand and water turned into a gray sludge!   (always dump and rinse the rocks outside, not in your drains!! the sand will turn hard and ruin your pipes)                                                                             

 IMG_20181218_114414.thumb.jpg.995a525cba1cf57dd3a65c92f44a0527.jpg 

After rinsing the rocks with water:

IMG_20181218_114530.thumb.jpg.79c76222630223846b7dc867c5ea18c3.jpg

 

After 2 weeks:

IMG_20181218_115655.thumb.jpg.d22d43464839c66f5fe16c3e16ea1506.jpg 

 

Notice the rock from the far upper left in the grouping, it has broken into three pieces and gotten very small, so I will not continue tumbling it. Here it is by itself. It's green with blue running through it. 

IMG_20181223_164234.thumb.jpg.da9adb44b3346c3a4d12175c0e08e724.jpg

Edited by Rebecca

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There were some gemstones I forgot to add in the first post. They came with the tumbler, so I let the kids choose two, so the pictures will have the gemstones lined up next to kids names, next time I'll take photos of them without the names.

The names of the gemstones are (in order top to bottom): Sodalite, Aventurine, Sodalite, Agate, Tiger's Eye, Rose Quartz, Aventurine, Hematite, Aventurine, Hematite

Before tumbling:                                                                                                                                                         After 1 week:

1458318421_IMG_20181204_135732(2).thumb.jpg.fde37099d10933187cad1d6066e65ade.jpgIMG_20181212_102126.thumb.jpg.66fb1842fc4d3050214f06c9f8f193d7.jpg

After 2 weeks:

IMG_20181218_114944.thumb.jpg.a23be070c83a0d541559976f61b09827.jpg

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Rebecca said, "Notice the rock from the far upper left in the grouping, it has broken into three pieces and gotten very small, so I will not continue tumbling it. Here it is by itself. It's green with blue running through it. "

Hmmm? :think_smiley_50:Yea, I kinda noticed the broken rock. Want to auction it off?  :4_12_2:

 

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Here are some closeups of the individual rocks, these are my favorite ones so far. I need to practice taking better photos of small things. The lighting is off, but they didn't turn out too bad for a cell phone. These are all after 2 weeks of tumbling, I can't wait to see the difference from these to the final product!

IMG_20181223_163922.thumb.jpg.2d4aa83c074ecfe985f97a23b0551bd6.jpgIMG_20181223_165343.thumb.jpg.2a7e18788f5c6cbfb768033df0adb20c.jpgIMG_20181223_165043.thumb.jpg.631c1a5f9f94da8160c23fd7d012bcf0.jpgIMG_20181223_165024.thumb.jpg.df59ec12a45da705004d3bcb3dd4e0ce.jpg

IMG_20181223_163400.thumb.jpg.886c46b06c1ce3d1a8a6409b39e2b99b.jpgIMG_20181223_163450.thumb.jpg.e4afb0409ef620b6eceddda393b3a562.jpg

The last photo with the two rocks are the Sodalite gemstones, I like the blue color of them, hopefully next time I'll have better lighting and the color will show up better. 🙂 

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I finished tumbling the rocks for week three, and wow have they shrunk! It's amazing what just the movement of sand and water can do to a rock. I'll just post a few of my favorite so far.

IMG_20190103_094917.thumb.jpg.bbc81ee679827da0e57e6c79c269863f.jpg

IMG_20190103_094956.thumb.jpg.e3537a04d71d2bd0e9ee0c2ce2aaefe8.jpg

IMG_20190103_095715.thumb.jpg.e4d5fbffafdec0490a14ba43c0de1027.jpgP1010036.thumb.JPG.9a08584dc270f96928a08edd5a510ae7.JPG

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Well, the rocks have finished tumbling in the final grit of sand, which should have polished them to a nice shiny finish. I rinsed off the gray sludgy sand, let them dry, and this is the end result:

IMG_20190119_105410.thumb.jpg.7922880953de539561d108dca4587db9.jpg

You may be thinking to yourself "they don't look shiny, do mine eyes deceive me?" The answer is, no, your eyes do not deceive you. The rocks did not shine up. If you'll notice, a few of them don't even have a bit of rough patches smoothed out. I asked myself "what happened?" And so I did a bit of research and discovered the answer.  https://rocktumbler.com/blog/phooey-my-stones-didnt-get-a-nice-polish/

Problem 1: I had used rocks of varying hardness. Some were too soft and the harder rocks wore them down quickly. 

Problem 2: As a result of problem 1, the worn bits of soft rock changed the sand grit, it was no longer uniform, causing more wear to the soft rocks, and causing each week of tumbling to not change the rocks as it should have.

Problem 3: Again related to problem 1, as a result of the rocks getting smaller, there was too much space in the tumbler, so the rocks were hitting each other instead of rubbing, causing again the problem of uneven wear.

This rock tumbling site suggest using filler, such as ceramic or plastic pellets (https://rocktumbler.com/media.shtml) to help fill the spaces between rocks.

Although I was a bit disappointed with my rookie mistakes, I learned a lot, and I know what to improve on for next time. I do need to learn how to check for rock hardness and determine which ones are the same or very similar hardness before even putting them in the tumbler, so that will help a lot with overcoming the main issue.

This experience also gave me food for thought. There were several Biblical applications that can be applied here, but I had this thought first.  Because I just thought of this,  it's not really a proper lesson,  just a  rough  draft that I'll polish up later. (😄puns!) I just wanted to share this thought here first. 

 

 

Who is shaping you, the world or the Lord?

We are all shaped by our experiences as we go through life. But who is shaping us and why?

The world

As I tumbled the rocks, I had noticed one wearing down and removed them from the tumbling process. It was broken in three pieces, but could still be used and beautiful to look at. But I missed a few and they tumbled until there was nothing left, just grains. Some are tiny fractions of what they used to be. I can still use them, but they will never be as glamorous or amazing as I had hoped. When the world shapes us, it is for their own benefit, to take as much from you as possible. The world will take you, wear you down until there's nothing left, and spit you out when you have nothing left to give. The end result is you are but a shell, a fragment of your former self. Some people never recover from this process and give up on life completely. Some may turn to God who takes what's left and can use them for His honor and glory. The world's motive for using your life is selfishness, to use you up and destroy your life for their own gain. 

The Lord

What is the Lord's motive for shaping us? God's motive for using our life is to give honor and glory to Him. God does want to use us, but not in the same way the world does. He doesn't want to use us up and throw us away when He's done. No, God wants us to endure the shaping process, to come out the other side purified, clean, and honorable. The shaping process is difficult, but God knows how to do it in such a way that we are not destroyed in the process, but purified. We cannot see what the end result will be, but God can. We need to trust God, put our lives in His hands. 

II Timothy 2:3 "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

II Timothy 2:20-21 "But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work."

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Titus 2:14 "Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works."

Hebrews 11-12

Psalm 51 

The Bible is full of so many verses and entire chapters detailing how God wants to use us, but we have to go through a shaping process to get where God can use us the best, to bring Him honor and glory. But so many believe the shaping process is too difficult, too painful, and they give up. Don't give up on God's process. Trust Him to know that He only wants good things for you, just endure. 

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me."

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Nice biblical application of the patient Lord working on us. Reminds me of the song kids sing.

He's still working on me
To make me what I need to be
It took him just a week to make the moon and stars
The sun and the earth and Jupiter and Mars
How loving and patient He must be
'Cause He's still workin' on me
 

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