What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" finish? - WarmGlass.com

What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" finish?

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Chelseaglass
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What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" finish?

Postby Chelseaglass » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:43 am

I just handled some lovely bottle glass that was cut and put in a tumbler to obtain a seaglass finish. I think the individual representing the glass (not the producer) stated that it was put in a tumbler with 1200 grit to obtain the seaglass like finish. Does anyone know if this is realistic?

I have numerous blue vodka bottles that I would love to cut on the tile saw and tumble to such a finish. At this time, my grit collection only goes to 800....

Brock
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby Brock » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:47 am

That seems wrong to me. The beach glass I used to make lamps out of was actually picked up on the beach and had a much rougher finish. I would try 60 or 80 or 120 grit to duplicate the real thing.

Lynn g
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby Lynn g » Wed Aug 22, 2012 2:29 am

I've done it with 80 grit alum. oxide...works fine.
Lynn g
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Morganica
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby Morganica » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:07 pm

I'm running a test with 80, 220, 400, 600 and graduated pre/polishes in a vibratory tumbler right now, got another 19 days to go, trying to zero in on the schedules needed to produce different finishes.

I think the seaglass answer depends on what you want, what equipment you have and how much time you want to spend. A regular rock tumbler will knock off corners and edges, and is more likely to dramatically change the profile of the glass, and give you very rounded, soft shapes.

A vibratory tumbler doesn't whomp the glass against the hopper and other glass, so will slightly round the shape but mostly leave it intact and preserve detail. I use one to polish small sculptures and pendants.

Either way, using grits coarser than 220 gives a finish like sandblasting, but with a slight surface texture, tiny little "pores." 220 gives a soft, even finish, like a fine sandblast. The time it takes with either partly depends on the shape--flat planes take MUCH longer than rounded forms.

1200 grit is more like a prepolish. By itself it could produce a sea glass finish but it would take weeks and weeks, with frequent grit changes. If you start at a lower grit and work up to 1200, you'll get an incredible surface, very silky with a gleaming satin polish, in 2-3 weeks.
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Jeff Wright
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby Jeff Wright » Tue Aug 28, 2012 10:09 pm

I've used both 120 and 220 loose grit in my small yard sale rotary rock tumbler I got for $5. It's belt was broken but it came with a replacement belt! I put about a pound of odds and ends of cut Spectrum or Bullseye sheet glass. I just randomly cut it up into 1"-2"-ish shapes. I then through in about a tablespoon of grit and enough water to cover the glass. I've found that running the 120 for 8 to 24 hours produces great results. 8 hours or less gives a nice surface and knocks the edges back a bit. Going longer makes it smoother and rounder corners. You can go too long.

Starting with 220 took way too long, but a few hours in 220 after the 120 grit was really nice. I don't think going further did that much, but I honestly didn't do a lot after at 400 or above.

I have a big bucket of broken bits that I want to run through the process. I should build a homemade roller set up for a much larger batch. I've taken pattern bar slices and tumbled them for interesting effects as well.

rosanna gusler
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby rosanna gusler » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:50 am

do not call this glass 'sea glass' because it is not. rosanna
artist, owner of wanchese art studio, marine finisher

Brock
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby Brock » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:54 am

Purist! Okay, faux sea glass. Anyway, I've always called it beach glass . . . cause that's where you find it.

rosanna gusler
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby rosanna gusler » Sat Sep 01, 2012 1:47 pm

heh. i work with several jewelers who use real sea/beach glass in their work. it is the same sort of issue as seeing mass produced mexican/chineese/whatever dichroic pendants at a 'hand made' art show. one artist, pem bryant of sea sand and hand jewelry has a pretty informative web presence . rosanna
artist, owner of wanchese art studio, marine finisher

Brock
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby Brock » Sat Sep 01, 2012 2:58 pm

Hey, it's not just for jewelry . . . this is a detail of a beach glass lamp about 14" high by 17" around
Attachments
DSCN0482.JPG

rosanna gusler
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby rosanna gusler » Sat Sep 01, 2012 6:01 pm

nice. rosanna
artist, owner of wanchese art studio, marine finisher

seachange
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Re: What grit do you use in tumbler to obtain "seaglass" fin

Postby seachange » Sat Sep 01, 2012 9:38 pm

Hi

Have just thrown a few pieces of fused (approx. 1" x 3/4") transparent BE in the rotary tumbler, with 80 grit silicon carbide and plastic media. About 1 1/2 days. Came out with a beautiful silky finish, but too soft for faux seaglass, which tends to be a bit gritty and uneven.

I sandblast with 180 aluminium carbide, the tumbled pieces are softer and silkier than the sandblasted ones, even so the tumbling grit is coarser.

Perhaps someone will know if silicon carbide and aluminium oxide gives different results in the same grit.

The edges were already rounded in the fusing.

Cheers, seachange


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