Thursday, June 14, 2012

tumbling rocks

Kelsey's 10th birthday was 4 months ago.  She was studying rocks in school at the time and asked for a rock polisher.  I asked her if she were serious and she was, so that is what she got.  I priced them out and could not believe I was spending that much money on a birthday present for a 10 year old, but the rock hound in me let it be!  I always loved collecting rocks when I was younger, and in college I took a handful of Geology courses.  I loved Geology and would have made it my major, but what does one do with a degree in Geology?  Plus, I like shaving my legs!  (hee hee hee)  With a Geology degree, I could have taught other college kids about geology or worked for a federal government land use agency.  Not really anything I would have enjoyed as a career, so I changed it to Biology, with a teaching certificate.  Funny right?  Same kinda jobs silly!

Anyway, we are currently polishing her first round of rocks.  Since her birthday was in February, and we normally have snow around here covering all the rocks up until April, her rock collecting for this project was a little difficult.  She collected some over Easter Weekend when we headed south, and then she was able to get a whole bunch a few weekends ago while we were at the ranch.  So, we started a batch!

It takes a while to tumble/polish these babies to perfection - about a month.  She is making a process happen in 4 weeks that usually takes a few million years.  The first step of the polishing/tumbling process is putting the rocks in the barrels, adding course grained sand, and water.  Then we let them tumble for 7 days.  Yep, 7 DAYS!  Holy smokes!  There are 3 more steps like this, that is why it takes a month to do just one batch.

So, here are the full barrels, being spun around and tumbling and hurrying along the process of erosion.  Since this little apparatus is in the way of us living life on the kitchen bar, we moved the tumbler downstairs to the unfinished portion of the basement.  You can hear a little sloshing every now and then, but other than that, it is quite nice and quiet.  I was worried the water sound would be sending me to the bathroom every 30 minutes, but this sweet baby due in 2 weeks is taking care of that issue!
Kelsey is so excited to get this batch finished.  She and her cousin Ayden collected most of these rocks, and she can't wait to share them with him.  Stay tuned for step 2!

1 comment:

Mom said...

Be sure to let us know how these rocks turned out. I am excited.


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