How to Use Plastic Pellets in Rock Tumblers

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How to Use Plastic Pellets in Rock Tumblers

Plastic Pellets in Rock Tumbling: Benefits and Usage

Rock tumbling is a popular hobby that involves smoothing and shaping rough rocks into polished gems. One of the most commonly used tools during this process is plastic pellets. In this article, we will discuss the reasons why plastic pellets are used in rock tumbling and how to effectively incorporate them into the process.

Why Use Poly Pellets in Rock Tumbling?

  1. Abrasion - Plastic poly beads provide an extra source of abrasion in the tumbling process, which helps to grind down rough edges and surface imperfections on the rocks. This speeds up the process and helps to produce a smoother, more polished result.

  2. Protection - Plastic pellets also serve as a protective barrier between the rocks and the tumbling barrel. This helps to prevent damage to the rocks and extends the life of the barrel.

  3. Even Tumbling - Adding poly pellets to the tumbling barrel ensures that the rocks are evenly distributed and tumbled. This reduces the chance of the rocks becoming stuck together or becoming imbalanced, which can affect the final result.

How to Use Plastic Pellets in Rock Tumbling

  1. Add to the Barrel - To use plastic pellets in rock tumbling, simply add them to the tumbling barrel along with the rocks and the tumbling media (e.g. grit). The amount of poly beads you add will depend on the size of your tumbling barrel, but a general rule of thumb is to use 1 to 2 tablespoons of pellets per pound of rock.

  2. Mix Well - Make sure to mix the plastic pellets in with the rocks and tumbling media so that they are evenly distributed throughout the barrel.

  3. Tumble - Start the tumbling process as you normally would, allowing the machine to run for the recommended time. Check the rocks regularly to see if they are reaching your desired level of smoothness.

  4. Clean and Reuse - After each tumbling cycle, remove the rocks and plastic pellets from the barrel and clean them thoroughly. Plastic pellets can be reused multiple times, so it is important to keep them clean and dry between cycles.

In conclusion, plastic pellets are an essential tool for anyone looking to achieve a smooth, polished result in rock tumbling. They provide extra abrasion, protection, and help ensure even tumbling, making the process faster and more efficient. Give them a try and see the difference they can make in your rock tumbling projects!