Did you have one of these growing up?
Yeah, me too.
I think it must have been the "in" Christmas gift because it seems like all my friends had one too.
They were usually placed in the garage because it was way too loud to be anywhere else. And while I think about it, I believe we only made one "batch" of rocks.
It just seemed to take forever to get those gems to be polished!
Fast forward about 40ish years, guess who went out and bought one of these again?
However, this time I didn't want "polished" rocks, I wanted to make "sea glass."
The place that has just about anything you could ever want to see, find, or learn about!
Most of the tutorials were basically the same, however one suggested using acid.
no thank you
I decided to go the easier route, no acid, and bought my own tumbler.
You can find one here.
I can't stress the importance of reading through the entire manual...it's a quick read, but very important. The reviews for this product were 50/50.
The people who didn't read the instructions had problems with the tumbler not working properly or breaking completely.
Once I had a basic understanding of what I was doing I was ready.
Beginning materials were simple:
glass of your choice
Make sure you use protective glasses for your eyes and a large enough towel to catch all the glass shards.
I kept checking the sizes, I didn't want anything too large but didn't want tiny pieces either.
Some of the tutorials suggested using regular beach sand, however, the instructions had this in bold print:
Ugh...I had beach sand but no grit.
(There are different kinds of grit that are usually sold in addition to tumblers...different grit for the different stages.)
BUT the great thing about making sea glass is that you only have to go through ONE stage! yippee.
Only one kind of grit is needed, 60/90. You can find it here.
The rest is a snap.
Place the glass in the tumbler so that it's about 2/3 full
Add enough water so that the level is just below the level of glass
Add 1-2 tablespoons of grit for each pound of glass
Close the lid
Put the tumbler on the rails
Turn it on
This model is much quieter than what I remember as a child.
The best part is that this process only takes 2-3 days.
Maintenance is suggested, but it's very easy.
Just unscrew the top plate and check the belt. It should be loose enough to run smoothly. It is also suggested to add 1 drop of oil on the rails once a month.
All said, I've already made about 4 batches.
I'm trying blue glass now, I'll keep you posted!