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sugar - acid Tuxedo agate

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The Polished Pebble
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« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2010, 01:11:50 pm »

Daniel, do you think these would work?



This is from a piece of Horse Canyon Waterline agate. They are not very big....the largest one is only a hair over 1" wide.

Connie
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stonesthatrock
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« Reply #16 on: July 30, 2010, 01:55:42 pm »

those are so pretty..........  you learn something new here everyday.  I don't know that was a cooked material.

ty danial.

mary ann
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deb193
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« Reply #17 on: July 30, 2010, 03:12:41 pm »

Connie -

It would depend on if the porosity of the clear and amber bits is more than the white bits. Usually when water beads more readily on the white part it is god. If you have water beading all over, it might not take any carbon. But, it might also just take a thin outline between layers, which might look neat.

I suspect some of the area around the rim would stay clear.
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« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2013, 09:13:32 am »

I bought some TA a few years ago at Quartzite.  I knew it was processed but I didn't know how. Thanks for enlightening us! And please update us on your fructose experiment.

Tim
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« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2013, 10:32:12 am »

My sugar solution sits empty. I need to get back to this project.
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« Reply #20 on: May 14, 2013, 09:18:14 am »

Daniel,  I'm trying a deviation from your process at present.  I bought a pressurized storage container for racket balls at a yard sale, and decided to try to force the sugar water into the stone with the slight pressure that can be pumped into the container over the 3 week soak.  The stone I'm using is an agate but with very subtle shading difference making up an attractive "scene = pattern".   If the process enhances that pattern it will be a worthwhile process.  I realize that a negative pressure is likely to pull out air bubbles that preclude the entering of the sugar, but maybe a positive pressure can do something for penetration as well.  cheers,  Tom 
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Tom
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« Reply #21 on: June 19, 2013, 05:12:25 pm »

Since I mouthed off and told us all that I was trying a deviation from the recipe, I must confess that my result was less than impressive.  Admitting that a lot of differences in contrast can result from exposure and or photshoping, I don't see the expected pattern any better in the processes versus the unprocessed.  Possible reasons are: 1. concentration of sugar; 2. type of stone; 3. using positive pressure versus negative. 4. timing of sugar and acid treatments. (I used muriatic acid but diluted it by 3:1).  Here are the before and after photos although not identical orientations (dah!  Next time.).

Before treatment:



 
After treatment: 


I hope this does not discourage anyone from trying this.  I'll try to show a cab from this piece once I work it up. Tom 
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Tom
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SEW1950
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2013, 05:45:04 pm »


Fascinating!

And you have just caused me to do a 180 on some of my thinking. I used to have very unkind thoughts about people that altered agate, as well as the people who bought those fluorescent flamingo pink slabs in gift shops. Didn't like the turquoise or any other color either.

This stuff is gorgeous! So you have neutralized a lot of negative attitude I was projecting, I'm sure the world also thanks you.

Thanks for sharing.
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deb193
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« Reply #23 on: June 20, 2013, 07:51:11 am »

Tom, it may have been the stone. If there are not variations in density that correspond to the variations in shade, then no joy.

I had not considered muriatic acid so I cannot comment. The question would be what gas is formed pulling the hydrogen and oxygen out of the sugar to bind with the chlorine in the hydrochloric acid?

You can tease apart sugar penetration problems from acid stripping issues by baking the stones at about 400F for an hour. Too much hoter and the stone would get unacceptably brittle. If you get espresso colors, then you did get sugar into the pore space.

I have also wondered if I could take 5lbs of slabs oven dried at 230F for 3 hours, weight them, then soak in saturated sugar solution for 3 to 12 weeks, then lightly rinse and weigh again to get some idea of porosity (i.e., sugar solution in pore space).

I have two types of stone in my sugar bath right now. I want to add a particularly pale/bland ocean jasper. Maybe a 4th type. Then I plan to try to use the Australian low heat (160F) over several weeks in the acid step.

I just need to rig some fume abatement.

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- Daniel

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VegasJames
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2013, 09:51:22 pm »

well, the Corsicans and Romans used vinegar. I use concentrated sulfuric acid obtained from bio-diesel supplier. I understand vinegar does not get as black.

Sulfuric acid is a strongly hygroscopic acid.  It is used in the process of making nitroglycerine for this reason.  As the nitric acid reacts with the glycerine water is formed, which can dilute the nitric acid.  Sulfuric acid takes up the water to keep the nitric acid concentrated.

For those who have not worked with sulfuric acid though do your homework and be extremely careful with this stuff.  I work with quite a few acids and sulfuric is the one that worries me the most.  It can strip hydrogen and oxygen from organic substances forming water and leaving behind carbon.  This includes skin among other things.

I had a roommate once that I told to never touch my chemicals.  Of course my roommate did not listen and ended up spilling a container of sulfuric acid on the carpet, which immediately turned to a black, gooey mess.

Sulfuric acid does the same thing to sugar molecules.  This is actually a common science experiment for students.  When the sulfuric acid is added to the sugar the hydrogen and oxygen are stripped from the sugar leaving behind the carbon.

Anyway, be really careful when using it.

If someone wants to try this though another common source of sulfuric acid is in the plumbing supply of some stores where it is used as an alternative to potassium hydroxide (Drano) or sodium hydroxide (Red Devil Lye) as a drain cleaner.  Sulfuric acid is superior to the hydroxides for cleaning out drains.
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« Reply #25 on: August 14, 2013, 12:08:53 pm »

well thegemshop has made a new batch, and it can be yours for $150/lb (no picking your own slabs).

http://thegemshop.com/collections/slabs/products/tuxedo-agate-slabs-1-lb-lot

... I need to get back to cooking. turn $5/lb agate into $150/lb agate. wow.

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- Daniel

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sealdaddy
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« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2013, 06:18:41 am »

Excellent, friend~!!!!
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« Reply #27 on: August 18, 2013, 09:27:55 am »

I used to cook Andamooka matrix opal in a crock pot of sugar solution. I'd have to add water when it got too thick and I cooked 8 to 10 chunks and slabs for maybe a week at a time set on simmer. I know the opal was more porous than agate so maybe the times have to be extended. When I figured it had cooked long enough I would wrap each chunk or slab in aluminum foil individually and place them in an iron fry pan. That pan went into a kiln that I used for lost wax casting burnout for several hours (approx. 3-4 hours at 500 deg.). The heat turned the sugar black. Too much heat burned off the carbon and the stone would come out the original color. I let it cool to room temperature in the kiln. It was lots of fun lightly sanding the black stone to reveal the colors, now with a black background. I never tried the acid as there were too many warnings and I could not have left it un attended.  I'm going to slab up some agate today and try it out. I'll let everyone know how it worked in about a week or so.

Fred
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sealdaddy
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« Reply #28 on: August 18, 2013, 11:26:09 am »

I'm going to slab up some agate today and try it out. I'll let everyone know how it worked in about a week or so.

Fred

Yes...Please Do~!!
Thank you~
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deb193
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« Reply #29 on: August 18, 2013, 02:36:40 pm »

I don't understand how too much heat can cook off the carbon. I thought carbon does not cook off - especially to leave stone w/ original color. I will have to research this.

I have used 450 deg oven to get dark brown, but I could not get black in oven.
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- Daniel

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