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sugar - acid Tuxedo agate

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Author Topic: sugar - acid Tuxedo agate  (Read 3226 times)
myrockpile
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« Reply #30 on: August 18, 2013, 03:03:58 pm »

I know that when I am burning out wax for casting, if I don't get the flask to approx. 1200 to 1300 degrees I am left with brown and black traces where the wax didn't burn out completely. This could possibly cause an incomplete casting. If I get the flask to 1300 and hold that temperature for a while it all burns out completely and I'm left with white plaster indicating a complete burn out. I know that if I got the Andamooka matrix opal too hot, I was left with a clean piece of opal with no traces of the sugar. I only have manual controls on the kiln that I use so I can't be sure of the exact temperature. Since I over heated that batch I have tried to keep it between 500 and 600 degrees and haven't had a problem since. When I couldn't get the level of black that I wanted I just put it in with the next batch to cook in the crock pot and eventually I did get the level of black that I wanted.  Unless you are using a kiln with the ability to reach 1000 to 1500 degrees I wouldn't worry about over heating.

Fred
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #31 on: October 07, 2013, 11:17:57 am »

Daniel stopped by my house a year ago last summer and brought some of his sugared agate for us to cook.  Here are some photos of the results:

Uncooked, dry:


After cooking, dry:


After cooking, wet:


Some worked better than others; he'll have to help with the IDs.  I recall the lower right is Redline Agate, but I don't remember the others.

I'm finally getting set up to cab again after 2 years off due to a house remodel, so I'll be cabbing these before long and will post the results.
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deb193
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« Reply #32 on: October 07, 2013, 11:31:15 am »

Yes. Missouri Redline Agate. A lace agate that has one red lace line. It did seem a little too dense to take the treatment very well.

I think the top right was from a stalactite looking agate I cut. It was not cave onyx, but looks a bit like it.

The bottom left is a Moroccan agate, but so is the top left. The one on top was too dense to absorb much sugar, so it too did not change a lot.
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #33 on: October 07, 2013, 11:36:58 am »

Yes, my favorite is the upper right, although I think the lower Moroccans turned out well, too.
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #34 on: October 07, 2013, 11:53:08 am »

I thought I'd share a little story about cooking this agate.  When Daniel came with the agate, he thought he brought a bottle of sulfuric acid, but it turned out he grabbed the wrong bottle and it was sodium silicate (as I recall).  He also brought an industrial strength hotplate.

At any rate, I didn't have any sulfuric acid handy so we tried acetic acid.  It did nothing at all.

Daniel had to leave, so I saved the agate for another day.  Shortly thereafter I got a bottle of drain cleaner (sulfuric acid) and started cooking the agate in a pyrex dish on a hot plate placed on a piece of plywood in the backyard.  Daniel had been concerned that my cheap Walmart hotplate might not get hot enough to boil the acid.  He needn't have worried.

The acid boiled for about half an hour and it looked like the agate had turned as brown as it was going to get, so I shut off the hotplate.  As it was cooling, the pyrex dish cracked and I was really glad I had used the plywood.  Hot sulfuric acid leaked out of the dish, all over the hotplate and the plywood.  I grabbed my baking soda that I had out to neutralize the acid and started dumping it as fast as I could.  It would bubble for a while, I'd stir, add more baking soda, and it would bubble, etc. until I was finally satisfied that I had it sufficiently neutralized.  My hot plate still hasn't recovered---it's still got corrosion and baking soda coming off of it.

A couple of words of caution:  if you do this, keep baking soda handy and stay away from the boiling acid.  The fumes are extremely toxic and can be fatal in sufficient strength.  Stay upwind.  In addition, I had a tiny bit of acid splash my heavy cotton shirt and it promptly ate a hole in it.
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deb193
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« Reply #35 on: October 07, 2013, 12:06:43 pm »

I have been meaning to try lower temperature over a period of weeks. Some guys that darken the matrix of Adamoka opal use sugar acid method, but only heat at 160F, but for 3 weeks. One guy used a potpourri dish.

I got a bunch of rock that has soaked from 2 months to a year. just been throwing stuff in. I need to put a crock pot under a plastic hood out on my patio and let it go for 3 weeks and see what happens.
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #36 on: October 07, 2013, 01:04:05 pm »

The electric bill would add up in a hurry.  I wonder if you could make a solar collector that would generate enough heat...
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2013, 12:42:16 pm »

Daniel, have you tried clear Blackskin Agate or Montana Agate?

They may not be good candidates without obvious banding, but I'm thinking Montana Agate often shows banding on the rind, even if the agate is clear...
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deb193
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« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2013, 07:09:32 pm »

those are both very heavy in the hand. I would be worried not enough pore space, but I have not tried. maybe blackskin.
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- Daniel

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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2013, 09:15:17 pm »

Yes, they do seem dense.
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2013, 06:52:50 am »

For a completely different look, I wonder if chevron amethyst would work giving brown/black and blue/purple...
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deb193
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« Reply #41 on: October 10, 2013, 07:47:02 am »

it think you might have better luck with amy lace
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- Daniel

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deb193
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« Reply #42 on: October 20, 2013, 07:32:40 pm »

The electric bill would add up in a hurry.  I wonder if you could make a solar collector that would generate enough heat...

actually, for a crockpot on low the cost may be modest.

http://www.cockeyed.com/science/power_use_database/crock_pot.html

Item:    Crock Pot: 312 Watts
Description:    A crock pot is a slow-cooking vessel which uses a heating element
Power:    Has two settings, Low (223 watts) and High (312 watts). Probably uses a thermostat to turn heater on and off.

Power Cost:
at 12 per kw/h    
Cost per Minute:    6 hundredths of one cent (0.06)
Cost per Hour:    3.7
per Day (8 hrs):    30
per Month (5hrs/day):    $5.69
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hardrockcafe
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« Reply #43 on: October 21, 2013, 06:23:51 pm »

You're right!  Much cheaper than I thought.  Give it a shot!
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