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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
June 16, 2019, 11:16:34 pm
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Heeeelp guys! Polishing with cerium oxide

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Author Topic: Heeeelp guys! Polishing with cerium oxide  (Read 719 times)
samaeljaxon
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« on: November 10, 2015, 10:33:29 am »

I was working on a custom labradorite heart skull cabochon and I used cerium oxide to polish it real nice, but now it's got orange stuck in the natural cracks and groves in the rock and this piece is already paid for and needs to ship out today! How can I get this out of the cracks????

I've tried hot water with dish soap and even mineral spirits. What do I do? ?

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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2015, 10:34:22 am »



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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2015, 10:35:12 am »

I'm never using cerium on labradorite again! ><

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« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2015, 10:57:26 am »

Try an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning jewelry or dentures, maybe with a drop of liquid detergent...then a water pik.

Nice work
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2015, 11:00:55 am »

Oh man...I don't have that readily available. Thank you for the advice.

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rocks2dust
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« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2015, 11:57:26 am »

I've had good results from dripping dishwashing liquid (Dawn or Palmolive) directly onto the cerium and allowing it to sit for about an hour to penetrate. I follow that with a scrub with a toothbrush and BonAmi or Comet liquid under running cool water. Occasionally there will be a bit of hardened cerium oxide that's been in a crack or pit for decades that doesn't come out so easily, and for that let the dishwashing liquid soak, then loosen using an Xacto blade tip or needle before scrubbing. Some larger pieces with many polish-filled pits I've simply put into the dishwasher with the heated dry cycle turned off (you don't want to bake any stuff that remains, plus heat can put stress on fractures, veils, inclusions, etc.). A waterpik type tooth and gum cleaner works well in some cases (just fill the reservoir with warm water + dishwashing liquid) if you have one of those sitting around or can get one cheap at a garage/boot sale.
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2015, 03:37:14 pm »

I've had good results from dripping dishwashing liquid (Dawn or Palmolive) directly onto the cerium and allowing it to sit for about an hour to penetrate. I follow that with a scrub with a toothbrush and BonAmi or Comet liquid under running cool water. Occasionally there will be a bit of hardened cerium oxide that's been in a crack or pit for decades that doesn't come out so easily, and for that let the dishwashing liquid soak, then loosen using an Xacto blade tip or needle before scrubbing. Some larger pieces with many polish-filled pits I've simply put into the dishwasher with the heated dry cycle turned off (you don't want to bake any stuff that remains, plus heat can put stress on fractures, veils, inclusions, etc.). A waterpik type tooth and gum cleaner works well in some cases (just fill the reservoir with warm water + dishwashing liquid) if you have one of those sitting around or can get one cheap at a garage/boot sale.

You're the best.
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2015, 08:04:45 pm »

Nice piece of work there.....
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ileney
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« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2015, 08:50:52 am »

Wow! That is super beautiful. Great sheen and color. I wonder what is behind the extreme popularity of the skull carvings right now?  I like how you made it both a skull and a heart. Very creative.

BTW, I got a dental pic super cheap for lapidary use/ jewelry making and agree it is great for cleaning out crud in a small area.
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samaeljaxon
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« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2015, 03:37:30 pm »

Thanks a bunch for all your advice and compliments on my piece, guys!
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Hummingbirdstones
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2015, 07:41:46 am »

Hint on dental picks -- ask your dentist to save the used ones for you.  They throw them out when they become "dull" (which is still really sharp by anyone's standards except the dentist).  I've got all different shapes and sizes from my dentist for free, just for the asking.
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Robin

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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2015, 10:07:57 am »

I know you don't have access to an ultrasonic cleaner -- my tool of choice for your problem.  But I'd never use one on Labradorite.  Labradorite is a member of the feldspar group of minerals and feldspars have perfect cleavage in 2 directions.  The intense vibrations of an ultrasonic could easily split a stone, especially if a cleavage plane has already started. 

Nice carving by the way.  My taste doesn't run to skulls but I can appreciate the skill involved in creating your piece. 
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 03:09:27 pm »

I use tin oxide or linde A on labradorite and spectrolite.

Cerium oxide is best for quartz based stones IMO.

As other have mentioned polish in cracks is best solved with an ultrasonic cleaner. Smaller ones are not that expensive and work well for most stones.
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