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Large-Scale Home Lapidary Conversion Kit

"Grind rocks and pour water on them."
  [vote for,

In my youth, I was given a small rock tumbler kit, consisting of a rubber-lined canister and a motor drive. As I recall, one partially filled the canister with rough stones, large grit, and a certain amount of water, then set the motor to drive the canister spinning on its axis, while the stones became polished.

Several days (or weeks) later, one replaced the grit with smaller grit, and did this several times until at last out came beautiful polished stones! I had good luck with agates (chalcedony), obsidian, and various other minerals.

The present invention seeks to reuse the common home washer or dryer as the motor drive, and includes a rubber-lined cannister suitable for inclusion in the chamber of either device, and a timer- disabler. The appliance may be returned to its former use after its stint as an industrial size rock smoother. 40-pound bags of grit may be purchased at your local brickyard.

Imagine large beautifully polished rocks for use as stepping stones, for rock walls, pool pebbles, or just general aesthetic nice-to-have-around-ness! Imagine 24-hour-a-day klunk! crunch! thud!

csea, Mar 01 2006

Cement Mixer costs http://forums.vmag.com/wtcementmixer/
buy/sell your cement mixer [csea, Mar 01 2006]

Weight of wet laundry http://cf.synergyle...selectedarticle=261
Not usually spec'd on appliance mfg's data. [csea, Mar 26 2007]

Cost of an Aircraft Carrier http://www.google.c...aircraft+carrier%22
for reference [csea, Jun 25 2007]


       Why stop there? What does a used cement mixer truck cost?
normzone, Mar 01 2006

       From a very limited search, between $12-$45k. [link]
csea, Mar 01 2006

       While many people have room for a washer / dryer, most don't have room for a cement mixer.   

       Admittedly, the truck does have some advantages, but note the original idea is for use of an already existing appliance.
csea, Mar 01 2006

       Interesting idea to re-purpose an existing appliance, however couple of things to consider. Are clothes driers designed to be run constantly and would there be any issues relating to motor overheating if used for days at a time (as is required to polish rocks). Also, do many driers allow you to set the motor to permanent drive? If not then you would have to keep turning it back on.
gjupp, Mar 26 2007

       [gjupp], Good points. You're probably right that the drier is the better choice, as it is designed to revolve continuously, unlike most washers, which reciprocate (although it would be interesting to compare the tumbled rocks from the two.)   

       A typical "large capacity" drier can handle 5-7 cu. ft. of wet laundry, and I know that they can be run at nearly 100% on time for several days without undue stress. Yes, typically their load lessens as the load dries, but if we are conservative, and say that 5 cu.ft. of wet laundry weighs 5kg - guesstimate, [link].   

       This is a small load of rocks and grit to be sure (but I supposed that one would use only part of a 40lb bag of grit for each stage.)   

       As to the permanent "on" method, I addressed that in my original post with the "timer- disabler."   

       Thanks for the feedback!
csea, Mar 26 2007

       Baked - the coast.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 26 2007

       I tried using the coast, but retrieving my rocks is challenging.   

       I see I was first anno here a while back. How about we raise the ante? The bilge of an aircraft carrier at sea in a bad storm.
normzone, Jun 24 2007

       [normzone] wrote: >The bilge of an aircraft carrier at sea in a bad storm.   

       From a very limited search, [link] cost would be $13 billion in 2005 dollars. Probably would have to change the category from home:appliance to superpower:navy. What would you use for grit?
csea, Jun 25 2007

       //I tried using the coast, but retrieving my rocks is challenging.// I suspect you are using too-small rocks. I never use anything smaller than a Scilly or a Hebride, and I never have any problem retrieving them.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jun 26 2007


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