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Slice and Polish Petrified Wood
April 6, 2014 6:44 AM   Subscribe

I have a piece of petrified wood. I would like to have the top surface sliced cleanly & polished.

It is approximately 12" x 5". Photo here. I can't find anybody locally (Albuquerque, NM, USA). I contacted Rocks Online in Portland, OR but did not hear back from them. Where can I get this done?
posted by falsedmitri to Science & Nature (15 answers total)
 
your image isn't public, fyi.
posted by TheAdamist at 7:13 AM on April 6


There must be dozens, if not hundreds, of rockhounds in and around your location. You might see if this organization can help.
posted by Ideefixe at 7:21 AM on April 6


@TheAdamist: Thanks for pointing that out. It should be visible now.

@Ideefixe. Indeed there are. In fact I even know quite a few geologists. There are plenty of people around who can deal with gem-sized rocks. But nothing this big.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:32 AM on April 6


Nope, still not publicly available. But you can't swing your arm without hitting an artisan in Santa Fe with the tools on hand to do this job -- maybe contact a gallery? Someone at The New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources, in Socorro, may be able to point you in the right direction, too.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:49 AM on April 6


I have contacted mineral galleries in SF and I know a geologist at the bureau in Socorro. No help.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:51 AM on April 6


Is renting/borrowing a rotary polisher an option? For DIY, or to be wielded by one of your acquaintances.
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:05 AM on April 6


Try a place where they make stone countertops or tomb stones?
posted by Too-Ticky at 8:23 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


It seems like there should be a gem & mineral hobby group in your area, a rock shop or a lapidary business that could help with your request. The size of your piece shouldn't present a problem. I have polished petrified wood bookends that are 12X12 inches that were made for public market. They came from a shop in Las Vegas that had lots of them, along with polished rounds of 18" and larger.
posted by X4ster at 9:30 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


You're definitely going to want someone with a rock saw, so the suggestion from Too-Ticky is a good idea. A stonemason in general (not the group, the profession) is probably what you want.
posted by Gneisskate at 9:32 AM on April 6 [1 favorite]


I just did a quick search and found several listings for lapidary/rock shops, plus a Gem & Mineral group in Albuquerque. Did you check and have no success with any of them?
posted by X4ster at 9:35 AM on April 6


Call tile shops...like for bathroom tile...they will know someone.
posted by sexyrobot at 9:39 AM on April 6


I like the idea of doing it myself, as I have more rock that I could do. I have an angle grinder and a random oscillating sander. I'm not sure these would work. Its a good excuse to buy another tool.
posted by falsedmitri at 10:40 AM on April 6


If you go that route, plenty of tutorials/demonstrations to view.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:11 AM on April 6


To cut it, I'd ask granite countertop fabricator. There are kits you can by to grind and polish telescope mirrors. I'd ask at a place like got grit.com and check out youtube.

In fact, youtube is one of my first stops whenever I'm trying something new.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:17 AM on April 6


I think checking for any granite counter top fabricator is an excellent idea. I will look into that.
posted by falsedmitri at 6:20 PM on April 6


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