I thought I would update on the progress of my tumble polishing experiment. You might remember that I was flat-lap impaired (a flat lap is a flat polishing machine that uses a largish rotating disc and you polish down against it) and decided to use some of the equipment on hand - specifically, my handy dandy you beauty rock tumbler!!!
First off I put some rough sliced discs of glass murrini into the tumbler with some 80 grit which is quite rough and really ground down the edges nicely over about seven days of tumbling. One thing to note is that rather than using the little plastic bead tumbling medium I used some home-made heavy leather offcuts my dad had cut up for me and it worked a real treat and was far better for tumbling the glass with. I then moved across to some 120 grit and after about four days moved across to 250grit which is quite fine and used for pre-polishing. Now I have bunged the first lot into the cerium polish and hopefully that will finish them off to a high polish and I can use them as they are for making some jewellery using PMC or can preheat in the kiln and insert them into a lampwork piece without having to worry about a huge volume of scum caused by a rough surface.
Here is a pic of a couple pieces just before I put them into the cerium for polishing. I am a bit worried about how the polishing will go as I am told that Cerium really needs friction and warmth to work properly. If the tumble polishing doesn't work I have bought myself a set of polishing bits for my dremel and will do some by hand..... may have to try that just to see the difference anyway ;-)