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Turquoise Stabilization Gone Wrong.

Posted by C. Lopez  
C. Lopez July 09, 2012 02:35AM
Hi There! This is my first post on the site so please direct me to the correct forum if I should post elsewhere.

I have recently acquired a some turquoise rough which is actually stuck in the hardened form of the stabilization. It seems that someone let air get into this batch and the turquoise has actually hardened into a 10lb pound block of turquoise nuggets and stabilization. It is hard as a rock and will not separate by any conventional means hammer without hours of meticulous picking, sawing and chiseling.

Has anyone encountered this before? Is there some type of chemical which might dissolve the stabilization without dissolving the Turquoise?

I'm hoping there may be a way as there are some gorgeous nuggets stuck in this brick of stabilization.

Thanks for your help!!
Reiner Mielke July 09, 2012 06:52PM
It would seem to me that anything that dissolves the resin will also remove it from the nuggets and they might not look as beautiful anymore.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2012 01:09PM by Laszlo Horvath.
John Oostenryk July 10, 2012 04:45AM
Hola C. Lopez,
Can you post a clear picture of the mess? Would be interesting to see what it looks like. Can you name the product that dried?? That would help a lot.
I am guessing stabilizer was a single stage glue dissolved in a solvent. Your container had issues, allowed the solvent to evaporate and ya got a block of stuff... If That...
That is ok for you, because the alternative is maybe an epoxy accident- and that would be IT!. Cutting would be only solution there.
However, with a single stage, it is probably reversible to some extent.
I would start by knocking off a small glue coated piece and soaking it in clean acetone. Do that in a covered container, or it will evaporate too, plus it will pull in water, you don't want that. Keep an eye on it.
Did glue go away? You want the glue softened/dissolved, so it is separateable, but not removed out of your nodules.(you know that...)
If acetone is not key, try lacquer thinner.
If not that, there are other solvents in the paint department - just stay away from anything with an oily residue, like mineral spirits, kerosene, gasoline, etc, you know what that does to Turquoise!
Might want to consider "reducer", used in automotive paints and clearcoats. That stuff is fairly 'hot', meaning it is an agressive solvent that evaporates pretty fast unless covered. NO smoking!
Inquire at a local autobody -crash repair shop. They may gift you with a shot glass full to try on a small piece. It is expensive but may be best bet if acetone or lacquer thinner don't work.

I would also recommend putting your question on this forum
Someone there may give better direction than my reply here.

Do post a pic, please, or at least reply back to let us know what ya figure out.
Good Luck!
Gail Spann July 10, 2012 01:08PM

Gail Patricia Copus Spann

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2012 06:13PM by Gail Spann.
C. Lopez July 13, 2012 11:03PM
Que Pasa John,

Thanks for your reply! I took some time to test out these methods at the shop and came out with some pretty interesting results.

Lacquer Thinner: Did not produce great results and took a long time to produce any at all.

Acetone: Magic, the Stabilization formula seems to absorb it and then fall apart in to small crystals with a couple shakes. So afterwards you simply just pick out the turquoise nodules, looking almost as if they had been done correctly in the first place. A round in the tumblers and we're off like new. This also made clean up very easy.

I took a couple pieces to the grinder and then polished them to make sure everything was still hard and colorful. It seems to really be working.

I'm attaching a couple pictures of the before and I'll follow up with some after shots when I get back to the shop. Thanks for your input it was really helpful! I'm definitely looking forward to moving on to the next my next project now that I've found a cure.

Thanks Again!

open | download - Sleeping Beauty Pic#1.jpg (70.7 KB)
open | download - Sleeping Beauty #4.jpg (56.4 KB)
John Oostenryk July 14, 2012 01:01AM
Hello Carlos,
Thanks for checking back in with pics!
Finding all that dried together had to have been horrible. Very glad it worked out smoothly! That's certainly a bunch of good looking material.

Tim Jokela Jr July 17, 2012 09:02PM
Why wouldn't you just slab and cab it as is??? Epoxy and turquoise cuts fine and is pretty much accepted...
C. Lopez July 18, 2012 02:09AM
With most of the material I am doing just this. Although, with the higher grade blues I was trying to get a better yield from some of the larger pieces. It will work either way.
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