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This is how I do it...

Step 1: Grinding

Beans are tumbled in a rotary tumbler in 20-30 sand-blast grit. I use an 18-lb tumbler and check the beans, changing the sand every three weeks. They tumble here for varying amounts of time, some taking up to 3 months to get a smooth surface. Sea hearts take half the time of hamburgers and some sea purses never get smooth. It's a matter of feel as to when they can come out of the sand. I expect to loose a few to cracking and splitting in this phase. Most beans from vines, shrubs and trees skip this step and go directly into the polisher.

Step 2: Pre-Polishing

After rotary tumbling, I clean them off on a bench grinder with a tight-sewn cloth wheel and emory compound. After all sand dust is off they're ready for polishing.

Step 3: Final Polishing

Beans are tumbled in an 18-lb vibratory tumbler in crushed walnut shells and a polishing compound. They spin here until they have the polished finish found on fine furniture. This phase takes between 3-6 weeks.

Sea Hearts | Hamburger Beans | Sea Purses | Vines | Shrubs | Trees