Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Accidentally Searched For a "Rock Tumblr"

"Basically, there are two ways you can go about buying a rock tumbler. You can pick up the standard educational-toy model online or at most toy stores or you can get a hobbyist/professional model. Which to choose? Anything to watch out for? Preparations to make? Read on..."
Are YOU ready to rock (tumble)!? Once you get them all shiny, what will you do with them? Put them in this.

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I used to collect rocks when I was a kid, because I was the COOLEST and had to do SOMETHING to cut down on the incandescent glare of how cool I was.


@deepomega Me, too. I kept them in a shoebox with cotton balls. Pretty geodes, but also like... rocks. From the backyard.


@deepomega I collected candy wrappers. It's not as weird as it sounds - I started it because my mom took me to an exhibition (yes, a candy wrapper exhibit... that does seem strange in retrospect), and Russian candy wrappers are pretty: http://farm1.staticflickr.com/105/251895067_f22be74a8a_z.jpg


Jesus Christ (Jane) Marie, they're minerals!


@JessicaLovejoy how many times do i have to tell you!?


I used to HAVE one of these! My parents and I would go camping in the White Mountains and we'd bring home bags of rocks and tumble the shit out of them when we got home. Agghhh my 7-year-old-dorky self is wetting herself with glee right now.



@shart_attack YES we had one too and I thought it was the bee's knees when I was a kid.


I used to have one of these! I saw it in a catalog and wanted it SO BADLY and my mom told me to close my eyes and then five minutes later there she was with a rock tumbler! I'm still not 100% sure how that happened because my parents normally didn't have random rock tumblers lying around but it was great and I tumbled all of the rocks from our backyard.


@VDRE Also I just emailed my mom asking if we still have it. If we do I so know what I'm doing when I go home for Thanksgiving.

Jane Marie

@VDRE my grandma was a porcelain artist and sometimes she'd let me have her janky/broken fittings for cabochons or whatever so I tumbled rocks to fill them. they looked TERRIBLE but I was 7.

Daisy Razor

Every Christmas, I BEGGED my parents to get me a rock tumbler, because I was sure all the rocks I collected at the beach would be stunning if only I could get them shiny. Never got it. Still a little bitter about it.


@Daisy Razor This is my exact childhood experience. My grandmother was a rock collector and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. Never got than dern (how may grandmother would have said it) thing.

Daisy Razor

@ABetterDaughter My in laws just "gifted" my daughter with her father's old rock collection. Not that I really want two boxes of hard projectiles in my toddler's bedroom right now, but if she wants a rock tumbler in a few years, she's darn sure getting one!

Faintly Macabre

@Daisy Razor Hannukah and birthdays for me! I think it was on every wishlist I made between ages 5 and 11. I had so many rocks already--imagine if I could make them all shiny, beautiful rocks to decorate the fairy mansion I was making in the lilac bush in our front yard!


Tangentially related: TREASURE ROCKS!!! Do you guys remember those?

Corielle Hayley@facebook

My dad is huge into rocks and fossils and all sorts of (wonderfully) dorky stuff like that. A few years ago, Mom bought him some crazy expensive rock tumbler, and I cannot remember the last time I walked into their garage and didn't hear that thing whirring.

Lisa Frank

We had one of these in my 4th Grade classroom, but we kept getting up to watch it tumbling rocks instead of paying attention so it went back in the closet.

acid burn

It's gotten to the point that when I see it spelled "tumbler" in any context it looks wrong to me. Thanks, internet.


@acid burn When Cingular was a major service provider, a huge portion of my mom's students would spell "singular" incorrectly on spelling tests.


I looked forward to the Museum Of Science field trip just so I could buy a sweet pencil made out of tumbled rocks.


@Slutface I had one of those -- with the rocks in a little plastic tube on the top of the pencil?

evil melis

"I started identifying as a collection of polished rocks sometime around my 13th birthday. In high school I was introduced to the rockerkin community via Tumblr..."

sarah girl

@evil melis I'm really uncomfortable with how yr marginalizing oppressed communities right now

Reginal T. Squirge

I think Hank Schrader would remind you that they're not rocks, they're minerals.


@Sarah H. That is real sentient being privilege.


I had a rock tumbler when I was 6 or 7 and it came with a bunch of jewelry settings. It rumbled for six weeks straight while hidden in a box in our attic because it was SO LOUD! Anyway, my grandfather wore the tie bar I made for him (with an ugly green rock glued to it) for YEARS on Christmas. And funny enough, if you're an amateur jewelry-maker and you want your wirework to be hard enough not to warp ... you need a rock tumbler. Full circle, people.


I have one! I still use it!! Get the good one - skip the kids plaything.

I use mine to make "beach glass" from fancy bottles. Basically, I go to a party, grab an empty bottle of champagne on the way out the door, smash it, throw the big pieces (especially the neck) into the tumbler with some grit, and let the thing run for about 2-3 days. When I open it back up, VOILA! the thing is full of mementos from the party. I use the glass pieces to top the soil in my potted plants or to fill the bottom of my fishtank.


Ahhhh because I was spoiled in some ways and also really the coolest kid in town, I begged for and then got one of these one Christmas. The thing was SO LOUD and had to run constantly for like 6 weeks. My father constructed a soundproofed box that was banished to the furthest corner of the basement and I was never allowed to use it again after that one tumblering. tumblring?

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