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January 08, 2016

Petrified


We had a customer bring in a large piece of petrified wood to be re-finished. It was in bad shape, not very flat and full of voids and fissures, despite being worth a small fortune.

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Milling it flat, we discovered the slab to be unusually hard. Removing a millimeter off the surface had our 25hp saw shooting a trail of sparks.

We work with many quartzites these days, like Brazilian Nacarado or Taj Mahal which are notoriously hard, but this piece seemed even worse.

What should have taken about an hour to polish, took several days. Being brittle like the other quartzites, required multiple epoxy applications as the surface was prone to splintering along the fissured veins.

Petrified wood is about a 7 on the Mohs scale, since it is essentially now quartz. There are reports that in some cases it can be closer to 8, approaching the hardness of topaz, depending on what other minerals and conditions were present at the time of petrification. I have a feeling this piece was every bit an 8 on the scale.

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Mohs scale courtesy of www.thegemchronicles.com

After what seemed like an eternity on the bed polisher with little progress, I threw my hands in the air and called one of our best craftsman, Chava Resindez, over to see if he would have any better luck, and after an hour he too was shaking his head.

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My first thought was "Good. It's not just me then." My second thought was a little more sobering: "If Chava can't do it, no one can do it." It's fair to say I was feeling a little petrified myself at that point.

But they say two heads are better than one, and together using a combination of techniques and a substantial amount of time, we were finally able to make it as blingy as a rapper's dream.  

After all that effort, it looks really nice, but good riddance!

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Below, the camera is focused on the ceiling reflection from the slab. Notice the clarity of the mirror-like finish. Blingy indeed!

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Posted by Chuck Schmidt on
Joey, Thank-You and your staff for the hard work and great results. It's gorgeous In my home....again I cannit thank you enough.

Sinserly
Chuck Schmidt
Posted by Joey Marcella on
You're very welcome. Thanks for the business!
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