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Cleaning Paua Shells

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kolt45 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 8:00pm
After my first go at cleaning paua shells, I got mixed results.  Using H2SO4, I dunked the shells for a few minutes, then used a wire brush to clean off the outer shell.  Most have a pretty bland outside, but decent colors inside.  One turned out fantastic on the outside, but sun damage basically ruined the inside.  Does anyone know of a way to restore the color or is it too late?





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long john View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote long john Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 8:28pm
try using sulphuric acid next time
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hairy Little Dwarf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 8:31pm
I've had good results with Oil of Vitriol

...And I think the sun damage is a one-way process unfortunately.
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kolt45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kolt45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 8:39pm
Originally posted by long john long john wrote:

try using sulphuric acid next time


sulfuric acid = H2SO4 Wink

HLD, I've read about mineral oil being the ticket to keeping the shine, will have to get some.  Bummer about the sun damage.  Looks like I've just got to go get some more Tongue.
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Mullins View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mullins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 9:15pm
I think he meant Hydrogen Sulfate, does a much better job
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kuuni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kuuni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 9:17pm
Get one with a nice inside and then just stick the outside on a buffer wheel/grinder for a bit

BTW, I think LJ gotcha kolt :P
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Paul G View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Paul G Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Nov 2008 at 9:30pm
Don't breathe that dust Kuuni
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Minksta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2008 at 6:35am
Yeah what kuuni said kolt, then a bit of really fine wet and dry sandpaper to get a nice finish!
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kolt45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kolt45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2008 at 7:29am
Originally posted by kuuni kuuni wrote:

Get one with a nice inside and then just stick the outside on a buffer wheel/grinder for a bit

BTW, I think LJ gotcha kolt :P


Is that how they do the ones in the airport shops?

and yes, I think you're right - the Dwarf's "oil of vitriol" too.  Maybe I should try spirits of salts next time? Dead

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Nick W View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Nick W Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2008 at 10:42am
Angle grinder. Dont breath in the dust tho. can show you some on wednesday at the meeting if you want.
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kolt45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kolt45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2008 at 11:39am
Yeah, definitely bring some in.
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long john View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote long john Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2008 at 8:58pm
Originally posted by kuuni kuuni wrote:


BTW, I think LJ gotcha kolt :P
I try....Wink
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kolt45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kolt45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Dec 2008 at 9:06pm
Let's all pick on the American guy LOL.  Don't let all those H+ ions get to your head - they tend to dissolve rocks! Tongue

I guess I'm going to stick with my oil of the philosopher's stone and leave the lung-tissue-damaging, dust breathing up to all you other fellers.
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long john View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote long john Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2008 at 10:44am
If you gring them wet you'll avoid the dread silicosis. Alas, you don't get that structured surface look that yours have.
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kolt45 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kolt45 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Dec 2008 at 11:27am
Maybe an acid bath, followed by a wire wheel spin is a good way to go.  Thoughts?
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