It’s been about 5 months since my son and I started rockhounding, and polishing some of our finds in a tumbler. It’s rather shocking how much material you can find on the South Dakota grasslands in just 5 months! I’ve got several large trays and buckets worth of agates, jaspers, petrified wood, fossils, and other goodies. Now the number one question I get from our other household member…”What are you going to do with all of those”?
It’s a DAMNED good question! I’ve already taken over our utility room (the room downstairs with the furnace and water heater). A big wire shelving system is chock full of rocks and supplies, and two tumblers have been going non-stop for the last 4 months. It’s such a long process to polish, that we don’t have a massive number of “final” pieces, but it’s a growing amount. Nearly all right now are either sitting on a shelf at work, or are sitting unseen in a tray in the utility room. Lately I’ve been looking at ways to display them.
I came across some images on Pinterest for displaying collections, including a guy who used “printer’s trays” to display his cork collections. I had never heard of a printer’s tray. They are large wooden trays with many small compartments, used by letterpress printers to hold the tools of their trade. Not knowing where the heck you could possible get such a thing, I looked on eBay and was surprised to see many available. One person was selling several quite cheap (only $22 each!), so bought a pair and thought I’d see what I can do with them.
They look wonderful! They’re old and have an antique look to them, but are in really excellent shape. I’m not quite sure how I’ll use them yet, in terms of whether I try to do some kind of refinishing on them, or leave them more as is. Stay tuned…within the next few weeks I hope to get a nice display set upon the walls of my home office!