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Author Topic: Belts Buckles!  (Read 882 times)

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irockhound

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Belts Buckles!
« on: June 14, 2016, 11:43:53 AM »

Thanks Enchantra for the new area.  A friend of mine started making belt buckles and on a trip to Texas we had a couple days off so he put me to work in his garage making a my first buckle.  I love the work and have done a few since then.

I get the buckles from Larry who owns the Willow Creek Jasper claim when I am in Quartzsite each year.  They are Brass and he has multiple casting sizes (the Dino bone I put into a White Brass Buckle he also sells).  I currently only use 2 sizes depending on the rough available.  I use a dremel to smooth out the inner bevel where the stone fits down into the buckle and then I use a template to rough cut my stone and then very slowly bevel the bottom edge of the stone till it fits the buckle tight enough I can hold the buckle upside down without have the stone release.  I then epoxy the stone in with 330 after roughing up the inside brass surface and then clamp over night.  Then I basically have a cab "mesa" sticking put of the buckle.  At this point I use a sharpy marker to blacken the flat outer surface of the buckle around the stone and then dome the entire assembly until the fine line of marker disappears and you have a smooth transition radius from the buckle to the brass.  Then finish the brass up on a buffer and we are done.

If you are wondering about the polish in the sandstone which normally would not have that gloss finish I used Hxtal that Michael Hoover turned us on to and let it impregnate the sandstone after roughing the stone to 600 grit.  Then I went through the rest of the grits to 14k and polished with Optical Cerium on a hard leather.

The 2 sizes I use are roughly measured 74mm x 52mm inside and 43mm x 60mm
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olgguy

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Re: Belts Buckles!
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2016, 10:01:47 AM »

What is that "HXTAL" and where do you get some?
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Allen

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Re: Belts Buckles!
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2016, 04:03:46 PM »

Beautiful work, am inspired another use for my cabs. :notworthy:
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irockhound

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Re: Belts Buckles!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2016, 09:52:01 PM »

What is that "HXTAL" and where do you get some?
Sorry for the late reply.  If you go to www.hisglassworks.com they sell it and also have videos on it's use. Oh and you won't need much.  I bought a 1/2 lb set several years ago and I still have half left as I only need it on rare occasions. Hxtal is a 2 part epoxy that is used to fix museum crystal.  It is amazing to fix small fractures and especially good for porous material like Dino Bone.  They also sell a very inexpensive gram scale that works great.  Michael Hoover in the Knife forum was where I learned about Hxtal.
hxtal can be considered expensive but if it can bring an average Dino bone to top grade it is well worth it.  I have even used it on opal fractures and it worked great.  Obviously the best idea is top grade material but if you have a piece to save it is well worth it.

Basics are:
Many times cabs like Nipomo Sagenite that have notorious issues with the Sagenite tubes taking in polish at final stage - simply grind stone to 600 and then use the Hxtal to seal the tubes before continuing.  I know some people put the Hxtal in a reservoir and then immerse the stone to be sealed.  Some people use vacuum and some use pressure to move the Hxtal inside the stone.  I use Vacuum with a simple jar and a shop vac but not always.  Most times I simply either coat the stone and make a dam around the problem area with plasticine clay and then put the Hxtal in the Dam to keep the Hxtal from coming off the area in need of it.

1) Clean the items to be stabilized well.  I use acetone and then rinse and let dry till fully dry
2) you MUST mix very accurately - (hence digital gram scale)
3) Either be careful mixing to not introduce air bubbles or use light vacuum to draw them out of the Hxtal. On a slab with a fracture I don't bother with Vacuum
3) put under low heat - most people just use a 100 watt light bulb in an enclosure I do for a day and a half.
4) Leave it to fully cure for maybe a week - this is probably over kill if you use the heat as I think it cures in 24 to 48 hours under heat.  I prefer to let it sit to be sure.

Here is a post from the old forum - not sure if the picture links are good anymore.
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olgguy

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Re: Belts Buckles!
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2016, 03:04:55 PM »

Thanks for the "HXTAL" info, I ordered and it is on the way.  I have been using "OPTICON" and basically your steps.
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womanwithatorch

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Re: Belts Buckles!
« Reply #5 on: June 22, 2016, 07:41:37 AM »

irockhound, thanks for your post, especially being specific on your belt buckle setting process. Also for sharing about hyxtal.

I've been thinking of trying it for several years, now you've inspired me to go for it. I've had some luck on tiny fractures with opticon, warming it in a small jar, then sealing the lid and let cool. The vacuum is naturally pulled as the jar cools. So simple, I hope this will work with hyxtal too. I have some rather crumbly dino bone with nice color and pattern.
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"I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I might learn how to do it." Pablo Picasso
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