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Author Topic: Scratch marks from soft wheel 14000 and 50000  (Read 83 times)

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Pusscat

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Scratch marks from soft wheel 14000 and 50000
« on: August 12, 2017, 09:03:46 AM »

Hi,
Normally producing cabochons from opal. I go up to about 3000 on a soft wheel and then final polish with an oxide on felt. I bought a 14000 and 50000 soft wheel as I was finding if I wanted to work on koroit /boulder, then the oxide was an absolute 'B' and I couldn't get it out of the matrix.

I've tried breaking  the wheels in by taking the sort of 'icing sugar' type peaks off the resin using a sharp edge, tried using agate for what seams ages, but it still appears to add scratches.
The soft wheels I have are 'premium' and need to be broken in but I just can't appear to get them to perform...any advice out there at all!?
Cheers,
Peter
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Redrummd

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Re: Scratch marks from soft wheel 14000 and 50000
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2017, 09:34:15 AM »

You may have picked up some contamination from trying to break them in - which is not unusual.  Take the wheel(s) off and turn them around to run in the opposite direction. 

1) Get an old towel and get about 1/3 of it wet.
2) Turn on the machine and press part of the damp area onto the wheel with enough pressure to slightly bog the motor down.
3) Quickly switch to a dry part of the towel and do the same.
4) Repeat a few times.

Test to see if there are any more issues.

If this fails try using a aluminium oxide dressing stick while running the wheel with water on.  Test again and if there is still an issue I suspect a factory contamination issue and you will probably have to return the wheel.

I have found that it is best to only use CLEAN washed aluminum oxide dressing sticks to "break" in new wheels as they do not contaminate but quickly smooth out the sharp high spots on new 1200, 3000, 8000, 14000 and 50000 wheels.

Pusscat

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Re: Scratch marks from soft wheel 14000 and 50000
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2017, 10:27:37 AM »

Hi Michael...
Thanks for the tips...will definitely try!
I've already scrubbed the wheels with soapy water and power sprayed each one I turn. I wash in between each wheel( tooth brush in clean spay water and rinse) and the scratches are there. It's got much better than it was when I first got them...

With the Aluminium oxide sticks, in uk I can get 220...will that be ok? Will reverse where's tomorrow and give them a towelling!
Cheers, Peter
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: Scratch marks from soft wheel 14000 and 50000
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2017, 10:36:12 AM »

Check out this tutorial on cutting boulder.

http://www.koroit.com/koroit.com/Cutting_Boulder_Opal.html

It's written by a miner/dealer of koroit opal, and he recommends against using a 14K wheel. Go down to the section on cutting - pretty far down in the body of the text - and you should find the following:

Quote: "If your machine has a 14,000-grit wheel I strongly suggest not using it to cut boulder opal. I have found that this wheel often introduces scratches. Many of the Australian miners and cutters I know also skip the use of this wheel."

Good luck with it. Boulder is a lot of fun - even if quite messy. The ironstone will stain your hands, clothes, etc, for sure.

Pusscat

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Re: Scratch marks from soft wheel 14000 and 50000
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2017, 12:55:07 AM »

Thanks both, playtime!
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