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Welcome new members & old from the Lapidary/Gemstone Community Forum. Please join up. You will be approved after spam check & you must manually activate your acct with the link in your email

Congratulations to gemfeller and his Brenda Red Top cab!

Another cabochon contest coming soon!

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 on: Today at 06:05:52 AM 
Started by amlap - Last post by amlap
Thank you to everyone for the great advice. After reading what you all had to say, I agree that the band saw is unlikely to be a good purchase. I looked some more and found this saw: I think that it should be able to do the trick for slabbing but I might lose a bit of finesse when it comes to trimming. Does anyone have any experience or an opinion about this one?

For the grinder, I expect that on the grinder side I won't be able to remove a ton of material rapidly. However, i did read somewhere that flat laps tend to have low RPM's to avoid sending coolant flying everywhere. Would you all agree with that? I expect that if I can cut my materials carefully, then I shouldn't have a huge amount of full on grinding to have to do, Mostly just some shaping and then the sanding and polishing.

I'm hoping to get our local rock club soon, but they only meet once a month here. Time would also be a factor as far as using any of their equipment as I don't have much extra to deal with packing up the pieces I want to work with and transporting them. But I will try to get with them as soon as I can.

Thank you all again for your advice and for such a warm welcome.  :toothy10:

 on: May 23, 2017, 09:06:54 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by irockhound
Welcome from sunny soCal.


 on: May 23, 2017, 09:05:22 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by irockhound
A note on the band saw.  My sister picked one up when she was doing glass and thought it may work for stone and although it is a diamond blade it is SOOOOOO slow you will give up the first slab you try to trim.  It really is meant for glass and the blade diameter is also really big and even if it was faster it would waste so much material.  I would steer clear of it if your intended use is lapidary.  I would check a local club or 2 and see if any older members are starting to clear their equipment they might not use any more.

I would probably start the cheapest route with the low cost 6" trim saw basic out of someplace like KingsleyNorth and then add a All in one vertical lap/cabber as they tend to be less expensive than full grinding units just more work changing your grit/lap out each time.

 on: May 23, 2017, 07:40:35 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by yukonjade
                 Glad to have you!!   central Oregon

 on: May 23, 2017, 07:15:20 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by Barclay
The Ameritool swap top is a great starter unit.  It is relatively inexpensive, small and easy to operate.  Stay away from Inland Lapidary, their machines are junk.  A brick saw from Harbor Freight will let you do some slabbing without breaking the bank.  A tile saw from Harbor Freight or Home Depot will let you do light to medium trimming.

 on: May 23, 2017, 03:42:35 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by Slabbercabber
The Wen machine will run way too slow for stone grinding.  Also it is not built to stand up to the rigors of constant use.  The bandsaw will cut very slowly and the cost of blades will keep you bankrupt.  There is a reason machines are designed specifically for lapidary purposes.  You would be better off buying used machines made for the purpose.

 on: May 23, 2017, 02:41:33 PM 
Started by OurEarthlyDesigns - Last post by Amethyst Rose
My wife and I started doing local craft shows to help pay for her bead habit as she called it.  Over the years we have expanded the line of jewelry that we carry and if doing a gem or mineral show, bring the cabs to those.  People can buy the cabs or have my wife or daughter wire wrap the cab for them into jewelry while they wait.  I will echo that you should use the best materials you can afford and do the best job of finishing the material you can.  If there are local metalsmithing associations, they can be a very lucrative and will often come back over and over if they like your work.

Good luck on your venture.

Bob Johannes
The Amethyst Rose

 on: May 23, 2017, 01:47:25 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by domdeslagons
Yes a lapidary club is definitely highly recommend! The problem of buying tools when you are beginning is that you don't really know what you can do! I was also very lucky to learn is a club and had, therefore no problem with tools! At home to make small things, I have also a Dremel, it is very easy to find diamond tools for it on ebay (THK is a good provider). I would also invest in a 10"saw if I were you. The band saw won't allow you cut slabs. It would only serve to cut precise forms, it could be useful for jewelry. It really depend on your budget but beware not to by tools that you won't use finally. May be  a flat lap would be cheeper than a combo.
I am sure you'll find a lot od advise on this forum. I don't know where you are from but if it is US then, you also might find easily second hand tools!

 on: May 23, 2017, 01:24:49 PM 
Started by amlap - Last post by domdeslagons
Hi from New Caledonia, SOuth Pacific! You'll love this forum!

 on: May 23, 2017, 12:59:17 PM 
Started by Enchantra - Last post by Enchantra
I was alerted by a Member that he was having problems posting and accessing certain areas of the forum using Tapatalk.  I had him reboot his Tapatalk on his phone.  I checked settings here on the forum and so far everything seems fine.

Anyone else have problems with this forum and Tapatalk?  We need to know if you are.  If there is a bigger issue going on we'd like to know so we can fix it.

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