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Author Topic: rock saws  (Read 763 times)

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jim tawes

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rock saws
« on: January 01, 2018, 05:48:02 PM »

This is myfirst post,  I have become an addict over the last year and read this forum almost daily. Last Nov.I purchased a new Covington 10 inch power feed saw.  I have replaced almost every part of it. ( I now need a new sled and arm)  Covington has been good about repacing parts but thi s  saw will not handle the 30 hours a week i use it.  I C igar box rocks has been prompt to respond to my questions.m considering anew Highland Park 12 inch agate cutter saw but have doubts about there service.  I have Frantom 24 and i LOVE it.  Cigar Box                      rocks has been prompt in answering my Questions.  My question to the forum is there a better saw out there than the HP 12 I am considering, and if i get it  what is the best blade for thin sawing (I do a lot of 2 and 3 MM slabs)I hope some of you will respond,  the knowledge of some of the member i s prodigious.   Thanks  Jim Tawes  jim.tawes0607@gmai.com
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peruano

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 07:10:51 PM »

Suggesting a saw for someone else is like trying to recommend a car.  But with my bias and your credit card, I'd buy a Barranca Diamond saw (you choose the size).  I have an homemade 12"; a vintage 14/16 Highland Park, and a 20" Covington (older).  All have their good features and shortcomings, but old HP machines are far better than the newer China stuff. And hence its logical to recommend the Barranca saws that try to approximate the quality that HP had originally. 
Thin saw blades survive depending on how you use them.  You can go as expensive as you want, but cheap may be expensive if they don't survive the battle.  Good luck with the purchases. 
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irockhound

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 07:16:18 PM »

The Highland Park 12" is basically an overseas copy of the Lortone model LS-12 with a change to the Arbor Mounting <(which I do like) and it does not have a viewing window like the Lortone it copied.  Lortone has been in business for many many years and they are always helpful and easy to get parts from if you need them.  I have not had good luck at all with parts or communications from Highland park.  I have tried to call both companies and on almost any day Lortone will answer the phone and HP will give you a answering machine so they can call you back which can be a day or more later.  Just personal experiences.
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jim tawes

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2018, 09:21:33 PM »

thank you both very much, I will check them both.  jim tawes
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Rockoteer

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 02:25:05 PM »

Some Barranca's are made overseas.
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jerrysg

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 11:45:39 AM »

My lapidary club has 2 of the HP 12" saws in the open cab lab. Bought new in early 2017.  They are in use every day.  One of the machines has been down for over a month due to an electrical issue for the second time. Probably a relay but we are still waiting on the parts from HP. A note on the machine yesterday said something about the parts coming in by the 19th.

Another problem I find is that when HP down-sized the design to the 12" they never considered the clearance between the vice crank and the right side of the saw. They seemed to have just reduced all the dimensions proportionately. Normally I have to remove the watch from my right wrist in order to move the crank without the watch catching on the saw case.  If you have large hands you should make sure you try it out first. It could be a constant source of annoyance if the saw gets a lot of use.

Tried the HP 14" at a local rock shop and this is not an issue.

Jerry
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peruano

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 12:47:20 PM »

Good point about crank clearance.  In fact, the complaint I have about my vintage 14/16 Highland Park Slab saw is the small crank clearance and the fact that the crank is always that close even when the vice is far to the left.  Ditto there is little room to get in to the screw that locks the vice in the lateral direction once it is positioned.
My homemade saw has a crank that is close to the tank wall only when the vice is also close and the set screw is at an angle much more easily reached even when the vice is close to the back of the saw.  Picky points, but design features that effect use each and every time the saw is used.  All saws will have limitations and positive points, but its nice to be educated when you lay down the cold cash. 
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jim tawes

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2018, 01:19:10 PM »

Thanks again for all you taking time to comment.  I am now seriously considering a Lortone 14" ( a friend has one and has not had aproblem in 3 years)     again thanks  Jim Tawes
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Michael

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #8 on: January 11, 2018, 10:38:14 PM »

I appreciate this forum more and more.  I know that this is "off topic," but I have an old Star Diamond PF-10 which I love.  I use Tractor Supply Mineral Oil with a Covington  supplement.  I want to keep this baby running the best I can.  It is loud.  It cuts stone with the best.  Any suggestions on what I can do to make sure this saw works the best?   Barranca who bought out Star Diamond has little to offer.  I drove from Phoenix to  Albuquerque to buy this saw.  It came with two diamond blades.   I really appreciate fine equipment.  It is very loud, so I do not know if that is a good thing or not?  Thank you for anything you may wish to share.
Mike
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peruano

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2018, 08:42:51 AM »

Michael,  I'm going to assume a pf 10 might be a 10" power feed saw and hence probably a table model.  The amount of noise a saw makes is related to a lot of factors, but what its setting on, and what it is covered with or sans top, make differences.  If bearings have grease zerks, it would be good to hit them with a bit of grease, and abnormal squeaks or shrill screams should warrant all set screws and pulleys being tightened.  Otherwise noise may be just part of the game, listen to the cutting process and you often can tell how things are going. 
BTW I'm going to Quartzite on 19 and 20 Jan.  Does that overlap with your visit?
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irockhound

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Re: rock saws
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2018, 12:35:30 PM »

I have always noticed that the main thing that makes a saw loud is the bearings starting to have an issue.  Watch for play in the blade or arbor if the noise stays.  If you can hold the pulley in one hand and the arbor nut in the other try to rock it and check for movement.
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