Lapidaryforum.net

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

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 ToTheSummit and his Condor Cab!

 www.lapidaryforum.net

Another cabochon contest coming soon!

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!  (Read 1510 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« on: December 20, 2017, 06:11:53 AM »

Hi!

So, for my experience so far with lapidary equipment: I had purchased a pixie and a high-tech trim saw after taking an opal cutting class, because that was what they used/recommended. To my disappointment, BOTH machines had pretty major issues within a month!! The saw leaked out of the motor housing, and on the Pixie, the pump stopped working. Luckily they were both within time to return them, so that's what happened. (I didn't want to bank on a machine that had issues so quickly) :hello2: I will make a post about those issues later, just so buyers can beware, but in the mean time, I was hoping for some helpful suggestions. I have already decided I'm not doing plastic machines anymore. If they were much cheaper it might be different...

I'd like to aim for a smaller, cheaper saw, under $500 if not less... something I can use with thin blades to trim opal rough. I had a hard time with using the one I had, Those blades seem to warp easily, which is understandable really. I suppose that is probably user error. I may grab a cheap ryobi overhead wet tile saw in addition to this, if not for slightly bigger rough, than for boulder opal alone. That mess is not fun cleaning off of a saw and really ought to be done outside! I want a durable saw that will last! And something good quality of course is preferred if I'm spending hundreds of dollars on it.

For cabbing, I'm leaning toward the Cabking or the Kingsley 6" with fresh water system. I like the fresh water idea much better than the geyser, and both have the steel housing. Cutting boulder opal on a geyser machine is a joke. I hear Cabking has great customer service, though I did hear of an issue with getting parts for some part of the water system. I don't think i want to rely on KN for customer service issues or repairs, just a hunch I have, but I'm not sure which would be better in the long run. I've come across other random brands with the same set up, but I'm just not sure where to go exactly from here. I sure do miss having a machine to play on though!

I'd also like any advice on wheels you guys have. I used those DP wheels for about a month, and wearing them in is a pain... on top of that, the two galaxy wheels were already rusted... within a month. I thought about getting a DP set and swapping them on the Cabking and then selling the Cabking wheels or something, but now I'm thinking that DP just doesn't make the products they used to. Their customer service is great though, I do really like that about them. Its just hard to justify the price... so is there another option you would recommend? There are so many brands, there must be a good option somewhere.

So basically, any advice on good quality, sturdy, affordable equipment would be appreciated. Also, I'm mostly going to be cutting opal. I'm aware the pixie is what most people use with opal, I just can't justify spending $1300 on a machine that really needs modifications, on top of having a flimsy housing overall. I've considered used, and been looking around for a while, but I haven't seen any deals really. Sometimes the used stuff is almost the same price as new equipment!

Please and thank you!!

-Amy
Logged


lithicbeads

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2695
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2017, 11:29:43 AM »

DP has issues with wheels. Cab King has issues with the water system it is simply too small gauge and can get clogged. Lortone breaks my heart compared to what it was ... lots of not so good choices.
Logged

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2017, 08:49:23 PM »

Yeah, that's really how I've been feeling about it all. They're all so expensive, and none of them are the level of quality I would have expected to find before I began looking cabbing machines. Initially, I wanted to build a machine, but I just got tired of trying to figure all of that out and grew impatient.

I'm so shocked getting into this hobby; resources for tools or know how are pretty scarce and/or expensive, and there are a lot of poorly made websites that are difficult to use... seems like the interest is just disappearing or something. It's a shame, it's so much fun! I never thought I'd have a hobby I'm this obsessed with.
Logged

lithicbeads

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2695
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2017, 09:57:56 AM »

This used to be a hobby for the handy. Very basic equipment was cherished. Today people increasingly want machines with a huge assortment of wheels  but  the norm many years ago was a simple poly arbor and a couple of sets  of spray shields and pans with a drip feed from a bucket. I cut that way for 30 years and I admit it is seductive having a nice array of wheels on a Titan but changing wheels on a poly arbor is no big deal. Beautiful stones are coming out of Indonesia en mass but they don't even have poly arbors for the most part. Simple can work beautifully if you commit to it  and be happy with what you have rather than thinking that  a certain machine equals certain results. Good luck.
Logged

vitzitziltecpatl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 711
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2017, 04:46:47 PM »

The basic equipment is good for many reasons. I personally have a second-hand genie, but had to replace the motor on it once - for about $400. An arbor with longer shafts, a motor, and a pump system for water supply would be good.

You'll spend about the same as a lower end self-contained unit. Advantage would be when you eventually have to replace a component. Swapping out just any ol' 1/3 hp motor is great compared to having to buy specific replacement parts.

55fossil

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 651
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2017, 05:03:07 PM »

   I agree with the Poly Arbor. I have a Genie and a Covington Variable speed with two soft wheels for silicon carbide belts. But last year I built a two wheel unit with an old poly arbor and a used 1/3 HP motor. Sheet of 3/4 inch plywood and a drive belt to finish it out. With fresh water onto the wheels it is always cutting clean and was pretty easy to make.  I use this unit for my coarse diamond wheels that are really aggressive. Now I am not changing the water every 5 minutes on my Genie and using some cheaper Chinese wheels that really last.

   Yep, bought some Chinese diamond wheels out of Quartzite. They cut like crazy and have not shown any sign of wear after a lot of use. Wish they would break in soon so they would not leave scratches in the rough stones.  good luck
Logged

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2018, 06:18:24 AM »

This used to be a hobby for the handy. Very basic equipment was cherished. Today people increasingly want machines with a huge assortment of wheels  but  the norm many years ago was a simple poly arbor and a couple of sets  of spray shields and pans with a drip feed from a bucket. I cut that way for 30 years and I admit it is seductive having a nice array of wheels on a Titan but changing wheels on a poly arbor is no big deal. Beautiful stones are coming out of Indonesia en mass but they don't even have poly arbors for the most part. Simple can work beautifully if you commit to it  and be happy with what you have rather than thinking that  a certain machine equals certain results. Good luck.


Thanks for your input. I'm still trying to figure out how to use the forum, I didn't see responses on this thread. I'm not sure what a poly arbor is honestly. I'm sure I've seen them online at some point though. I looked for used equipment for a year, and I just got impatient. I originally wanted to build, but I didnt feel l had the skills. I just wanted something dependable enough to get started and not have to mess with constantly. (hopefully!)

I did end up getting a cabking. It looks well built to me, but what do I know? I'm just seeing sturdier parts than the plastic and pressed wood from DP. The wheels are just crap though, not running true at all despite the company replacing several of them already. I expected the wheels to be bad after reading about other people's issues with them. I didn't expect them to be quite this bad though!
Logged

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2018, 06:22:56 AM »

The basic equipment is good for many reasons. I personally have a second-hand genie, but had to replace the motor on it once - for about $400. An arbor with longer shafts, a motor, and a pump system for water supply would be good.

You'll spend about the same as a lower end self-contained unit. Advantage would be when you eventually have to replace a component. Swapping out just any ol' 1/3 hp motor is great compared to having to buy specific replacement parts.


I do really like this idea. I did end up getting a Cabking... I didn't know there were any more responses on here, I should have checked. I will keep that in mind though, if I ever need another machine. I've just grown impatient honestly and I'm ready to cut some opal!!  Thank you for your input!
Logged

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2018, 06:29:53 AM »

   I agree with the Poly Arbor. I have a Genie and a Covington Variable speed with two soft wheels for silicon carbide belts. But last year I built a two wheel unit with an old poly arbor and a used 1/3 HP motor. Sheet of 3/4 inch plywood and a drive belt to finish it out. With fresh water onto the wheels it is always cutting clean and was pretty easy to make.  I use this unit for my coarse diamond wheels that are really aggressive. Now I am not changing the water every 5 minutes on my Genie and using some cheaper Chinese wheels that really last.

   Yep, bought some Chinese diamond wheels out of Quartzite. They cut like crazy and have not shown any sign of wear after a lot of use. Wish they would break in soon so they would not leave scratches in the rough stones.  good luck


Thanks for the input!  You make it sound so easy to build!  I may give it a try one day, I love boulder opal, but it would be nice to have a separate, messy place to grind off excess ironstone.

What brand are those wheels?  I'm intrigued.  Good luck, I hope they do break in for you soon.

It's so cool to have a community with common interests like this, I've never used a forum before!
Logged

Ryaly2dogs

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 364
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2018, 04:54:37 PM »

Hi Amlyn:  I have two suggestions, one is to try to locate a rock club near you if possible and visit/join them, as they often have this equipment and you can use it for a song to figure out what works for you. A bonus here is that once you make this connection, you can often acquire said equipment cheaper through your club either new or used.  Second, if you have the time and patience, click on Craigslist in your area and search under "lapidary". This is the path I took, and I can say through my club I knew precisely what I wanted, and through my club I acquired a few items, with the rest coming from Craigslist for pennies on the dollar.  I just make it a habit when online to regularly search lapidary under Craigslist - it takes about one minute...I avoid EBay as their prices are often ridiculously high! The only new things I purchase are replacement wheels and grit.

Whatever path you take, have fun, this is a great hobby!
Logged

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2018, 09:35:06 AM »

Would you guys believe this- im about to send my Cabking back. I've been trying to get wheels that don't wobble since I got the machine early last month, and once my diamond Pacific wheels came in and every one of them was wobbling... I realized it was the machine causing it.  :embarrassed:

It's very subtle when you look at the shaft alone, but sure enough it's there, and it's amplified with the wheels on. Cabking sent out 6 replacement wheels and a new motor, but the problem persists...


So I'm back to square one.  :dontknow:  maybe I'll build something this time. I'm afraid to buy another machine now!
Logged

vitzitziltecpatl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 711
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2018, 06:23:04 PM »

Hi there. Sorry to hear about all your aggravation and disappointment.

Excuse me if I missed it, but I didn't see any mention of balancing the wheels on the machine. Did you loosen and rotate them one by one to try to even out the imbalance? If you did, then it's a problem with the machine.

Balancing new wheels on the shaft of a multi-wheel machine is a chore I never look forward to. Sometimes it seems to take forever - especially with a full new set to deal with.

Amylynn

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 23
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2018, 08:06:54 AM »

Vince, I actually have no idea how to do that. I've heard of balancing wheels with weights before, but I thought you had to send them somewhere? I honestly wouldn't have the first clue how to do that myself. It might have caused some of my issues up until now though, I'm glad you asked me that. Is that something that always needs to be done with a new machine as well as new wheels?

I did take the wheels off and examine the shafts alone, and even just turning it by hand I could see movement in the shaft. I just assumed it must mean it wasn't cut properly or something like that. I had to take videos of all of the issues I've had to get the manufacturer to take it back, so I could even post it somewhere if anyone is interested.

I wish I knew more about this stuff, I think I'd like to build a machine, but it is intimidating! I have a lot to learn.
Logged

PhilNM

  • Global Moderator
  • Sr. Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 342
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2018, 08:55:30 AM »

buy the ez cabber out of Utah. Made in USA by people who stand behind their equipment. Not cheap, but will last for generations. Well worth it.  http://www.simpleelegancerockshop.com/machine.htm Tell them you want it set up for water drip.
Logged

vitzitziltecpatl

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 711
Re: Recommendations for a small trim saw and a cabbing machine!
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2018, 04:41:13 PM »

Hi Amylynn. To balance wheels on a multi-wheel machine just put a mark on the wheel hubs and adjacent spacers to give yourself a reference point all the way across the set. Loosen whatever holds them tight against each other, rotate one of them 1/4 turn, retighten and turn it on to see if it's better or worse. Repeat as needed across all three wheels. You're just evening out any imbalances built into wheels. Counterbalancing, if you will.

That's the general procedure. With a new set you might want to rotate them 1/2 turn (I do if I have three new ones) so you can see more obvious differences in the vibration you get. Then you can "fine tune" them by rotating 1/4, then even 1/8 turns in relation to each other. That's where the reference marks come in handy. It can take a while.

You can measure the runout (the amount it "wobbles") at the end of the shaft if you have a dial depth gage. If you can find a video online you'd get a better explanation of how to check that than I could give you here. It's easy, but not as easy for me to explain. Heh - I even confuse myself sometimes... .

Maybe a refund and a different machine would be best of all, eh...?
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Page created in 0.088 seconds with 55 queries.