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Author Topic: Ideas  (Read 415 times)

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mearic71

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Ideas
« on: July 04, 2018, 12:21:18 PM »

 I have the frantom for sale. I already have a 8 inch and a 6 inch lapidary machine set up.
Question:
1. should i finish setting up the frantom because it has a rock saw and sell the 6 inch machine.
2. continue selling frantom in hopes i can get enough to buy a new or used rock saw.

I'm still fairly new to this addiction and always welcome other opinions.

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irockhound

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2018, 02:00:38 PM »

First you may be able to answer your own question.  One basic thing in saws is size and getting the right saw for cutting the material you plan or hope to work with.  Having a saw that is too small to handle material is tough because then you are restricted in only cutting smaller pieces.  I assume the frantom is a 10" max and that for much of the stone I like to work with is too small.  My ->personal<- belief is that the smallest saw most people should get is a 12" and I keep my 10" for nodules and small things and 8" down is only trim saw worthy.  Having a 14" of 18" makes a world of difference when you buy cutting rough.  Most people need a trim saw AND a slab saw.  If you are just starting out and have a 10" it works for both but you will be restricted in cutting material probably no thicker than 3 3/4" so that may answer your question as to what you need.  When I started out, I started with a flat lap style diamond demon grinder and a 10" saw.  I out grew it quickly but if costs are a factor you could make do if needed. 

Hate to make that not a definitive answer but it all depends on what the user is intending to do with it.  Hope that helps.  Ps grinders are less of an issue than saws.  I could get away with any type of grinding unit and it wouldn't most likely stop me from cutting my stones, saws would.
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mearic71

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2018, 03:04:01 PM »

Good to know. The Frantom is 10'' max. The one reason i was considering it, is that it also took 8" wheels and so did my other big machine. I like the portability of the 6" machine but sometimes the wheels seem to small. I haven't cut to many rocks yet, so i don't know much about saws. Most of my rough right now is small or slabs. So the 10" saw may work out for a while.
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socalagatehound

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 03:53:32 PM »

Steve summed it up pretty well. I am set up similarly.
I have a 10" saw set up as a trim saw and a 20" slab saw. I think I would benefit from a 12" as a slab saw for smaller nodules, but I've done okay cutting them by hand on the 10". In the big picture, you can never have too many toys... :headbang:

Craig
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55fossil

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 04:32:43 PM »

   Do you really want to cut larger rough or mostly slabs and small rough?   Maybe give yourself time with the machines you have while you learn what you want to do. If room, money and time are not an issue then go big.  Because bigger means more money for larger blades and saw oil. It also means more room for rock, cleaning materials for those oily slabs and end pieces and places to store everything.
   My main focus is cutting cabochons. But I love to cut from material I collect myself. Fortunately I have a large barn and a tolerant wife. But I took 30 years before I grew into this monster of a hobby that I do love. Follow your passion like it is a woman. There is danger around every corner and be sure you want to marry here because it can get expensive......
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peruano

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 05:20:03 AM »

That's all good advice and valid points have been made. For some an 8" wheel is better than a 6" (its faster, but more expensive to buy or replace).  For some a combo unit is not the desired unit (does the saw have to run when you are grinding or can it be turned on or bypassed?).  I started with a 6" star diamond cab machine and a 12" slab saw supplemented by a small trim saw - I loved them all, they performed well on my self-collected rocks and I didn't know that I might enjoy bigger stuff.  I now have 6 and 8 in stuff and multiple slab saws and enjoy them but they certainly are not essential for the kind of stuff I do or process.  I agree with work with what you have until you have definite druthers.  Enjoy. 
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mearic71

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 07:35:54 AM »

Great points by all and i thank you. The saw can not be bypassed both run at same time. I think my best option right now because i don't have a ton money, i don't plan on cutting anything to large maybe i will get it up totally running and see how i like it before i sell any of them. Thanks again.
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peruano

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #7 on: July 06, 2018, 05:01:29 AM »

When you have a small saw, you tend to collect or buy small rocks.  The converse is true -- big saws tend to stimulate processing of big rocks.  But big slabs are often cut into small slabs for normal size processing.  You can do a lot of work with a 10 or 12" saw, but you do have to be selective and learn its deficiencies.  I love my 12" slab saw; its great for processing the beach and alluvial material that I collect.
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mearic71

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2018, 01:45:14 PM »

Here is 1 more question. I don't experience with saws. Can you cut a rock one way, then flip it and cut the other side. Or will it bind.
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: Ideas
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2018, 05:45:16 PM »

I've done lots of slabbing on an old 10" we have. You can definitely flip a chunk of rough over to finish a cut - and it will definitely bind up if not kept straight. You'll get the hang of it quickly, though, if you can keep from rotating your wrists while advancing the rock.

It's easy enough to line the blade up in the first cut. If you keep your hands and wrists locked in that position and use your upper arms only to push the rock forward the rough won't roll out of alignment as easily. I've cut up to 6" rough on that 10", but you will have some ugly spots where the two (or more) cuts don't meet up exactly.

Can be done. Not easy - especially the first few times - but you will be able to cut larger rough down to sizes you can use.
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