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Author Topic: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)  (Read 297 times)

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feicui

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Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« on: July 10, 2018, 07:08:01 AM »

Hello all...

I'm a cabinet maker from the UK (at some point in the future, when it has been revamped, I'll link to my website). Recently I managed to get myself on to a scholarship scheme studying Mandarin in China - reasons? Er... Not quite sure. Was thinking of a change in career, or maybe that it would be a very good place to sell high-end furniture (maybe see how that goes in a year or two maybe). But mostly just a change for a year.

Anyway, while there I wanted to pick up some basic (wood) carving kit to make gifts for friends and found that hobbyist tools for jade carving were abundant and cheap (China has an Amazon-trouncing online marketplace where you can buy practically anything - including jadeite). And got a bit obsessed with the stuff... Low-grade Myanmar* jadeites that is (gambling grade rocks).

Back in the UK everything seems a little harder to find... more expensive. Though for now, provided I don't chase wonderful finishes, a lot I can cope with. But I'll have questions as/if things progress. Actually my main problem now is slab cutting - it's not fun or efficient trying to cut jade rocks, even if small, with 115mm (4.5") angle grinder blades. But yeah, will have a browse.

*I know the trade there is pretty brutal, but that's a complex issue for another time - for now I don't think my roughly $150 worth is going to make a huge impact.
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Stonemon

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2018, 07:55:27 AM »

Welcome to you from Oregon, USA
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Bill

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2018, 09:56:43 AM »

   Welcome aboard and hang tight....   as for cutting.....  Nothing like a simple tile saw. Just a flat top with a water tank and no other moving parts. Small stones are simple to slab and you can flip them over and make a second pass if they are a little tall. You may have to remove the water shield / blade guard to slide your stones through. Face shield and apron will be helpful.  good luck, post picture.
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irockhound

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2018, 11:21:40 AM »

Welcome to the forums.  Lots of workable low cost alternatives to the higher cost formal lapidary tools.  Start slow and work your way in.  If you find you love it there will be a way to make it happen.  I am sure with the furniture you started with entry level tools too.  Plenty of knowledge here to pick from.  Ask lots of questions when you need.

Steve, Southern California
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feicui

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2018, 11:58:26 AM »

   Welcome aboard and hang tight....   as for cutting.....  Nothing like a simple tile saw. Just a flat top with a water tank and no other moving parts. Small stones are simple to slab and you can flip them over and make a second pass if they are a little tall. You may have to remove the water shield / blade guard to slide your stones through. Face shield and apron will be helpful.  good luck, post picture.

Ha, you and irockhound have intercepted my exact thoughts. I'll stop browsing slab saws and look for a cheap tile saw on ebay, thanks.
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rocks2dust

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2018, 01:37:27 PM »

I agree that a tile saw will work for small rocks. You may need to experiment with setting up to get something comfortable to work (when I use mine, I have the spray from the blade directed at a plastic sheet tacked to a wall that funnels the water back into the reservoir). That said, if prices on a used slab saw are similar, go for the slab saw. Slab saw blades are less wasteful, and you'll appreciate how much less trouble they are when cutting. The tile saw is still good for trimming and preforming.

irockhound

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2018, 02:47:50 PM »

Also along with the tile saw concept without the wasteful nature of wide kerf blades.  The tile saw use wide blades but those aren't really designed for lapidary and one reason is the speed.  Most tile saws run at a much faster rpm than most lapidary blades are designed for.  There are 2 ways to avoid this.  Either buy a lapidary blade designed for the tile saw or slow down the speed of the saw.  There is a Lapidary blade called the Agate Kutter that was designed for the high rpm but it is wide so each cut you can loose more material - still a great blade.  The other way is to buy a $20 to $35 speed limiter commonly called a "router speed controller" available for these tile saws and then you can buy low cost thin kerf lapidary diamond blades that will have good results and low cost and little waste.
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hummingbirdstones

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2018, 09:44:08 PM »

Welcome to the forum from Northern Arizona!   :hello:

We've got a great number of knowledgeable folks on this board so ask your questions and folks will jump in to help.  We have a member who lives in Hong Kong (Asianfire) and is in China for a month for vacation.  Bet you two could have quite the discussion about jadeite in China.
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Robin

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2018, 11:27:56 PM »

Hi from England.
Where are you situated. I live in Crawley just by Gatewick Airport.
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Sapphireminer

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2018, 12:41:01 AM »

Hi feicui welcome from Australia hope you enjoy playing with the rocks.
Dave
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feicui

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2018, 05:24:03 AM »

Hi from England.
Where are you situated. I live in Crawley just by Gatewick Airport.

Sheffield generally.
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feicui

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2018, 06:02:17 AM »

Incidentally feicui = 翡翠, Mandarin for jadeite. Pronounced fey-sway (with the 's' in sway being more of a 'ts' sound).

Yu/玉 is the general term for jades, but can also be used for serpentines and the like. Nephrite jades are hetian yu/和田玉... This is actually a place in western China (where most jade until the 18th century came from), but I've never heard another term for the Canadian/US or Russian nephrites.
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Windenzee

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2018, 11:54:33 PM »

Hi,
Sheffield  is a good part to be. You can go collecting agates in the Peak district. Also Manchester Minerals have a reasonable supply of gemstones and also ome equipment. Have achat to them and see if they are selling off some secand hand tools etc. Othe place would be Holts in London. They have a lapidary department and do also sell of old equipment.
If you do get jade / jadeite, I am interested if the priceis right.
Karen
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Asianfire

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2018, 03:16:36 AM »

Welcome to the forum from Northern Arizona!   :hello:

We've got a great number of knowledgeable folks on this board so ask your questions and folks will jump in to help.  We have a member who lives in Hong Kong (Asianfire) and is in China for a month for vacation.  Bet you two could have quite the discussion about jadeite in China.

Unfortunately not vacation, but not far off.... 😁
We are holding summer programmes for college levels here in guanzho..

Will get a couple of days off in between, and surely will make my annual pilgrimage to Hualin jade Market in search of Chinese nephrite. Jadeite is way to rich for my wallet. Hope to get some yeowskin again this year.
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feicui

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Re: Greetings from a noob (both to lapidary and these forums)
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2018, 11:17:11 AM »

Welcome to the forum from Northern Arizona!   :hello:

We've got a great number of knowledgeable folks on this board so ask your questions and folks will jump in to help.  We have a member who lives in Hong Kong (Asianfire) and is in China for a month for vacation.  Bet you two could have quite the discussion about jadeite in China.

Unfortunately not vacation, but not far off.... 😁
We are holding summer programmes for college levels here in guanzho..

Will get a couple of days off in between, and surely will make my annual pilgrimage to Hualin jade Market in search of Chinese nephrite. Jadeite is way to rich for my wallet. Hope to get some yeowskin again this year.

I only have low-grade, gambling jade off 淘宝, not very expensive! some of it is pretty nice, but would never fetch a good price in China. But western craft markets have different standards...
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