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Congratulations to Bobby1 and his Brazilian Agate Cab!

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Another cabochon contest coming soon!

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 21 
 on: September 04, 2021, 08:55:05 PM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by VegasJames
Wow, those are gorgeous! It looks brittle, what is it like to cut?

I found some turquoise, too ... Don't laugh.

Photo 1: hard Bisbee nuggets found by me and my partner; I worked them a little and even made that tiny cabochon; it is stable. Not sure about the greenish piece though, or even if it's turquoise.

Photo 2: Other copper mineral-and maybe turquoise- containing rocks I found in Bisbee, which will have to be stabilized.

Photo 3: Some of the first cabochons I've completed. A couple stabilized turquoise-maybes, and a ... Chrysocola?

The heavily veined material tends to be brittle on the surface, but the deeper part of the stones is quite solid. the second and third photos are pieces I ground off the crumbly surface and face polished the rest of these pieces and they held together fine.

The more solid blue to green is easy to cut and does not crumble at all.

Here is what was my favorite piece until someone dropped it on a tile floor busting it in to three pieces.

20160928_134842 by James Sloane, on Flickr

And some more examples of the raw material from the mine.  All naturally hard and stable and easy to cut and work.

20160517_155522 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160413_144047 by James Sloane, on Flickr

You have some nice pieces there. To ID the stones though it is best to run some tests. For example, turquoise is generally harder and denser than chrysocolla. Chrysocolla also does not react to concentrated hydrochloric acid. The main confirmation for myself was running a phosphate test.There are several means of doing this. I used hydrochloric acid o dissolve a piece of the stone then used a phosphate test kit to test for the presence of phosphate in the resultant solution, which tested very high.

 22 
 on: September 04, 2021, 06:57:43 PM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by Raccoon
Wow, those are gorgeous! It looks brittle, what is it like to cut?

I found some turquoise, too ... Don't laugh.

Photo 1: hard Bisbee nuggets found by me and my partner; I worked them a little and even made that tiny cabochon; it is stable. Not sure about the greenish piece though, or even if it's turquoise.

Photo 2: Other copper mineral-and maybe turquoise- containing rocks I found in Bisbee, which will have to be stabilized.

Photo 3: Some of the first cabochons I've completed. A couple stabilized turquoise-maybes, and a ... Chrysocola?

 23 
 on: September 04, 2021, 11:35:38 AM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by Raccoon
Here are some of my modifications.
My workspace is temporary; we live in a very small space, and are getting ready to move.

So I made these two objects with portability in mind (and obviously not aesthetics).

The stand is a work in progress. I'm going to mount a magnetic tool holder on the side, but for now I have some bar magnets temporarily attached with hooks-- this way I can figure out the best placement based on which tools I reach for in practice.

The arm that the dremel straps onto, I will likely affix with a couple bolts, again after I've figured out what placement is best. I will replace the wimpy hook & loop straps, though they're surprisingly sufficient for holding the dremel steady!

As for the dust box, I wish it were easier to clean. After the move, I will see about installing some kind of dust collector fan.

I have a deadman foot pedal, which has been a delightful improvement over having to remove my arm from the dustbox and turn the switch on the dremel.

And last photo: finger cots for when my hands are feeling accident-prone; and these wonderful Sistema storage boxes that are durable, easy to unlatch, and inexpensive.

 24 
 on: September 04, 2021, 11:06:12 AM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by Raccoon
@R.U. Sirius, thank you for the insights and suggestions.
In particular, I hadn't considered how low-quality diamond bits could affect hand comfort. I suppose because we have to hold our hands in position longer, or be tempted to press the rock against the bit to speed things up.

I have most definitely observed the contrast between good/poor body posture and technique--in aerobics, singing, and even sitting in bed reading-- and I am gradually adjusting my workspace to be more conducive to that end.

@irockhound, hand cramps/spasms, I hate those!!! If I seem to be getting them more frequently, I ask myself whether I've been ignoring my Dr.s' instructions on hydration, salt, and vitamins-- it usually tracks.
Otherwise, just another of my body's signals to stop obsessing and take a break already  :grin:

 25 
 on: September 04, 2021, 10:40:40 AM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by Raccoon
I don't use it, but you might try a foam sleeve.

So they do make those. I should know by now that if I think of some tool or add-on that will make my life easier, I only have to Google it.

 26 
 on: September 04, 2021, 10:38:24 AM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by Raccoon
You could try a wood block/stand with hose clamps for your flex shaft handpiece. Clamp the handpiece down and use both hands to hold and work the stone.

I think that's what you were describing for the Dremel, right?

Right! And yes, I am thinking of something similar for the handpiece... something where I could mount/dismount it quickly and easily. Then I could still use it as intended for tricky details, but mostly keep it stationary.

 27 
 on: September 04, 2021, 06:57:41 AM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by vitzitziltecpatl
It must be great to be able to find and collect turquoise solid enough to cut. Not many people get to do that.

Nice cabs, and great jewelry.

Thanks for the very informative photos with the rough and cabs shown together.

 28 
 on: September 04, 2021, 12:51:03 AM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by VegasJames
I've heard that about the lip/tongue test, but I've also heard that that doesn't work with gem grade turquoise.
But I've also heard that gem grade turquoise is extremely rare; so upon reflection, there's no reason I ought to have expected a piece that size to be natural at the price I paid. :grin:

Yes, gem grade turquoise is very rare and not porous like most turquoise and so does not suck up moisture the way lower grade turquoise will. About 95% of the turquoise on the market is stabilized, usually with epoxy although there are ways to stabilize turquoise without plastic resins.

Here is naturally hard turquoise I dug up:

20160919_133414-1 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160919_133229-1 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160919_133216-1 by James Sloane, on Flickr

And some cabs I made from some other turquoise from another nearby mine.
20160828_164825 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_164758 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_164640 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_164515 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_164426 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_164157 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_164113 by James Sloane, on Flickr

20160828_163842 by James Sloane, on Flickr

3 pound chunk I have been hand polishing.

20180908_150959 by James Sloane, on Flickr

And a necklace, earrings and ring made from the unstabilized material.

20161108_230632-1 - Copy by James Sloane, on Flickr

Digging for the material. The arrows show the 3 pound chunks I dug out.

20170214_154300-1-copy by James Sloane, on Flickr


 29 
 on: September 03, 2021, 09:18:54 PM 
Started by Sandsave - Last post by catmandewe
Always fun when you guys stop by!
Was good to see you again.

Tony

 30 
 on: September 02, 2021, 07:35:43 PM 
Started by Raccoon - Last post by Phishisgroovin
i can clearly see that your stone is stabilized, the chalky texture or natural turquoise just isnt there.

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