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Prince Reggie K
Feb 12, 2007

I've been denied all the best Ultra-Sex.

does anyone have advice on buying a bench grinder for lapidary work?

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Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




A lapidary grinder, or just a normal bench grinder repurposed for lapidary work? A nornal bench grinder isn't designed to be safe when used wet as is needed with stone so that isn't recommended.
There are a few good brands of rock specific ones. I use a cabking, though diamond pacific's lineup are probably better in some ways. Either way, diamond pacific nova wheels (their soft diamond impregnated resin wheels) are the best and worth the extra money they cost.
That being said there are quite a few different options depending on what you want to do and your general budget.

Prince Reggie K
Feb 12, 2007

I've been denied all the best Ultra-Sex.

I guess it depends on relative costs. I have access to alot of smaller rough stones. nothing very large or hard. There is some opal, garnet, and emerald I'd like to try first. I've also seen these flat grinders that spin like a turntable. I basically want the cheapest option that isnt complete garbage. But i'm probably not, say, cutting slabs of diamond or sapphire. My basement is kinda small though, so I am looking to use this exclusively for lapidary work.

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Are you looking for cabbing (stones with rounded tops and are flat) or faceting (stones that are pointy and have flat faces)? Also what kind of budget are you working with here?

Xun fucked around with this message at 13:41 on Aug 24, 2019

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




The flat grinders (flat laps) do offer a cheaper and more compact option for cutting cabs. Some people prefer it to vertical wheels and almost all of the industrial cutting shops seem to use them. There are some downsides too. You can only have one disc on it at a time so you hVe to switch them as you go to finer grits. It is also a bit harder to get a nice rounded top without flats. On the other hand it is easier to intentionally put on flats.
One popular flat lap is the 'all u need', which I think runs about 500 dollars new with some cutting discs. You can probably find something cheaper used. There are some good groups on facebook like 'lapidary equipment marketplace' that make it easier to find good used stuff as well.
If there is a rock club in your area they may have equipment of their own that you can try out before buying anything.

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Reminder: 360 grit cutting laps are still sharp and it got my finger with a chip of sapphire ow.

In other news the sapphire is coming along well


Prince Reggie K
Feb 12, 2007

I've been denied all the best Ultra-Sex.

I think the flat grinders are what I'll look into then. I'm about to join a local mineral group. But if 500 or so can get me started I might just take the plunge. That all u need looks good, any recommendations on an adjustable arm for faceting? I saw some stuff on amazon. Like the whole setup for about 700 but there were no reviews. If I could get a good arm to go with that all u need, that should let me try basically anything

Prince Reggie K fucked around with this message at 15:02 on Aug 26, 2019

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Faceting requires quite a bit of preciaion. Since the angles have to be repeatable to hit the same planes with subsequent polishing laps. It's possible to get a faceting setup and jury rig it onto a flat lap, but it is typically a fristrating exercise. Doubly so with some of the cheap no name setups. Some of those are apparently totally unworkable from the start. Ypu'd do better to save just a bit more and get something like a used raytech shaw faceting machine to dip your toes in for faceting.

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Prince Reggie K posted:

I think the flat grinders are what I'll look into then. I'm about to join a local mineral group. But if 500 or so can get me started I might just take the plunge. That all u need looks good, any recommendations on an adjustable arm for faceting? I saw some stuff on amazon. Like the whole setup for about 700 but there were no reviews. If I could get a good arm to go with that all u need, that should let me try basically anything

Woah if you want to get into faceting you're gona be looking at way higher initial investment costs since precision is key. Like Scarodactyl said you need to be able to consistently hit the same angle and height and if you cant well...its a huge pain in the rear end. What used to take me 15-20 minutes per facet when polishing on an old Vargas machine went to like, <5 on an ultratec because I don't need to sit around painstakingly adjusting the stone since it was impossible to hit the same angle twice with that handset. Definitely try things out at a club first and spend a bit more for a good used machine if you're serious. This guy is pretty knowledgeable and the article seems like a good overview of various brands and types! I'd suggest trying to find a used mast or handset type machine.

https://medium.com/justin-k-prim/how-to-choose-the-best-faceting-machine-for-your-needs-c41774367c55

Also I'm not sure what you've seen but cutting isn't just the machine and mast/handset. You need to invest in a set of diamond grit cutting laps and polishing laps.

Prince Reggie K
Feb 12, 2007

I've been denied all the best Ultra-Sex.

Well, I read through all of that finally, and im not sure what im doing yet, but when I do get started ill be sure to post some pics.

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap

I dug out a pair of what I think used to be garnet earrings. I say "used to" because they're now an off-pinkish colour and I know I didn't have any earrings that looked like that.

They don't look particularly good, but mostly I'm confused as to what happened to them. How did they turn that colour from a dark red?

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Thst's interesting. Garnets will never fade, and red glass shouldn't either. Could you post some pictures?

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Honestly I'm not really sure. This sounds like the color was unstable due to irradiation to deepen the gems color, I can try to summon up an explanation why based on my gemology class if anyone is interested But garnets are pretty resistant to radiation and I can't think of any gems that would irradiate to red and also be unstable.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





Check them under different lighting.

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap





I'm not sure looking at them under different lighting would help any. They just look faded. The only time I can remember seeing something like this is when I was a kid and used a glass hairpin to pin something to my window screen, and the glass portion lightened due to constant sun exposure.

(The earrings were also filthy when I found them; there was enough buildup around the posts that I initially thought the posts had been glued to the gems. Even if I were thrilled with how the gems look, I wouldn't be wearing these until I've properly cleaned them.)

tinytort fucked around with this message at 00:06 on Sep 12, 2019

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Garnets can color shift, from purple/magenta under LED to pure red under incandescent. Others can shift from bronzey brown under cfl to pink/red under other lighting. This looks like it is in garnet's normal color range anyway, can't identify it for sure from a photo unfortunately.

tinytort
Jun 10, 2013

Super healthy, super cheap

Scarodactyl posted:

This looks like it is in garnet's normal color range anyway, can't identify it for sure from a photo unfortunately.

Yeah, I expected as much. I'm just baffled by it, since I remember them being a dark red and a couple rings I have that are also garnet haven't colour-shifted like this; all of my garnet jewelry is the stereotypical dark red...except for these earrings now. I was mostly worried that I'd done something to them to make them colour-shift like this.

Captain Log
Oct 2, 2006

Captain Log posted:

"I AINT DYING! Choo choo motherfucker!"




Oh thank God, I found this place -

I'm having a nightmare identifying a set of cufflinks. Due to their shape, I cannot get my loupe close enough to the hallmark to figure it out. Here is what I know -

- Purchased by my father in the 90's
- Possible Stores - Harrod's, Harvey Nichols, Corzine's. Probably somewhere slightly posh
- Maker's Mark appears to be a JS? YS? IJ? I cannot figure it out.
- Definitely Silver

Any help would be really appreciated. We are trying to figure out of these are a Goodwill or Ebay venture. They hold no sentimental value -



RCarr
Dec 24, 2007



Not sure if this is the best thread to ask in but Iím looking for a recommendation for what to buy to clean my fiancťís engagement ring. Thereís some cheap ultrasonic cleaners on Amazon but Iím worried about it damaging the ring somehow.

Tunicate
May 15, 2012





most jewelry stores will clean rings for free as a way of getting you in the door. Takes only a couple minutes

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






OK so, thanks to Scarodactyl for linking me to this thread!

I am not getting into lapidary... uh, lapidarianism? Lapidation, as a hobby here. BUT let me tell you a story real quick:

Back in the late 90s, my best friend and his dad used to go opal mining in northern Nevada. His dad was something of a rockhound - well, first it was opals and then it was gold, and that's all, so I dunno if that really counts. Anyway they had (probably still have) fee digging in Virgin Valley, NV. Eventually I went along a couple of times and dug some opals, which was extremely cool. I have some geology background, I took a bunch of classes in college although I wound up not pursuing a science degree, but I'm still interested in rocks and stuff. So, I have a small collection of Virgin Valley opal, including some very nice specimens of black opal.

For those unfamiliar, the opal from this region is almost always very very high in water saturation, much higher than australian gemstone opal. As a result, it typically has to be kept immersed in water or mineral oil... allowing it to dry out leads to crazing and cracking and it just disintegrates. Not always, I've seen the number 10% tossed around as how much opal from there is "stable" but like most rockhounding word-of-mouth info, that's probably a bullshit guesstimate at best.

Still, I have some not-very-nice opal to practice on, including a big hunk of "moss opal," a little petrified wood, a couple "dinosaur eggs" my wife and I got from a rock shop outside Zion National Park, and some random rocks we found at the beach and stuff, all of which I'd like to play around with slicing up and/or polishing and/or making cabochons or drilling holes in etc.

A couple years before he died, my friend's dad gave me all his old lapidary tools. I think he bought this stuff at a shop local to him in Auburn, CA and then maybe played around with it a little but never really did anything. Possibly he got it all used. Scarodactyl suggested I post in this thread what I've got and my questions about it, so here goes.

First up I have this polishing wheel setup:




This thing has six plastic disks you can affix diamond paper to (or maybe they come pre-affixed), and there's a set of five or six. I assume I need to replace all the diamond paper disks?, and also I'd need some kind of compound. It looks like there's an ability to add a water feed to the setup, but no water feed was provided. I suspect this is a cheapo setup where you just like dribble some water on by hand from a squeeze bottle or something? Something is supposed to sit on that round raised shelf above the disk, but I don't have whatever goes there. I need to decide whether it's worth trying to get new disks for this, and a water feed setup? Or is this garbage that's not worth trying to use?
The company seems to still exist and sell disks here: https://hitechdiamond.com/product-category/diamond-discs/
and this thing sure looks a lot like an "all you need"
https://hitechdiamond.com/product-category/lap-machines/
but not exactly, the shelf is in a different place, and the button on the front doesn't look like the knob on those things, so I'm betting this is an old/discontinued model.

Next I've got this very robust and powerful and industrial looking flexible dremel tool:





This thing is badass and even if I do nothing with gems I'm gonna get it working. It did not come with any bits, but I have a normal dremel set and I'm guessing I can use the dremel bits for it. It's got a speed control pedal too, which gently caress yes. The whole thing reeks of industrial build quality heavy duty construction. It does have the one thing that's inserted you can see in the pic, plus I have these baggies of tiny little round disks that I'm guessing are supposed to be mounted on a bit for the dremel:


so I'm thinking maybe there's supposed to be like a tiny arbor or holder thing that holds these disks, maybe with a pad behind them, for doing rock polshy grindy poo poo.

e. oh, Hi Tech has them: https://hitechdiamond.com/shop/mini-disc-holders/ so I think I must have these guys but would need a holder or two.

You can also see them in the foreground of this pic I took of the next thing, which is like a miniature press with a chisel mouth that I assume is for splitting rocks:

I'm guessing you can apply at least a half ton or so of pressure with this bastard, especially if you mount it in a beefy bench vise. I imagine you'd notch a rock or like score it around the edges to help it split where you want it, and then put on every piece of PPE you own and then try to stand to the side while you explode rocks into shards with it and hope you don't get any shards embedded in your arm. I have some welding gloves and a facemask and an apron and poo poo but I'd still feel kinda nervous trying to break a rock with it.

Here's some photocopied instructions, probably for the flat disk polisher thing at the top but maybe not:


This next thing I've actually identified, since it has its name on it: it's a TINY TRIM little bitty rotary saw for cutting stone, and like the dremel it looks like a heavy duty quality piece of equipment, with a very robust motor and everything is build FORD TOUGH:




It looks like this when it's put together:


I took it apart before storing it because the reservoir was full of goopy sludge that at one point must have been cutting compound. Possibly oil-based because it sure didn't want to come out with just water.

It came with these two blades:

which look rusty and hosed up enough that I didn't want to turn the thing on with one of them mounted and risk it flying apart into my face. But that could just be surface and maybe they're still awesome and fine, you tell me!

Some version of the TINY TRIM is still available here:
http://www.gemworld.com/TrimSaws.asp
Mine says JBFC which could be "Johnson Brothers" with FC standing for something more... anyway it's clearly the same saw. This outfit also sell blades:
http://www.amlap.com/alw/sawblades.html

gently caress if I know exactly which blades to get, or even whether I should order from a place with a website straight out of the 1990s. The TINY TRIM being sold above comes with "4" X .012" blades, but I dunno if that's exactly right for what I want to do. I forgot to measure the arbor. Is there a better source for blades?
Also, whether to run this thing with their "Dia-Cut" coolant, or "Kool Kut Saw" lubricant, or something else?

And is this thing garbage now, or still good? I think it'd be fun to use it to slice up some small rocks.

Actually same question for all this equipment. Lapidary goons please tell me if I have a treasure trove, or a pile of scrap for the e-waste bin? What do I need to order or do, so I can start grinding up and polishing various non-gemstone rocks and/or my precious fragile opals?

Leperflesh fucked around with this message at 19:32 on Sep 30, 2019

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



On the discs at least you might have something good there provided they've been stored properly and there's been no cross contamination. Pastes to put on them are relatively cheap but make extra sure to identify what type of discs you have before getting them, for example some are more suitable for diamond and others are for chemical polishing agents. They should have the grit written on them somewhere and if not I can post it at some old people too if you'd like. Having no water tank sounds like it could be annoying but the mechanism is pretty simple, you just need to have something that'll drip water on the cutting surface.

Lots of people still use super old lapidary equipment with no problems, as long as they power on you're good to go. Honestly the biggest expense for me was getting a machine in the first place so you might have something here. I really want a trim saw but there's just no space for it at my place rip

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






The tiny disks have been stored in separated little zippy bags so I'd guess they're fine. The big disks for the "all you need" have been tossed together in an open cardboard box and stored in various garages for at least a decade. The one I photographed still has its identifying sticker (from the photo I think it says 180 mesh) but the other ones are missing their stickers. I understand Hi-Tech seems to color-code the disks, but given how they were stored I'd guess there's definitely been cross-contamination.

I can certainly rig some kind of water system. I've got some old aquarium pumps and lots of tubing and poo poo so I can figure something out.

Any idea about that chisel screw press thing?

e. What do you use to hold rocks you're slicing up? I've seen in videos people mount small rocks on a stick with some kind of putty or wax or something, what are those called so I can google them?

e2. I should be less lazy. It's called a dop stick and dopping and I can look that poo poo up.

Leperflesh fucked around with this message at 20:51 on Sep 30, 2019

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Currently cutting up this unheated kenyan sapphire



Could be a bit dark, who knows!

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Leperflesh posted:

The tiny disks have been stored in separated little zippy bags so I'd guess they're fine. The big disks for the "all you need" have been tossed together in an open cardboard box and stored in various garages for at least a decade. The one I photographed still has its identifying sticker (from the photo I think it says 180 mesh) but the other ones are missing their stickers. I understand Hi-Tech seems to color-code the disks, but given how they were stored I'd guess there's definitely been cross-contamination.

I can certainly rig some kind of water system. I've got some old aquarium pumps and lots of tubing and poo poo so I can figure something out.

Any idea about that chisel screw press thing?

e. What do you use to hold rocks you're slicing up? I've seen in videos people mount small rocks on a stick with some kind of putty or wax or something, what are those called so I can google them?

e2. I should be less lazy. It's called a dop stick and dopping and I can look that poo poo up.

Oof, that storage doesn't sound good. I think the 180 mesh will be fine, 600 mesh is a maybe, and the 1200 and polishing ones are probably not in great shape.

Yeah people use dop sticks, I think for your purposes any metal stick will do. Hell even wooden ones might work if you're cutting heat resistant stuff. Rocks can be stuck to them with a variety of adhesives, I like to use wax since its easier to remove (you'd definitely need it on a wooden dop), but lots of people use superglue and epoxy with metal ones.

Sadly I have no experience with the screw press type things, whenever I needed to cut up rocks I used a saw

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Nice stuff, Leperflesh!
Let's start with the foredom. That's a flex shaft rotary tool, and Foredom is the top brand in that field. It seems that all the third party flex shafts are made to be compatible with them. So that's a real gem right there. In lapidary it's used mostly for carving stones (which could be full carving, freeform shapes or following the three-dimensional contours of a stone like fire agate that has irregular layers of color). Also very good for shaping opals to follow bars of color if you want really high yields and don't mind a more irregular shape. It probably takes 3/32 inch bits, though, rather than 1/8 like a dremel (at least the quick-change handpiece I got for my foredom clone does).

The hi-tech is definitely much like an all-u-need, which is a capable tool for starting out on. I use a setup with vertical wheels (you grind on the edges rather than the top) but both styles have fans and proponents. You can also mount a saw blade on one of these. One nice feature of sintered diamond tools is that they're a lot better at grinding hard things than soft things (unless there is a serrated edge or whatever) so they will tend not to wreck your finger if you nudge them, NOT that I recommend it. It looks like it should be perfectly compatible with any normal lap you buy.
As a side-note, cutting opal has some upsides. It's soft enough it grinds relatively fast, and you can use a chemical polishing agent for a quick and painless polish. Cerium oxide works great, though tin oxide is recommended as well. These polishes actually have a chemical interaction with the surface of silicates and silicate-bearing glasses/amorphous silicate like opal and the water they're mixed with, and produce a much finer and easier polish than working with finer and finer diamond grit will give you. You can often go from 1200 grit or so to a final mirror polish. Opal is heat sensitive in addition to other things so don't let it get hot, use enough water to keep it cool.

For dopping I use superglue gel and just let it set for a few hours or overnight. Wax is faster but a huge pain to work with. Any old section of dowel will do for a stick as long as you can cut the end mostly perpendicular (this does not apply to faceting, of course, but cutting cabs is loosey goosey and a lot more forgiving).

I think you are right, the chisel thingy is likely for splitting rough. Sometimes people will boil and freeze stones beforehand to loosen them up, since you want them to split along natural fractures. There are times this is appropriate but that'd be more for faceting than cabbing.


Claes: nice! It'll be interesting to see its performance when it's done. Dark blue C with a teal cross-axis?

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






Oh man thanks for all that, super useful info.

I have plenty of cyanoacrylate glues lying around (for building and painting little nerd dolls), is there a particular CA that's good? Also, how do you get the stone back off the glue, do you use a CA dissolver (I have some) or just pry it off? I definitely have metal and wood dowels and such to use.

Scarodactyl posted:

The hi-tech is definitely much like an all-u-need, which is a capable tool for starting out on. I use a setup with vertical wheels (you grind on the edges rather than the top) but both styles have fans and proponents. You can also mount a saw blade on one of these.

I'm struggling to figure out how that would work. You'd have like a horizontal saw blade, how would you feed stone into it? Or you mean, you can mount saw blades on your vertical setup...

quote:

One nice feature of sintered diamond tools is that they're a lot better at grinding hard things than soft things (unless there is a serrated edge or whatever) so they will tend not to wreck your finger if you nudge them, NOT that I recommend it. It looks like it should be perfectly compatible with any normal lap you buy.
As a side-note, cutting opal has some upsides. It's soft enough it grinds relatively fast, and you can use a chemical polishing agent for a quick and painless polish. Cerium oxide works great, though tin oxide is recommended as well. These polishes actually have a chemical interaction with the surface of silicates and silicate-bearing glasses/amorphous silicate like opal and the water they're mixed with, and produce a much finer and easier polish than working with finer and finer diamond grit will give you. You can often go from 1200 grit or so to a final mirror polish. Opal is heat sensitive in addition to other things so don't let it get hot, use enough water to keep it cool.

So it sounds like I want a slightly different set of stuff for the opal vs. playing around with random rocks. I'm assuming it's important not to cross-contaminate, e.g. if I get a wheel or three from Hi-Tech for my "All you need" thing, and smear some cerium oxide on it, and then run water on it while grinding down some hunks into cabs, I would not want to use that same wheel (even rinsed off?) to grind away at some other rocks that are harder?

How about the TINY TRIM, what blade(s) and what fluid(s) should I get for it? I wanna slice a "thunder egg" (geode of unknown makeup) into bits, but it'd also be nice to be able to slice up opal.

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Leperflesh posted:

I'm struggling to figure out how that would work. You'd have like a horizontal saw blade, how would you feed stone into it? Or you mean, you can mount saw blades on your vertical setup...

How about the TINY TRIM, what blade(s) and what fluid(s) should I get for it? I wanna slice a "thunder egg" (geode of unknown makeup) into bits, but it'd also be nice to be able to slice up opal.

Here's a video of a guy using an all you need, looks like hes doing it freehand without a stick which is cool but we were told not to do that for uh....maybe safety?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isz9xR2yXo8

For the TINY TRIM, the trimmer I used had a non serrated edge and the flat side was the "sharp" side. The blade should also be pretty thin. I think we used mineral oil for ours, but I saw a guy use just water before too. These guys seem to have opinions about the specifics

https://highlandpark.freshdesk.com/support/solutions/articles/14000058367-what-kind-of-coolant-should-i-run-in-my-saw-

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Freehand cabbing is done quite a bit and probably just fine, if you don't mind short fingernails and the occasional scrape while you learn. I much prefer a dop. For removing CA I usually grab the wooden dowel right below the stone and squeeze to flex it and break the bond, then peel some ofd with a box opener, then grind the back down to clean up scratches and remove the rest of the glue.

I have never used a horizontal saw setup but people do it. I am not sure if stones are fed in by hand or what. I use a ring saw to trim and slab small stones and I just feed them in by hand, because the blade tends to just scrape skin a bit if you were to touch it, but that's a normal vertical saw setup. That one is used with water only, which I prefer a lot because I like to slice opals and turquoise and other stones which can absorb oil. You can also use a cheap wet cutting tile saw for this if you buy diamond blades for it.

Cross contamination is mostly an issue with diamond grits used for grinding. Each lap has a designated grit, and it will not tend to grind off pieces of the stone bigger than that grit* so you can use it from stone to stone as long as you don't get the coarser grinding grit onto the finer laps. Cerium would be on your final polishing lap, so you definitely don't want any coarser grit to get on there. So basically keep your different grit laps separate but you don't need to worry about using them on opal and on other random rocks.
That said, this is much more forgiving when cutting cabs than in faceting.

Thunder eggs are similar to geodes but form in pointy-edged cavities in rhyolites rather than in sedimentary layers like geodes do. They can have a variety of cool things inside.

*sometimes some stones (some garnets in particular) will chip off bigger sharp bits just to screw with you, and those can be a real nuisance, but it isn't that typical.

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Scarodactyl posted:

*sometimes some stones (some garnets in particular) will chip off bigger sharp bits just to screw with you, and those can be a real nuisance, but it isn't that typical.

This absolutely hosed with me. I got a bag of so-so garnets to practice with as my first stones, and one of them must have broken off a chunk and embedded in my pre-polish lap. Took me a while to figure that one out!


Scarodactyl posted:

Claes: nice! It'll be interesting to see its performance when it's done. Dark blue C with a teal cross-axis?

Thanks! Yeah I'm curious, cutting it into an omni oval so we'll see how she does.

I think that's it? Looks to be mostly green with some blue bits, which makes that teal cross axis yeah. Hopefully I get some representation of all the colours in the final stone

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007






So uhhh, Gemworld.
http://www.gemworld.com/USAvsUS.htm
Not super excited to order from these guys. For example they don't collect state tax, and both they and I am in CA so that's definitely illegal. They don't take credit cards. They add the 4% merchant fee from Paypal back to your order, which is definitely against Paypal's rules. And they're, based on the above page, full on gold fringe freeman on the land lunatics.

Do you guys have a preferred vendor where I can get some blades for my tiny trim? Also some cutting lube? Those Highland Park dudes seem legit but I'd rather not buy the minimum 5+ gallons of stuff... Gemworld lists a bunch of different cutting fluid options including some that come dried that you add to water, which sounds good to me, or some smaller quantities etc.

These guys sell tiny trim disks: http://www.amlap.com/alw/sawblades.html and their site has an actual shopping cart, anyone used them before?

I figure I'll get replacement disks for my All In One direct from Hi-Tech but they only sell this one lubricant which is specifically for diamond cutting, so I'll need to at least make two orders to get my equipment in order.

Xun
Apr 25, 2010



Leperflesh posted:

So uhhh, Gemworld.
http://www.gemworld.com/USAvsUS.htm
Not super excited to order from these guys. For example they don't collect state tax, and both they and I am in CA so that's definitely illegal. They don't take credit cards. They add the 4% merchant fee from Paypal back to your order, which is definitely against Paypal's rules. And they're, based on the above page, full on gold fringe freeman on the land lunatics.

Do you guys have a preferred vendor where I can get some blades for my tiny trim? Also some cutting lube? Those Highland Park dudes seem legit but I'd rather not buy the minimum 5+ gallons of stuff... Gemworld lists a bunch of different cutting fluid options including some that come dried that you add to water, which sounds good to me, or some smaller quantities etc.

These guys sell tiny trim disks: http://www.amlap.com/alw/sawblades.html and their site has an actual shopping cart, anyone used them before?

I figure I'll get replacement disks for my All In One direct from Hi-Tech but they only sell this one lubricant which is specifically for diamond cutting, so I'll need to at least make two orders to get my equipment in order.

These might be what you're looking for?

https://ameritoolonline.com/collections/diamond-saw-blades

If not a guy has put together a big list of lapidary stores you can try, I saw him ask people on facebook for additions to the list so I think a lot (if not all) of these shops are okay

https://medium.com/justin-k-prim/every-lapidary-supply-shop-in-the-world-76bfaff46668

puravida
Jan 4, 2019


Nice to see the gem thread back! I loved browsing the last one for tips and photos.

Does anyone recall JohnnyRnRís website where he sold jewelry? I loved browsing it since he had lots of rare gems, but I canít remember the URL at all!

JohnnyRnR
May 16, 2004
Beer Ninja

Leperflesh posted:

So uhhh, Gemworld. ... And they're, based on the above page, full on gold fringe freeman on the land lunatics.

There are a lot of stone & gem guys that work solo & live in echo chambers. They wind up with some pretty strange ideas.


I'll send you a PM with a link.

Leperflesh
May 17, 2007







Thanks man, turns out there's a place in Oakland I can go check out. It'd be nice to just bring in my box o' tools and buy exactly what I need there without paying to ship stuff.

Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Finished cutting that stone, came out super dark. What a bummerrrrr.

I've got some more rough and I think I'm going to try orienting it differently so that even though the yield is lower the stone looks brighter.

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




Even if it came out dark I'd like to see it. You can always have a maglite right out of the field of view, works for selling dark tourmaline rough.

arrowdust
Jan 26, 2015




I recently got this blue apatite & sunstone set for AUD $17 excluding the (reasonably priced) shipping. Was this a good deal? Where can I find a resource that lets me compare the expected price of various semi-precious stones like these?



Blue apatite palm stone: 100g, 55mm long
Sunstone tower: 80g, 100mm tall

Scarodactyl
Oct 22, 2015




There isn't really a set price for these types of things, though you can find good comps by searching arpund eBay and online shops to get an idea what it would cost to replace. I think you paid a very reasonable price.

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Claes Oldenburger
Apr 23, 2010

Metal magician!




Scarodactyl posted:

Even if it came out dark I'd like to see it. You can always have a maglite right out of the field of view, works for selling dark tourmaline rough.

Yeah I should take some pics. Never enough time!

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