A community forum for lapidaries of every imaginable gemstone related niche to gather. Sharing a great many topics. Generally beginning with discoveries of various minerals, cutting, shaping and finishing cabochons right on up to and including the designing of jewelry and other gemstone related artwork.
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Hi lovely rock, although I have no idea what it might be but it should come up great please share pics of the finished article. I love finding lumps of rock where ever I go and actually get more enjoyment out of working with them than I do from the semi precious rocks, have fun
thanks for sharing that picture, as I said I had never heard of it before it dropped through the letter box, and as you have shown there is so much variation and yes we are actively looking for more now. From most things I have read it seems that most people only attain a dull buff finish, but I honestly believe that with enough layers of wax you should be able to get those beauties gleaming like a mirror, think about it, after the initial layer of wax you will be polishing the wax layers after that and not the stone, just like you would with a chunk of Mahogony when french polishing, I may be wrong but I do think it would work.
3rdRockFromTheFun thanks for your comments, I guess this took our craft of Lapidary right back to basics. I was just extremely wary because it wasn't my stone it was the clients, so yes as you say I winged it and it paid off
thanks for taking a peek and you comments, after reading around I wasn't that sure what to use to finish it off, so I just read the instructions on lots of different types of polish in the local hardware shop, and this particular one said to leave for 4 hours before buffing, so I thought that it must create some sort of seal, so that's the logic I went with. The polish I used is called Liberon beeswax, the other thing that swayed me was that it states on the tin "safe for use on toys". If I do get to work with this Zebra Stone again, I will try it with water on the wheels to see how it goes, I was just afraid it might end up like a sponge.
And hey BATwOMaN, we are still around just keeping busy trying to earn our daily bread like everyone else these days but haven't spent as much time in the workshop as we would have liked so far this year but we have had some commissions which is good, one was for a three foot high wire tree sculpture which went to a church in Scotland so they can hang prayers on it, it was requested by a young Mum and Dad who lost there young son last year, it was a big job with almost 2 kilometers of wire in it.
well I messed about with a small bit, worked it with "dry" sic paper, 240, 600 and 1200, had one edge shaped a sanded in a very short time, I then used a bees wax on the finished edge and it's looking pretty good.
Then I drilled it big enough for two pieces of leather thing to pass through, again no problems.
Next I went to work on the larger chunk, this was around 20mm thick and about 100mm long and 60 mm wide, I cut it down the middle with a hacksaw, just took it easy and it cut fine, then I marked out a couple of pendants shapes and cut them roughly with the hacksaw and then got rid of the rest with a small diamond disc on my drill, now I have to drill the holes for the leather thong and finish shaping with sic paper and then beeswax it and job done.
I was really wary when I started working on this stone, but it has given me the confidence to have a go a lump of amber I have had lying around for a few years now.
Once the job is finished I will post a few pics and thanks to all who have offered advice
just been given a lump of zebra stone to slice and then shape into two pendants and a set of earrings.
I have never worked with this stone before and it seems a bit soft, in that if I scrape my nail over it it's a bit like chalk which is a worry.
My saw uses "metrprep" for cooling which I understand is mineral oil based, my concern here is that the stone will absorb the coolant, same with the wheels they are water cooled so again will the stone absorb the water and finally if I use the diamond on will the oil in the diamond paste be absorbed, sorry about all the questions but would like to be sure before I proceed
thanks for your replies, I have double checked the drums are fitted correctly and they are running at about 1500 rpm, so could look at speeding them up a bit, but the trouble is they start to wander when I switch the machine on.
I will try putting some old well used sic belts underneath the rez belts first to see if that does the job, but they are really stretched so not holding too much hope on that idea.
as you may be aware I use Rez belts on 8" expanding drums (resin impregnated belts for use with diamond paste).
They are now starting to stretch so much so that they wander off the drum and I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem and if they found a way of securing the belt to the drum or is just time to change the belts.
it's brilliant. love to see stuff that made out of stuff thats all put together to make a working machine, I am sure you will get more satisfaction out of this than any ready built machine from a shop.
Dave, tell me about the motor, type manufacturer, hp, etc., whats the black box on top? questions, questions, questions.
the motor is a single phase induction motor, continuous duty type. It's 240v 50HZ and runs at 1380 RPM with an output of 0.25kw or 0.33 hp, the black box on top is where all the electrical connections are made plus it houses the two capacitors (start and run) as well.
I bought this from the UK, but am sure you could find something similar over in the USA, as it was explained to me by the shop I got it from, most motors are chinese these days, some are exceptional some are rubbish, but as this is third motor I have had from this guy I am convinced he knows his stuff and won't sell me rubbish. We have run these motors for in excess of 5 hours at a strech and they have never faltered or overheated so we are happy with them.
thanks for your comments and yes it does do a sterling job for us, as for a name for the machine "The Finishing Touch" sound
Now we have lots of dopping to do and then we can get the rest of the cabs up to scratch. It like I said a while ago, the diamond paste was the only way I could get a deep shine on Lapis and at that time we only had, at that time we only had the 28 amd 0.5 mesh in play, now we have the other two as well so good result are anticipated!