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1  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rock Hounding Trips, Tips, and Pics / Re: Where Are You Going Digging 2016? on: March 05, 2016, 08:20:44 am
I'm leaving 2 weeks from today (March 19th) to spend 9 days in the Wileys Well area.  Mostly looking forward to just sitting by a campfire and sleeping under the stars each night, but the rocks will be plentiful.
2  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Petrified wood ID help on: March 03, 2016, 05:21:54 pm
Another possibility is Gary Green.  Gary green usually seems a little more matte finish until polished, even though it takes a nice polish.  And translucent is not real common either.

Ok, nevermind on the Gary Green... LOL

3  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: AAA Scenic Owyhee Picture Jasper on: March 01, 2016, 07:55:02 am
I once did an experiment of cutting two pieces from the same stone at 90 degree angles to each other.  Both these are from the same chunk of Owyhee which was about the size of a baseball.
4  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Mineral Specimens / Re: ID help on: March 01, 2016, 07:41:16 am
#2 looks like chopstick agate.  If I had to choose I'd go with #3.  It looks to have some real interesting potential.
5  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Drill Bits on: February 29, 2016, 08:54:51 pm
The set I bought has 50 bits and was $20.  You can see the box sitting in the background of the first picture.  I don't see it anymore on Harbor Freights website but you might get lucky and find one in the store itself.  But the bits in the set you posted are basically the same ones, just not as big a selection.

EDIT- Wait...I did find it.
http://www.harborfreight.com/50-Pc-Diamond-Rotary-Point-Set-69665.html
6  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Drill Bits on: February 29, 2016, 06:51:30 pm
Like everything in this hobby there are many options in a range of prices, but I bought a cheap set of chinese diamond bits from Harbor Freight.  They work surprisingly well for me.  The biggest trick was rigging up a system to use them in water without dousing my dremmel.  This was my solution...



The water just barely covers the stone.  And yes, the dremmel is free-standing in that photo.  The hole was already partially drilled with a conical shaped bit and the dremmel was just resting there while I took the pic.
7  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Share Our Shop And Or Work Area Pics / Re: Reclaiming the man cave on: February 29, 2016, 06:42:31 pm
Haha!  Its 3 to 1 when you got two girls and a wife.  Sounds like the negotiations went in your favor though.  Make the most out of the extra space because the outnumbered Dad in the house usually doesn't fare so well!
saved2
8  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Discs, Wheels, Belts, Pads, and Polishing / Problem with a DP galaxy wheel on: February 25, 2016, 06:29:03 pm
When I built my custom cabbing machine I bought a set of Diamond Pacific wheels.  The set designed for a Titan (8" wheels).  The set consists of two galaxy (hard) wheel in grits 80 and 220 and four Nova (soft) wheels in 280, 600, 1200 and 3000.

My machine has always worked well and I love the wheels, but I noticed a problem with my 220 galaxy wheel early on.  I thought it would work itself out but instead the problem seems to be getting worse as the wheel breaks in.  The problem lies in the fact that somewhere on the 220 wheel there is (what I am assuming is) a bit of contamination that was introduced during manufacture.  Whatever it is it creates scratches that are deep enough that they do not come out as I continue on through the grits.  I can actually grind out these scratches on the first nova wheel (280) but only if I have identified where they are and have left enough meat in the stone to work them out.  And the problem is they are very hard to see until you get into the polishing stages.  When the stone is wet they cannot be seen at all and when the stone dries out I usually cant see them until at least after the 600, and thats only on stones that already start to take a shine at that grit.

I have taken to jumping from shaping on the 80 grit to going directly to 280, especially on things like obsidian where these scratches are devastating to the finish.  I have to assume the offender is a small diamond particle embedded in the 220 wheel because it is hard enough to scratch even the hardest things I have ever cut.  I thought maybe it would pop out or wear off, but it seems to be getting worse as the wheel wears in.  I don't cut lots of rock so I expect my wheels to last for years.  In fact I've already been using them for a couple years and they are just getting broke in nicely, but I can't continue with this one.  I have tried inspecting the wheel meticulously under magnification but I cannot identify the spot.

The scratches are small so I know the contamination is small.  In hand on most stones where I still have scratches after finishing them it is very hard to see the scratches with the naked eye.  The exception is darker stones in uniform colors with a high gloss finish.  Things like bruneau and obsidian are terrible unless I can find the scratches at the next stage and remove them.  Lots of my finished stones I haven't even noticed the scratches until they were done and I started trying to take macro photos of them.  Then I'm like "Awww Damnit!!"

So has anyone ever had a problem with a wheel like this in the past?   Is there a way I could identify the offending spot and possibly remove it?  Do I need to bite the bullet and just buy another wheel?  Any help or suggestions would be appreciated.

Here is a stone I finished today to illustrate.  This is a piece of agua nueva agate.  The cab is large (about 56X43mm) so the dome is fairly low.  In hand the scratches are all but invisible.  You have to look at a reflected light source shining off the stone where the scratches are to see them with the naked eye.  But in the photos I took they are very apparent and it drives me crazy.  You see them as the small white streaks crisscrossing the center of the stone.
9  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Mineral Specimens / Re: Need a ID on: February 16, 2016, 05:43:08 pm
If No2 is hard like a jasper as you say then I'd also go with wonderstone.

And No5 is fantastic whatever it is!
10  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / I can't cut this one! on: February 06, 2016, 10:16:41 pm
This slab dropped off the saw this afternoon.  My first thought was "There is gonna be a great cab here!".  Upon closer inspection I realized I could not improve on this one by cutting it up.  It will be polished as a display piece.

Agua Nueva Agate:


This was just a cellphone pic.  I'll attempt a better photo later with my good camera and lightbox.
11  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rock Hounding Trips, Tips, and Pics / Re: Clark Co., Nevada trip report on: February 06, 2016, 10:11:00 pm
His example of the Christmas Agate is truly top notch.  I've cut a lot of agate from this location and it is hard to find such rich greens.  Jeremy truly has a great eye for finding the best material available at a location!
12  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: New (to me) saw. Hooray! on: February 02, 2016, 06:19:03 pm
Finally put the HP18" to work today.
https://youtu.be/PEXSO3OnybM
13  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: New (to me) saw. Hooray! on: February 02, 2016, 06:06:47 am
Tony always gives good deals.  And he threw in some oil to entice me.

And don't worry Gary, your Lortone is still in daily use around here. Got some Coyomito agate I'm dying to stick into the small saw right now.  Here it is in action this last week.  This stone may have gone in the big saw if it would've been here already.  I need to remember that if it fits in this saw its a good thing to use it.  The smaller kerf on the 10" blade means less stone waste.
https://youtu.be/vldLSaOi6jA
14  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: A Crazy Shape on: February 02, 2016, 05:59:48 am
Fantastic form!  Looks like a white candle flame.  yes
15  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rock Hounding Trips, Tips, and Pics / Re: Clark Co., Nevada trip report on: January 31, 2016, 04:20:34 pm
Great trip report!  Glad you shared your experiences, and sorry I was out of town and wasn't able to join you.  Looks like you didn't need me at all though!  You were much more diligent in exploring the area than most people are and it paid off.  There is a lot to offer in the area and you did well at finding some great stuff.

To mrlnavy:  You do not need to contact anyone at the local club.  The Ore Car Mine is free and open to the public.  They only ask that you collect responsibly.  The only cost is in gaining admission to Lake Mead National Recreation Area which you must drive through to reach the site.  Directions to the claim can be found at the clubs website.
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