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John, Looks like this forum is moving. I'm already a member in the other forum same name. Let's start another topic for our spheres. Ok. I'm just finishing a piece of Redmond onyx I'll post in the cab section...
It's about 5". I'm not sure what type of stone it is for sure, it pretty hard, I'd say a 5 1/2-6. It comes from the Salina Utah area and we are planning to go down later this summer. I'll pick you up a chunk.
Here we go! Yellow Feather Jasper. I cut several different rocks until I came across this one with multiple colors. Ended up with ten slabs great looking. Most of my yellow feather is yellow or orange first one I've had mixed!
Mother Nature is mean, I took four people back to the new site. Found nothing to match the few stones I found the first time, some material close but no luck. But I know where to get some jasper and pet wood of different sorts anyway.
Same on the Sodalite, I did manage to get 6 -3 1/2" spheres. I don't usually buy anything. Usually self collected or trade for. Here is a Turritella sphere, I got this with a trade for Wyoming Jade. I probably can two more from this rock, this one is 4"
I'm a contractor also, my crew averages between 20 to 25. Although I'm at 30 right now. Our commercial side is crazy right now, residential is average. I went with the Highland Park so I would have extra gear heads and motors. That would inter change with each other. Didn't work out to well, had I known I would have looked around a bit more before buying the Highland Park.
I don't use a bungee I use multiple springs with different tensions so I can adjust. (3 Sets)
I traded some electrical work for an old machine partially refurbished don't know the brand name. I used an old barbecue motor and arm to feed the grit. One of the gear motors died and I took the part to a machinist buddy and it was quite expensive to make just one gear. So I bought a Highland Park. There web site showed pic of a machine with the same GE gear motors as my old one. Big mistake all made in China including the motors, but thats another story. I use diamond cups now and they're worth the money. I've only had to replace the 80 grit so far. I tried the diamond brazing rods but you can't beat the cups. No real clean up between as your changing cups as you progress. No big mess I have 10" plastic bucket and only splash is when I drop a sphere into it by mistake.
The geode required very little clean up, just flushed out with warm water. I think I'll try a few more to see how they turn out. The preform is almost gone when you start. Bob that sphere looks like glass it's so clean looking. That's why I was wondering if it was glass.