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October 02, 2014, 12:22:42 am
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Lapidary band saws

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Author Topic: Lapidary band saws  (Read 1257 times)
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mick B
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« on: September 11, 2012, 05:33:59 am »

Been looking at purchasing a lapidary band saw, would be good for some of my carving and fancy cab shapes, seen a few, any help on brands would be great, band saws, ring saws, can you get a band saw with a round diamond blade, not sure how long the blade would last on agate or jade, or are these only suited to glass.

Cheers mick B
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39don
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« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2012, 08:29:41 am »


Hi Mick,

I searched bandsaw and came up with this link of Michaels (Redrummd)

http://gemstone.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,4310.0.html    He is the most experienced here using the lapidary bandsaws. You might want to PM him if he doesn't respond to your questions.

39don
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2012, 09:41:59 am »

The best saw is the Gryphon by far and even it has issues, specifically the blade guides.   

I find that the life of the band blades is about 40 inches of cutting in agate.  The problem is that the back of the blade "knife edges" and digs into the blade guide.  You can get about 80 inches out of the blades if you use a dressing stick on the back of the blade every few inches of cutting to keep the knife edge issue in check and then on the diamond coated side too to keep diamond exposed.

This takes too much time for me so I just buy 200 blades at a time wholesale. This is expensive though as it costs about $11. a blade so well over $2,000. each time I do it.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2012, 06:13:21 pm by Michael S Hoover - Redrummd » Report Spam   Logged

mick B
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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2012, 04:03:22 pm »

Thanks Michael, great to get feedback on this, 80 inches maximum that makes me think twice, and this is the best one, I would easily wear out a blade in several days, makes this forum a great place to get good info.

Cheers mick B
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fwfranklen
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2012, 04:43:18 pm »

I can only dream of someone making one of these for us lapidary hobbyists. http://www.mtixtl.com/PrecisionEndlessWireSawwith2DigitalTravelandTwoAngleAdjustable.aspx
Or maybe a vertical version.

Mike
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2012, 05:35:38 pm »

Michael must be very patient to get that much cutting from a blade.  I'm lucky to get 10 inches.
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mick B
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2012, 04:48:15 am »

looking at some ring saws, one cuts in any direction, has a round diamond blade, Gryphon diamond ring saw, from Maple city stained glass, any one here used one and are they better than the band saws.

Cheers mick B
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3rdRockFromTheFun
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2012, 06:38:34 am »

I can only dream of someone making one of these for us lapidary hobbyists. http://www.mtixtl.com/PrecisionEndlessWireSawwith2DigitalTravelandTwoAngleAdjustable.aspx
Or maybe a vertical version.

Mike

And it's only $7K! chuckle

I have thought on this much. I don't see why it would not be possible to find a type of suitable wire to slurry up with SiC or diamond and, with the use of a motor and wheel to spin the wire, cut rock. Quarries use wire saws for massive hunks of rock - so why not a small version that uses a slurry rather than diamond wire dunno

Anyway, just a thought - back to your regularly scheduled thread driving
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mirkaba
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« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2012, 07:15:28 am »

I have a Taurus III ring saw. It works OK. The standard blade didn't last long so I bought the mega-blade which I have not been able to break yet. Slow and steady gets it done. Keep slab thickness 1/4" and under.
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johnjsgems
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« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2012, 11:36:37 am »

The ring saws cut in any direction but are very slow cutting agate.  The drive system is very complicated as well.  When I was demonstrating C-40s at shows (and letting customers abuse them) the blades easily lasted a year.  I used a 220 dressing stick as needed.  After a year there was plenty of diamond left but dressing didn't seem to bring back the "like new" cutting performance.  I would wear then down to the copper if my personal use but for demo purposes I wanted a really sharp blade.  My first customer kept track of usage and got two hours on first blade and was 10 hours use on the second with no issues.  Michael doesn't use Gryphon blades.  The gryphon blades are copper so never get brittle and break like the stainless steel Inland and other Chinese blades.  The blades will dull if forcing through agate but a dressing stick restores them well.  It is a much better saw than the Inland.  The band saw won't cut as fast as a rotary trim saw but will cut ovals, hearts, crosses, etc. much better.  Less waste when cutting preforms too.
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mick B
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« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2012, 03:02:09 pm »

Great feedback here, the Gryphon sounds the goods, I did read there is a fuser blade- heavy duty, I like to do fancy shapes, should be good, some of the high end ring saws I saw would most likley be better but very expensive, great to get good info before buying, will not be used to slab, my MK and smart cut 10 in blades are great.

Cheers mick B
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mick B
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2012, 01:44:38 am »

Received my new band saw from John today, AWESOME tool, some pics of my first cut heart, this will save so much time in grinding and material, will try some nephrite tomorrow, it easily cut the rhodonite, used the standard blade, may use the heavy duty fusers on the jade ?, thanks for the great feed back to help my purchase.


* Band saw 1.jpg (87.11 KB, 562x480 - viewed 4 times.)

* band saw 2.jpg (138.71 KB, 715x609 - viewed 24 times.)
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3rdRockFromTheFun
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« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2012, 02:40:29 am »

Congratulations Michael - that's pretty sweet, what a time saver - so much you can be doing with all of that time not spent grinding! yes
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southerly
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2012, 02:57:29 am »

Mick, that is really cool, I am really jealous, next time I come up I am bringing all the slabs I want to do fancy shapes in, and sneaking in and using the saw in the middle of the night..  bricks

David
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mick B
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2012, 04:17:16 am »

David, any time, all the fancy shapes you want, another rock toy, also looking at the ring saw in this brand, it has a special blade that separates, core drill a hole and cut internal then remove blade ?, for internal cut outs on carvings.
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