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Lapis Nevada sphere

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Jhon P
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« on: February 05, 2016, 09:04:58 am »

Finished this morning 5" Lapis Nevada Sphere
The old mine is about one hour from my place and I went out there and collected some sphere material


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Sandsave
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« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 06:12:49 am »

Nice to see a sphere on here! I would like to see a sphere section. How about you?
I started making spheres last March (2015). Totally changed my rockhounding perspective. I used to look for small material to cab. Now I look for larger material because I know I can make a sphere and get tons of cab material. If it's not great cab material the spheres show the 360 degree of the rock usually pretty cool.
I'll post some I've finished in the last couple weeks, need to take some pics first.

Nice work
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john likes rocks!
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« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2016, 07:33:10 am »

Great job! It would be fun building a sphere collection, have a blast!
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Jhon P
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« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 06:39:26 pm »

Sandsave, A sphere section would be great if there is enough interest.
Please post pictures. The problem with spheres is bigger is better, I had to buy a 24" saw  so I could cut bigger rock for bigger spheres.
I have a rose quartz and a sodalite preformed that should finish to 6", just need to finish the hand grinding to put them in the machine.
I like doing travertine onyx it is soft and goes fast, but makes a mess.
I will post more pictures if people want to see then  I have 50 or more not including the ones that went to new homes.
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Sandsave
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« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2016, 07:29:22 pm »

I have around 50 or so also, with more on the way. I just picked up a piece of Tiffany today in trade for some Jade. Can't wait to start. Most are from 2 1/2" to 5". Here are some of my favorites. The Nephi Palm is my prized one as its really hard to get and be large enough to sphere. I got four spheres from this piece and gave three away to my rock hound buddies. We log days digging for the Palm....
1 Mexican coconut
2 Sodalite
3 Biggs
4 Cycad
5 Nephi Palm


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Sandsave
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« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 07:39:47 pm »

6 Indian Blanket
7 Septarian Nodule
8 Coprolite
9 Variscite
10 Fluorite


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peruano
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 07:29:45 am »

Wonderbar.  They are all beautiful.  Spheres are tactile delights as well as optical treats.  Tom 
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Tom
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Jhon P
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« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 02:51:00 pm »

Way cool. Love the septarian, I got a couple of large nodules from a friend
But they were too fractured to do anything with.
I find it addicting, I can't wait to finish one so I can start a new one
The thing that takes the most time is the hand grinding to get the preform
Mostly round to go into the machine. I need a large core drill but can't
Justify the $
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Jhon P
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« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 02:59:27 pm »

The first part of January I was in Parumph Nevada
Visiting a friend and he took me out to a couple if travertine
Oynx mines. He wanted to see the ones I had
So i took this quick picture. Like doing oynx it is only about a
4 hardness and it grind and polishes fast
I will have to take pictures of the two jade I did. Grinding jade
Took forever


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Sandsave
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« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2016, 05:07:04 pm »

Definitely a lot of work before before you get to turn. There's a gentleman here locally with 45+ years experience he has been a great help to me. There's nothing you can do save time cutting it is what it is. Do you have a cab machine? If so go pick up 8-10 diamond blades from harbor freight, put some spacers between them (I used some CDs from the wife's office) install in place of the end wheel.the water from your cab machine keeps the dust away and you can take edges off in no time.

Picasso Marble

Sandsave


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Jhon P
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« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2016, 09:03:06 am »

I have set up a 7" angle grinder with a 7" diamond turbo wheel that I mount at a 45 degree angle.  It grinds rock like nothing else that I have tried.
I set it up outside in the back lot on a shed, wear coveralls, hearing protection and respirator. the amount of rock dust and noise is unbelievable. I look like a snow man when done. But it is still the hardest physical part of making spheres. The cutting of preforms and the sphere machine are easy.
I will preform the smaller ones (under 5") with the 10" tile saw (after I cut the cube) when the weather permit because I set it up outside. A lot faster than using the oil saws and no oil to clean.
 I am always looking for ways to make it easier and am always open to imformation,
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Jhon P
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2016, 09:17:56 pm »

Sandsave, loved all of your spheres, here is the spotted jade that took forever to do


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Jhon P
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2016, 09:19:02 pm »

and a rose quartz


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Sandsave
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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2016, 06:56:34 pm »

They are awesome. The rose quartz is sweet. Here's a dugway geode, never really tried one of these, turned out neat. The Tiffany stone I traded some Jade for was a total wash. Live and Learn. I know what to look for next time


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« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2016, 09:38:22 pm »

Here is a sphere that a friend of mine had made from fused quartz. It is 18-1/2" in diameter and weighs about 275 lbs. We were working on having it to display at our show last week but we couldn't get anyone to insure it.
Bob
 
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2016, 06:01:23 pm »

Wow! That is beautiful. so it's glass? I need a couple friends like that!
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bobby1
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2016, 08:59:05 pm »

It's not glass. It is solid quartz but not crystalline quartz. It is made from a large ingot of fused quartz. This material is chemically identical to natural quartz and is made from the quartz components of sand. The material is made into a huge (8 feet across) cylindrical ingot that is sliced in 34" high segments that are sliced into quarters. These pie shaped pieces are used to make very large crucibles for melting pure silicon that gets drawn into boules up to 12" or more in diameter. These  boules are sliced into thin wafers upon which electronic circuits are developed for the electronics industry. This sphere was made by Richardson's Ranch about 20 years ago at a cost of about $7,000. Today it would cost about $50,000 to duplicate it.
Bob
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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2016, 10:15:40 pm »

It's not glass. It is solid quartz but not crystalline quartz. It is made from a large ingot of fused quartz. This material is chemically identical to natural quartz and is made from the quartz components of sand. The material is made into a huge (8 feet across) cylindrical ingot that is sliced in 34" high segments that are sliced into quarters. These pie shaped pieces are used to make very large crucibles for melting pure silicon that gets drawn into boules up to 12" or more in diameter. These  boules are sliced into thin wafers upon which electronic circuits are developed for the electronics industry. This sphere was made by Richardson's Ranch about 20 years ago at a cost of about $7,000. Today it would cost about $50,000 to duplicate it.
Bob

Richardsons had a boule in the shop when I was there on a field trip once, and a slice from it. I remember there was a somewhat awful joke about 'pretty faces' and 'ugly faces' reflected in it, (depending on if it was a little girl or a little boy doing the looking.) The spheres are pretty cool. It's an excellent way to show a greater area of pattern, or how pattern carries through a rock. Love the nodules and dugway. How did you clean the dust and grit from the inside of the dugway?
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« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2016, 06:34:27 am »

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.
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« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2016, 02:16:09 pm »

The fused quartz material is perfectly clear and flawless so its looks can be deceiving. Natural quartz is probably impossible to find in that size that is perfectly clear.
Bob
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Jhon P
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« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2016, 06:29:28 pm »

love the geode or any sphere with vugs or cavities. I have a few blackrock geodes that I keep saying that I a going to cut on and see if I can get spheres out of them.
 I would to love see the fused the quartz sphere in person, it must be amazing to look in to it, maybe some one could tell my future. Can you imagine the work that it takes to make it. I have to use my 24" saw to cut a big enough rock to make a 6" sphere, than grinding the preform must be a heck of a job. I have a 6" sodalite in the machine now and it was cut from a 55 lb rock.
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Jhon P
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« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2016, 06:39:55 pm »

Sand save what kind of machine do you have? and what do you use for grinding. I have use grit, hated cleaning up every time I change to a finer grit. I have used diamond powder or paste on pvc cups that worked good but still have to clean between grits to prevent contamination, I have the best luck using diamond powder for obsidian. Mostly I use diamond cups that I braze myself and diamond wet grinder pads for the rest of the grits.
Is there anyone else out there that is making spheres or just two of us that is crazy enough to do it.
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« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2016, 06:23:52 pm »

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.
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« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2016, 01:39:13 pm »

I looked at the HP high speed machine but dud t want the bungie cord system, I two home built machine that came from an estate sale and they is the bungie cord. So when I bought the new machine I went with Covington three head and have never retreated it. Love all of different adjustments.  A friend of mine has a two head Covington that helped make my decision.
 So you must be an electrician?  Lol I am an electrial contractor here in Nevada.
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« Reply #24 on: March 31, 2016, 05:02:22 pm »

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)

Here's a Sodalite I just finished last night


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« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2016, 08:51:53 pm »

I finished my sodalite today when I got home, just needed to do the polish. funny that you finished a sodalite also. this one is a little over 6". the rock I bought was about 55 lb  the seller must of been in a good mood he only charged me $300.00  ura or he seen me coming and knew that I was looking for a big enough piece to make a sphere of at least 6".
 here is also the 6" rose quartz that I finished a couple of weeks ago, the rock I cut it from was 62lb but I was able to get three spheres out of it.


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Jhon P
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« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2016, 08:53:17 pm »

Missed a picture dunno


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« Reply #27 on: April 03, 2016, 06:52:03 am »

That sodalite is great, it's a lot darker than my material I like it. I'm working some Turritella they make great spheres. I'll post when finished.
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« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2016, 01:04:57 pm »

the Sodalite came from Africa the lighter blue that I have came from Barzil. Do you know where Yours came from.
I have another piece from africa that is very dark, the cabs I have done look almost black in till you get bright light on them. I didn't do a sphere out of it, it cost me a lot more $ per lb. I only slabbed half of it I could still cut a 4" ball out of it.
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« Reply #29 on: April 04, 2016, 05:20:55 am »

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"

Jay


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« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2016, 07:14:45 pm »

Super Spheres! Sure enjoy seeing them thanks!
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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2016, 10:01:09 am »

I used to sell precision ground plastic balls. The ones the size of these spheres were very expensive. I am not anywhere where I can collect rock. I would like to know what a rock of generally inexpensive material large enough to cut a 6" sphere would cost. I know the cost of a sphere machine from looking at the Kingsley North Catalog. I have always wanted to make spheres but now I am wondering if the cost involved might be prohibitive for me. At least I can make small spheres if I want. Now that I think about it, a tutorial on how to make small spheres would be nice. In the meantime I am going to try it the next time that I get my saw running. I only have a 10" saw so I guess there is another cost added to what I just thought about. I guess large spheres are going to be prohibitive for me unless I find (figure out) a way to make them by hand.
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« Reply #32 on: April 13, 2016, 11:31:22 am »

When u get a few minutes I will tell you how you can make them by hand. They don't have to be big. I have done a lot of ones under 3".
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« Reply #33 on: April 13, 2016, 09:10:49 pm »

Ok I have a few minutes   The rock that I have cut 6" spheres from have weighed 50lb or more. I spent $300.00 on the sodalite rock, but I got a lot of slabbing material from it. The price of the rock can vary from $1.00 a lb to ?  I am able to collect a lot of rock where I live.

 You can make a sphere by hand but it is a lot of work. if you search the internet you can find better instructions than I can Give you.you will need some kind of motor drive (100 to 200rpm is best)  with a spindle that you can attach a 3/4' pipe thread male adapter and a steel pipe adapter from 2" to 3/4" , a brass 2" pipe 90 and a short piece of pipe for a handle. Cut a cube of rock (3" ?) and than cut off all the corners and hand grind it to a some what round preform. Start with 90 grit wet slurry and put the preform between the two pipe fittings and start grinding, rocking the pipe fitting around to keep the preform rocking and rolling always in motion keep it wet and add grit as needed, when round clean up everything one piece of grit will ruin everything if there are any cracks or pores you will have to clean the grit out of the rock,  progress thru the grits always cleaning between grits. Polish you can attach felt or some other material to hold the polish.
 a softer rock like serpentine or travertine oynx  would be easier to do.  or spend a bunch of money on a sphere machine Or You can buy a sphere from someone that makes them
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« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2016, 04:46:39 am »

True story Jhon, it's would be tough to do by hand but not impossible.
Here is a Queen stone from the southern Utah area I just finished up. I'm working on a
Honeycomb Onyx right now.


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« Reply #35 on: April 14, 2016, 11:22:54 am »

Thanks. I just got an idea for smaller spheres and as soon as I cut a cab for someone then I will give it a try. There are tutorials for smaller ones on youtube.
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2016, 08:42:22 pm »

Honeycomb Onyx, just finished this evening. Quite nice material to work with, nice trade for some Wyoming Jade huh! Didn't take a real high shine,but it's eye candy.

Jay


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Jhon P
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« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2016, 08:27:26 am »

That's a pretty one . Do you know if the oynx came from oynx springs in the panimint mountian near Death Valley. I went there a couple of years ago and collected 800 lbs and split it with a friend. We wanted to go back but the mine owner didn't want to do anouther fee dig right now. It is real cool rock easy to work and takes a great polish. Don't leave it in the sun it will turn white. I have a big piece setting by the 24" saw to cut for a sphere. Should get one over 6"
I think that I have made six spheres form 3" to 6" from that onyx
Here is a labradorite I just finished and an agate from a rock that I stole from a friends rock collection. I may give if back to her


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« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2016, 08:34:20 am »

Sandsave. How big is the queen stone. I would like to get some of the to make a sphere out of but it may be a little far for a field trip?. Is it a rhyolite? Going to try and go out to wonder stone mountian in a couple of weeks and get a few pieces big enough to make spheres out of
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« Reply #39 on: April 24, 2016, 05:02:51 pm »

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.

Sandsave
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« Reply #40 on: April 24, 2016, 05:12:03 pm »

I can trade you somthing ? I have a couple of different oynx or lapis Nevada (mostly green with some pink, I may try to make a trip back to the mine and was going to look for more pink )
Planning on a trip to wonder stone mountian and over the hill for some green serpentine.
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« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2016, 06:56:40 pm »

Sounds like a plan, I'll PM you when we head down, it will be later this summer.

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« Reply #42 on: April 28, 2016, 08:41:03 am »

John, very good technic and gooood polishing.
About how much time for piece?
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« Reply #43 on: April 29, 2016, 05:55:26 pm »

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...

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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2016, 05:09:46 pm »

Check that. I posted it under cabs etc. it was moved to the child board (REALLY), so look there if you want to keep posting
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« Reply #45 on: May 02, 2016, 06:12:31 pm »

Jhon - here's the link to the new forum topic:  http://lapidaryforum.net/group/index.php?board=57.0
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