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5506  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Rare and Unusual Slab on: April 02, 2009, 06:32:04 am
Hi guys and gals.  Here's one that I have only seen about 6 slabs of, and I got 4 of them.  It came from a dealer in Canada and is from the Mesabi Iron Range in Minnesota.  I jokingly call it by my last name with "ite" appended but it is more accurately called Mesabi Jasper or Mesabi Iron Range Jasper.  If anyone knows what it is really called, please let me know.  It is somewhat similar to Binghamite and Silkstone, both of which come from the same area.  I believe all three are chiefly made up of Jasper, Hematite, and Quartz, the difference comes from the amounts of each along with any other components.  Binghamite has a lot of Quartz with the Jasper often arranged in parallel strands more like an inclusion in the Quartz.  Silkstone seems to have little identifiable Quartz and is darker and more iridescent.  The Mesabi is more homogeneous with splotches of Jasper mixed with Hematite and some Quartz in a flowing manner.  In the Mesabi, the Jasper is mainly shades of bright Red with some Yellow and White.  The Mesabi has areas that are smooth to soft (Red Jasper) and then iridescent or chatoyant (Yellow and Black Hematite and Quartz) The stone varies in hardness and I would guess it goes from 4 or 5 to 7.  It makes nice cabs with a finish from glossy reds to iridescent / chatoyant blacks and yellows along with the white Quartz.  If anyone has anymore info or knows where I can get more, please let me know.  Mark
5507  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Slab ID help needed on: April 02, 2009, 03:53:12 am
I haven't received the slab yet.  I got a notification yesterday that it was shipped so hopefully by Friday or Saturday.  This will probably end up just like so many other cool slabs, squirreled away or displayed on a shelf.  Since it is a one of a kind, I hate to mess it up and would rather keep it as another treasure.  But if its not as nice in person, then maybe it gets cabbed.  I'll let you guys know when I get it.
5508  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Slab ID help needed on: April 01, 2009, 01:30:33 pm
I just labeled the pics Thompsonite until I could find out what the slab really is.  The slab originally caught my eye because of an unusual Ocean Jasper cab I had purchased that was a similar color.  But I really don't think this slab is Ocean Jasper.  The Orbs seem more like rhyolite orbs as my one friend thought.  The slab kind of reminds me of some of the monotone Oregon spider web or lilly pad jaspers, or rhyolites.  Mark
5509  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Slab ID help needed on: April 01, 2009, 11:03:36 am
Hi, I just bought this slab the other day and the dealer had no idea what it might be.  I haven't received it yet so i can't say what the texture is like or how heavy it might be.  So far I have had friends guess Thompsonite or orbicular rhyolite.  What do you all think?  Thanks, Mark.

5510  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: some snipits of what i'm cutting on: April 01, 2009, 05:38:48 am
The Sonora Sunrise is great stuff.  I bought about 20 lbs last summer when it was a lot cheaper.  It is hard to tell with that stuff, how far one or the other colors go.  Sometimes they go all the way through and sometimes they don't.  Your last slabs that are just green/blue with black veining, are still nice and will make some nice cabs.  I have found a wide variety of textures and colors in my Sonora Sunrise.  Some pieces, all the colors polish up nicely and others, one or all of the colors polish up differently so you have shiny and flat areas.  I have some slabs that even have purple in them and some that are like all kinds of different color specks mixed together.  The mixed up colored slabs tend to not take a shine, but instead are more a silky or textured finish, still nice but definitely not glossy at all.  I think that your green/blue with black veining slabs are much nicer than some of the red/orange slabs that I got, that have very little texture or pattern to them.  At least you have the contrast between the color and the veining.  Make a couple of cabs from one of the blue/green slabs to show customers what they can expect from that material.  Maybe that will help to sell those type of slabs.  Mark
5511  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Howdy on: April 01, 2009, 04:50:12 am
Hi Don.  Great ideas.  If you could get the reel thing going that could be a niche for you to exploit.  I haven't turned any rock, but many people do.  You can get a rock lathe and make spheres and I would guess that you could make a reel seat too.  I could see the agate eyes working, until you hook a real big one.  Again, great ideas.  Used is probably the way to go, you will save a lot of money.  New equipment is really expensive now, especially cabbing machines.  You can even build your own equipment if your are mechanically inclined.  Welcome again.  Mark
5512  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Hello CosmicFolklore here on: April 01, 2009, 04:37:27 am
Welcome Michael.  Only two.  Lucky me, I got three.  11, 7, and 7.  Girl and boy twins with an older brother.  Both my boys have tried cabbing a bit, and my daughter loves to pick through my cabs to find things to have mounted for her to wear.  Its great that your girls are helping out, especially with their imagination.  If I utilized my sons imagination, all the jewelry would be for Jedi Knights, Werewolves, Vampires, or some other scary monster or alien.   The boys tend to have a different perspective than the girls.  I have recently been hinting to my daughter, to cab with me, and then she can pick out the color (purple or pink, go figure) and pattern of stone she likes.  Welcome again.  Mark
5513  The Gathering / Introductions / Who is Mark?? I don't really know, but if you figure it out, let me know. on: March 31, 2009, 11:09:05 am
I posted this earlier here, but it seems to have been eaten by a Gremlin.  I also posted it in the introductions forum under the "Who is Cal" topic because someone there asked.  I am posting it here again because many may not see it under "Cal's" topic.  So here it is:  Now the answer to who is Mark?  OK.  I am Mark, from Massachusetts (this is back east to you Westies, if you haven't heard the term "Westies" before, then I claim it, haha).  Anyways, I live in the beautiful Berkshires which is a heavily forested and mountainous area where Vermont, NY, and Massachusetts come together.  The mountains are very old and around here. less than 3500 ft high.  Anywhere you stick a shovel, you will hit rock, but none of it is collectible or cabbable.  A guy recently hit "Sidewalk" stone in some ground he bought from his aunt for like $40 K.  He found out it is worth about 1 to 2 Billion dollars!!!!  Maybe 20 miles from my house.  It is a stone they use for sidewalks and curbs.  Go figure.  We are 2.5 hrs from NYC and Boston and about 5 hrs from Canada.  We get about 7 feet of snow a year and we usually get one blizzard each winter with between 2 and 3 feet of snow in 24 hrs or less.  I have been cabbing about 3 years and slabbing for 1.5 years.  I have been planning on selling on ebay for about 1.5 years but haven't gotten to it yet.  I have between 500 and 800 years worth of stone for cabbing, at a rate of 4 to 12 hrs a week.  Yes i am busy with 3 kids under 11 and a 90 lb collie, wife, full time job (rocket scientist currently or priincipal software engineer with a Secret clearance).  I am a decent cabber and love rare and unusual stone.  I prefer Jaspers but have also been getting more interested in plume agates (love the 3 dimensional quality of the stone).  I love to buy Morrisonite from Philip of Rare Rocks and Gems, he has the best stone I have ever seen.  His Morrisonite slab collection rivals any artwork in any museum in the world.  I have a real problem with parting with my cabs.  If they turn out nice, I keep them.  If i make 3 or 4 or something, then i put one aside to sell someday.  I keep finding boxes of cab blanks that I have forgotten about and its like finding a new treasure.  I have some incredible blanks just dying to be finished.  I have a "Manspace", my walkin closet in the master bedroom.  It is full of boxes and drawers of slabs and cabs and bookshelves with rock specimens, mags, and books.  My wife asks almost every day when i will clean up all the boxes and when i will start selling on ebay.  I plan to every weekend, buy it never happens.  I have a Diamond Pacific Genie with a trim saw attachment and an extra spindle with a 80 Hex wheel, 14K and 25K polishing wheels.  I have a Covington 14" slab saw.  I really want a second Genie and a separate little 8" or 10" slab/trim saw.  Oh yes, I want a lap too.  Probably a third of all slabs I buy, are for display or to squirrel away.  If a slab is really nice, I will not cab it unless I have 2 or 3 more of the same.  That way if i ruin it or it falls apart, I still have more for the future.  Now you know why i did not want to repeat this introduction, boooorrriinnggg!!!  Any how, have a great day.  Oh yes, if any of you play Halo3 online, let me know.  I am quite decent at it.  Mark
5514  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Have you been wondering who Cal is? on: March 31, 2009, 11:01:50 am
Now the answer to who is Mark?  Well, I posted earlier to the Introductions board, but it seems to have been eaten by a Gremlin.  Now I have to repeat the whole boring introduction.  OK.  I am Mark, from Massachusetts (this is back east to you Westies, if you haven't heard the term "Westies" before, then I claim it, haha).  Anyways, I live in the beautiful Berkshires which is a heavily forested and mountainous area where Vermont, NY, and Massachusetts come together.  The mountains are very old and around here. less than 3500 ft high.  Anywhere you stick a shovel, you will hit rock, but none of it is collectible or cabbable.  A guy recently hit "Sidewalk" stone in some ground he bought from his aunt for like $40 K.  He found out it is worth about 1 to 2 Billion dollars!!!!  Maybe 20 miles from my house.  It is a stone they use for sidewalks and curbs.  Go figure.  We are 2.5 hrs from NYC and Boston and about 5 hrs from Canada.  We get about 7 feet of snow a year and we usually get one blizzard each winter with between 2 and 3 feet of snow in 24 hrs or less.  I have been cabbing about 3 years and slabbing for 1.5 years.  I have been planning on selling on ebay for about 1.5 years but haven't gotten to it yet.  I have between 500 and 800 years worth of stone for cabbing, at a rate of 4 to 12 hrs a week.  Yes i am busy with 3 kids under 11 and a 90 lb collie, wife, full time job (rocket scientist currently or principal software engineer with a Secret clearance).  I am a decent cabber and love rare and unusual stone.  I prefer Jaspers but have also been getting more interested in plume agates (love the 3 dimensional quality of the stone).  I love to buy Morrisonite from Philip of Rare Rocks and Gems, he has the best stone I have ever seen.  His Morrisonite slab collection rivals any artwork in any museum in the world.  I have a real problem with parting with my cabs.  If they turn out nice, I keep them.  If i make 3 or 4 or something, then i put one aside to sell someday.  I keep finding boxes of cab blanks that I have forgotten about and its like finding a new treasure.  I have some incredible blanks just dying to be finished.  I have a "Manspace", my walk-in closet in the master bedroom.  It is full of boxes and drawers of slabs and cabs and bookshelves with rock specimens, mags, and books.  My wife asks almost every day when i will clean up all the boxes and when i will start selling on ebay.  I plan to every weekend, buy it never happens.  I have a Diamond Pacific Genie with a trim saw attachment and an extra spindle with a 80 Hex wheel, 14K and 25K polishing wheels.  I have a Covington 14" slab saw.  I really want a second Genie and a separate little 8" or 10" slab/trim saw.  Oh yes, I want a lap too.  Probably a third of all slabs I buy, are for display or to squirrel away.  If a slab is really nice, I will not cab it unless I have 2 or 3 more of the same.  That way if i ruin it or it falls apart, I still have more for the future.  Now you know why i did not want to repeat this introduction, boooorrriinnggg!!!  Any how, have a great day.  Oh yes, if any of you play Halo3 on-line, let me know.  I am quite decent at it.  Mark
5515  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Have you been wondering who Cal is? on: March 31, 2009, 09:25:34 am
Hi Cal.  Welcome to the group from another new member.  I have a couple of suggestions for your question about what grinder to get and about the wheels being too close together.  Optimally, get two units, one for grinding and one for polishing.  That way you can get all the wheels you will ever need, from a 60 or so grit Hex wheel for super fast stone removal to a 50,000 grit polishing wheel.  You can have 6 wheels on a Genie type machine and with two units you would have just about any wheel you would ever need.  This is usually not practical from a price point of view and it will take up twice the table space.  The solution to this can be very simple though.  With a Genie and probably the other brands, you can get an extra spindle or two and keep them stocked with extra wheels.  So you have the one cabbing unit with the grinding / sanding wheels on the left spindle and then the normal sanding / beginning polishing wheels on the right spindle.  Then you have a third spindle off unit, with the very fine grit polishing wheels (which you don't always need anyways).  If and when you need the extra fine wheels, just unscrew the right spindle and replace it with the spare spindle with the fine grit wheels.  On the Genie, this can be done in 15 seconds or less.  

Now the issue with the wheels being too close.  You can buy extra spacers for the spindles.  From the factory, the spindles come with the wheels on and separated by spacers.  You could take a wheel off the factory spindle and put extra spacers in and have just two wheels on the spindle with lots of space between.  This operation usually only takes a couple of minutes.  I know about the wheels being too close sometimes.  I don't use a dop stick and I hand hold my cabs when grinding.  The wheels don't usually hurt to touch, but the edges of the wheels can be sharper and can take a chunk out of your finger if you hit them.  Likewise if you are a little careless and hit the edge of a wheel with an almost finished cab, you can put a nice cut in it that you will then have to grind out.  I am awaiting the day when I have sold a bit of stuff and can justify getting a second (used) Genie so I don't have to swap out wheels.  I also have a Trim saw attachment for my Genie which screws onto the right hand spindle of the Genie and takes a minute or two to get on.  When i get my second Genie, I will just put extra wheels on the left spindle and leave the trim saw attachment on the right spindle and never need to swap anything out.  Mark
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