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1  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Identification Inquiries / Re: Utah Yellow Cat petrified wood or ???? on: April 14, 2016, 07:10:02 pm
Hey, your profile doesn't say where you are but, it ain't New Jersey and just about everywhere West of NM has some sun some part of the day.  So show us the photos.  Curious minds want to know.  I've got some unknown material that I wanted to call Yellow Cat but need more info.  Tom 
2  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: Lortone 14" Saw on: April 08, 2016, 08:46:33 am
Phil,  The history of the saws has become so convoluted that many folks may have missed the improvements that you have tried to incorporate in your version.  Why not summarize them here (one more time)?  I know you have worked hard on putting all this together and that salesmanship is not your fav pastime.  Tom 
3  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Mineral Specimens / Re: Check This - Really Neat! on: April 07, 2016, 07:14:17 am
I know that feeling "I'm afraid I'll ruin the piece". , but a guy who taught me a lot about lapidary always said " Never fall in love with your stone", meaning don't be afraid to work on it to improve its shape, shine, or size to make it what you really want it to be.  If you love it too much you'll leave it with blems, or otherwise not as desirable to you as if you had work on it as much as you knew it should be.  I used to be afraid to keep tumbling and now I indeed keep going until I'm happy.  Tom 
4  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: My Dad met the saw on: March 22, 2016, 07:38:34 am
If Jack and I have saved you from a mangled finger/hand, it will have been a good day and worth signing on for.  Build the guard and pass the word.  Tom
5  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Petrified wood on: March 22, 2016, 07:30:28 am
That is a nice assortment, above and beyond the normal range of pet woods.  Lots of activity in there for the eye.  Tom 
6  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: My Dad met the saw on: March 21, 2016, 03:54:27 pm

Well narrated Mr. Jack.  Tom 
7  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: My Dad met the saw on: March 21, 2016, 10:22:18 am
Thank Dad.  I approve of belt guards.  I've seen too many old farmers missing one or more fingers due to running them through v-belts/pulleys.  I also approve of the switch box on its side.  I have a switch on my trim saw (oil used a coolant) which has the switch facing up and hence have to be careful about how much oil accumulates on the switch and could run down into the box.  Yours will run down the face and not into the box.  BTW I keep a towel over the switch which tends to absorb the oil rather than let it run into the electrical box.  While a three wire connection is a great precaution against major shorts, a saw that might stall would also benefit from a gfi receptacle.  It will throw the connector before depending on the circuit breaker.  You might see what Dad thinks of that as an additional enhancement.  Cheers.  Tom 
8  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Lapis Nevada sphere on: March 06, 2016, 07:29:45 am
Wonderbar.  They are all beautiful.  Spheres are tactile delights as well as optical treats.  Tom 
9  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Hello from Marsville on: March 02, 2016, 07:20:35 am
Welcome and howdy.  You are on your way to a full-time endeavor having the equipment and the raw materials.  Doing a bit of preforming work on the material before it goes in the tumbler is certainly a way to 1. guarantee you will like something on the other end, and 2. speeding the process. (especially with a vibratory tumbler).
I love working with the irregular nature of the stones and letting them determine the final shape and size rather than totally inflicting my will on the end product.  Slicing off some slabettes, working them over on the cab machine, and running them through the polishing process in the tumbler always yields surprises and smiles.  Don't hesitate to pop some pictures up for us to admire. We love photos.  Tom 
10  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Newest Obsidian Cab on: February 04, 2016, 06:06:15 am
That is lovely beyond words. Nuff said.  Tom 
11  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Mineral Specimens / Re: Look what a friend found today~!! on: January 26, 2016, 04:43:40 pm
And a very saw friendly shaped piece at that.  It should slice like cheese.  Congrats. 
12  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: stabilizing opalized wood on: January 04, 2016, 05:49:33 pm
80 or 100 are way to aggressive unless you have a light hand.  A worn 100 or better a 200 wheel should let you dome a cab within a reasonable time.  And yes the steps up to polish are quick as well.  Tom 
13  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: stabilizing opalized wood on: January 04, 2016, 07:18:38 am
Or you can cut it carefully, and attach the slabs to records or cds or bondo on the back side before cabbing.  I've worked a lot with some fragile opalized wood, and just count on saving the solidest pieces, treating them carefully during the cab process and telling folks to handle them carefully once in finished form.  You can use the standard crack fill materials to fortify things that appear during cabbing, but too too often you have to let the composition of the material dictate the shape and nature of the cab produced. 
If I really had a piece I wanted maximal success with (without totally stabilizing it), I'd glue it to a record (glue that to a stub), cut off one slab at the appropriate width from the record, and then do it all again to get a second and subsequent slabs.  I.E. the exact reverse of what you would do if it was a normal specimen.  Good luck.  tom 
14  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: New from N California on: January 01, 2016, 07:36:14 am
You can buy an inexpensive set of leather punches at Harbor Freight to cut the holes in disks that need holes.  Balance does not seem to be a problem if you are mostly in the center.  Measure and draw a line twice and use the intersection as the center.  Welcome.  Tom 
15  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: 4 inch grinder with diamond blade on: December 12, 2015, 06:47:09 am
Wetter is better!  Or just to add to the safety message, the dust that accumulates in your shop is just as harmful after you take your respirator off (i.e. you need to clean it up or it will be there tomorrow).    I ground on shells for awhile (mostly wet but with an improvised grinder that left me with shell dust over larger areas, and which I grew to regret. Silica is bad on lungs.  So at the very least work outside and clean up well as well as wear the respirator.  Or better yet get a better grinder or trim saw.  Best wishes for new toys.  Tom 
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