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1  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Miscellaneous Shop Talk / Re: Advice needed - Equip pricing on: September 09, 2015, 08:13:33 am
Not exactly a neighbor (about an hour's drive from here), and I haven't talked to her for a couple of months.  I know the Genie, the vibrating lap and the 10" saw have been sold.
If you, or anyone else is interested in the remaining equipment, I will be happy to contact her for current availability.

2  Lapidary the Internet and You / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Shop and Swap / Re: EXCITING new cabochon templates on: August 18, 2015, 02:42:38 pm
I just recieved a set of these templates, and am very pleased.   They are very sturdy, about 1.5mm thick, and all the designs are very precisely cut.  Lots of designs to choose from in this set.  They are really great for those of us with limited drawing ability, and a vast improvement over any other templates I have seen or used.
3  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Miscellaneous Shop Talk / Advice needed - Equip pricing on: May 09, 2015, 09:49:43 am
I'm in over my head here.  I recently met a delightful 81 year old lady who is trying to liquidate her late husbands collection of rocks and lapidary equipment.  I think I will be buying most of the rock (can never have too much rock) as I have some idea of fair value for it.
There is also a pretty good selection of equipment and she needs input for fair pricing.  She needs to clear out the equipment before she can sell her house, but isn't in a "must sell now" situation.
Here's what is there:
Raytech 18" saw - clean, good blade, power feed
Highland Park 16" saw - excellent condition
Highland Park 10" saw - good condition, gravity feed
Homemade 24" saw (with 22" blade" - well made, power feed
Highland Park 27L vibrating lap
Genie cabbing machine - new motor, both hard wheels worn out, soft wheels appear to be in good shape
Highland Park ?Model AB? polishing arbor with 2 3x8" expanding drum wheels
Highland Park Model A50 cabbing unit
Nexcraft casting wheel (like new condition)
Burn out oven for wax casting

I realize it is difficult to come up with a price without seeing the equipment (I'll take my camera next time), but any hi-lo estimates would be much apreciated.

4  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: Gryphon band saw on: February 26, 2015, 08:19:48 am
Mark, I currently have the combination you mentioned.  An 18" slab saw, a 10" slab/trim saw, a 4" trim saw and the Gryphon band saw.  The most frequently used are the 18" and the band saw.  With a set of slab grabbers from Idaho Rock Shop, I can slab smaller pieces of rough on the 18", which keeps the 10" idle (the 10" is a mist generator, so only use it when I can set up a fan to blow the mist out of the barn).  I picked up the 4" trim saw because I wanted something small to use in the house to cut straight lines, and cut faster than the C40.  That was a mistake.  It isn't any faster, and I have a problem with cutting straight lines (even with a heavier blade than the original, it tends to want to curve). 
The C40, after a bit of a learning curve, is the workhorse for cutting preforms.  Had to learn a little patience, and let the blade dictate the speed of the cut.  Unless I put too much water in it, the work area stays dry.  Blade life is good (I think), but I haven't counted cuts per blade.  Don't think I've really 'worn out' a blade, but have broken a few (see learning patience above) from forcing the speed of cut.  Tried the Fuser blade, and though perhaps a little faster, the loss in radius of cut pretty much wiped out any advantage.
As for saving material using the C40, it's a mixed blessing.  Don't lose much making the cut, but I now have a box of slabs with holes in them.
5  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Segmented or Notched? on: August 20, 2014, 05:22:55 pm
Well, it happened.  Rock slipped in the vice and the 16" blade has a few lazy s curves in the edge and is toast.
The saw is an old HP Model J2, "solid as a rock".
Now the question.  I want to replace the blade with an 18", which the saw is designed for, and am asking for opinions on which type of blade to get.  So far I am looking at the BD301 (notched) and the BD303 (segmented).  Other options are on the table.   I would like a blade that gives smooth cuts, and will cut anything from soapstone to hard agate/jasper, reasonably quiet operation, and a good blade life (hobby cutting, not production).
What are the pro's an con's of each type? 
6  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Harvest on: July 29, 2014, 04:03:14 pm
I have always enjoyed the melon flavor of the prickly pear fruit.  I have to tell this little (true) story.  Many years back, I managed a deer lease for the company I worked for.  Several of the employees would come out on 'work weekends' to help get things ready for the season.  One of the employees was British, and had never been to West Texas.  Being a bunch of good ole boys, we took it upon ourselves to enlighten him about the flora and fauna of the local environment.  He became a little skeptical of some of the tales.  Might have been the pheasant he spotted, and gave chase.  After we stopped laughing, we did tell him it was called a roadrunner.  Anyway, we came upon a good size patch of prickly pear with ripe pods, and told him how good the fruit tasted.  I picked one, cleaned the spines off, split it open, and handed it to him, and encouraged him to taste it.  He took it, looked at it with some apprehension, then tossed it aside.  "Oh, yes", he said, "and then you'll all be telling everyone about the limey bloke who ate a bloody cacti." 
7  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Braggin some on: July 23, 2014, 02:26:37 pm
Thank you all very much.  She truly has a gift, and an abundance of creativity.  Don't know why she keeps me around.
8  The Gathering / Our Place / Braggin some on: July 22, 2014, 04:45:40 pm
My wife is a pretty good artist.  These are two paintings she entered in a recent show.
This one won a first place ribbon.  It's from a photo she took of some sollectors looking for crystals at a site we visited last summer.

And this one is from a photo taken at Canyon De Chelly.  The ribbon is for Best Of Show.

thanks for looking.
9  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: I made it to Canada on: June 24, 2014, 05:57:46 pm
Sort of depends on what part of Texas.  We're having a relatively cool summer here in SE Texas - low 90's during the afternoon and down to the low 80's at night.  Rio Grande village out in West Texas (Big Bend NP) has already hit 116. 
10  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: I made it to Canada on: June 17, 2014, 04:45:05 pm
Sorry to see you go, but happy for you and the wife.  Sure am going to miss those cookies.  Oh yeah, you too.
11  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Anybody.... on: June 13, 2014, 05:42:32 pm
Nope.  Would like to know how he's doing.
12  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Phone Irritations on: June 12, 2014, 02:22:41 pm
If it's a recording, I just hang up.  But, occasionally it's a live caller, and sometimes I play along for a while.  Got one the other day, and a very sincere sounding young lady offered to save me $50 a month on my health insurance.  I thanked her very kindly, and suggested she just send me a check.
"Sir ?"
"well, since my health insurance is provided at no charge as part of my retirement, in order to save me $50, you need to pay me."
13  The Gathering / Contests and Competitions / Re: Vote for the Killer Cab Contest May 2014 on: June 12, 2014, 09:51:31 am
Whoa!  Can I breathe now? 

Thanks everyone.
14  Lapidary the Internet and You / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Shop and Swap / Re: Spritzer pumps? on: June 05, 2014, 04:07:58 pm

Ditto.  Cheap aquarium pump from wally world fixed me right up.
15  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Woodies on: May 26, 2014, 07:19:00 am
Thank you all.
Yes, I was lucky.  When we moved here some 35 years ago, I saw a little sign on the highway, "Rock Shop", but had stopped doing lapidary and silver work, so never visited.  When I got back into it about a year or so ago, I went looking for the sign, and it was gone, and I could not remember which side road it had been on.  A friend of my wife called one day to tell me about the "old rock ship", and that the gentleman was disposing of the remains of his former business.  His wife passed away a couple of years ago, and he was gearing up for an estate sale for the household goods.  He gave me the address, and we arranged a time to meet.  What followed was a very enjoyable 2 hour visit, complete with a tour of his collection of polished palm and pet wood slabs, his silver working shop with completed pieces and work that had been started and set aside, and a walk around to see the material he had left.  (He told me he had disposed of about 12000# of rough and virtually all of his equipment previously.)  I had come prepared to buy, but he insisted that I was doing him a favor by hauling the rough away, and would not accept any payment for it.  He did, finally, and with twinkle in his eye, quote me a price of 25 cents for a small carton of palm slabs.  As I was preparing to leave, he invited me to visit again to show me how he does his silverwork, and to show me some of areas where one could find pet wood and palm.  A truly generous and fascinating gentleman.
I'll be merrily sawing slabs soon, and can post pictures of the results if there is any interest. 
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