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1  Creative Stone Works / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Intarsias / Commesso, and Composite Type Cabs / Tutorials / Re: Glue question on: December 01, 2015, 02:34:08 pm
While I'm at it, there are two more epoxies for you to consider. Hyxtal NYL-1 and XTR-311. I like to use XTR-311 to treat fine cracks in cutting material like Chrysocolla. It is virtually colorless and has very low viscosity. You can get very good penetration, especially under vacuum. XTR-311 takes about 36 hours to cure (faster with moderate heat) so you can have plenty of time to do treating or even do multiple batches of stones with the same batch of glue.

I use Hyxtal NYL-1 to glue quartz caps on opal triplets. It's also low-viscosity and virtually colorless. It will never yellow. Cure time is approximately 1 week.

Both of them are expensive, but they cut down on failures and bubbling. One nice stone can cover the expense of the glue.
2  Creative Stone Works / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Intarsias / Commesso, and Composite Type Cabs / Tutorials / Re: Glue question on: December 01, 2015, 02:16:37 pm
I've finally given up on carpenter's glue and wooden blocks for sawing. Now, I use ceramic tiles or, even better, scraps of granite or marble from a counter-top manufacturer. Glue up my rough with super glue to the scrap counter-top and cut away on the saw without worrying about pop-offs or dishing a blade. Simply saw the end off the block when I'm down to my end piece and the remains of the block can be re-used, unlike oily wood. Also, virtually no curing or wait time when I'm setting up my stones and blocks.
3  The Gathering / Our Place / Re: Gemstone ID on: November 21, 2015, 01:20:33 pm
It's called a Hemicylinder, and there is an outfit called Denver Gem Cutting, LLC that will polish them out for a pretty tidy sum as I recall. Of course, it's still cheaper than a new refractometer.

Depending on how badly it's scratched, it may still be use-able. Just kind of annoying.

I used to share mine with the gemologists I had on staff under me, so, mine has a nice scratch on it. It's still quite use-able, though.

http://www.gemcutting.com/refractometer.repolishing.gia/index.php

I'm not affiliated with these people and I have no idea how good their work is. I've just done some research for my own benefit.
4  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rough on the bench and slabs off the saw (general minerals board) / Re: Serpentine versus Jade; Washington coast rock on: August 28, 2015, 12:34:58 am
I used to collect Nephrite down at Jade Beach by Big Sur in California, where there is also lots and lots of Serpentine. The general rule 'in the field' was that if it would scratch with a good steel blade, it was Serpentine. If not, it was Nephrite.
5  Custom Designed Jewelry / Show Your Custom Jewelry Designing Photos / Re: Kelly Mine Smithsonite Wire Wrap on: August 27, 2015, 07:07:02 pm
Beautiful stone and wrap!!  Thanks for posting it.  I wrapped a similar stone for a friend and had no clue what it was, but I think it is the same stone. 

Here is a picture of it.  Do you think it is Smithsonite?




My first guess would be Gem Silica Chrysocolla.
6  Custom Designed Jewelry / Show Your Custom Jewelry Designing Photos / Re: New screw-closure bangle on: August 27, 2015, 07:02:45 pm
I'm curious. Is there any kind of 'safety' on the screw mechanism, or are you just depending on the fact that it has to be unscrewed for the length of the screw to keep it in place?

I like the bold design.
7  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Share Our Finished Cabochons and General Cabbing Questions / Tutorials / Re: Woodward Ranch Black Plume on: August 25, 2015, 03:05:04 pm
Nicely done!

I have some old material from there that is also very dense. I was thinking of something along those lines to see if the plumes would show better.

Now, it's not going to just be an experiment.  yippie
8  The Gathering / Introductions / Re: Hey Yall! from Cajun Country! on: August 21, 2015, 09:14:03 am
Hi Virginia!

Welcome from your neighbor up here in East Texas! We have some rocks and fossils out this way!

Mike
9  Creative Stone Works / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Carving Tips, Tricks and Pics / Re: gecko and horse on: August 20, 2015, 07:28:57 pm
Thanks guys!

I'm here in Texas and I'm pretty sure the Fire Ants would carry off anything that didn't weigh at least a few pounds.

Or, the Coyotes, Hogs, Raccoons, Possums, Panthers, Gators, Bobcats, Foxes...  lol
10  Creative Stone Works / Moderator, Michael Hoover / Carving Tips, Tricks and Pics / Re: gecko and horse on: August 19, 2015, 11:52:35 pm
I'm a little bit curious about the Beef Bone. Is there any particular bone you use? Does it have to be dried or cured or treated?
11  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Rock Hounding Trips, Tips, and Pics / Re: My dream of discovery... am I too late? on: August 19, 2015, 09:39:12 am
A few years back, driving down a lonely dirt road, my Dad felt nature calling him. he stopped by the roadside, and, while proceeding to do his thing, he realized he was watering down some absolutely A Grade Basinite. He grabbed so much in about 10 minutes that I'm still using some of it to back triplets. I'm going to have to make a trip back out there one of these days soon to pick up some more.

There's all kinds of stuff that's still out there.
12  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Identification Inquiries / Re: Need help with brecciated stone id on: August 17, 2015, 08:53:15 am
Looks kind of Thunder Egg-ish to me, too.
13  Stone Talk / Moderator, Hummingbirdstones ( Robin ) / Identification Inquiries / Re: Help with Identification on: August 13, 2015, 10:15:33 am
Possibly some common Opal.

Where were you walking around?
14  Custom Designed Jewelry / Show Your Custom Jewelry Designing Photos / Re: Biggs Jasper Wire Wrap on: August 08, 2015, 06:36:56 pm
Beautiful.
15  Lapidary Shop / Moderator, Catmandewe ( Tony ) / Slab Saws, Trim Saws, Blades & Lubricants For Both / General Operating / Re: Gluing to Wood on: August 05, 2015, 11:15:28 pm
I had been gluing to wood for several years, mostly to great success. Recently, I've switched to a slightly different system. I've been getting scrap Granite and Marble from a local shop that fabs kitchen counter-tops. They're happy to let me make off with all I can carry at $5 per 5 gallon bucket. I square up the ragged pieces on a tile saw and glue my rocks onto the squares with super glue from Harbor Freight. The stones are ready to slab in a few minutes, no waiting for glue to cure as with wood. Removal when I'm done cutting is easy, too. I just slab the end off the Granite or Marble. It is rock after all. Also, the pieces are re-usable with a little cleaning.
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