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The Art of Gem Carving (Video)

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pete
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« Reply #210 on: September 14, 2012, 06:13:49 pm »

Frank.
I use a Korean brand of micromotor called 'Strong', it cost over $500 and is very good. I think I mentioned before about a cheap Dremel copy I also bought which the collar locking device was so off centre that it was completely unusable. I took it back and upgraded to the Dremel. I haven't noticed any problem with its centricity but I do notice problems with some burrs. Some burrs are bent before they're used, particularly the very fine pointed type. Check to see if your problem is across all burrs or just some and also try replacing the collar setup, it may have become worn. Those things are quite cheap to replace.
If the collar setup is not replaceable you could consider a new flex shaft.
Any big motor, like 1/4hp, with something attached to it will act like a fly-wheel and take a little time to slow down once power to it has stopped. The bigger and heavier the thing attached the longer it takes to slow down. My home made cabbing unit is running several kilos of weight and takes forever to come to a dead stop.
My home made point carver has a 1/5hp motor and generally only the chuck attached so it stops much quicker, but of course not instantly. It has a big problem with centricity even though I had the jacobs chuck thread cut by a so-called professional at an engineering shop. I supplied the shaft and chuck and told them to thread the shaft for the chuck to run on it. Whether they used the lathe or just a die I don't know as I haven't been back since. I generally only use it for the 1/4 inch burrs which are for course work anyway but then again I find the drill press also quite useful for the same thing.
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« Reply #211 on: September 14, 2012, 06:44:42 pm »

Frank.
I use a Korean brand of micromotor called 'Strong', it cost over $500 and is very good. I think I mentioned before about a cheap Dremel copy I also bought which the collar locking device was so off centre that it was completely unusable. I took it back and upgraded to the Dremel. I haven't noticed any problem with its centricity but I do notice problems with some burrs. Some burrs are bent before they're used, particularly the very fine pointed type. Check to see if your problem is across all burrs or just some and also try replacing the collar setup, it may have become worn. Those things are quite cheap to replace.
If the collar setup is not replaceable you could consider a new flex shaft.
Any big motor, like 1/4hp, with something attached to it will act like a fly-wheel and take a little time to slow down once power to it has stopped. The bigger and heavier the thing attached the longer it takes to slow down. My home made cabbing unit is running several kilos of weight and takes forever to come to a dead stop.
My home made point carver has a 1/5hp motor and generally only the chuck attached so it stops much quicker, but of course not instantly. It has a big problem with centricity even though I had the jacobs chuck thread cut by a so-called professional at an engineering shop. I supplied the shaft and chuck and told them to thread the shaft for the chuck to run on it. Whether they used the lathe or just a die I don't know as I haven't been back since. I generally only use it for the 1/4 inch burrs which are for course work anyway but then again I find the drill press also quite useful for the same thing.

I've got new collets on the way so I'll be trying that first (and a chinese take on the dremel keyless chuck). The chuck I'm expecting to bomb but it was cheap so I figured I'd give it a shot - who knows, I could get lucky. Next in line will be the nut. Then the flexshaft (I need a second one anyway).

First thing I thought was that it was the burrs. But I got a piece of glass out and started rolling them down it (the wider tipped ones you roll down the side and gently keep it straight with one finger). Only a couple (out of dozens) thus far have been off. In both cases the head was not straight - I presume that little sheet of metal they put on for the plating matrix was the culprit but regardless...

For the longest time I could fiddle with them for awhile and get them to turn true (the good burrs - crooked ones obviously not). Now all I can get is very very close. Good enough for working up to the 400 grit boundry and after that there's just enough wobble that >400 grit can't improve the surface any with a hard burr.

Your mention of a drill press was good because there's an excellent example of a tool that usually runs very true as long as steer clear of harbor freight level machinery and otherwise too cheap to be true equipment. That's part of my ire - they can do true for drills and saws but dremel just couldn't trouble themselves with it. Not consistently that's sure. I've bought many of their stone wheels (name brand) that were glue'd so far off you could not dress them. Boggles my mind. Double boggler is that the tool itself, including the threading for the nut, is almost always true on dremels. So... they go for perfection until it comes to that one last piece - the business end. I realize they're not meant to be high end tools but it would be so easy to make them true to begin with (look at the inner lip of the nut - that is the grip point on the collet - it is the center of the universe in determining how straight the burr will be held (as long as the collet is not off center drilled - only had that happen with 3rd party crap). And again it just popped my brain when I put the name brand keyless chuck on and watched the entire thing wobble so wildly it was unusable. Tried it on all three of my rotaries (two of which are "dremel" made). Gads it disgusts me...

I can't believe they tapped your point chuck off center! That's even worse than the sins of dremel...

Anyway my ire is further stoked by knowing I can find what I'm looking for but being vexed by two problems:

1.) Many who use dremels don't care about a little wobble and will swear to me there is none ('til I show them) - and if nobody cares then it ain't gonna be on dremels todo list.

2.) Several brands to choose from, even in my price range, but if I can't get good info on how true they run then I'm gonna nickle and dime myself broke buying them one at a time and trying them for myself.

It's also frustrating because I believe if I had a machine shop I could make a nut/collet duo that would run true as ever every time until it got too dirty - then just q-tip the nut hole while running and you're back in business. And all I'd have to do (I believe anyway) is to extend that lip a bit. I know they make it short because it idiot-proofs getting burrs back out from people who don't know how to set them in right to begin with and don't have the patience to remove the nut and push the burr out from the bottom. The longer the lip - the more the grip - the stickier the bit.

Or I could just put three set screws into the nut and adjust them every time I change burrs - NOT chuckle

Boy what a peeve - I better find a valium or a vodka or something...
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pete
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« Reply #212 on: September 14, 2012, 07:37:09 pm »

Or a cup of tea, a bex and a good lay down! yippie

Perhaps it might be better to save up for a decent machine. I'm not going to waste any more money on my point carver as it's already cost around $60 or more in bits and pieces and I could buy a drill press for little more and take it apart and use the good bits.
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« Reply #213 on: September 14, 2012, 08:00:42 pm »

Frank...hanging power tool actualy is enough for carving stone, it is works for medium grinding work to detail work. Micromotor is absolutely right for details because you'r hand movements won't bothered by a stif long shaft, micromotor is wire conected between hand piece and adaptor so it is more flexible and comfortable in hand, you'll get more stable grip and stable hand movements as a result. BUT...we can practice to use just power tool for carving....all we need is just adjust how to hold a hand piece in our hand...pencil hold, chisel hold, knife hold etc. If we can do this, we can work any details as good as or even more than with micromotor.

I learn this tehcnique by experience....now i'm rarely use my micromotor (proxon, somewhere between $100 to $120).

For me....the most important to work with more detail is my handpiece, bit and foot speed control. You're right about a need  to avoid a wobbling, you can't do any good details with wobbled thing.... yes


I want to make sure I understand you Daniel - you use your Grobet instead of your micromotor most of the time, correct?

What model Grobet do you use? Debbie gives a link (above) to the C-300 - I am thinking of buying this one. I am tempted by the Harbor Freight super cheapie model but I can't help thinking of all the negative reviews it gets for overheating. My thoughts are troubled by that.


Does your Grobet consistently hold burrs true so there is no wobble or is it like dremel and a constant need to mess with it to get most burrs to seat true?

And I understand I am not yet at a point where I have a need to be grinding such high detail but it translates into the grits as well. Like I was saying, if I cannot get a 600 grit burr to seat perfectly (which is most of the time) then it does not surpass the smoothness I get from a 400 grit and I have to move to wood or a much higher speed. I prefer to grind at the lowest possible speed I can much of the time and if I have easy to use burrs it seems crazy that I have to make my own at that grit level because my easy to use burrs won't work (because they are too hard to cushion the chatter from the wobble).

bricks Sorry Frank.....i don't know why i typed Grobet yesterday, i corrected......i don't have Grobet micromotor, i used Proxon...http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=dSg7n40HZTs....now its rarely use because i used my Foredom M.SR-SCT type most time http://www.foredom.net/msrsct.aspx......no wobbling except the bur is bent, easy to replace any burs because i don't need to replace a collets and it can go really slow with good torch. If i must choose between my Proxon and Foredom....i choose Foredom, Proxon micromotor can't use for medium grinding work, it is too hard for it. yes

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« Reply #214 on: September 15, 2012, 11:18:50 am »

Or a cup of tea, a bex and a good lay down! yippie

Oh I like that much better! yes

Perhaps it might be better to save up for a decent machine. I'm not going to waste any more money on my point carver as it's already cost around $60 or more in bits and pieces and I could buy a drill press for little more and take it apart and use the good bits.

Yes you may be right Pete.

You know I spent about 10 hours since I last wrote just trying to look up the TIR of various machines and handpieces etc. and I found out a few things.

1.) Search engines are like politicians - click-add and page-hit-pay style funding, just like eccentric gifts and black-hole funding, holds them to favor the worst of decisions. When alibaba and dealtime etc start taking up the first page or two of half my searches and clicking any of them yields "no products for _____" I start wanting to hear Auntie yell something like, "fake a hit, eat the s***"

2.) It's shocking how few companies make it easy to find specs for their equipment online.

There were a couple of helpful forums out there that taught me that this problem, TIR (Total Indicated Runout / Total Indicator Readout - same diff just updated to the later to be more inclusive of machines that oscillate, reciprocate and so on) is not limited to dremels and that it covers a lot of industry (machinests, jewelers and so on). I also learned that I am far from the only person who has seen exactly what I have with dremel but as well I am far from the only person exasperated by the problem.

Daniel mentions Proxxon in the post below yours. One of the sites I visited in which members were very TIR obsessed had a guy who spent some time measuring dremel TIR. He noted the same problems as I did with regard to variance in how you seat the burr (the "fiddling" makes it better thing) and fairly dramatic variance from one collet to another of the same size. In other words, buy 10 collets and fiddle with the best of those and you can get reasonable TIR from a dremel. Someone in that same thread mentioned Proxxon as having a much better TIR rating (less wobble). So it was kind of funny to come back today and see Daniel mention Proxxon chuckle And I tell myself again - if you want what works stop researching and just ask people who make stuff as good as you hope to make (like Daniel - his work is excellent, and of course then it makes sense he would use a better tool - a Proxxon).

If I could simply find a site with a comparison chart for all the better known manufacturers of the TIR on the handpieces, speed, torque and cost and a few other details like type of chuck/collet system and size of burr it would hold - I'd have a tool ordered in five minutes. But, more than one person elegantly stated a truth that I concede to but do not like -- these tools are not meant for precision engineering applications - most people carve wood with them and sand things.

Still... when you consider how little difference it takes to increase quality substantially it's a sorry thing. For example the problem with dremels was, in what few examples of research I found, narrowed down to the collet. It's aluminum (some made of fuss of that being a bad choice compared to steel but I wasn't sure why dunno ) and it has four prongs. The ideology behind PPMO (Parts Per Million Opportunities for defect) is that the fewer things you include that can go wrong, the fewer things there are that will go wrong (read: simpler is better in practical terms). So with three prongs centering a burr instead of four you tend to get better and more consistent alignment. This led to me want to order just some Proxxon collets but I could not find, and did not spend much time looking - but I did take at least a few hits worth) - anything to tell me what bore size and nut size they will fit. So I don't know for sure if they would fit a dremel, though I suspect they might dunno

The Proxxons were kind of pricey in the micro motor arena and - well, I'm thinking like Daniel is writing - something like a Foredom or Grobet or ? might serve me better.

Anyway I'm getting closer to a solution and hope to have something on order in the next day or two so I can just get my mind off of this crap and get back to grinding and cutting.

Where's my tea and...
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« Reply #215 on: September 15, 2012, 04:00:46 pm »

Well... I just bought a Foredom (the real McCoy). I'll be setting up a raman noodle fund here shortly... Actually I borrowed the money - I have 4 months to pay it back. If I'm not seen 5 months from now you can talk to Eddie the Hand (kneecap breaker) instead.

Once the shock of that wears off I am going to be soooo excited! I can't wait!

please don't wobble please don't wobble please don't wobble...
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« Reply #216 on: September 15, 2012, 07:03:59 pm »

Congrates to the new Fordom.  Let us know how you like it.
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« Reply #217 on: September 15, 2012, 07:13:28 pm »

Thanks! The shock must be wearing off - I really am getting excited - woooo hooo! yes
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« Reply #218 on: September 15, 2012, 07:58:33 pm »

Frank and Helene,

My Grobet died last week (the brushes are gone and I haven't had time to buy more), so that's why I'm using the Wecheer. A friend lent me a Foredom he's not using, and I had the same problem Helene did. It obviously needs a new shaft, or at least to be lubricated.

A word on this: Most manufacturers (if you read the instruction manual, Wait, WHAT!, There's instruction manual, what's that?) will recommend that you lubricate the shaft after using X amount of hours. It varies from machine to machine, but if you're using it 8 hours a day, 7 days a week, it's safe to say that you should clean and lubricate the shaft every 2 weeks to 1 month. Most folks don't and won't. It's easy, just messy. Disconnect the shaft from the motor, pull the shaft (it usually just drops out) and wipe it off with a clean, soft, lint free cloth. Apply a TINY amount of lubricant (use what they say) and work it on the shaft with your fingers. Most people use way too much. Whatever lubricant you use, stick with it. There are evidently two different types, don't use one and then change to the other on that shaft. Drop the shaft back in the sheath and make sure it's oriented correctly (you'll figure it out) and put it back on the motor. Run the motor and if it doesn't sound right take it out and try again.

Once the sheath wears out on the shaft, get a new one. If you've burned it up there's no solution I know of but to get another. This is why you should keep the shaft cleaned and lubed.

The last Dremel I bought had a bad connection to the shaft and it chattered. I took it back that same day and got another one, which promptly overheated. I took that one back and finally got one that worked right.

My Grobet has a keyed chuck, as does the Foredom. I have read that centering problems are often caused by only tightening on one side. Evidently, if you rotate the head as you tighten and go to the next hole, tighten, go to the next hole, etc., centering problems can be avoided. This is only applicable for the keyed chucks.

I use the Wecheer pencil handpiece as much as possible, it's easier on my hand. It uses the collets up to 1/8 ". The collets wear out and will wear out irregularly. They're cheap, buy new ones. The dremel ones fit the Wecheer so they're available at Home Depot, Walmart, etc. The Dremel's are good collets, I've never gotten one that wasn't true.

Many times, it isn't the collet or the chuck, it's the bur. I have bent (don't ask me how, I don't know) many diamond bits. Put them aside and use them as files; they're not good for anything else. Maybe it's because I use such cheap burs.

There's no excuse for any tool that can't run a true bur centered. It can be any number of things that cause the problem, we usually make a mistake and think it's something we're doing wrong. Sometimes (like the Dremels) they're just poorly made pieces of C__P and aren't good in the first place. If I hadn't had two Dremels before that didn't behave badly, I wouldn't have known any better.

On a personal note, I like the collet handpieces better than the keyed chucks because them seem to center better. So that means I carve with the Wecheer or an old Craftsman or Dremel handpiece (they are all pencil handpieces), since the Grobet uses the key. I only use the Grobet handpiece for things that are an odd size and oversized.

Sorry about the piece that broke, Frank. My personal preference for breaking pieces is to wait until I'm polishing at 3000 or 8000 and let the thing get flung across the room. I can't tell you the sad stories of pieces that are THIS close to being finished that end up in pieces on the tile floor. I'm happy you got a Foredom, I hope you get a good handpiece with it. If it doesn't run true, TAKE IT BACK until you get one that does. There's not any excuse for any variability in the spin, if it wobbles, get another. When you're paying that much for a machine as you do for a Foredom or Wecheer, it should run true.

Hope all of  you guys are having a good weekend.

Debbie
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« Reply #219 on: September 15, 2012, 11:06:05 pm »

Hey Debbie, very good to hear from you, hope you're well.

I got the H.8 basic handpiece. I was in the borrowing money category that would have made any of them okay to get (when you're in deep make it count, right?) but after looking them all over that one actually made the most sense and had a good diameter (which was what saved me from the basic chuck'd piece - too thick).

Helene ... damn, you know that story is ringing a vague bell but for some reason I'm drawing a blank. I usually have a very good memory for her, she's good people. Probably a good thing I don't remember it or I'd have ordered the grobet instead. Nothing wrong with that but I didn't want to buy that without hearing anything further from you - I guess I missed by a matter of hours.

Funny thing. Right after ordering the Foredom I got my new dremel collets in the mail. I'll be damned if that thing doesn't run truer than it ever did right now. In fact I can't feel any vibration whatsoever once past that initial vibe you get as the burr smooths. You know - what's SUPPOSED to happen when the tool runs good enough to cut by feel, as it should. I use that 'feel' on my laps all the time as you can't see beneath the stone on a flat lap but you sure can feel rough spots if you pay attention.

I'm pretty good about lubing my shaft but I'm glad you brought it up as I could probably stand to do it a little more often. Thankfully I had good instructions on that from dremel or I would have been an over-luber. I lube it once and wipe it off as completely as I can. Then I lube again and just about 95% of it off - seems to work great). I did not know about mixing lubes - THANK YOU for telling me that!

Also thanks for the words on machines like this running true. I swear there are days when I think I am the only one who thinks that way and it just makes me nuts. And I will do exactly that - if it doesn't run true then back it goes and I'll ask for another - thanks for the encouragement here as I may have thrown the thing at the wall and thrown my hands up to carving had you not checked my sanity on this.

Bless you Debbie - so many things I really wanted badly to hear. Maybe I take this all too seriously, but I just want to better myself and hope that I am able to at very least get good enough to find a comfort zone. Not a one of us ever need a good word from any of another of us. But when we are affirmed by those we truly look up too (and this applies to a few people here) it seems to alter the entire universe. I think now I can pick up another stone and feel I working with it, not against it.

 yes
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« Reply #220 on: September 16, 2012, 12:11:10 pm »

Congratulations for your new Foredom Frank.........it must be works better for you, try to work with different speed by foot control and also find the most comfortable way to hold a hand piece, you on the way to start as a real good carver yes yes yes
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« Reply #221 on: September 16, 2012, 02:47:44 pm »

Thank you Daniel yes yes yes
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« Reply #222 on: September 29, 2012, 06:37:32 am »

Well... Fairy Wing made it but it ended up being just a cab - sooo... I figured I'd post it here with it's unfinished picture somewhere back <-- that'a way.

This is imperial flame jasper, rare, so I'm told by sources that shall remain nameless ^

1 Side A


2 Side B


3 Backlit


Thanks for lurking...


^ Kurt saved2
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« Reply #223 on: September 29, 2012, 06:49:18 am »

Very neat!!! You did very good with only rotary tools (foredom?), actually it  is not easy to make a smooth surface with only rotary tool, good work Frank yes
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« Reply #224 on: September 29, 2012, 06:55:38 am »

Not sure I got it that smooth but man - I'll take it! Thank you Daniel! yes

Yes, Foredom - and I am going to name it Daniel since I bought exactly the one you gave me a link to. So - Daniel Foredom made it! (Krystee saw cut it!)
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