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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
June 16, 2019, 12:29:59 am
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A New Cover For My Polishing Wheel

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Author Topic: A New Cover For My Polishing Wheel  (Read 566 times)
bobby1
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« on: January 25, 2014, 11:12:32 pm »

As many of you are aware I use a 12" carpet covered wheel for polishing nearly all my cabs from the smallest (1/8") to the largest (6"). After about 5 years of significant use the carpet cover wears out.
Example of the wear.

The wheel has a 3/16" foam rubber cover.

Over which there is a left over leather cover from when I used to use leather for the polishing.
I cover the leather  with my carpet. It is a standard office carpet that is 1/4" thick.

A view of the back of the carpet.

I soak the carpet in water for a couple hours so it will be more pliant to shape over the wheel. I then place the wheel on the carpet and start making  "V" shaped gussets around the edge so I can shape it over the edge without it puckering from the excess material.
 

After I make the  "V" shaped cuts I use a hole punch in the tip of the "V" to again remove material to prevent the pucker.


Then I start wrapping the material over the edge and anchoring the section with truss head 1"  self drilling screws


I do two tabs and then go to the opposite side so that the wheel doesn't slip over when I'm working on it.
 

Front view of the completed wheel

Side views.


As you may have noticed the wheel has a significant dome in the middle and rounded outer edges. I made it this way so I can readily reach the center of the large cabs (or slabs) and rhe rounded outer edge allows me to polish the inner curves on a concave sided freeform cab. Here is a photo of it mounted on my (messy) machine.

The wheel turns at about 275 rpm and I use cerium oxide for a polish. By using carpet for the cover I can get a significant amount of polish embedded in the knap as well as it holding considerable moisture. This allows me to polish a lot longer before needing to add water or polishing compound.
Sorry if I bored you with so much detail.
Bob
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dickb
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2014, 11:45:49 pm »

Nice tutorial. Looks real nice. Thanks a lot.  yes
Dickb
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DonniesTreasures
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2014, 04:40:17 am »

Thank you, not bored at all, love all the detail!  yes Was going to ask why carpet but you explained that too!
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Mark
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2014, 05:01:54 am »

Great tutorial Bob.  Its one thing to read about something, but when you get the pictures, it makes so much more sense and adds a lot more value.  Thanks Bob.

Mark
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Cowboy
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2014, 10:55:48 am »

Thanks Bob!  All the detail is welcome in my world. I grew up learning lapidary on home-built equipment, and a lot of that home-built equipment is easier to use than the factory-made stuff that is so common lately. Your thread makes me think we could benefit new lapidaries by maintaining a thread here with plans for simple, sturdy home-built lapidary equipment, so more people could afford to get into the hobby.
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Mark
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« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2014, 01:46:16 pm »

Good idea.  Commercial lapidary equipment can be really expensive, especially cab machines and slab saws.  I would love to build a cab machine or at least specify the design so that it overcomes a few shortcomings of the commercial machines.  I would like one that does not leak water from the trim saw and i also like the individual drip lines for each wheel.  I understand that the Genie was designed to work in dry areas or places where water lines are not available, but they could still offer a water hookup kit as an accessory.  I know i can piece one together myself, and that Kingsley North has water kit equipped units, but it would be nice for them to offer one at a reasonable price.  So yes, start a new thread for designing lapidary equipment that is reasonable and relatively easy to self produce.

Mark
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bobby1
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2014, 04:52:43 pm »

What motivated me to design and build my machine 40 years ago was 1) Those that have the real high front lip are very uncomfortable to work on,  2) it hard to see what you are doing and 3) they have no room to work on  larger cabs.
When I built mine I spaced the wheels farther apart, lifted them up  higher, made more room around the wheels, lowered the lip to  1" high. made a ledge on the lip to rest your hands on and extended the tray further out so that I can rest my (big) belly against it so all the water stays in the tray. I also added ports above the wheels for the water to drip down on the wheels. I installed strips of denim to ride on the wheels to reduce the spray and to spread the water across the wheels. I get very little water on me and none on the floor. My machine is on wheels also. OH, and I made it out of 16 ga stainless with welded seams.
I still wish I had the wheels up higher and with even more room around them. My current machine limits me to only making 6" cabs and I sometimes want to do bigger ones.
Bob
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Iron_Pinecone
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 10:53:21 pm »

This is very cool. Thank you for the detail. I might want to do something like this myself someday and this helps me visualize how I might do it.
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bobby1
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« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 01:11:06 pm »

Here are some photos of my Cabbing machine.
Overall photo.
 It has an expandable drum on the left for my S/C belts, A well worn 100 grit diamond wheel next and a slightly worn 100 grit diamond wheel on the right. Above the machine are the various belts with 60 to 100 grit belts on the right vertical row in various conditions of wear, next row generally 220 grit, next 400 grit and on the far left 600 grit. Because I only have one sanding drum I rotate through whichever belt that I need,  the choice depending on what I level of wear and what grit that I need for that sanding step. I do a lot of dry sanding particularly on flat surfaces such as the backs of cabs, geode halves or slabs.

My water system consists of a large plastic container with a valve to control the flow.

Coming from the tank I have a plastic tube that goes to the small ports above the wheels. Rather than having a valve above each wheel I just move the tube to the port above the wheel that I will be working on.

There is a drain port in the bottom of the two trays that runs into a plastic 5 gallon bucket.
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