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Help me get what I need and not have to replace down the road for cabbing please

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Author Topic: Help me get what I need and not have to replace down the road for cabbing please  (Read 285 times)
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« on: July 21, 2015, 10:43:12 am »

I am interested in getting rough, making slabs and ultimately cabochons.

So far on my list is:

HP 24" slab saw
HP 6" trim saw

I know that the genie has a side wheel, but I am not sure if it is large enough for polishing larger slabs...also is it really the best thing to use for powder fine polishing with felt/leather pads?

I do not want to have to replace any equipment out of if you were me, would you get a separate flat lap with diamond pad and a wheel polisher for oxides etc, and which ones would you get?

Thanks so much for any input...this forum is a goldmine of information and has been so very helpful!!
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2015, 11:16:32 am »

If it were me..............starting out but knowing what I know.
10"-14" slab saw
6" trim saw
8" grinding, sanding, polishing unit with at least one end lap. 2 hard wheels, 2 expandos and leather polish pad.

Knowing that I will want/need more down the road is a given........ hide
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Gathering dust in Montana.
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2015, 01:40:27 pm »

I agree with Bob. A 24" slab saw is kind of overkill for someone just starting out. Not to mention a rather large outlay of cash. If you must have a larger slab saw, I'd suggest something in the 16" to 18" range. At least as a beginner, if you mess up & ruin a blade, the smaller sizes are much cheaper to replace.

For a trim saw, I think I'd go with a 10", which can also be used for slabbing small material. ( I have saws from 3" all the way up to 16". Sold my 24" because it was in the way more often than  in use ).

The Genie is a good all around machine. I've had mine since the early 90's and love it.

As for polishing pads, Some materials work up better on leather than they do on felt, and vice versa. Also, you'll want different polish pads for different types of polish. Be sure to get a good supply of large heavy duty zip lock bags to store your different polish pads in, to prevent cross contamination.

The end disc on a Genie is only 6" dia., so not really good for polishing large slabs. A good flat lap, or even a bull wheel would be a better choice for the big stuff.
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2015, 02:01:38 pm »

   Look at the Lortone Max Pro in the please identify convo. I have one of these as well as a Genie. Sometimes you just cannot beat silicon carbide and also the large face for doing bigger cabochons. Space for shop use is the biggest issue that you might want to mention. I have a barn that I share with my horses. They get less room every year.  Seriously, if you have room you get multiple saws. A 4, 10 and 18 or 20 inch saw are kind of normal for many rock nuts, I mean lapidaries. Budget is the other big decider for many of us. A 10 inch diamond lap is a necessity for me. I also love my Richardson's leather wheel for final polishing my slabs and cabochons. The list is infinite if you have no budget, a lot of room and a tolerant wife.
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light house jack
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2015, 02:44:26 pm »

I totally agree that a 24" saw is overkill for a beginner much less a LOT more expensive blades. I would search for # 1 choice COVINGTON. And #2 an original Highland Park.  Covington still has parts for saws made over 50 years ago and you just cannot beat their customer service. A friend purchased a new 16" Covington and is very happy with it.  My 1950's model is still humming away.  As for a trim saw, I am a huge fan of Harbor Freight tile saws with a good lapidary blade on it.  I teach on Genies and some of the machines at schools where I have taught are 25 years old. Easy to maintain and easy to get a wonderful cab.
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2015, 09:38:37 pm »

Your list looks good to me! I don't use the different polishes, just Zam on a felt wheel for turquoise and everything else diamond.
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2015, 11:41:13 pm »

I use my 18 inch saw the most and it will take 16 inch blades if you want a thin one for expensive stone.   I recommend a good tile saw with a lapidary blade as a much lower cost alternative to a trim saw.  I do use my bandsaw much more than any trim saw. 

You cannot go wrong with a Geni.....
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