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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
April 23, 2019, 01:52:15 pm
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Need some advice on cutting agates

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Author Topic: Need some advice on cutting agates  (Read 328 times)
Bruce
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« on: December 04, 2015, 03:25:45 pm »

Ok...here's my problem.  I have hundreds of great pieces of agate that I'm wanting to start cutting up, but I'm limited with only having a 6" trim saw.  Some of the agate pieces I have are up to 6" thick and a few even bigger.  I've been able to cut some of the pieces, but I'm finding that even smaller pieces only about an inch to two inches thick are nearly impossible or at least extremely time consuming to cut.

Or course, I do know that what I am trying to do is simply overkill for the size saw I have, but still looking for an ideas or advice.

I bought a very good blade just for cutting them, but just trying to cut a Brazilian agate that was about 1 1/2" in diameter took at least 30 minutes or more, and since I don't have auto feed or gravity feed on my saw, my hands were wore out from trying to push the vise with the stone into the blade.

I'm wanting to find a much bigger saw (at least a 16" up to a 24"), and price isn't too much of an issue, location is...I've been watching for almost a year, and can't find one that isn't just too far to go pick up.  Until I find one, does anyone have any tricks to cutting agates?

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Justin
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« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2015, 03:38:51 pm »

Check out this old post of mine. It might help.   http://gemstone.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,16216.0.html
It takes me less than a minute to cut through a two inch agate.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2015, 04:07:11 pm »

I use our 18 inch club saw for 50 cents an inch. My 6 inch trim saw cuts smaller agates in a few minutes, or less.
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Bruce
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« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2015, 04:08:17 pm »

Check out this old post of mine. It might help.   http://gemstone.smfforfree4.com/index.php/topic,16216.0.html
It takes me less than a minute to cut through a two inch agate.

Thanks for the link.  That set up is similar to how I'm cutting.  I have a fenced clamped to my saw table and work the stone around to get the slab to be a even thickness.

One thing that I just realized when talking to a friend is that the pulley on my saw could be part of my problem.  The motor is running at 1750 rpms with a 2" pulley, but the saw came with a 5" pulley on it.  When we did the math on how that effects the speed of the saw, it dropped it down to only 700 rpms.  I haven't noticed any problems cutting since most of what I've been working with has been softer material.  It very well could be that my saw just isn't moving fast enough for cutting harder material.  I'm going to switch out the pulley tomorrow and see what happens.
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Bruce
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2015, 03:13:31 pm »

I changed the pulley out this weekend.  That solved the problem.  Cutting speed is much better.

 ura
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mirkaba
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« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2015, 07:12:40 am »

Talk to Tony Funk .  http://idahorockshop.com/   He will ship you a saw.
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Bob

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