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March 24, 2019, 01:44:54 am
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New from N California

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Author Topic: New from N California  (Read 595 times)
guest5297
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« on: December 24, 2015, 11:21:19 am »

Hello, my name is Steve Kelly, and I found your forum the other day while looking for information on the Ameritool 8Ē Flat Lap Grinder.

First of all, a little about myself. I live by myself with my cat Posey in North San Juan, CA outside of Grass Valley. Iíve had several ďcareersĒ during my working life. Iíve worked on a fire crew, then as a hard rock gold miner in several hard rock gold mines, including the famous 16 to 1 mine in Allegheny, Ca. I spent 18 years as a timber faller. And then my latest, (and favorite) career was being a 2nd and 3rd grade teacher for 14 years, from which I retired around 4 years ago.

And to think Iím only 66! Even though Iíve been in a wheelchair the last few years, life is great.

Over the last couple of years Iíve been wire wrapping crystals, making natural stone necklaces, and most recently making my slabachon suncatchers. I donít own a slab saw or a trim saw (when I win the lottery!), so I buy my slabs on Ebay and Etsy.

I bought the Ameritool grinder a little over a month ago, and itís working great, but I do have some questions.
First of all, whatís the best way to cut the center hole in the stick-on grinding disk?
Second, how do you get the stick-on disk to be perfectly centered on the plastic disk so that the unit is balanced?

These are just a few of my questions. I also spent a long time on this forum looking for info on drilling holes in ľĒ stone slabs such as Mariposite, with a Mohs hardness of 7. I found a lot of interesting and useful info, and thanks to all of you.

I donít make cabochons, I make slabachons. I take these slabs and hang raw crystals and shards off of them at the ends of beaded strands, making what I call a suncatcher. I attach these strands using silver plated up-eyes and E6000 glue, or by drilling holes. For the holes Iíve been using 2mm hollow core diamond drills which I buy from Lasco Diamond. Even drilling under water with a Dremel 300 mounted in a Dremel Drill press, Iím very lucky to get 3 or 4 holes.

Sorry, I guess I just asked a lot more questions.
Have a Merry Christmas,
Steve Kelly


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Desertwind
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« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2015, 11:47:36 am »

Welcome from southern New Mexico.
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Ranger_Dave
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« Reply #2 on: December 24, 2015, 11:52:33 am »

Hi, welcome from Mariposa. I noticed the Mariposite in your creations. We have lots of that stuff here.  chuckle
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vitzitziltecpatl
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« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2015, 12:29:23 pm »

Hello there, and welcome!

Cool idea. Don't recall seeing anything exactly like that.

Next time you need laps there are some with center holes already in them. In the meantime, I use a master lap as a template, trace the hole then use a hole punch or exacto knife.
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James D. Farrow
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« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2015, 12:36:46 pm »

Welcome from Canada!

 welcome2

James
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James D. Farrow
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« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2015, 12:48:53 pm »

Welcome and you too have a Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016 dancer5.

Not sure what you mean by you only get 3-4 holes?? Is that per bit??? Are you saying that the bit wears out?  How about more details and maybe a pic of the bit.

Regards,

Ken S.
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« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2015, 01:00:54 pm »

Hi Steve,

Welcome from Napa. A brand new member and already your a supporter...how cool is that !! yes
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« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2015, 01:13:43 pm »

welcome  from Maine, visiting Midland Texas with 8 inches of snow. no rock collecting today. very interesting project. will have to hear some gold mining stories
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guest5297
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« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2015, 01:21:22 pm »

Thanks for the welcome! We had a small little storm overnight, with only an inch of snow at my elevation of 2500' outside of Nevada City, CA. It's all welcome here...
Kelly
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« Reply #9 on: December 28, 2015, 01:58:14 pm »

Hi Steve

Welcome from southern Indiana.

What you are doing made me think bricks

I would love to some of your finished work. Have you made any with all translucent stones? That got me thinking about wind chimes. That could be interesting.

Bless
Shawn
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« Reply #10 on: December 28, 2015, 03:41:40 pm »

 welcome2 from Southern Oklahoma. Pull up a chair and join in the chitchat
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« Reply #11 on: December 28, 2015, 03:52:47 pm »

 welcome2 ..............to the............... chitchat ............from New Mexico............... hatsoff
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Steve.............The Silver Fox

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« Reply #12 on: December 28, 2015, 04:10:06 pm »

Hi Steve Kelly, welcome rom the swamps of Northwest Arkansas!
We had around ten inches of rain over the weekend!
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Dave, a certified Rockaholic

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« Reply #13 on: December 29, 2015, 09:32:56 am »

There are two clubs near you that might be able to help you.
Nevada County Gem and Mineral Society
El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society
Bob
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« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2016, 07:36:14 am »

You can buy an inexpensive set of leather punches at Harbor Freight to cut the holes in disks that need holes.  Balance does not seem to be a problem if you are mostly in the center.  Measure and draw a line twice and use the intersection as the center.  Welcome.  Tom 
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guest3478
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« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2016, 08:48:25 am »

you can probably make a template with a 6x6 square drawing a line from corner to corner and make a hole in the center big enough to put a pencil or sharpie tip through and make a center mark.

your slabochon creation is interesting.
I bet you could make a larger one to hold planter pots also. cool idea!

That ebay & etsy and buying slabs gets expensive. I sold one of my rifles and bought a combination saw unit to make my own litle slabs, but that wasnt good enough i had to sell other things and get a 20 inch saw lol
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« Reply #16 on: January 02, 2016, 10:37:46 am »

Welcome from the Netherlands.

Lex
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Debbie K
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« Reply #17 on: January 03, 2016, 08:21:48 am »

Steve:

If you're tired of the expense of the diamond drill bits, you could try either copper or brass tubing with diamond grit and oil.

Here's what I do: I saw a piece of tubing to a convenient length and on one end I score the end by cutting across it 2 to 3 times with the saw. I also saw a piece of rod that fits inside the tubing about 1/2" shorter than the tubing. This is to keep the tubing from collapsing when you tighten it up in the drill jaws. If I wasn't so lazy I'd solder this piece of rod inside the tube at the top away from the scored end, but if it's slipping too much you can use a little super glue to hold it where it should be.

Since you have a drill press, insert the tubing with the scored end pointing down. I start a divot in the rock with a ball bur so it will hold a little oil and diamond grit and I start drilling. I use a toothpick to move the grit and oil back into the hole occasionally and also check the end of the tubing as the "teeth" will wear down. When they do, I re-score them. I  also will add oil and grit occasionally as the grit breaks down. It doesn't take much oil or diamond.

I read about this many years ago, but thought it wouldn't work that well so I used commercial bits for years. I finally had a piece of rock I was trying to drill that was too thick to drill with commercial bits and gave this a try and was amazed how well it worked. Most hobby shops and some hardware stores carry the copper or brass tubing and rod, I think it's made by K&B. You can make a dozens of these for the cost of a few of the commercial ones. If I were smart, I'd make several at once so it wouldn't slow me down when they need to be re-scored.

IMPORTANT SAFETY TIP! If you are using a long piece of tubing make sure to leave the bit in the rock when you turn the drill off or on. The tubing has a tendency to collapse without the support of the rock and will bend.

Debbie K
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