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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
April 25, 2019, 02:26:19 pm
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Life Expectancy of Rock Slab Saw Blade ?

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Author Topic: Life Expectancy of Rock Slab Saw Blade ?  (Read 82 times)
Downwindtracker2
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« on: February 09, 2019, 11:01:25 am »

How many hours ?? It seems I'm involved in the setting up our, my wife signed me up, club's workshop. They have just rented the basement of an old community hall.  We have a lead on a 18" Loritone slab saw donation and the club has 14" drop saw in storage. The club is neither large nor rich, so with the cost of blades, a cutting fee for the saws is in order. It's use will likely mostly be  agates and jaspers. THX

Ray
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Ray

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« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2019, 06:01:13 pm »

I have a 24" Covington that I've had for over 12 years now.  In that time I have gone thru 3 blades and I can only recommend the MK 303 Professional Grade (https://mkdiamonddirect.com/product.sc;jsessionid=020A37AEF4E0C7E6558A04BEE090647D.p3plqscsfapp005?productId=629&categoryId=51).  I have used a less expensive blade (that I still have as a back-up which is a notched rim blade forget the maker but probably MK as well).  I have used a much more expensive blade that was a big disappointment and only lasted about a year.  The MK 303 I have on right now has at least 3,000 hours and cuts as well today as when I first got it.  All that said, I know MK came out with a 301-GemKing (https://mkdiamonddirect.com/product.sc?productId=1562&categoryId=49) blade specifically designed for agate, jasper, pet wood, jade, etc.  The price between the 2 is almost the same and I'm sure it works great, I just don't know anything about it so I can't recommend it.

Don't forget to make sure you're all leveled up and remember transmission fluid is a super cheap alternative to rock oil (and makes you hands all nice and soft - for the wife of course).

Hope this helps,
Robert
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« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2019, 09:59:15 pm »

Thanks Robert, I'm trying to get a handle on how many hours a  blade will last. Then I can do the math using feed rates and 303 costs. We just need a break even.

I'm not even much of a rockhound, the LOML is, though I do enjoy the field trips in the bush. I found a pretty interesting rock at Burro Creek last week or so and I'm interested in seeing what's inside. Our snowbird trip to Quartzite always includes some time in the desert. For the home shop,my wife and I bought a 24" shop built saw. But the second owner had it jam and stripped the little brass gears for the feedworks. The gearbox came from a floor polisher. I'm a retired millwright so repairing and modifying machines is more my hobby.

THX
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Ray
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2019, 08:00:20 am »

Call their customer service and find out, heck they may give you some tips that you didn't know.
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Robert
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2019, 12:05:15 pm »

curiosity got the better of me so I sent an email to MK to ask, this is the response I got back - hope this helps...

I got this answer from the factory.

We donít have that kind of data. It is very hard to provide this information as every club or cutter is different and that because we donít know the type of material being cut it is extremely difficult to provide an accurate number of cuts.  I would tell them to keep track of the cuts made over the life of the blade and to determine what is being cut by the members to help them to determine what the number of cuts are.  I would advise them to charge between $1.00 to $2.00 per cut or to measure the rock and charge .50-.75 per linear inch.  I think that this will cover the cost of the blade.
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