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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
May 23, 2019, 03:26:14 am
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Highland Park, is anyone home ?

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Author Topic: Highland Park, is anyone home ?  (Read 124 times)
Downwindtracker2
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« on: February 12, 2019, 01:38:41 pm »

I'm hoping to get a Frantom split nut assembly for home built 24" I'm modifying/repairing.  I've tried phoning them about 10 times over the last couple of day. They didn't answer the email either.
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« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2019, 09:35:27 am »

You got a pic of the part and a description?
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Robert
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« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2019, 12:30:52 pm »

Here is the part I'm hoping to purchase   http://www.hplapidary.com/en/frantom-split-nut-feed-dog-conversion-kit   I tried to phone them again this morning, it was morning in both Pacific and Eastern time. I had also emailed them asking about it. I like using the phone for credit card orders.

It's pretty slick, but I'm thinking at this rate,I may have to modify the dinky little one the original builder had made.
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« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2019, 03:24:26 pm »

That is pretty darn pricey for what I am looking at .. !
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« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2019, 04:42:03 pm »

It certainly is, isn't it. I had to think long and hard about ordering one. A cam operated split nut, with cheap brass inserts. The three main parts, the levers and the cam are CNCed, probably the inserts as well. You're paying for R&D as well as the part.Machining a cam like that manually on a mill  would be difficult, certainly with my level of expertise .I had thought about that, too.  I do have well used mill/drill. The used mill/drill and lathe cost about the same as the non-working 24" slab saw. You know you have an expensive hobby when machine tools  are cheaper! But since Highland Park doesn't answer the phone, I may have to design something. They wanted $138 for a 5/8" feed rod, a better quality , grade 8, Redirod was $78 .

We picked up  a couple rocks, one at Quartzite, maramamba,  and one at Burro Creek , pastellite/agate that would be interesting to cut.

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« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2019, 06:49:58 pm »

I give up. I 'll make something. I bought steel and brass today, even at Metal Mart prices, it will cost less. Maybe a toggle to open it and a lever to push it ?
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« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2019, 10:44:07 am »

I had to stop watching the video, the monkey holding the camera was making me seasick.  Yea I'm thinking you'd be able to make something as good if not better and save some money in the process.  Not to mention you'll know it inside and out and may have a better way of doing things after it's all said and done.  I've very interested in seeing the results, please take pics along the way and good luck!
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« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2019, 04:34:06 pm »

I don't think my attempts will be better, certainly cheaper and quicker, though. I will give Highland Park boys credit for their range of products, large library of videos, and easy web page. But not customer relations. I gather reading their history, this like most of us, is only a hobby.

Oh, gosh. My computer skill level involves looking for the keys. May be I can get my wife's help. It's both good looking and interesting.

A little history on the saw.My wife and I purchased a 24" slab saw a couple of years back, now. John made this saw years ago. Gord bought this saw off of John, who was well into his 80s then , about 7 years ago. I talked to Gord a a few nights ago, a millwright rule is always talk to the operator. Gord had put a hole in the saw "through my own fault " . As you know tubs ,can rust out. Gord then had a shop make a new tub and hood out of aluminum. Nice ! Gord only got to use it a few times when the feed jammed up and stripped the little brass gears. The gear box was off a floor polisher. We bought it off Gord, we might have paid too much, but it was from a friend and he lost money on the deal. After talking to Gord, here is what I think happened. The rails for the carriage and the arbor mount to the tub. The shop that did the tub and hood might not have gotten the alignment right, when they switched them. It's pretty critical on these saws. After much internet reading and learning , here is what I've come up with to fix the feedworks. John had used a 1/2" 13tpi rod, I'm switching to a 5/8" 18tpi for both easier reduction and a stiffer feed rod. I think the old Frantoms were the ones that used 5/8" 18tpi. I've got it taken apart now. John was pretty clever, he had made a spring loaded plate clutch on the feed rod. It didn't look to be adjusted. I'm using a cruder, but simpler idle pulley for a torque limiting slip clutch. I'm also using a jack shaft and a 60/1 angle drive gearbox , called Radicons in the industry, to get the  ratio for the feedworks. I've already built a stand which is handy place for the motors. I've got gas charged struts and stainless steel hinges for the hood.  Wiring, it always amazes me there any rockhounds alive, with their wiring jobs they should all have been electrocuted.  This saw was no different. One other amusing thing  John was left handed, the arbor is on the right and the carriage with it's adjustment cranks is on the left, backwards to the factory ones. chuckle

I haven't committed my idea to steel yet, or even paper, but I'm thinking toggles to open the jaws and a lever to push down on the toggles. I 'll use a sturdy spring on the lever, on the other side of the pivot for closing force. One problem is always finding material, so you have to design with what you can find. Like the 1/2" thick brass is less than perfect.
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