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Thread: Rocks on my mind!

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    Talking Rocks on my mind!

    I came across this forum while looking for ideas/answers to support my addiction...er, HOBBY! I have a mechanical background in several areas including fabrication, welding, millwright, machinist, precision sheet metal, and the "other kind" of sheet metal work...blaa, blaa, blaa. Back to the hobby. I do lapidary work as my hobby and just started a few years ago. One of the first things you find out about it is the expense of diamond tooling. I've always been a diy kind of person, so I was attracted to the thread on diamond tooling. Always looking for a way to fabricate my own.

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    I'm mostly looking for a way to fab the "consumables" like sanding/polishing wheels and laps, carving burrs, and drills. I have used several different brands of polishing wheels and some I like their "action" but must be ordered from China, and they don't seem to last, While others seem to last, but are too hard for what is called a "soft wheel". I have even tried the "recoated" wheels from a company called Johnson Brothers lapidary, and found them not to my liking. I have been doing a little research into different kinds of polyester and epoxy resins, trying to find just the right "mix" but have not yet been successful.

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    Jon
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    Hi Rixster - welcome to HomemadeTools.net

    Interesting project, I'll move this into our Tools in Progress subforum so you can get some ideas.

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    Frank S's Avatar
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    I wonder if for at least some of your operation you might want to go with a wet wheel and instead of bonding the dimond dust particles to the wheel use a slurry this wouldn't be a solution for burr file type of processes but could be used in burnishing holes
    using a slurry is about how a power lapping process is done
    Never try to tell me it can't be done
    When I have to paint I use http://kbs.justoldtrucks.com/

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    Forty-odd years ago I was into lapidary work as well. Did a lot of reading, and collected a lot of stones that I wanted to cut and polish, but didn't get to actually do much of that until I enlisted in the USAF. The first couple of bases I was stationed at had lapidary units in their hobby shops, among other things, so I used their equipment for a while. I did look into making my own lapidary machines, as I had other things to spend my munificent salary on, but didn't actually get to do that. I did collect a few old Lapidary Journal magazines, and they sometimes had articles about folks building diamond saws, sphere cutters, cabochon and faceting machines, and the like. I learned that laps were often made of copper, tin, and lead, among other things, and that some of the commercial cab machines had spindles of hard rock maple.

    Check YouTube. I found this sphere machine that looks much like stuff I saw in those old magazines in a quick search:

    DIY lapidary machine got this video, and the side bar has a home-made lap in another video.



    Might all be good info!

    HTH!

    Bill in OKC


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