Friday, 22 September 2023

A Powerhouse Rock Saw

 I am a member of several Facebook lapidary equipment groups and often see people dissing the Hi-Tech 10 inch saw. It's a cheap build and not powerful enough to cut big stuff- especially using water, not oil.

Well, I've got news for you guys- you're dead wrong!

Today I decided to cut a rather large rock.

I don't use a vise and that is a 10 inch Hi-Tech sintered (red) blade that I have "reconditioned" using the Highland Park technique of hitting the rim with a bastard file- works like a charm. As you can see, the rock is a full 3 5/8 inch high and while it's a little macro, it's still a silicate and plenty hard. I cut two slabs.

The first slab was 5/16 inch thick and once I saw what the saw could do, I cut the second 3/16 inch. The saw actually has a vise and a bridge whose position can be changed by using different holes in the deck but honestly, I find that I can get uniform cuts just by lining the piece up using the patterning on the deck. That's beautiful flame agate around the edge. Here's a close up lit from the front.

I will sell these in my shop as slabs to be placed in front of a light or candle so here's the back lit money shot.

One last thing about the saw: I have used it regularly for 4 years and cut a ton of rock. There has been absolutely no warping of the resin body and, of course, no rusting. It is one tough customer. The blade is as true as the day I got it and the Hi-Tech red sintered blade will go to-to-toe with any other name brand in both quality of cut and durability. Because it uses water, even my artist wife likes it and, since she makes paint from the rock sludge, she'll even clean it for me! Check out an earlier blog post to see a painting she did using the sludge.

If you ever find yourself on Digby Nech, stop by and if the weather is good, I'll fire it up for you.

Friday, 25 August 2023

The Family Reunion

 A few weeks back we experienced a very rare occurance. Our daughter Lisa, who hand dyes our beautiful Seawall Fibres Yarn, was visiting from the Bahamas. Then our other daughter Sandra, who fashions a lot of our polymer clay pieces, came from Dartmouth. So for three days we had the "Original Fab Four" back together and even had our granddaughter here for a bit as a bonus! It was like going back decades- lots of recounting of family legends, cheating accusations during various games and, most important, lots of laughter!

Man I've missed that laughter.

Much time was spent in the studio and there was even some rockhounding at nearby Gulliver's Cove.

Gullivers is a beautiful spot on the Bay of Fundy and there is a public hiking trail right out to that point, with spectacular views.

Over the years we have found some nice pieces there- especially botryoidal and porcelain agate. You will notice that the pics only include Vickie and Sandra. There are two reasons for this. First, I still can't walk very well so somebody had to take the pics. Secondly, we found that in Norwegian, the name Lisa  actually means "She who cannot find silicates- especially amethyst"! I know... who would have ever thought that's how Lisa would translate but over the years we have found this to be jaw dropping in its accuracy. Lisa has been unable to locate amethyst pieces even after we have seeded the beach and told her where to look!!

Upon their return, all finds were brought to me for inspection and the usual haggling ensued as to what was suitable for cutting and what was destined for the "rock wall of shame".

So if you like rockhounding, come to Digby Neck. And if you think you've found something interesting, bring it by and I'll give you my professional opinion (limit one rock) and show you around my rock shop- The Lap of Lapidary!

Monday, 31 July 2023

We're Back!

 I am now mobile enough to get to the showroom and my office so we are open for business again! Stop by and see what's new.

Thursday, 27 July 2023

Temporary Shop Closure

 Some may know  that I have had both hips replaced and last weekend I did something to displace the left one. It's getting better but I  still can't walk very well so we have decided to close for   the baalance of the week.

I will be here and can be reached by phone (902) 482-2188 or by email    If you are only here fooor   a few days and really want something from the shop, Vickie will be around and if you call, we'll try our best to open for you

Friday, 21 July 2023

Lost Painting

 This post is for the nice golfer and his son (big Celtics fan I gather) who bought several items. When you realize that you don't have the small painting, contact me and I'll send it to you no charge.

I'm posting here since I gave you my card and encouraged you to check out the blog.

And don't forget, we accept repeat visitors. Next time we'll talk golf!

Sunday, 2 July 2023

Introducing The Castaway Collection of Jewelry

 Beautiful jewelry is easy to find. But interesting jewelry isn't. That's why I make it.

We live right across from a beautiful beach and got to wondering how we could make pieces using the materials we find there. Thus The Castaway Collection was born.

The idea is simple- take found items- driftwood, shells, sea glass and rocks and make interesting pieces. They aren't to everyone's taste but those who like them LOVE THEM!

here are some we've made from shells so far:

The last one is extremely interesting and features a shell core and we've made several others.

We also use driftwood:

And of course we incorporate beautiful local beach glass.

As you can see, some are simple and some are more complex but all are very modestly priced because, quite frankly, our reward is overcoming the design and engineering challenges. These pieces are so different, they had to have their own display.

So if your travels take you to the wilds of Digby Neck, stop by and see for yourself. And check out our rock shop, hand dyed yarn and other jewelry!

Monday, 12 June 2023

Lots of Tourists

 As the weather finally improves and the smoke clears, more tourists are starting to appear and we've also seen people who come annually as they have summer homes here. I'm being kept busy making new pieces to replace sold items. Here's a real beauty combining a beautiful stone, unique hand fashioned copper setting and a show stopping Viking Knit Chain.

I have to say this is one of the most beautiful stones we have found on the neck. It positively glows!

Once again I have embarked on an ambitious project- finish 100 cabochons through the summer. Honestly, if I didn't have my Cab King with the trim saw attachment, I couldn't do it.

Believe it or not, one of the big problems I have is to be selective. Vickie has found me so much beautiful local rock! Here's a sampling.

This gorgeous piece has spectacular colour and patterning and will make a stunning pendant.

Another amazing piece with several different types of structure. It is photographed wet- hence the highlights.

This stunner has areas of moss agate on the bottom and a great pocket of fortification agate along with rich colour shifts. 

And last but by no means least, we have this show stopping combination of plume agate in an amethyst matrix. And these are just a few of this summer's haul. So if your travels take you to Nova Scotia. Make sure to come to the most interesting part- Digby Neck- and stop by to say hello and see the shop.