Tuesday, 17 November 2015

New Lapidary Equipment

So after a lot of head scratching and "creative" engineering, the old Mercury arbor is ready to use.
When I got this, there were 4 grinding wheels on it and a gravity drip system to provide cooling.
Since I now have 60 and 100 grit wheels on the other machines, I removed the 100 grit wheel. Also, the 600 grit grinding wheel has been replaced by a 600 grit diamond belt on the new Lortone unit.
3 new diamond belts

Now there are 200 and 400 grit grinding wheels that have been cleaned and leveled using my diamond sintered truing tool.
So in the empty space on the arbor, I added 3 sanding drums (1200, 3000 and 8000 grit).
I also have a 14,000 grit flat lap on one end.

On the other end, there was an old style metal sanding drum which I am now using as a holder for a padded leather polishing pad.
leather polishing pad with felt underlay

The gravity wetting system has been replaced by a "spitter" which wets the wheel being used from below.

So now I can cut rocks up to 2 inches thick, grind it from 60 grit (really coarse) to 14,000 grit (really, REALLY fine)  and then polish it.
cover reinstalled- ready for action!

The weather is getting cooler each day so the timing is perfect since I have a lot of beautiful agate to work with.
If you are in the area, now or next summer, let me know and I'll be happy to show you how it works. We should have some beautiful specimens and agate jewelry next spring.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

New Lapidary Material

It is a foggy day on The Neck and I am still waiting for some grinding wheels and sanding belts to complete my lapidary set up so I thought you might like to see some of the material we have found and cut recently.

Beautiful example of fortification
Vickie found this beautiful stone at Gulliver's Cove. We will cut a few more slabs and make some gorgeous pendants.

A golden and red plume agate with fortification found on Seawall Beach by AgateEye
This stone looked interesting on the outside but even we were surprised when we cut it open! The colours and pattern are spectacular and we plan to cut some slabs for jewelry and sell the rest as specimens.

Really interesting chevron type pattern

Gorgeous example of the rare Golden Flame Agate!
These spectacular stones were both found at Seawall Beach after a huge storm. Both will be used to create jewelry this winter. Boy, is AgateEye going to be busy! It's her own fault - she keeps finding 'em.

The Rock Den is really starting to take shape. New (old) 8" sanding drums came from Black Mountain Lapidary in Kelowna, BC along with the leather buffing pad. Just waiting on the belts, and then we'll reconfigure the arbor. 

Watch for a post showing the new setup.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Gulliver's Cove

This is the first post using my new Samsung note 8.0 and Kingston Bluetooth keyboard. Since I can also take pictures with this tablet, I will be able to post a lot more frequently.
Gulliver's Cove is a little over a mile from our house, on the Bay of Fundy.
The Beach at Gullivers Cove
We had a really big storm here last week. A Supermoon means supertides and that combined with  the storm gave us tides several feet higher than normal and a lot of wave damage. Since the wind was from the south, Gulliver's was spared a lot of the damage.
The cove has an interesting history. Supposedly, Gulliver was a pirate and married to a woman from the caribbean. She didn't want to stay here (can't imagine why!) And he wouldn't take her home so she killed him. The crew was afraid they might be next so they took her home, dropped her off and sailed back to resume their profession. That's the story the locals tell.
The Beach Looking West Towards The Lookout Point
We like Gullivers because it is pretty easy to find agate in the stream that runs down to the Bay. A lot of it is Crazy Lace and we have a couple of beautiful pendants set in sterling silver using stones found there.

Beautiful Crazy Lace Pendant
The view from the lookout is spectacular and a great place to eat lunch. Next time you visit the area, check it out! And then come and check out the store.