Thursday, 28 September 2017

The Dirty Side of Lapidary

I really enjoy working with my machines but every once in a while, you have to do a repair and/or cleanup. Today was the day.
My 200 grit wheel on the old Mercury grinding arbor had gotten nicked somehow and it had actually become dangerous to use.
Wheel on the left is nicked on the left edge
That meant taking apart the whole arbor and essentially rebuilding it. The first problem is getting the wheels off the shaft.

To do this, I used an old lapidary trick. Basically, you stand the shaft on end and pound it into the floor (so much for the precision instrument image, huh?). Eventually I got it all off and was able to clean the pan.

It is absolutely amazing to me how much garbage you get when grinding rock but when you clean it like this, you find the beautiful little pieces that you cursed over when they came off.
It took me most of the day but here's how it looks now:

So now the 200 grit wheel is gone (it will be replaced by a new 220 grit diamond wheel on my Lortone unit) and in its place is a 600 grit wheel (to replace the 600 grit sanding wheel on the Lortone).
So now, on this one machine, I have 400, 600 1200, 3000 and 8000 grit wheels, a leather polishing lap on the right end and a 12,000 grit flat lap on the left end. I also replaced the drive belt on the motor and that soft purring sound you hear in the background is how it sounds now.
Everything is relative and while I think the above machine is perfect, that's where Carey Serhan at Black Mountain Artisans STARTS! What he does when he reconditions a machine is truly amazing and you should check out his facebook page under Black Mountain Artisans.
So tomorrow, I'll be tackling my little Rock Rascal trim saw with the 100 grit grinding wheel. Here's the before pic.
You will probably not see much of a difference here because it is mostly changing the oil coolant and dressing the blade a little. I will probably change the belt on this unit as well.
Vickie being in Vancouver makes it a perfect time to do this because I can get myself (and the towels) as dirty as I want. (heh,heh)

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