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Author Topic: Greetings from New Zealand  (Read 372 times)

Saxguy

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Greetings from New Zealand
« on: September 18, 2020, 06:48:48 AM »
Hi to everyone.
I have just joined the forum, as I want to find out if I could take up (and enjoy) the art of lapidary. I’m in my late 50’s so maybe I’m too old to start such a journey.
I have had a passing interest which started many years ago. Maybe 30 years or so ago, I purchased a second hand book, which was quite expensive at the time, the author being John Sinkankas, and I think the title is “Gem Cutting, The art of lapidary”. I am going to dig the book out after I finish this intro.

About 25 years ago, I was in Sri Lanka, and during which time I visited the gemstone mine… wow, what a scene, watching the Sri Lankan guys fetching buckets of gravel from a hole which they were climbing down into on a rickety wooden ladder… I watched also, as a half dozen or so people were sitting around lapping the various gemstones, and some beating out gold into sheet for jewellery. I asked about the lapping equipment they were using, as it fascinated me. I was directed to a small factory, where they made the ‘freehand’ cutting arm (sorry, forgot the technical name), and off I went. The factory was a small unit, workers wearing shorts, nothing else, including footwear! Ancient looking lathes and dodgy wring all about the floor… A real disaster of a place! Anyway, I bought one of their gemstone cutting arms, which cost me all of about $25 If I recall correctly. Still have it… somewhere…unused to this day!

Anyway, 13 years ago, moved from the UK to NZ. Find I’m still interested in gemstones and the sheer beauty of them. Maybe I would like to get involved…. So, here I am to see. Cost is obviously somewhat important. I do however, have a good home engineering workshop, and I am able to make/repair machinery, which could be handy I guess.

Look forward to spending some time here, and getting to know the forum.
Regards.

Rusted

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2020, 08:06:48 AM »
Greetings saxguy.

Good on you for taking up a new hobby. If you have a background in engineering you can probably easily knock up some inexpensive equipment, you might need to spend a bit for diamond laps, grinding wheels and such but there are ways to keep the cost down.

You might struggle to cut a stone with your hand held cutting attachment, I presume it's what is known as a jam peg, they basically cut by eye.

That Sinkankas book is good information, a bit dated but still good info.
Do you know of any lapidary clubs around where you are? If so join. We are here and keen to help if you get stuck or just need some reassurance.

Saxguy

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2020, 09:11:05 AM »
Hi Rusted. Thanks for the reply.
The "thing" I bought, I have posted a picture of (not mine but same sort of thing). I remember years ago when I nearly got into lapidary, I looked at the German machines, I believe one was an Ultra Tech or something like that. There was a fixed post sort, and then the other, which had a table beside the platen, which had you use a non-fixed faceting arm (the bit I bought). I bought it basically as a keepsake for a great holiday adventure. I thought maybe one day I would use it!

Rusted

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2020, 01:02:01 PM »
Ah right, thats an Imahashi handpiece, apparently they are quite good though I have never used one or even seen one.

Faceting Frank

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2020, 04:29:50 PM »
Hi Saxguy welcome to the forum, not that I'm a long time member like some of the other guys.
I'm familiar with the faceting head, but also have never seen or used one.

Bucket

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2020, 05:26:36 PM »
It's a style that is used by a firm called Imahashi (and others), basically you have a flat surface upon which you rest the handpiece that you have, after adjusting the angles and index to the required settings. You then cut the first facet until the required depth is reached, once you have the depth of the cut sorted, you pretty well can't over cut the next facets. The cutting is by a flat lap located next to the fixed flat surface. I've never used one but think it would be an interesting machine to use.
Common sense isn't exactly common

FlashGP

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2020, 08:19:37 AM »
Hi Saxguy, there is a facebook forum called handpiece faceting.  It's run by Justin Prim, he was to speak at the Australian Facetors Guild seminar this year, but the Big C19 put a stop to that.  It may be worth checking out.

Regards
Flash
Yours Sincerely
Flash (Gordon)

Saxguy

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Re: Greetings from New Zealand
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2020, 08:30:25 AM »
Thanks Flash.... I'll check it out.

 

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