Lapidary Saw, Rocks and Geodes! And a flying trip to boot!


I have had a busy, busy week. This last weekend my husband and I flew our Cessna 172 “Big Blue” to Rusk, TX to pick up a rock saw. About a month ago I went to a rock show here in Georgetown looking for a saw. As soon as I walked into the show I knew it wasn’t that kind of show but of course I had to look around. Most of what was there was jewelry but a few vendors had slabs (that’s rock that has been sliced up into…well…slabs). I saw Ebersole’s booth which I have seen for years and years advertised in lapidary magazines and I knew they had tools. He had a few with him mostly tumblers and hand tools but I asked the gentleman manning the booth if he had any used rock saws. He did not but the booth next to him often did. His name is Keith Harmon. He is the owner of “Stone Crystals”. They don’t have a store front and really just do shows to sell their goods.

I walked over to their booth which was almost all rocks and mineral specimens. A good sign. I told Keith I was told he might have a used 10″ rock saw. “Yes” he said “I  have at least 4”. WOW! Next question. Where are they from? East Texas. Even better. He described what he had and later that week he sent me some photos. I was going to pick one out and meet him at a show in San Antonio but he recommended we wait until we could come visit and look at them. Besides he has a lot of rough (uncut rock) that we might like to look at. I looked at the map and it’s a bit of a drive at least 3 1/2 to 4 hours so we decided to try and wait for the weather to clear so we could fly over. Last weekend things finally came together for us to make the trip.

It was a blustery day but other than that it was really nice.  I love to fly. My head is always plastered to the window looking down. I don’t know why I love it so much but I do. I think it comes from flying along the coast of Florida when I was first able to fly in small planes. You could see turtles, dolphins, schools of fish and yes sharks! But I digress. We were about halfway there when I saw flood waters. East Texas has suffered much over the last year it seems with flood after flood. This little river, the Trinity River near Oakwood, TX, was way over it’s banks. As I’m looking at all the water in the fields and woods I see a very strange sight. No, it’s not a bigfoot, but a flooded area that is smiling! No kidding. Here is a picture to prove it. You’ll need to click on the picture to see the face. Right in the middle.

This is the craziest thing. It actually looks like a ghost head that is smiling. Weird huh?

This is the craziest thing. It actually looks like a ghost head that is smiling. Weird huh?

We got to Rusk with just a few turbulence to make the flight interesting. They have a courtesy car there at the airport that we were able to borrow and take out to Keith’s house. As we went out to his HUGE shed FILLED with lapidary equipment and rocks we knew we had come to the right place.  After being shown our choices with Keith’s advice we picked one. It is really nangy looking but it works! It is a RayTech that has a feed drive and a new RayTech blade. It is going to take a little to really get it running nice but I think we did OK. After striking the deal Keith showed me a wall full of plastic shoe boxes that had slabs but if I wanted rough to follow him. My jaw dropped opened. I can hardly describe how much rough he had. As a matter of fact, here is a screen shot of his place on Google Earth. See those rows of things beside and behind the shed? Those are 100’s of milk crates FULL of rocks. Heaven!

All of those lines beside the shed and behind it are milk crates of rocks. He also has tons more under the flat roof of the shed.

All of those lines beside the shed and behind it are milk crates of rocks. He also has tons more under the flat roof of the shed.

I picked out a…few…rocks. Really, only about 50 lbs. Fun, Fun! I could have stayed there for hours digging through those piles and crates. I remembered that Keith also had geodes at the show and asked about buying a few. I picked out 4 large ones and a small one. I can’t remember what they are called but they are from Mexico. They were kinda spendy but I decided to take the risk of what might be inside. Yesterday I found out what 2 of them contained. Keith said not to cut them with the bigger saws because they use oil as a coolant and I could ruin what’s inside. I used my diamond bandsaw to score them around the middle then I cracked them open with a hammer and chisel. Here is what I found in one of them.

Oh and I guess you might want to see the saw. Yeah. It is way ugly but WAY cheaper than new.

This is my "new" 10" RayTech Diamond Lapidary saw. Yes, it is ugly but hopefully after today it will be fully functional.

This is my “new” 10″ RayTech Diamond Lapidary saw. Yes, it is ugly but hopefully after today it will be fully functional.

I guess I’d better get working on the saw. I just got back from finding some of the parts I need. More to come!

 

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