Re: Re: Re: Rock crushing
GULP! - Thats a big order to fill, there are so many.
How about if I start off a discussion in generic terms and we see if others then click in and tell us about their favorite strategies/tools/what-have-you?
"Specimen trimming" can require anything from tiny little steel nippers for "gardening" little bumps and such all the way up to using explosives to blast a big honking crystal out of bedrock. For example, I have a favorite pair of needle-nose pliers with their end bent at an odd angle which happens to give me excellent purchase for breaking off small little grains.
"Preparation of lapidary rough" may involve using diamond blade saws to make slabs of rock, or the use of esoteric things like sewer pipe breakers to crack open geodes. (I am not really a lapidary, and therefore not the best to comment on their strategies and tactics. Let's hope some of them join us and talk about their favorite tricks and tools.)
A major distinction between the two fields is that specimen collectors tend to prefer their specimens natural-looking, while lapidaries are working to "improve" on Mother Nature. Rock saws are a lapidary's major tool, while specimen collectors typically do not want their specimens to have flat surfaces that nature did not create and only rarely resort to sawed surfaces. [As an aside, there is also the fact that collectors place a higher money value on specimens of crystal on or imbedded in the bedrock matrix they occur in. The association of the crystals with their matrix imparts a higher level of scientific information to a specimen. But a lapidary may be perfectly happy with a sawn-off crystal or a vial full of loose crystals, such as garnets that have been pried or broken out of their bedrock matrix.]
Okay, let's take a break here and see if we get anyone else to add to the discussion.
From Alan - June 07, 2007 at 21:28:16