Re: So. How long should a diamond belt last?
I agree, sounds like you're expecting too much from a diamond belt. It's meant for the finishing/polishing steps only. You should only be working stones that are already to their final shape and size instead of using the belt to shape them.
We have a woman in our lapidary club that does what you're doing if we don't watch her. She's ruined a full set of 6 graduated (from 400 to 14,400 grit) diamnond wheels so far by using them to shape her agates and other stones because she is impatient and doesn't want to take the time to use the grindstones. She goes straight from the trim saw to the diamomnd wheels. She goes in and uses the equipment when no-one else is around. We've told her over and over, and even posted signs. She can destroy a $125 soft diamond embedded wheel in one session. Sound like what you're doing?
Use the belt for finals only and it'll last you a long time - relatively speaking. If you really want a diamond wheel for shaping, get the metal wheel with coarse 80 grit diamond on it. Costs about $250, but will do the job till you wear it down also. Should last about a year with regular use, unless you're constantly doing the ultra hard stones like jade. Even worn down, they're usable, just takes longer.
From Phil - July 07, 2007 at 13:03:19