Re: seeking a very inexpensive small flat lap grinder
You seriously need to get hooked up with a gem and mineral club. Hopefully our US club list:
will help you find one that is local to you. Many clubs organize field trips to collecting locations, some of which may only be open to clubs. Some clubs also own lapidary equipment and can help get you started doing lapidary work and jewelry making the "cheapest, best" way...
I'm afraid that when it comes to buying lapidary equipment, "cheapest" and "best" are mutually exclusive terms more times than not. As Ward has already suggested, if you are patient and persistent, you may be able to score a deal on some used equipment. Club contacts may also lead you to that bargain deal...
Along with a grinder you will inevitably need to acquire a rock saw and other equipment if you want to work independently of a club, or just don't have the good fortune of a local club available to you.
If you could be a little more specific about the kind of lapidary work you want to do, we could make some recommendations as to suitable equipment. You also need to be reading and acquiring some book knowledge. One of the best introductory books ever written about lapidary is "Gem Cutting A Lapidary's Manual" by John Sinkankas. Unfortunately that book is now out of print, but it is still carried by many public libraries and is also sometimes available through used book sellers.
Keep on Rock'n!
From Bob Keller - March 31, 2011 at 17:13:56