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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 4:36 pm 
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Location: Indianapolis, In
Any one have any experience/advise about working with these materials? I'm sure they would be more challenging than wood or ivory and would like to take my challenges up a step , or 3. I like to use wood and have several finished projects with it such as this damascus folder. I also MUST try to do some file work.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:47 pm 
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Well with the corals I use CA on them before buffing. So I don't fill the pores with buffing compound. I've seen plenty of knives even some classics that are filled with buffing compound. It's that gray stuff. Tiger Coral and Apple Coral look a whole lot better without the buffing gunk.

Go to http://www.knifehandles.com they changed their name to Culpepper &Co.

There is an article in the April 2008 Blade magazine on page 42 about them. I've been buying materials from there for a couple or 3 years. Some stuff I sent to Jeff had materials from Culpepper maybe that's 3 years ::shrug:: . Anyway I use tape on pearl when cutting and I do were a respirator. I have asked them questions and they have always provided good answers. I think it's Joe Culpepper, anyway they were moving last year when I made an order ther article shows where their new digs are at.

I still have some serpentine from them, I never got to that knife - yet. ::doh::

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:01 pm 
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Gold lip pearl is the same species in most cases as white MOP, just the other side of the shell. So, I would just buy cheap low grade stuff to experiment with. BTW, presentation grade does not mean it has the best color. A+ usually has better color and lower grades may have even better. They grade the shell on overall shell quality, not color. Worm holes and stuff like that, usually on the back side that's not seen. ::tu:: ::tu::

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:18 pm 
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turquoise, while a rock is rather fragile...if the stone is not stabilized, it has a tendency to spiderweb and burn, and will explode if not cut and polished or drilled wet, lots of water or kerosene...this means by hand also...start using 20,000 rpm and it best be in a bath...
i really prefer non-stabilized stones...a purist will test for plastic and turn their nose up every time.
most of the copper compounds are the same...maliacite, azurite, torquoise, chrysocola...great choise of colors, dependent upon the mine site...
ok..update: i found the address of the people up in hawthorn nv who sell that purty rock from africa...
a note on torquoise...it is pricie...chrysocola is often a more vivid blue...like sleeping beauty..the chrysocola from the congo is a beautiful sky blue...vivid...i saw a 15 pound chuck when i was there last year...180.00 but cheap at the price.
the malacite is fantastic..fans evident in the structure...fans are big money for retail..everyone loves the fans...caution: working malacite is dangerous...within 15 minutes of unprotected cutting and polishing....your ears will begin ringing...then you feel drunk...then you loose your lunch and fell like the dt's for a week...wear gloves and mask...water cutting an polishing is a must...the dust is wicked...once polished..it is safe....it is just the dust. and paste from cutting that is to be avoided.


puppybeach@nvols.net
775-945-3690
nice people...
good luck on your stone work...have fun, go slow..and you will be pleased.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:22 pm 
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I've been seeing some Malachite from the Congo, nice stuff. Like Gringo says, every mine is different, just cruise though eBay and you can see the differces in all these materials from all over the world.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 8:41 pm 
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the rock coming out of the congo is fantastic...and affordable. i saw a few hundred pounds of it up in nevada at a rock shop in hawthorn...fantastic rock..great hardness,(place against tongue...if it sucks the moisture out of your face...stabilize it, or give it a few million years to mature) beautiful color range...sky blue to deep space...fantastic stone.
here is some petrified wood i cut a few years ago..in the garden now...keeps the flowers company..notice the cracks? i cut too fast...even with a wet saw...
also..if you play with stone...don't use your good files...

also..i am not associated with these guys..but they sell to the navajo...good prices on stone..they are high on the other things...gives you a choise..stabilized/natural.
http://www.thunderbirdsupply.com


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PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2008 1:28 am 
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A thought just crossed my mind and it seems a lot of folks don't know what to do with the residual dust. You do your cutting, shaping, and drilling. You do it safely while wet in water and you are left with a bucket full of water with a lot of dust in it.

You can let the water keep evaporating but sooner or later - you have to deal with it.

The 2 simplest solutions I've seen (and I'm a beginner with lapidary) is to:

1. You can let the water evaporate a little bit and then.............mix it with cement. ::tu:: Once the dust is cotained it can do no harm to anyone.

2. A lot of adhesives I use have expiration dates. So, I let the water/dust dry out under a heat lamp and I mix expired epoxies (not together), Gorilla Glue, and so forth with the dust and it's contained with the epoxy...........it can't harm anyone. If it can't get airborne, it CAN'T HURT YOU. There are a few simple things like this that will keep you and your working environment----SAFE.

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