Archive for May, 2012

Getting Caught Up

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Getting caught up can be a fun activity when a person sees progress.

I finished some tumbling for a customer. I cut and sanded 20 small TE’s and now they are ready for polishing. I always like this activity because I can call the customer and they can come and pick them up and take them home. This means I won’t have to find a place to store them.

This last week I showed one of my customers my home made 5 gallon tumblers. He might make one for himself since he has a good quantity of rocks he needs tumbled.

I have been sorting through some of my slabs. Some go into the tumbling box. After 4 weeks in the tumbler, they will be ready for sorting again. Some will go onto my web site. These are the better ones.

The second box will be some slabs that will be ready for the camera. I will photograph them wet to give a better idea of that they look like. These sell nicely as they are usually just small slabs of material that people east of the Mississippi River haven’t had access to.

The third box will be a box I will set by my grinder. These I will shape and contour before they are tumbled. When they finish the tumbling process, many of these will be photographed for my web page.

Now, getting the photos and putting them on my web site is another whole “never ending” job.

You can see. I have several areas I could get behind in. (OH, did I say the grass was growing and needed attention.)

All the pretty things God has made for us to use and enjoy!

Monday, May 21st, 2012

God shows himself in marvelous ways.

I get to see this every time I polish a rock. What God made was made perfect but time or man has taken a toll. Some rocks come to be broken and dirty. I get to clean them and see what I might be able to do with them. Some rocks are not broken so I know I have to cut into them to see what they might contain.

As I examine the broken rocks I get to determine if I think this rock would be good to slice or if this rock would be best broken and made ready for the tumbler. When it is a rock best made for the tumbler, I save in my “breaking” bucket. When I get a quantity, I will carefully crack or break the rock into pieces just the right size for the tumbler. When I do the breaking, I save even the crumbs – the small BB sized pieces – as these are used in the tumbling process.

When I determine a rock is best to be sliced, I save it for the saw best of the size of the rock. Small rocks and slabs are hand cut in my 8 inch trim saw. The next size rocks are saved for my 10 inch self feeding saw. The larger rocks are saved for the 18 inch saw.

When sawing, I again get to marvel at what God has made for us to use and enjoy. First I get to use the rocks as an activity that keeps me busy. I enjoy my process of cutting and polishing rocks. I not only get to see them in the rough “ugly” stage but I also get to see them in the pretty polished stage.

Each slice that comes off a rock may be different that the previous slice. Sometimes the pattern and color is similar in each slice throughout the whole rock. I get to see each slice and marvel at what God has made.

Cutting rocks with a diamond blade is a messy job.  The saw blade is cooled with oil so the rock slices come out covered with oil. This has to be washed off. This again is an activity that keeps me busy but I enjoy it. As each slice is cleaned, I get to see what beauty God has hidden in the rock for me to see. For this I marvel at God and thank him for his love for us in making and giving these rocks to us to use and enjoy.

After the slices are washed, there comes another job or activity for me. That job is to decide what would be the best use of this particular slice of rock. I find that some slices should be “hand polished” just because. Other slices should be tumble polished just the way they come from the saw. Other slices need to be saved for further work  – like cutting into smaller pieces for cabs or wire wrapping stones.

Ruby in zoisite

As the slices of rock are separated into the different piles, I see more activity piling up for me. This is good since I like to be kept busy.

It is at these times that I take inventory of what would be the next best activity to keep me busy. What is the pressing job I need to concentrate on now.

Sometimes, I need to take a break from working on my own rocks and work on some of my customer’s rocks. I cut and polish for other people also. This I enjoy also and I get to see more of the pretty things God has made for us to use and enjoy.