Hello All: First, my thanks to Teresa, Diane, John, Dave, Jesse, Pam,
Gerry, Brad and everyone who responded with suggestions. I am
following up with all of the suppliers mentioned. I'll report back on
the results, both in terms of the availability of "weird" burr shapes,
and the willingness of the vendors to do custom work. Who knows, I
may not be the only Orchidian to need custom burrs some day.
Second, I can already tell you that two suppliers are willing to
consider custom work. They are Lasco (http://www.lascodiamond.com
and Abrasive Technology / Crystalite (http://www.abrasive-tech.com
A Cut Above (http://www.acutabove.com
) does not acccept orders for
Third, an additional tip of my cap to Gerry for underscoring the
heart of the issue: it is critical to get very precise tools with
minimal variation from one to the next. Some folks suggested I try
making my own burrs. This is a great idea in theory. In practice it
isn't so good because I'm pretty bad at it although I try from time
to time. I just can't quite get consistent results several times in a
row. Nor can I achieve the kind of accuracy Gerry described. From the
dialog on Orchid, it's clear that we all play with the "make/buy"
decision regularly. This is one time I come down firmly on the side
of "buy". And I was comforted to know that a top tier lapidary
professional like Gerry Galarneau turns to professional tool makers
for his burr needs.
Again, thanks to everyone for their suggestions. More to come.