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Drilling rock / ultrasonic drilling

Kimberlee & All Orchidites,

Recently I put up a new ultrasonic drilling webpage:

On this page there are some photos and an article I wrote for
Lapidary Journal (Nov 2003) describing the process. I am now doing
ultrasonic drilling in the USA for the gem and other industries.

Drilling with an ultrasonic can be tricky, and quite difficult in
some cases. It took me well over a year of many screw ups and lesser
quality work to achieve my current level of proficiency. (I’m a slow
learner.) I have been doing it for five years now.

Small diameter (>1.0 mm), long holes (over 10mm) take even more
time, since evacuating the swarf and supplying abrasive this deep in
small holes can be difficult. It takes time and individual attention
on the part of the operator. It is not an automated process and
requires continuous attention. Thus to have it done here in the USA,
where the cost of living and wages are higher, is not the same as
over in India or other places that the daily wage is “peanuts.”

I have a minimum $25 order and will do most “normal” holes for about
$8 each. Large quantities will receive a big discount. I do a very
nice job though. Minimal blow out, if any at all, parallel sides on
the hole, accurate placement, and holes as small as 0.015" (0.375
mm) at the moment. I can probably get that down to 0.012" (0.30mm)
with a few mods, if I get the call for it.

So take a look, read the article, stop by my GJX booth # 700 Feb
5th - 10th in Tucson, chat about ultrasonics, briolettes,
motorcycles, Mexico, or anything else. I want to do the Orchid dinner
and meet some of you, but I am just so busy at my booth during the
show I haven’t figured out how yet… maybe.

Best regards, Steve Green - Rough and Ready Gems, Inc. Gemstone briolettes and precision ultrasonic drilling.