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Experience with Rio's swaptop lapidary system

Hi Orchid, We are new to lapidary but after ten years of collecting
and selling stones we have a lot of cabs that need a little help with
their shape or their polish and we’re considering rio grande’s
"swaptop" lapidary system for recutting and polishing all those cabs
that have issues. Also we might want to cab some rough stuff we have
laying around someday. Does anyone have an opinion on this machine?


i use the swap top machine made by inland, have had it for several
years. still am using the original diamond wheels. i have had a
couple issues over the years 9usually caused by my lack of
knowledge) and inland has always handled the problem and quickly
resolved. being a flat lap, it is more difficult to get a good cab
than it is with the cabbing machines. however, you can also cut
faceted stones with the flat lap (jam peg system).


Douglas -

Several years ago I bought the Inland swaptop system, and wow! I was
so disappointed. The water delivery system was flimsy, leaked,
broke, or bent (I had the cabbing machine, band saw and trim saw),
the band saw would never stay tensioned and the blade was always
coming off, the trim saw blade warped, it was a pain the rear
swapping anything out…I’m sure there was more, but I have blocked
it from my memory.

For what I spent on those machines, I could have been a third of the
way to a real multi-wheel cabbing machine. By now I’d have the real
thing, instead of a bad taste in my mouth (did I say water got
sprayed everywhere?).

Perhaps the quality of the Inland machines has improved, but my
experience was not good. It seemed like everything about them was
flimsy or cheap.

Also, I never could get the hang of getting the right shape on a cab
by way of a horizontal lap. Freehand or on a dop, I always had flat
spots, or the cab got grabbed out of my grip.

My two cents’ worth,
Kelley Dragon