To start try and find out if there is a rock club nearby! They give
you a lot of good advise on machines and material! Plus most know
sites where they get material to work The equipment you will need for
cabs is a saw,a polisher and a cabber! Lucky for you the polisher and
the cabber can be done with the same machine usually. Which machine
depends on how much you want to spend. The Cabmate is a good start,
so is the Genie and an inexpensive option is the "All you need".
Depending on the size of the slabs you are going to want, will
determine how big the saw should be. Probably at least a 10" to
start. However if you are going to go rock picking yourself to get
material probably an 18" or larger. Mainly because of the size of the
material you will be bringing home!
Good luck and if I can offer any more help contact me off line!! JB