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Large grinding and sanding lapidary lathe


#1

This is a request to all the lapidaries on Orchid. I need to build or
buy a large grinding/sanding lathe for the lapidary part of my shop.
I currently use an old CabMate as my trim saw, a two wheel Lortone
lathe with a 100 g diamond wheel and an expansion wheel on which I
fit 2.5" X 6" SC belts in various grits and I also built an 8" flat
lap that will go from 100 g to 50,000 g in various steps. I also have
an 8" and 14" slab saw. The flat lap works well for flats, but I need
a lathe for curved surfaces. I have been looking at various six wheel
(6") models from Kingsley North, Lortone, Cab King and others. I am
also willing to build one, but once I price the pieces and parts, it
cost more than a completed unit. Any thoughts, ideas, experience with
various lathes or just plain advice would be appreciated.

Hope you all had a good Thanksgiving; now on to Christmas and New
Years.

Thanks. Rob

Rob Mexner


#2

I’ve been very happy with the Lortone stainless 6 wheel 6". I started
out with all SiC belts on expanding wheels but slowly trading out to
diamond. 80, 220 hard wheels, 280, 600, 1200, 3000 ‘soft wheels’.

Keep Calm and Hammer On…


#3

Hi Rod

I use a Lortone 6 in. six wheel arbor with flat pad on the right
end. I chose the Lortone over a Diamond Pacific Genie, because I
like the motor behind instead of in the center like a buffer. Also
the Lortone is not as wide. I also use a flow through water system,
I don’t like the spritzer. I use Diamond Pacific wheel. I have my
Cabmate setup on the right side of my 6 wheel arbor as a small trim,
but can add a flat lap of odd grit wheelsquickly. This works great
for me in my very small shop.

Gene Stirm


#4

Hi Rob, Have you looked at the Galaxy wheels for carving from Diamond
Pacific? You can mount them on any lapidary arbor and cut a 1/2 inch
or 1 inch curve. If you need larger curves check out the suppliers
for the folks that cut granite counter tops.

Diamond Pacific has a sculpture rock lathe, model # 640-34-1000 for
around $3000. I believe some other brands have a model also.


#5

Thanks to all who provided advice regarding my purchase of a new
lapidary lathe (arbor). I settled on a Lortone/Kingsley North 6"
Diamond/Nova wheel package. I bought it from Kingsley North. They
have always been great to work with and were willing to make some
modifications to the machine that I wanted. If you haven’t tried
them, you should. More when I know it. Rob

Rob Mexner