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I have been an avid reader of Ganoksin for many years. I got interested in casting, 18 years ago, while working at a Lockheed facility in Texas. Lockheed sponsored a recreational facility which included a Rockhound Club. The club met my needs in the beginning for casting but their focus was on Rocks and treated precious metals “as a means to an end” to show off the rocks. I was on the other side and relished what could be done in precious metal casting and fabrication – gems to me were an enhancement on the basic precious metal (neither position is an absolute). As a result, I started to purchase equipment for my home workshop. I’m currently retired and dread the day when my daughter will try to dispose of everything like it was a fire-sale. Entering this hobby in my early 60s I need to think about how to gracefully exit.
The thought that has been running around in my head is to recreate the environment of the club where I got my start and then simply donate all my equipment, thus giving me a place to continue to work/teach and engage in the fun and provide a legacy for myself and others.
ANY assistance that could be provided to help me along the way would be greatly appreciated. Perhaps someone out there has done what I’m thinking about and either documented successes/trials/tribulations or can draw from their memory to assist. The other possibility is that perhaps there are among the population individuals who can make recommendations on governance of such an organization (without getting panties in a bunch and legal aspects). We have many bench jewelers in the area who could probably be coerced into providing their expertise.
Location would be best served in Rockwall County Texas near zip 75087
Initial Metalsmithing equipment would include Large Vulcanizer, Small Vulcanizer, Large Burnout Oven, Small Burnout Oven, numerous investment cans with rubber bases, 3 Wax Injectors (1 air assist 2 manual pots), 2 Benches with drawers and storage, 1 soldering station (homemade), Smith Torch complete with tanks (propane and Oxy) and regulators, vacuum station with pump and spring mounted table and two large bells, small jewelers lathe, dual spindle buffer with hoods, two drum tumbler, 1 large & 1 small vibrating rock/metal polisher, several toolboxes, antique jewelers Drill Press, Antique Lap, Digital Temperature Controller for all equipment. Several hundred (700-800) vulcanized molds, 2 large storage cabinets with roll top access 3 ft X 6 ft, 4 drawer lateral cabinet converted for bulk item storage, two folding tables.
Initial Lapidary equipment would include – 10-inch trim saw, raytech GSP-8A lapidary Gem Maker, bunches of rocks most unknown many exhibit southwest type, tumblers and polishers already mentioned in metalsmithing.
Members would have their own hand tools
Members would buy their own metal and gems
Members would purchase mold material if needed.
Need to establish a replenishment policy for consumables
A thought I had was to approach our local industrial park and see if they would be willing to invest in the startup and perhaps ongoing maintenance for the club. Any thoughts
Regards and Thanks in advance