An interesting alternative to a conventional trim saw (6 - 10"
blade) is a diamond band saw. They run about $400 new. One advantage
it provides is the ability to make curved cuts, giving better yield
(reduced waste) from your slabs and it reduces the amount of grinding
that needs to be done to the preform. It has also gotten me into the
practice of buying slabs, rather than whole rocks.
This does create some limitations, but also means I get only the
best materials because I’m shopping slabs, not the whole rock. I have
none of the annoying end pieces left from slabbing operations, and no
big saw taking up space. In fact, a couple weeks ago I gave my 10"
saw to my brother-in-law on a long term loan. I do have a 6" saw I
use for fine rough and mini-slabbing operations, but it doesn’t have
A great place to shop online for used lapidary equipment is Bob’s
Rock Shop classified ads. You can also place a “wanted"
advertisement… and I can tell you, it really does work! That’s
where I got my used Genie (6” grinder), with all new wheels and lots
of extras, for $750. The seller had upgraded to the Titan (8"
EBay is also a great place to shop for rough slabs, when you can’t
get your “fix” from rock and gem shows! Search, by Seller, on
"firstname.lastname@example.org". He’s always got some awesome stuff, and he’s a
pleasure to deal with. Standard disclaimer… just a satisfied
All the best,
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)