I'm about to buy a 14 inch lapidary rock saw and not sure which one
to buy. I absolutely want quality, and will be cutting dinosaur bone
(agate), jade, serpentine and other hard stones. Please reply with
your reasons for recommending a brand/model.
Thanks in advance, John Barton
Please contact Diamond Pacific in Barstow, Ca. a family owned and
run business who so totally support rockhounds that they frequently
attend local club meetings and supply equipment for classes.
They currently are at both Quartzsite and Tucson for the entire
length of both shows. They offer a great variety of saws and all
lapidary equipment, and support everything they sell. There are
three generations working there now, all talented and helpful.
Definately go with a Lortone, I have had one for 30 years and am
totally satified with the customer service and the cutting ability.
Also has a self sharpening feature which is nice.
I have a Lortone 14" saw that I bought off eBay for a very good
price. I purchased it because it was cheap (Lortone is about
mid-range for most of their products), but the seller was dishonest.
He had neglected to mention several problems. He must have run it
without keeping an eye on it, and got the blade caught in a piece of
stone. I mention all of this for a reason: The shaft was bent,
requiring replacement, so I replaced that and the two necessary
bearings. Then I realized the motor was also shot, plus the feed
motor burned up, I replaced these and a new blade. While I was at it,
the replacement for the feed motor was also a change in speed.
Cutting hard stone requires a slower speed than soft stones, which is
what the 14" Lortone Panther is set up for, quick cutting. The reason
for bringing all of this up, is the ease with which I was able to do
this. Lortone is a great company to deal with, the parts are
available and easy to interchange, and even with all these fixes, I
still made a good deal price wise. The seller will have to deal with
his own Karma. What I found out was, the closeable metal hood and
compact design along with the easy maintenance, made this a much
better saw than I expected. I had intended to use this as a step
toward a higher end saw, probably Diamond Pacific's 14" saw is what I
was thinking, instead I wound up with a 10", and a 12" Lortone as my
workhorse saws along with the 14". I buy and refurbish lapidary
machinery as a regular thing, so I have several saws, mostly 10"
Beacon Stars, which is a company that DP bought out so they could use
their designs. I believe that is the saw that they now sell as their
14". They are a great saw, but I think they still have removable
plastic hoods to keep the oil misting under control. The closeable
hood Lostone uses really trumps the plastic hoods. I am able to use
livestock edible mineral oil, mixed with a small amount of Lortone's
de-mister as a cutting fluid rather than some of the more toxic
products available. In any case, you don't want oil misting all over
your shop, and slab saws HAVE to be used with a cutting oil of some
kind. I have been a lapidary/jeweler for over 40 years now and you
can e-mail me offline if you would like to talk in depth. Thomas III
I have a 12" Lortone, that I have abused to no end. Still runs