Sorry for the OT post, but I have 2 questions, one kind of related,
the other not so much...
1. Where would you recommend learning the basics of woodworking? I
live in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area (Arlington actually). Do junior
colleges generally have some classes? Maybe Home Depot or Lowe's
might have classes? I'm not sure where to start to tell you the
2. I recently acquired some geode-type rocks. Unfortunately, they
need to be cut in order to see the inside (duh, right?). What type of
saw (or other equipment) would be needed to cut through rock? Someone
here mentioned that a "wet saw" would do it, but I'm not familiar
enough with any types of saws to know.
2: ask a tiler; they have wet saws. you can use a masonry blade in your
skilsaw. geodes can also be cracked with a cold chisel and a hammer, and
i've seen a tool that looks like a strap wrench but has a length of chain
instead of a strap used for this.
A hammer MAY work or just give you a bile of
gravel. In the tile section of any borg is a
round blade for your hacksaw. Used to cut curves
in tile, use it to score the rock, all the way
around, them chisel & hammer, or cut thru by
rotating the stone, do not cut from one side thru.
You have no idea whats inside, you may ruin it.
Charles Spitzer wrote:
I've never cut open a geode, but I've done a whole ton of ceramic
tiling, and there are two other inexpensive methods you could try.
The neandertal way of cutting tile is to use a carbide scribe to score
a line, and then break the tile with a specialized pair of pliers.
This might work if you score a line on the rock, and then carefully
place a cold chisel on the scribe line and tap it with a hammer. The
other option you could try is getting a rotozip carbide tile cutting
bit (I use them in my dremel tool, no need for the rotozip, really)
they work swell for cutting round holes in tile (for the knobs and
spigot, mostly) and they might just cut a rock, depending on how hard
the sucker is. Just don't apply too much pressure, and let the bit
cool down every so often. Those tile cutting "blades" in the above
post are not worth the effort involved, IMO, but you may have some
luck with them if everything else fails!
Keep in mind that quartz (geode material) is a lot harder than most tiles. The
right way to cut one open is to use a large rock saw which uses a diamond blade
running in a bath of oil-based coolant.
You can cut one open with a tile saw, if you go slow and use lots of water --
Also keep in mind that these things sometimes have stresses in them that make
them break when you try to cut them.
Take it to a graveyard monument maker. If you want it as a decorative
piece you'll be wanting a good surface, and a neat cut is a lot easier
You _can_ cut it with workshop tools, but geodes are too large for a
wet tile cutter and a dry diamond disk in a 9" angle grinder isn't
they may trim with a 4" wet saw with a diamond blade, but the saws used to
manufacture countertops are large flat bed saws and are not portable. the
ones i've seen are 15'x30' or so.
a 10" wet saw will cut 4" or so. you can get a 7" wet saw for <$100, or a
cheap 10" from HF for <$200.
Those are usually cut in their shop, with a really neat saw. My BIL has
one. Fun to watch. The counterscan be cut onsite if necessary, I had to
cut down the cabinets under the counter because someone didn't allow for
the base molding when he measured for cabinets and countertops. Didn't get
to see the countertop cut but after watching in the shop I can only imagine
the mess onsite.
There are rock saws available at lapidary shops for doing this type of
cutting, but they are expensive. If you have a lapidary shop near you can
ask if they will cut them for you, for a fee of course, or maybe they know
of someone who will do it.
If you just want to look inside, whack the rock with a hammer/sledge
to break it. If you really want to cut it so that you get a smooth
surface, you need a rock saw. You will need at least a 10 inch saw to
cut a 3-4 inch diameter rock. These will use a diamond saw and oil
for a cutting/cooling fluid. A new 10 inch saw is going to cost in
the neighborhood of $800-$1000. Even an old saw is likely to cost at
least $200 and you may need a new blade which will be around $100. So
unless you are serious, don't expect to buy any equipment. Check with
your local lapidary shop, most will cut rocks for a specific fee per
square inch, and with the local rock and gem club. Cutting rock such
as agate (quartz) is fairly slow and requires a vice to hold the rock
and positive advancement of the vice holding the rock. Otherwise, you
will likely ruin the blade or yourself.
If the local community college doesn't offer classes, check with the local
high schools. Some still have shops, especially the older schools. They
may offer adult courses at night. You can also take classes at Woodcraft,
in Farmers Branch, most weekends. There's a good rock store right next to
Wood World, in Richardson, that might have the saw you need. They'll
certainly be able to help you, and they've got some great stuff.
"Samiel" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
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