Friday, January 14, 2011

Maintaining Your Equipment

Maintaining your equipment is a vital step to making it last a really long time. Quality lapidary equipment is designed to run for decades. This will only happen if you take care of your machines.

*Diamond cutting blades should be rotated every 20 to 25 hours of use. (Some blades are directional and should not be rotated- Look for an arrow to indicate direction. If there is no arrow rotate)
*Silicon carbide grinding wheels should be kept “true”. That means don’t let them dish in the center. Keep them flat all the way across the stone. Unless you are using it that way for a special project.
*Diamond wheels should be used all the way across the stone evenly. Don’t wear out the center of the wheel before the sides.
*Clean out the oil in saws as often as needed. This will prolong the life of the blade, bearings, and feed carriage.
*Some older machines have grease fittings—use them!
*Tumblers should be oiled at least once a month on each bearing.
*Some motors require a drop of oil.
*Any machine that uses water should be dried at the end of the day to eliminate rusting. Do NOT use anti-freeze to keep things from rusting. It is toxic
*Do not let water freeze in any machines.
*Larger saws often have an oil reservoir on the back to lubricate the differential. Check it every-once-in-a-while to make sure it still has oil and it hasn’t become contaminated with water or condensation.

Use these simple tips and some common sense to keep your machines running and they will serve you a lifetime to provide you with pleasure as you share your polished rocks with friends and family. A well maintained machine will not only out last you but your kids and sometimes your grandkids.

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