bvc79

Tooling question.

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Does a quarts slab provide an extra benefit, or can I get away with using a smooth cutting board or other smooth flat surface?   I could've sworn I came across a thread that detailed this, but have been unable to find it since.

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Quartz. marble, granite are solid, they have no compression. Even the hardest of woods and plastics will compress a bit when a a thin tool is whacked by a large mallet on it. For sharper and better impressions of stamps the harder the surface the better. For hole punching with single punches I use a block of wood with the end grain as the surface - hard enough to allow the punch to make a hole, the end grain doesn't compress and it doesn't damage the hole punch cutting edge,. For general cutting etcetera a self-healing cutting mat is good

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Any man made surface will have a little bit of give to it. It'll work, but you won't get the  deep, clean impressions that you want. Good stamping  needs a smooth, solid, hard surface mounted on a solid table or bench.

 

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Plastic cutting board will bounce. I found quartz slabs - the ones Tandy sells - too expensive, so I bought a granite tile from Home Depot for $10. It works great!

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Also can go to countertop makers and get there off cuts for $2 or $3. In the US you can go to Habitat For Humanity and get stuff cheap too.

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I went to a local marble counter top company and offered to buy a piece of scrap from him.  He gave me several that were leaning against the wall and told me that I could have any that I wanted if I took a dive into his dumpster out back.  I did and filled my need.  BEST PART - he refused any offered payment as he said he was going to throw it all away anyway.  Currently using a perfect piece for a portable work table.

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I wish you all, who have found the magnificent freebies, would please post pics of your slabs. ;-)

I too am a scrap lover, and have lucked out several times. I won't pass up on checking a commercial construction site, without checking the big bin.

You just have to know what your looking for, and be willing to heft some serious weight.

I was surprised, upon fInding large pieces of natural marble that was being replaced at a banking institution downtown. 

I've even given numerous friends, some nice sized slices, for their own uses.  Who doesn't love playing with their marbles? Ha

Chas

image.jpeg

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Thanks guys!  I'm on my way to pick up a slab of quarts remnant, and some other 6 x 6 x 1.5 sample pieces from a local stone company.  They insisted on giving me samples "so I can think about a stone work surface counter in the future." ...  for the keychains and coasters I plan on starting with, these'll work!  I'll probably break down and have them make me a nice slab once I move on to bigger, better things!

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Best kept secret in the business is the guys that cut headstones.  They give you about anything you want.  Their aching to get rid of their remnants.  Give it a try.

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I just think I would feel better, about tapping my leather on my recycled bank stone than a throwaway tombstone.

 

I want my hobby to remain lively and active... Haha

 

Chas

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find a countertop dealer or a tombstone maker. I've had both either give me a piece they were throwing away or I traded some leather work for a nice slab

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I just picked up a piece from fiends of ours who sell counter tops, etc.  He suggested quartz for the durability (I broke a piece of marble with a 3# dead blow hammer.)  In talking to his wife, they pay several thousand a month to toss them in the dumpster because of the weight.  It's a bad spot for them, the pieces usually aren't worth the cost to finish the edges (they finished mine on barter) and there isn't demand in most cases.  They had 12x12x1.5 pieces cut and in stock, with a retail price of $50 ea.  They have their newer finishers work on them for experience and to evaluate their skills.  I'm looking forward to using it, as a work surface and my photo backdrop (it sparkles!). 

IMG_20180221_162600124.jpg

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I just picked up a piece from fiends of ours who sell counter tops, etc...

 

You know fiends??  :o  That's the funniest typo I've seen this week!  :D

Nice score on the granite slab, but I think $50 is maybe a bit much for something they were going to throw out anyway...

Edited by Sheilajeanne

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1 hour ago, Sheilajeanne said:

I just picked up a piece from fiends of ours who sell counter tops, etc...

 

You know fiends??  :o  That's the funniest typo I've seen this week!  :D

Nice score on the granite slab, but I think $50 is maybe a bit much for something they were going to throw out anyway...

Yeah, my FIENDS realize that.  That's also Tandy's price on the same item.  It's a tough call for them, having that much "idle assets" sitting around.  She told me the finishing is worth more than the material at that point.

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4 hours ago, Brooks125 said:

Yeah, my FIENDS realize that.  That's also Tandy's price on the same item.  It's a tough call for them, having that much "idle assets" sitting around.  She told me the finishing is worth more than the material at that point.

She isn't lying. It could easily take two hours of labor to cut, shape, and smooth that piece. Add in your tooling, insurance, and other overhead and 50 bucks is pretty reasonable. Not to mention the material probably cost them 10 bucks a foot. Even though it's waste, it still cost them in the beginning.

Just for information's sake. Most people don't realize how much work is involved with smoothing out the cuts. When you cut a piece out the edges are rough. Then you have to round off the corners with a grinder. Run some stone wheels of different grits to flatten the cuts (the blade will drift sometimes) and smooth off the rough edges. Then you run thru at least 6 different polishing pads. 

Basically, anytime you fabricate or install granite, every bit of it sucks. It is dirty nasty work. 

The only part that doesn't suck is walking away with a satisfied customer. That's it, nothing else.

Edited by bikermutt07

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