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 Post subject: Project 2015
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 9:20 pm 
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It has been suggested we try and lay out our plans for the project so the help and suggestions can be of more use to us and more accurate.
Really it is a simple idea that will help us earn an income in our retirement years. We plan to design and sell jewelry, both locally and on-line. We arent talking about taking on the majors, just providing a quality retail artisan product in limited quantities.
The reason behind all the questions that dont make sense to some of you is we dont know what we're looking at. The reference to the gemmoraman was one of those. Didnt know what it was for or what it was capable of doing. Not that I needed it but wanted to know about it anyway.
Step 1 is to set up for cutting and polishing stones for mountings. In doing so we realized the need for gem ID was as important as the tools in the shop. This added more equipment to the equation, and more education. How to acquire both of those at a reasonable expense is some subject for debate. The quality of the tools will dictate the quality of the product. The better the education the better the workmanship and understanding of what makes a superior piece.
Now add in the fickle world of fashion and try to keep up? or make a item that people decide is timeless. Bottom line is you must make products that will sell profitably and quickly, and make products that make a reputation for quality design and workmanship regardless of the price range.
Ok so to go along with all this we need to understand the value of all the pieces separately and assembled. ARG! Appraisals. Yeah it gets a bit complicated when you put it all together, but business is business.
This was never intended to be a hobby and we are not treating it as one.

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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 10:37 pm 
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Location: Wylie Texas but in Alaska for a while
That will help.

With where you are on the learning curve, I think that there are several things that that will keep you busy for a while. I agree that in the long run you need some gem ID equipment, but you can do a lot without the id equipment, if you source rough from reputable buyers. (at least to get started.)

I am thinking of where to start.

There is a potentially a lot of margin if you cut your own stones. So it looks like you are looing at that. There are many threads out there on beginning faceting, which laps, what material.....

Then you are looking at making your own settings. There are several recommendations out there that is is more cost effective to have one of the casting houses do the castings. If not, you are headed down the road of learning to do either old or silver casting.

And then here is the setting of the stones..... and now you are looking at the jewlers bench.....


Many many people find it hard to do any one of these steps well.

Many people also make a living doing any one step.

If this is intended to be a business for your retirement, you may want to concentrate on one aspect of it at a time.


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2015 11:47 pm 
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Agreed, one step at a time but some of those steps will overlap. Therefore we must learn to dance. I personally dont see any problems with equipment set up and operation. Learning the intricacies of different types of stone will take experience, time behind the wheel. No different than cutting oak vs cedar or learning to plane soft vs hardwood. Dont start with expensive or exotic or difficult to work materials. KISS
Learn to id from known pieces until you are accurate with them and then move on to the next.
So been trying to do all the research on equipment. Uses, prices, needs, wants. Get the shop and tools in place before we ever pick up a rock. Then we find materials to work with and learn on the tools in place. recycle what didnt work out or add it to the rock garden.
We have plenty of time for all of this as I have yet to kick Sallys car to the other garage. First step in commandeering the shop. Temperatures here wont crawl above freezing for 3 months yet. Still in -20s most nights, Canadians need to keep their cold to themselves. Thats not celsius ay, that would only be -4. I expect to get State approval soon and then worry about purchases. More time to educate.
A fair sized project, but not nearly as expensive to start as the Portable welding was. new 1 ton trucks, beds, welders, tooling, tanks, torches, yuck! 100k into each rig before you can strike an ark. A 1000lb sheet of steel is a lot harder to work with than a 10 gram rock.

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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 12:11 am 
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Did I mention that your first investment should be comprehensive error and omission insurance. I faintly remember that.

IMO, you are profoundly underestimating the experience, education, connections and passion one needs to succeed in this craft.

Jewelry retail is a high end business with serious competition. Most all involved have been involved in the trade for generations.

That being said, all the best.....but I think there is little more we can do to assist you.


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 8:30 am 
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Nothing like breaking into the old guard. This is where fresh ideas and unorthodox methods can be helpful. Now when those ideas come up and the methods are used perhaps in a different or even incorrect way you will hear all about it!

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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 10:27 am 
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Then Y'all can snicker and laugh, say I told you so and I will have to agree. :lol: I absolutely believe in 2 years there will be items we have made that we will be very proud of and be able to market and sell.
But first we want to thank all of you for your time, patience, and knowledge that you are so willing to share! =D> as it is in martial arts, the goal is not to achieve the black belt but to pass on the knowledge it took to become that.

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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:07 am 
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Barbra, Errors and omissions insurance, never really thought about it but if you are doing recuts for jewelers or any cutting of other peoples stones you would need this. Correct?


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 11:26 am 
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I'm talking about the retail sales of jewelry.
Miss a treatment?
Misrepresent a gem?
Misspeak on a sales receipt.
This is a litigious society.
Not to mention insurance for a mishap with customers' own goods.

Comprehensive insurance coverage is money well spent. Loss, Theft, Natural Disaster.

But all this said, Dan and Sally, why don't you get back in touch when you have the store open and working and let us know how it's going.
I think we're probably covered the set up portion of the venture.
Best of luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2015 1:02 pm 
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I appreciate the thought of getting a full shop before you touch a stone. If I had the money I would live to do it. Actually, no I would not. No one can tell you what you will need up front. Much of it depends on how you personally work. In fact, if someone tries to tell you all of the tools you will need, find someone else to talk to.

More importantly, you do not really need it all at once. You can get started on a roll around cart. that can be done in any room, and put away when not needed. What you learn in that small cart by actually doing it for 4 months will help guide you in what you need in the shop.

If you are going to do faceting, then you can start with a faceting machine. You do not need a cut off saw, id kit, or anything else to get started. You can start with some rough that is small already. Then you can add a saw blade to the facet machine for pieces a little bigger. You can add a decent trim saw later. BUT what type of trim saw depends on what material you decide to work. You may find out that you like working with 5-6 ct sized pieces, so a small trim saw would work best. BUT you may find out you like really big chunky things, so you need a larger trim saw.

Rough for this stage can be from pennies to less than $10. You are not risking much so do not need the ID equipment, and other things.

When you have cut some stones, you can start setting them is some setitngs from XXXXX. This will get you into some of the bench stuff.

When you are ready to start cutting rough that is getting to the hundreds or thousands, then you may need the id equipment. I would guess that you are a year away from that. Even if you started today.

If you really want to do faceting, consider a faceting course, there are several that are good. A week in the course will get you a firm footing. (I would say join a club, but know that that is out of the question).

I have not searched for it, but I expect that there are threads out there on which faceting course is good.

Let your wife design some pieces, get a casting house to cast them for you. If she is a computer person, she can do them in a 3d modeling program, and there are places that will make it from your model. If she is a hands on person, maybe she can model in wax. But the first few can be cast at an outside shop. The chances of getting a good casting are much better that taking her first piece and trying it yourself.

later on you can decide to get into casting.

You can pick up some nice cut stones from the market place, and let her design jewelry around it. (I DID NOT SAY EBAY :) )

When you first start to learn to set stones, start with some cheap CZ precut stuff. You will chip and break a few. Better to do that on one that cost pennies that one you spent 5 hours cutting. There are pieces specifically made to let you practice setting a stone where you will set 20 or 30 on a piece that is nothing other than practice. They will be set up for a standard size stone, and you can get them in CZ for pennies each. Then you can practice removing them. :P

But keep us informed, it sounds like you are one of the guys that we will hear a lot about in the next year or so. =P~


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2015 11:48 pm 
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Looking into a gemology course that was suggested to us. appears promising for what we intend to use it for. Also on the hunt for DVDs on faceting, been watching a bit of U tube but I need to connect the computer up to the big screen again. So much better when its life sized :D
Found the garnets I picked up last summer! Unfortunately they are now sealed in moms coffee table with the taxidermied quail. However, I do know where the rest of the rock it came from is. A half hr drive across the ice on the 4 wheeler (still 4 ft of ice on the lake) and I can add it to the rock pile. Pretty deep red crystals about the size of a pencil eraser and smaller. Once acquired I'll have to learn to post a picture.

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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:18 am 
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Although Barbara's comment was awakening, I kinda agree. Just depends on what materials you want to work with.

If your goals are to work with precious materials, you may not be underestimating things.

It takes time.

Personally, I have so many goals. But I have a pretty good understanding of what is feasible.

One of these goals is to make jewelry from as much scratch and rough as a I can.

This would be cutting the diamond from purchased rough, designing, casting, crafting jewelry.

But I know this is just a time kind of deal.

I would know by now I aint gonna mine any diamonds. I aint gonna get a good deal on a decent chunk of rough.
Cutting diamond requires much more skill and equiptment than other gemstone faceting.

This is just one of those lifetime kind of goals, to do just to say I did it.

There is a school for diamond cutting in the US, but it would be a waste without years of gemstone faceting under my belt.

So, everyone has different goals.

But the goal of cutting a fantastic Brilliant Diamond, 3d design, cnc'ing wax, casting precious metals, precious metalsmithing, and setting alone would be much more involved than say cabbing some jasper.

One thing is for sure.

In your lifetime, you will never know everything there is to know about gemology, 3d design, be (self-proclaimed) castmaster, master craftsmen goldsmith, brilliant pioneering inclusionist, top notch salesperson.

So, the world is your oasis. Find as many resources as you can.

I am truly slacking in education. I really need to find that drive to keep reinforceing quizzes, learning, etc...backup reminders to remind me to keep up studying, etc....

But on that note.

Here is some software to help possibly, to get serious in regards to knowledge.

Study X
VUE Mindmapping
Swift to do list


These three could keep you on the right track to remembering what happened to your quizzes, last time you studied them, project management, time management, etc......

It all comes down to drive though.

With the two of you, things should be easier than 1 single person. You do have that advantage. 2 heads, and study partners are much better than 1.

Much faster and accelerated learning potential.

Every purchase is an investment. Every tool you buy needs to be the best. Don't make uneducated purchases. Buy the best, for the best.........

To do that, you don't buy turnkits.

You put in the work, to find out which tool is right for the job.

Just a few tidbits.

I myself am just dabbling. Even learning rhino 3d, is like a 4 year college degree and then some. Just depends on how far you want to go to not run into problems down the line.

Even just 3d problems (whoops, I mean opportunities, and a joy to work with).............................whewwwww.....................


But, also don't get me wrong.

The fastest way to learn is to buy all the expensive equitpment and learn to use it.

When you don't have anything to apply what your reading to, it is inefficient.

But, that's also how you don't buy a faceting machine not suited for your goals.

So what will it be?

Design your own custom jamb peg?
Platform lap?
Combo lap?
Standard precision lap?
Fantasy machine?

I personally want to a variety of things.

Fast and affordable

Precise, and heavily engineered cuts.

I want to learn them all.

You cant only shoot for the stars kinda.

If you only designed new cuts, it would probably be weird for me.

There's times when I just wanna go freestyle some quickies, and get immediate results and I will probably opt for this more often cause I like to have fun.

Productivity is fun. Freestyle is fun. Rolling with it is fun. Not preparing for anything is fun.

But carefully engineered masterpieces could be much more rewarding and gratifying overall.

ANywho, that was just a few of my thoughts I figured I'd share.


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 3:46 am 
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:-#


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 3:47 pm 
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Step 1 complete, the state confirmed the co name can be used. Step 2 file for EIN and tax numbers. 75 days of waiting maybe step 2 will go faster :? In the mean time working through the list of tools and equipment. Realized some more added expenses in chemicals for cleaning and gem id. As well as compounds for polishing. They didn't get xfered from notes to spreadsheets I guess. 14 hr days and then going home to crunch numbers and organize new business makes for a dull brain, and stupid mistakes.

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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:29 pm 
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Hello Dan and Sally,
Welcome to the dream! Some years ago I began dabbling in silver smithing and lapidary. I did have a good background in metal working, but not lapidary...but I've always been a fast and voracious learner. Then I was hit with a chronic disease.... Well disability and the ensuing lack of usefulness didn't sit well with me. In the mean time I had purchased a faceting machine to satiate a desire to make pretty, sparkly gems as well as cabs. Now doesn't it make sense to want to see those cut pretties end up ad useful pieces of jewelry. Needless to say I monopolized on a cad background, used some college classes to learn to use new jewelry design programs like rhino gold and matrix....I then took up the study of lost wax casting among other methods. All of this the took to a spending spree...buying equipment. A mill, wax working stuff, casting equipment, and bench tools...all told, about $40,000. I did make some nice pieces for my wife and kids......but my physical abilities haven't kept up and I am no longer able to do much of what I could before, especially working with small, delicate wax models. Admin Edit
Ken


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 Post subject: Re: Project 2015
PostPosted: Sun Mar 22, 2015 8:40 am 
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Well, Ken. . . I was a martial artist for years and there comes a point when our body slows down. The desire is still there just not the zip. That's when they start to call you sensei. (Teacher)
Pass on the knowledge, make those tools useful in another's hands if they can't be in yours. I'm not saying hire an employee, bring on a willing student!
Just my thoughts

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