Visit our Gallery of polishing done with the Ultimate Grinder

© 2009 - Helvetia Rock Shop LLC All rights reserved.

This page last modified on Thursday, December 24, 2009

© 2009 - Helvetia Rock Shop LLC All rights reserved.





Ease of Use – Focus on the job, not the equipment
      Slip on the sanding belt (and a respirator),
          flip on the switch,
             skip over the hard work.

Economy – High initial cost? Consider it an investment.
The high initial cost of the Ultimate Grinder is soon offset by savings in time and materials. Other savings are realized due to the high reliability and low maintenance requirements of the machine. Then the machine will retain a high resale value when you are through with it (if you ever want to let it go).

In Efficiency - High output is the name of the game.
At Helvetia Rock Shop we don’t really like sanding and getting the job done fast means we can do other things that we like better. In providing our custom polishing service we are faced with a lot of sanding. Using the Ultimate Grinder gets the job done and gets it done fast which allows us to stay competitive in our pricing structure. Our customers love our results.

Over the competition – Competition is vital for the consumer
Thank you Rock Industries for creating the "Bull Wheel" as it has helped advance the hobby of rock and mineral collecting and has helped polish many rock specimens to put on display for our enjoyment.

There is no denying that Rock Industries of Texas fame should be credited with the creation of their Bull Wheel. The machine designed by Rock Industries was to become legendary in the small world of lapidary shops that polished specimens for sale and collection. The Bull Wheel has been on and off the market as ownership of the design and manufacturing has changed hands over the years. Many petrified wood, agate, jasper, thundereggs specimens have been finished with the Bull Wheel. Many original Bull Wheels still grace the bench of lapidary shops throughout the country.

Recently the Bull Wheel has come back on the market this time being built by Polaris Tool and Machine. We welcome you to view their website and to consider their machine as you consider ours as long as you realize that either high speed sander is a must for your shop.

The Ultimate Grinder was designed as a refinement to the original Bull Wheel. It was designed and built at a time when the Bull Wheels were only available used, usually from estates. We do not claim to have created the design but to have only enhanced it with beefier components and a fully enclosed belt guard. We do claim that our machine runs as good,
maybe slightly better .

Many people do say that our expanding drum runs much quieter during the sanding operation.

We do tout that we are a lapidary company and we want to see you succeed with your high speed sander process and will offer assistance to you as you learn. We will continue to incorporate what we learn from using the Ultimate Grinder daily in our shop into continually refining both the machine and the processes.

Over other methods
First off the Ultimate Grinder is a heavy duty commercial quality machine. The power and durability of the machine is not often found in other equipment built for lapidary use.

Other methods of pre-polishing large flat surfaces include flat lapping with a vibratory plate, flat lapping with a rotary lap using silicon carbide slurry or diamond pads, sanding with a small high speed sander, sanding with a wet belt sander, grinding and sanding with 6 or 8 inch diamond wheels or sanding with a 8" expanding drum. Your own experience might include other methods. These methods can be effective and can work.

The main advantages of the Ultimate Grinder of these methods is the ease of setting up the machine, short learning curve, the ability to work large pieces, quick results and no messy slurries or expensive diamond pads.

Over diamonds- The philosophy in our shop is to try silicon carbide first.
Don’t get us wrong, diamonds are a must in most lapidary shops and we use them constantly in our own.

Using diamonds for lapidary work has become increasingly more common due to the insurgence of Asian manufactures of stone cutting tools and bits. The price of diamond tipped tooling has dropped significantly in the last decade making diamond cutting, grinding and finishing tooling almost the industry standard for stone cutting and lapidary shops.

Diamonds definitely have their place in your shop.

    • CUTTING - Using diamonds to cut rocks is used almost exclusively in most lapidary shops. We can’t see any reason not to use diamonds for cutting hard rock.

    • GRINDING – When shaping stone diamonds are the way to go offering rapid removal rates on ALL stones and are available in a wide variety of configurations and grit sizes. Also, diamond wheels are safer to use than silicon carbide grinding stones and wheels.

    • FINISHING - Don’t be fooled in to thinking that diamonds are the only way to go.

3 Main Advantages of a Silicon Carbide Sanding Process

    1. Silicon carbide sanding belts and disks offer lower cost over diamond belts or wheels yet offer a remarkable lifetime when operated at a high surface speed.

    2. Also fewer steps are required when using a silicon carbide finishing process over diamond based finishing process.

    3. Silicon carbide belts can be run wet or dry. Running them dry or (almost dry) speeds up inspection reducing time to polish. Diamonds perform best when run wet.

RESULTS: Lower cost of time and materials per square inch of a flat polished surface

Just for fun. Reprogram your thought pattern with our chart of thoughts.

Diamonds don’t wear out…..

but the metal that they are attached does so there go your diamonds.

Nothing scratches like a diamond…..

which makes a deep scratch best removed by a finer diamond and so on and so on.

Diamonds are much faster …..

and they better be in order to pay for themselves.

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend…

but not necessarily a Lapidaries’.

Process Flexibility
The earth has produced a wide variety of rocks and minerals. Your grinding/sading/polish processes must be flexible to repond to this variability. The Ultimate Grinder gives you some of this flexibility as all that is required to change the process is to stop the machine and slip on a different sanding belt.

You will also discover that the sanding charateristics between the expanding drum and the sanding platter are different giving process flexibility on the fly. Simply move your work piece between the 2 sanding wheels to change the way the piece is being sanded.

For example: Burn marks on the edge of a agate that may have occurred while using a 100 grit belt to remove saw marks can be removed with the sanding platter.


© 2009 - Helvetia Rock Shop LLC All rights reserved.

This page last modified on Thursday, December 24, 2009

© 2009 - Helvetia Rock Shop LLC All rights reserved.