April 2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
Meeting date: April 13th, 2015

President Michael Pabst called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. There were 25 members present, and 4 visitors.

Old Business:
1. Minutes were approved from March.
2. Thanks to Charles for the refreshments tonight.

No one signed up for snacks in May! Anyone can sign up to bring snacks for a monthly meeting by clicking this link:

New Business:
1. Jilly Weigel announced she will host a wire wrapping class on May 16 during rock shop hours. RSVP to jilly@agq-design.com  please! The first 8 people to sign up will get in. Absolute beginners get first preference. I can only take 8 because of the amount of individual attention needed. I'll do another refresher class later.

Here’s what you will need:
  • Jewelry pliers: chain nose, round nose, side cutters. Flat nose are nice to have too but not absolutely necessary
  • Paper and pencil
  • Fine tip marker
  • Masking tape
  • Ruler
  • A cabochon for wrapping, oval, round, or teardrop shape, with a flat back. I’ll bring a few along for purchase if you don’t have any (cheap, under $5)
  • Wire: copper, bronze or sterling, 21 or 22 gauge, SQUARE and HALF ROUND. No “Artistic Wire” please unless you are used to working with it. We found last year that it was heard to work with. If you don’t have wire, don’t worry, she’ll have a few packs with enough to wrap a cab for $3 each.

2. If you’d like to present a program, please talk to an officer at a meeting or sign up at this link:

Be sure to keep up with our website
www.shenandoahvalleyrockclub.org and our Face Book page “Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society” for updates and information.

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Program Report:
Several members had a “show and tell” of special minerals they have collected.

There were some awesome minerals to view under Mike’s bioscope; Leo had some beautiful rutilated quartz.

Jack had some lovely agates & very rare
Victoria stone which had been handmade by a secret process that unfortunately died with the inventor; Larry had some great quartz crystals.

We also enjoyed watching a DVD from the PBS collection on “Mineral Explorers”. Tonight’s episode took place in amethyst mines in Bolivia. There were some huge crystals that are mined, and some of the best quality specimens in the world are found there.

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Notes from The Rock Shop - April 2015:
The Rock Shop was open for its monthly session on Saturday, April 18th, 2015. Seven members attended to work on various projects.

The good news is that Dean reassembled the 14” slab saw’s feed mechanism during the club meeting, so it was all ready to be fired up on Saturday. The feed is much improved, but still needs a little help with a C-clamp to put some more pressure on the feed vise jaws. Several members ran some materials through the saw and got some very smooth cuts, so all’s well that ends well.

Shayna brought in some materials she collected on her property for slabbing. It proved to be a challenge to get it locked in the 24” saw’s vise. Eventually, the ends were squared off and those will give a solid gripping surface for subsequent cuts next time. This appears to be some sort of epidote/quartz blend, and will make some nice cabs.

Charlie got the lubricant back into the small slab saw then ran a test piece of petrified wood through it to see how it fared. He and Jack wrestled with Shayna’s epidote, trying to get it safely secured in the 24” saw. Some rocks just want to put up a fight!

Calvin worked on finishing a keystone-shaped lapis cab - that is one pretty piece of lapis - and also gave the Titan a test drive with some agate material he brought along.

Jack got a little bit of cutting in on the small slab saw and took an end cut of an unknown jasper and worked it through the Titan to see if it has any promise. It’s an odd dark blue-black jasper with some brown figures, but it takes a very high polish.

Eleanor continued her efforts on the Titan with material she’s collected locally. Michael continued working on his aquamarine cabs and also brought in some Idaho star garnet to try. He has a piece of Labradorite to cut up, but decided to wait for a turn on the 14” slab saw to get some uniform slabs out of it.

Richard came in to check out the scene and get some idea of the type of projects he might be able to tackle.

Jack loaded up the home-brew flat lap machine to give it a good cleaning and look into rejuvenating it. Many members like to polish a flat on a cabinet specimen, and trying to do such on a cab-making machine is less than optimal. Hopefully, this contraption has a few more miles left on it.

The next Rock Shop date is Saturday, May 16th, 2015 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM. The facility is open to all members and free to use (but we ask for a contribution to the Repairs and Supplies Tip Jar on the central bench if you can make one)


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May meeting: Monday, May 11th at 7:30 PM
(Socializing and refreshments at 7:00 pm)
Waynesboro Church of the Brethren
364 Bridge Road
Lower parking lot—Side Door entrance!

Program: Tony Nikischer of Excalibur Minerals in Charlottesville will present a talk "The Minerals of the Kola Peninsula of Russia"

Refreshments: TBD

Volunteers for Refreshments, 2015:
February: Deborah Grimm & Pat Lantz
Jilly Weigel
July: N/A - Club Picnic
December: N/A - Club Christmas Dinner

Deborah Grimm, Secretary

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Club Officers and Staff 2015
President – Michael Pabst
Vice President – Leo Cloutier
Show Co-Chairs – Dean Hostetter
Educational Outreach -- Deborah Grimm
Secretary/Newsletter -- Deborah Grimm
Field Trip Coordinator - Dean Hostetter
Treasurer – Scott Gregory
Web Site Coordinator – Jack Glenn

Club web site:
Club Facebook page:
Club email: svgem-min-club@live.com

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