February 2015 Meeting Minutes

Minutes of the Meeting of Shenandoah Valley Gem and Mineral Society
February 9th, 2015

President Michael Pabst called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm. There were 24 members present, and 3 visitors.

Old Business:
1. The field trip to JMU on Saturday, Feb 7th was a huge success. Over 40 members attended, including several children.

We were amazed by the exquisite mineral specimens from all over the world that were displayed in the mineral museum. Many samples from VA were breath-taking.

For more information and photos of the museum, please see
this website: http://sites.jmu.edu/mineralmuseum/

Dr. Kearns identified several mineral samples by x-ray diffraction. He had several microscopes for us to observe micro-minerals and get a close-up view of tiny crystals.

Many of us brought home some samples after making a donation to the geology department.

2. It was suggested that Dean Hostetter collect some by-laws from other mineral clubs to use as a template for our club.

3. Thanks to Debbie & Pat for the refreshments tonight. Jilly will bring snacks in March.

Anyone can sign up to bring snacks for a monthly meeting by clicking

4. Mike reviewed some of the program ideas for future meetings. There is a great DVD from the Dallas Mineral Symposium that explains the natural history of the earth and its minerals that we will use for our next program.

5. We would like to hear presentations from our local rock shops and mineral dealers.

Members are encouraged to visit Tony Nikischer at Excalibur Minerals in Charlottesville (1885 Seminole Trail - Suite 202, Charlottesville, VA 22901-1160,
www.excaliburmineral.com), and David Lipscomb at his shop near Nellysford (Rockfish Valley Community Center - studio #13, 190 Rockfish School Lane (Rt. 635 West) between Nellysford & Afton, Virginia, www.varockshop.com)

New Business:
If you’d like to present a program, please talk to an officer at a meeting or sign up

❖ ❖ ❖

Program Report:
“The Yellowstone Region - Too much Geology” presented by Tom Tucker.

A very informative program was presented by Tom Tucker, native Virginian, who lived 25 years in Billings, Montana, working as a petroleum exploration geologist, and coal mine "consultant".

Along the way his family owned and operated a log cabin tourist motel in Silver Gate, Montana - the most beautiful entrance-way, and the least visited part of Yellowstone Park.

Tom explained several of the geologic processes that formed Yellowstone and that are still working to contribute to the magnificence of our first National Park.

The presentation included many slide photos from the park’s formations, as well as some of the wildlife (that often visits his yard there!).

He described the HMD (Heart Mountain Detachment around 50 million years ago) as a transported chunk of earth 30 x 50 miles across that moved over 60 miles. Modern geologists are still debating the basis of the process.

He explained the creation of the caldera that forms the park, the ancient volcanoes that produced enormous explosions, and the thermal activity that makes the park famous (geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and pristine lakes).

Tom showed pictures of many of the rocks located there – rhyolite, gypsum evaporates, obsidian, zircons, and travertine. At the conclusion, we all felt like we’d actually been there, and had a detailed geology lesson!!! Thanks, Tom!

❖ ❖ ❖

Notes from The Rock Shop, February 2015:
The Rock Shop was open for its monthly session on Saturday, February 14th, 2015. Eight members attended to work on various projects.

Leonard was working with a piece of jasper he found in the large trim saw to get it cut into slabs. It had been in there working for a good while when he stopped the saw to check on progress - only to find it had moved in the vise, so was not being cut at all. After a repositioning (and recheck of the grip), the second pass got good results.

Charlie took advantage of the small saw’s feed mechanism still being out for repairs to remove the lubricating oil and clean the oil reservoir. Turns out there was about an inch of oil and two inches of sludge. No doubt with new oil and a reworked feed mechanism, this will be like a new saw.

Jack spend some time with various materials on the Titan breaking in the two Galaxy wheels and the first Nova wheel. He worked both hard and soft materials to get the diamonds used to activity and only nicked two or three fingers in the process. John tried his hand on the machine with some specimen pieces he wanted to polish the flat side of. Not the best piece of equipment for this task, but he got a good start on some good results.

Calvin put a few more miles on the Frantom silicon carbide wheels, working some stunning lapis down to very fine cabochons. Michael had some aquamarine cabs that he was trying to repair chips and cracks in on the Genie. Dan and Tommy had a number of materials they also polished up on the Genie.

Hopefully, the feed mechanism for the 14” saw will be back from the machinist before our next session - everyone had a piece or two of rough they wanted to run through it, so it is missed.

The next Rock Shop date is Saturday, March 14th, 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)


❖ ❖ ❖

March meeting: Monday, March 9th 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: A great DVD from the Dallas Mineral Symposium that explains the natural history of the earth and its minerals. It is a presentation by Dr. Robert Hazen on "The Great Oxidation Event: Origins of the Earth's Most Colorful Minerals"

Refreshments: Jilly Weigel

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

❖ ❖ ❖

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

Pasted Graphic 8