Delaware mineralogical society

A Delaware 501(c)(3) non-profit earth-science educational organization


DMS Member Auctions Page

From time-to-time, DMS conducts refurbished or 'as is' equipment, specimens, and related items Member Auctions. Either Members will want to share from their hobby, or benefactors will donate to our organization with the goal to encourage collecting and the lapidary arts.

In recent years, Tom Pankratz, our Vice-President of Fieldtrips, has taken the mantle of processing the equipment, and running our internal auctions. As we are not permitted to offer by auction during the year to the general public, DMS Membership offers the opportunity to acquire and advance their appreciation of the hobby. Auction rules are below.

The proceeds fund club activities, such as fieldtrips, our Junior Program, honorariums to Guest Speakers, and support of Delaware natural history museums. Members, thanks for your support.


Now to Friday, April 13, 2018 at 5:00 EST: GemMaster 8” grinding and polishing machine

GemMaster 8” grinding and polishing machine

A description of the item and photos are attached in a PDF file.

This auction starts now and stops Friday, April 13
The starting bid for this item is $50, and the ‘minimum bid increment is’ $5.00
The ‘buy-it-now’ price is $250
Submit bids by return email to Tom Pankratz.

A description of this item follows:

1. This is a Gem Master grinding and polishing system. It can be used to make cabochons and polish rocks and slices
2. It’s an old unit. I’m guessing it was made maybe 30 or more years ago.
3. It is in very good condition
4. Wheels: it comes with several wheels and polishing heads
a. a 1 ½” X 8” stone grinding wheel
b. a 3” X 8” sanding wheel (see note below)
c. a 1 ¼” polishing wheel
d. two end-mount 8” pads: can be used for either sanding or polishing
e. a ¼” X 8” polishing pad
f. two pieces of cut carpet for polishing (must be glued on end-mount head)
g. A variety of wheels and pads could be bought and installed; just so long as they have a ¾” hole.
5. Arbor: It has a ¾ “stainless steel arbor. I installed new bearings and cleaned the threads so it’s easy to use.
6. It’s driven by a ¼ hp, 120 volt motor. I installed a new 3-wire, grounded cord and a switch box. The motor is old but runs smoothly; I’m sure it has many years left in it.
7. The motor drives the arbor through a belt. The motor has a single pulley. The arbor has a ganged-triple pulley. I set the system up so the unit runs at the slowest speed, which is still pretty fast. I installed a new belt. The only way to install a new drive belt is to disassemble the unit and pull the arbor halfway out (cripes!). The new belt will last many, many hours. If you want to change the wheel speed you’ll have to loosen the motor mounting bolts and move the motor to get the correct belt tension, and perhaps move the pulleys (set screws) a bit to get good alignment.
8. The unit is mounted in a drip tray, and everything is mounted on a 3’ high table. The table is redwood except for a piece of pressure-treated I had to install. You’ll need to get something like a bar stool to sit on.
9. The unit and drip tray are freshly painted. I stripped everything down to bare metal and painted with X-O Rust spray paint. I double coated the Gem Master unit and triple-coated the drip tray.
10. There is no coolant drip or spray system. The drip tray does not have a drain hole. But both wheels have spray and splatter covers (see photos). I don’t think it would be too hard to rig a water spray system and a drip pan drain hole.
11. Note: the 3” sanding wheel is not original with this unit. It fits on the arbor, but the splatter shield must be removed. Splatter from sanding will hit the motor, which is how the donor used it (hence a cleaning nightmare). I recommend a shield, perhaps as simple as a plastic bottle cut in half, be installed to keep splatter from the motor and belt and in the tray. Also, the sandpaper is held on the wheel by a clever crimping/locking device. You don’t need to buy a sanding belt, just a 2’+ length of sand paper.
12. There’s a couple of cabochon-shape templates
13. There is a sheet of cabochon-making instructions
14. There are a few extra arbor nuts and washers in a bag.

Photos of GemMaster 8” grinding and polishing machine (.PDF)

DMS AUCTION RULES (revision February 11, 2018)
1. Auctions will run for approximately 2 weeks. Auctions will start with the emailing of the auction notice and end
a. on the date and time specified, unless there is a ‘late’new high bid in which case
b. 24 hours after receipt of the last high bid
(example: if an auction ends at 5:00pm on April 1 and a new high bid is received at 4:59 on April 1, then all bidders are notified of the last bid and the auction will remain open until 4:59 on April 2).
2. Auctions will be announced by email to the membership of The Delaware Mineralogical Society. Auctions may also be posted in the newsletter and on the website.
3. Auctions are for DMS members only.
4. Items auctioned will be described in reasonable detail and accompanied by photos. Additional information will be provided upon request. Items may be viewed by making arrangement with Tom Pankratz.
5. Bids must be submitted by DMS members to Tom Pankratz in writing. Email is preferred.
6. You may bid any amount, but you are only committed for, and the amount you pay should you win is only equal to the ‘second highest bid’ + ‘the minimum bid increment’.
(Example: In an auction with a minimum bid increment of $5, if I bid $30 and you bid $50, and nobody else bids, you win the auction for $35, and you only pay $35. However, if I rebid at $45, they your bid automatically increases to $50 and you pay $50. If I were to bid $55 then I win and pay $55.)
7. You will receive confirmation of your bid by return email, and told if you are high bidder or not. If not, you will be told what the highest bid is. If you do not receive a bid confirmation within 24 hours re-contact Tom Pankratz by phone or email.
7a. The sentence I send will read: You hold the high bid at $ X.00, with a reserve to $ Y.00. ‘Y’ will always be ‘equal to’ or ‘greater than’ X.
8. A starting bid, and ‘the minimum bid increment’ will be included in the auction announcement.
9. A ‘Buy-it-Now’ value will be included: the first bidder to bid this value wins the auction.
10. A record of all bids will be kept and all bidders will be updated weekly and then 2 and 1 day before close of auction
11. Auctions will be blind’ and ‘silent’. Identity of bidders will not be revealed. The amount of all bids will be communicated as indicated in ‘10’ above.
12. The identity of the winning bidder and amount bid will be announced to the DMS Board and made available to members upon request
13. Payment shall be made to the Treasurer of The Delaware Mineralogical Society within 7 days of close of auction
14. Items are expected to be picked up within 7 days of confirmation of payment by the DMS Treasurer.
15. Items are expected to be picked up within 7 days of confirmation of payment by the DMS Treasurer.