Rock saw room
The strangely satisfying lab

water-cooled saws for cutting rocks

Water-cooled rock saws - one mounted for shorter people, another for taller people, and vacuum-mounated thin section trim saw and grinder (1960's vintage? but they work!)

Cutting hard things with dull blades

Many geologists find breaking rocks precisely with hammers in the field to be very satisfying.  There is also a strangely satisfying and wonderful feeling we can get from cutting rocks.  

panorama image of rock saw room

Kutztown University rock saw room - a playground for students.  Like most labs that I manage, it is a shared facility used by many students.  As happens in shared facilities, someone needs to fix broken things and clean up after people who do not clean up after themselves.  Keeping this room running efficiently is a constant job for me.   It's not a high-tech facility like my other labs, but still a fun place to learn about nature!

oil-cooled rock saw

Two oil-cooled rock saws with automatic feed carriages

Oil vs water

Some saws use water as a coolant and others use oil.  We choose the saw we use based on the size and hardness of the sample, and on how we will analyze it after cutting.