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Author Topic: Picking Style
Doug
Administrator
Posts: 36
Post Picking Style
on: October 30, 2012, 06:36

I was amazed to learn from Keith this year some fine points about picking. I had thought it was just about exercise and beating the rocks into submission. Then I began to suspect that it is possible to damage a sapphire by being too enthusiastic with the pick (despite the reputed hardness of sapphires).

Rather than simply hammer the billys into submission he demonstrated that
that digging out the wash is like unravelling a puzzle... often pulling out a key stone will allow another next to it to be dug out easily. By finding the next "keystone" in the wall face the rocks and dirt can be removed with less effort (and less chance of damaging that treasure behind the rocks).

That might sound a little "Zen", but I did enjoy picking a lot more with such a viewpoint.

Of course, a sharp pick helps!

keith
Administrator
Posts: 6
Post Re: Picking Style
on: October 31, 2012, 06:13

Picking technique is probably the most important part ofthe sapphire finding process.I see a lot of noobys rush in and start hammering the billy boulders as if they were trying to crush rocks for the capricorn hwy. The secret is to spend time taking off the top soil in the area you intend to dig,this is the most boring part of the job but if you do this early in the day you wont get blisters for the rest of the day. Once the topsoil is off the wash is easy to dig! Ted the pickman loves to see rock breakers .

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