I have been using turquoise found in the desert here for inlay material and it is fine for flat work where you sand it down to the surface. But, it is very hard on cutting tools in the lathe. John Goodwin from Dead Tree Salvage put me onto a source he uses called Natural Expressions, Inc. in Gilbert,Az.
Fred Thiele, the owner, is a great guy and he has rock from all over the world. He also had lots of different crushed rock for inlay material- both natural and man made. He has turquoise, azurite,coral, chrysicola, and lots of others in powder, fine sand and medium sand form as well as chunks and cabs.
I tried some of the man made turquoise fine sand in my last turning and it cut beautifully and looks great. I would highly recommend his products and his prices are right too!
They do have a sale at the end of Feb each year but I missed it this year
He will ship but he only takes cash or checks.
Their phone number is 480 963 6552
They are located at 13802 Williams Field Rd; Gilbert , Az 85295
Coming from the south on I-10 take exit 175 and go up 87/587 straight to the 202. Take the 202 East to Gilbert Rd. and then north on Gilbert to Williams Field Rd and go right ( east) . They are on the north side of the street in the first block with a Rock Shop sign out front. The addresses are goofy up there because it is 101 across the street???
I hope this is of some use to other Lumberjocks!! If you are in the area, it is a great place to visit!!
-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!