One of the best things about the Houston Gem & Mineral Society is our Clubhouse. Not many Gem & Mineral societies feature a full Lapidary workshop, an air abrasives station, jewelry fabrication workshop, plus a variety of rooms for meetings and socialization.
When you enter the Clubhouse for the first time you will pass by shelves of mineral specimens for school collections and through the general work area, to the General Meeting area, large enough to seat 60 people, with a kitchen area, office, and the Mineral Section and Paleo Section Libraries. The various Sections (our special interest groups) also meet here, and smaller groups often meet in the libraries or workrooms.
The Lapidary shop behind the meeting area is over 600 square feet, with diamond saws from trim saws to a 24 incher, several grinding wheel stations, a super grinder, a really big flat lap polisher, dop wax station, and polishing set ups and tools. All are available for use by members for a small hourly fee plus $.20/square inch of sawn surface. Diamond saws aren’t cheap!
Our Shop Foremen are available during workshop hours to teach new members the correct and safe ways to use equipment. If you don’t have material to begin working with, you can often find something interesting on the freebie shelf where members leave extra slabs and chunks of rock.
Through the door is another fabrication shop, often used for meetings, or for classes for everything from wire-wrapping to faceting, with drill and rolling presses among many other tools.
The next room is our Jewelry Fabrication classroom area, with 12 jeweler’s benches, each equipped with tools and torches, and much other equipment besides.
Next to the stairs in the general work area, we have an air abrasives station for sandblasting unwanted matrix from fossils and for cleaning mineral specimens. Upstairs is for storage of show and section equipment.
The Clubhouse is located at 10805 Brooklet near the intersection of Highway 59 Southwest and Beltway 8, in a small neighborhood of industrial offices and warehouses. The shop is open for member use on Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is also open at other times for members of particular sections.