Issue No.36 - Friday January 3, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works started
by Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
Click a link below to post to the list:
for faceting questions  faceters@caprock-spur.com
for lapidary questions lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From the Moderator: I hope everybody had a happy
holiday season. All non permanent adds have been
removed as they will be at the first of any month.
If you wish your ad to be included in the digest please
send it in with the subject as FS or AD.

Index to Today's Digest

01  Re: Ceramic-related questions
02  Re: Ceramic-related questions
03  Re: DVue2 and Windows XP
04  Re: Cabbing on a Faceting Machine
05  Mid West Faceters
06  Microwaving stones


Subject: Ceramic Lap
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2003 22:56:05 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Faceter01" <faceter01@hotmail.com>

Hi Gang,

I just got a ceramic lap for Christmas and wanted to know how to break
it in. Also how to use it, what stones it's good for, and the Do's and
Don't's of using it.
Thanks for any help and may you all have a safe, happy, healthy and
prosperous new year.


Hi Ron, I think the post below may answer your questions.  Thurmond


Subject: Doug Smith's Ceramic-related questions
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 2003 18:43:22 -0500
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Douglas Turet" <anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com>

Doug "Rhodolite" Smith wrote:
"I intend to purchase a Graves Falcon ceramic lap and Jonathan's Batt lap. I
was impressed with your post. I assume it means you have not been plagued
with scratches when polishing on ceramic (as many have complained when using
ceramic to polish).

Can you or any other of you list members tell me what suppliers sell
Crystallite's isopropyl-and-wax based formula? What size diamond grits do
you recommend to polish CZ and corundum on ceramic? Any tips will be

Hi Doug,

    First things first: thank you for writing, sorry I haven't relpied
sooner, here's to a Happy New Year to you, and please express my kudos to
your folks on their exemplary choice of son's names! (And, now that that's
out of the way...)

     You're right, I seem to've lucked out: I've only rarely encountered the
scratching problems others so frequently complain about with their ceramic
laps. Like so many others, I'm completely self-taught in all aspects of the
lapidary arts. Unlike so many others, however, I don't usually use
extraneous lubricants, when polishing on a ceramic lap, and _especially_ not
with the Falcon (whose surface is much more finely prepared than that
offered by Crystalite).
     To replicate my process, you must first adequately prepare the lap
surface to accommodate the polishing process. Perhaps it's here that so many
faceters go wrong: as they arrive, straight out of the box, most ceramic
laps' surfaces are so exceedingly coarse that they're incapable of producing
even the most basic prepolishes, let alone anything resembling a final
polish! To remedy this, begin by grinding a 1/2-boule of Synthetic Sapphire
-- the cheap stuff - readily available from either Rob Kulakofsky at
<www.facetingmachines.com> or Jeanne Ridolfi at <www.rockpeddler.com>, among
others -- lengthwise, on a 360 mesh lap. What we're after, here, is a long,
flat facet, which will be used to first smear our compound onto, and then
burnish it into the surface of the lap. You will not only be using this as a
tool to prepare your lap this first time around, but also, to retouch it
(and your BATT Lap, too) from time to time, just to maintain it/them.  Next,
scrub the surface of your lap with a 3M "Dobi" pad and some dish detergeant
under hot water, to remove any stray oils which might result in an uneven
response from the lap's surface, when applying the diamond compound, which
we'll deal with next.
     Before we even get there, though, it's important to come to terms with
what this lap is all about, compositionally, because it's a bit different
than most of those you've probably come up against, so far. What makes a
ceramic lap "do it's thing" is its "quasi- microcrystalline" structure,
which comes a result of its makeup: aluminum oxide particles (read that to
mean "Linde C" powder) in a substrate of a hard type of glass (borosilicate,
perhaps?). To put it another way, you might say that it's very hard, but
only where it's very hard... and where it's not, it isn't. (Hmmm... what
famous sports legend am I beginning to sound like now?) As a result of this,
what we need to do, before we can polish anything, is to reduce and begin to
polish the overall surface of the lap, so that whichever size of diamond
compound we choose to use, we'll wind up with _that_ compound's particles
ending up as the _only_ particles in contact with our pre-polished surfaces.
As with anything else in this life, if we try to scrimp on our crucial prep
work, we're sure to pay for it later, in scratches!
     Okay, so what I do next is to take the aforementioned Crystalite spray
diamond (also available from either Rob or Jeanne) in its 50,000 mesh form
(for surface preparation on the Ceramic lap, or for a final polish, on the
BATT, as needs dictate), and pump 6-10 spray shots of the stuff onto the
surface of the stationery lap from a distance of about 6-8" above it. Thin
this out with a spritz or two of isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, from a
separate spray bottle. Next, we stand over the machine and smear the sprayed
compound around with our "recharge burnisher" (that flat-sided, 1/2 Corundum
boule we'd prepared, earlier), so that there are no dry spots to catch the
burnisher and send it flying, once we're at speed. Now, turn on the machine
to about 1/4 of it's top spindle speed and, with the boule aimed from the
lap nut towards the outer edge, use BOTH HANDS on the burnishing tool and
slowly move it back and forth, from the center to the edge, pressing
downward with an even ~7-10 lbs of force. Expect to invest about half to 3/4
of an hour of just standing there, slowly sliding back and forth, and don't
hesitate to spray more of either the diamond or alcohol sprays, as needed.
You'll know when you're done two ways: first, the lap will begin to look
like it's nicely prepolished, but with a faintly pitted surface (where
occasional, minute AlO2 grains have pulled out); secondly, you'll notice
that the entire surface of the lap feels, under your burnishing tool, very
much like the surface of a smooth Formica countertop would, under a dry
fingertip... almost waxy, but smoother.
     Once you've attained this surface, you're nearly home! All that remains
is to rewash/scrub the surface, as we did at the beginning, then let the lap
dry in your normal dish drain-rack, then remount it onto your machine. This
time, however, what we're going to do is to first turn the dry lap on, up to
~1/3  of its speed, then use a single burst of the diamond spray from about
a foot above and, quickly, before its alcohol propellant dries, swipe the
surface from center to edge (in one pass) with a doubled-over paper towel.
(As I'd said in 2000, I prefer both the Crystalite 100,000 mesh spray and
the Bounty "select-a-size" towels, since they both leave less debris behind
than several others I'd tried, and are tearable into smaller strips, for
conservation purposes. Generally, I'll fold each sheet lengthwise, tear it
into 4-6 doubled swaths of paper towel, and use each until it begins to fall
apart.  These miniature facet-cleaning cloths, with occasional shpritzes of
Windex, as needed, to remove the waxy buildup of compound, have been all
I've ever needed to produce great finishes, year in and year out.)
     My only two "caveats" to you, Doug, are that you first use a light,
oscillating motion, when polishing on Ceramic, and, second, that you be sure
to re-inspect each facet you're initially excited about from two different
directions, before moving on to the next. On some materials (and the softer
Garnet varieties come to mind, here) what at first looks utterly unbeatable
can often leave you with a very _different_ impression, a few moments later,
unless you take that one last look-over. Well, that about does it, m'friend!
Please keep me posted on your progress, and let me know if you run into any
things that go bump in the (polishing) night...

All my best,

Douglas Turet, GJ
Lapidary Artist, Designer & Goldsmith.
Turet Design
P. O. Box 162
Arlington, MA 02476, U.S.A.
Tel. (617) 325-5328
Fax: (928) 222-0815
Email: anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com


Subject: GemCad and Windows XP
Date: Thu, 02 Jan 2003 22:30:12 -0500
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Tom Pyles <zpyles@comcast.net>

   I have had the same problem with Windows XP and DataVue2, cant get them
to work together either Ernie, hope someone can come up with a solution.


Tom Pyles


Subject: Cabbing on a flat lap
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 12:11:50 +0000
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: post@maiko.demon.co.uk

At Christmas I also did a cab on my faceting machine for the first time.  I bought a foam rubber disk
thing to convert my machine for cabbing, although if you spend the time you could probably find
something around the house that would do the same thing.
I had a slice of aquamarine which I made into a cabochon pendant for my sister (too thin for faceting,
slightly included but great colour).  Because beryl usually polishes easily I thought it would be a
good choice for my first cab, and it was.  I found that for shaping and grinding it's far, far quicker
and easier to use the flat laps because they grind much quicker than a soft surface does.   I shaped it
by eye, partly on the lap and partly using a dremel-type handpiece with some dental burrs (my dad is a
retired dentist).  I drilled a pendant hole in it using the dental burr (much more difficult than it
sounds, even for a thin slice) and buffed the inside of the hole slightly with a toothpick charged
with diamond grit and grease (polishing the inside of the drill-hole properly turned out to be too
difficult, but I did manage to get rid of most of the 'frosted' effect).  I polished the stone with a
sort of felt-type lap on the foam disk, stuck down with double-sided tape (otherwise it flaps around),
with Linde A, water and vaseline grease.  This was fairly straightforward but slower than I expected. 
You really need to get the surface >completely< smooth and rounded before the polishing stage.  Some
kind of rubber lap impregnated with pre-polish diamond grit would probably be ideal - does anyone make
them with the hole pre-drilled in the centre?  For some reason, most of the rubber laps I've seen
don't have a hole!  Or am I missing something?
In short, with a bit of experimentation I'm sure any faceter could learn to cab on their machine.  The
only difficult bit was the hole-drilling (I think that you would probably need to buy a proper
bead-drilling attachment such as the ones that Foredom and Dremel sell for their handpieces) and the
polishing of the drill-hole.  However, I'm pretty sure that with a bit of patience and maybe the right
size of toothpick it would eventually be possible.  My drill-hole was rather big because a dental burr
isn't really the right size for bead-work.  Michael Dyber polishes the insides of his "luminaires"
(basically long drill-holes right through a large gem), so presumably there is some trick to it.  I
suspect it involves having a small rod that is exactly the right diameter for the tube.
If you are going to do this regularly, I would recommend that you consider buying some soft-surfaced
laps that are specially designed for cabbing - but then again, I think cabbing machines start at less
than a hundred dollars so it would probably be a good idea to look at them instead.


Subject: Mid West Faceters
Date: Fri, 03 Jan 2003 08:18:46 -0500
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Ted Shack <shacklap@sympatico.ca>

Hi,I've been trying to reach some one for a membership to the MidWest
Faceters Guild and the link tgibbs etc that you have listed keeps coming
back undeliverable.Can anyone direct me to the proper channels.I used to
be a member yrs ago and would like to rejoin.I would apprieciate anyones
help as I loved the news letters and the great info they had.Thanks in
advance.Ted Shack


Can anyone help out here? If you have a current e-mail address contact for
the MidWest Faceters Guild please post it.  Thurmond


Subject: Microwaving stones
Date: Fri, 3 Jan 2003 09:48:00 EST
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Jvarner467@cs.com

In an earlier issue I remember someone writing about using a microwave oven
to heat a stone and change its color. Can anyone tell me if this works, how
safe is it, the stones which can be used, how it is done?

Thanks, Jim Varner-lurker



Hale Sweeny's Lapidary Digest Archives http://www.lapidarydigest.com/
International Lapidary Association http://www.gemcutters.org
http://webdev.archive.org/ then enter www.liccini.com


Facetron: http://www.facetron.com/
Graves: http://www.rockhounds.com/graves/
MDR: http://www.mdr-facet.com/
Polymetric: http://www.polymetricinc.com/
Ultra-tec: http://www.ultratec-facet.com
Fac-Ette Manufacturing Company: (910)256-9248
http://www.fac-ette.com/ 800-336-9248.
Raytech Industries: http://www.raytech-ind.com
Rock Peddler: 1-800-416-4348 / www.rockpeddler.com



Accredited Gemologists Association, http://aga.polygon.net/
American Gem Society, (AGS) 702-255-6500
American Gem Trade Association, (AGTA) http://www.agta.org
Gemmological Assc. & GTL / Great Britain, http://www.gagtl.ac.uk/gagtl
Gemmological Association of Australia, http://www.gem.org.au
Gemological Institute of America, (GIA) http://www.gia.edu.giagem
International Gem Society (IGS) web site is: http://www.gemsociety.org
International Colored Gemstone Association, http://www.gemstone.org
My Gemologist http://www.mygemologist.com


FACETING GUILDS (Alphabetically, World) ~

*Charleston Faceting Guild, South Carolina, wmcnay@mindspring.com.
*Columbia-Willamette Faceter's Guild, http://www.facetersguild.com/
*Danish Faceters Guild, http://medlem.spray.se/danfacet/
*East/Central Florida:Tomoka Gem and Mineral Society's Faceters Guild,
Don Cameron: ghgemcutter@earthlink.net
*Eastern Mass Faceter's Group, rockpeddler@attbi.com
*Faceter's Forum Society-LaPorte, IN VESteele@aol.com
*Faceter's Guild of N. California, Wayne Meissner, lklomp@cnetech.com
*Faceter's Guild of S. California, Jerry W. Carroll, (818)348-6327
*Intermountain Faceter's Guild, Carl M. Unruh, (360)385-3753
*Midwest Faceter's Guild, E-mail: tgibbs@compuserve.com
*Mid-Williamette Faceters Guild, Albany, Oregon, Michael E. Bumcrot;
E-mail @ MBumcrot@valleyoilco.com
*Moreton Bay is a branch of the Australian Facetors' Guild, Brisbane,
Queensland. http://cwpp.slq.qld.gov.au/afg
*New Mexico Faceter's Guild, Nancy Attaway, attaway@highfiber.com
*North Puget Sound Faceting Guild, Keith Wyman, tfw@fidalgo.net
*Tacoma Faceting Guild, Chuck Bloch chuck_b@prodigy.net
*Texas Faceter's Guild, Jill Rowlands, gemsbyj@aol.com
*Seattle Faceting Club (LeonardBahr@prodigy.net)
*United States Faceting Guild (Keith Wyman, tfw@fidalgo.net)
*Vancouver Island Faceters' Guild - British Columbia, Canada.

(Add your faceting organization here, US or International - Write to
( owner-lapidary@caprock-spur.com or owner-faceters@caprock-spur.com )



A minister and a lawyer arrived at the pearly gates. Saint Peter greeted both of
them and gave them their room assignments.

"Pastor, here are the keys to one of our nicest efficiency units," said St. Peter.

"And for you, Mister Lawyer," smiled St. Peter, "the keys to our finest
Penthouse Suite atop our Heavenly High Rise Building with all the amenities. The
expansive windows offer a beautiful view of the Angels as they come and go. If
you need anything, feel free to push the service buzzer!"

"This is unfair!" cried the Minister.

"Listen," St. Peter said, "ministers are a dime a dozen up here. This is the
first Lawyer we've ever seen!"

Submitted by ~ Doug Smith



Why does an itch stop itching when you scratch it?

Submitted by ~ Doug Smith


Rough to Cut
If you're looking for quality facet rough please check out Rough to Cut,
http://www.roughtocut.com. We offer a wide range of quality facet rough
from Aquamarine to Zircon. Large selections in stock currently of Beryl,
Garnets & Tourmalines. Please check us out & when you do, why not give a
try to our contest, you could win a 5ct + piece of Spessartite garnet
facet rough.

Rough to Cut


Subject: AD
Date: Thu, 31 Oct 2002 20:50:44 -0800
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "P. Miklik" <b-daw@pacbell.net>

Contact b-daw@pacbell.net

Honey, red & brown zircons, 10g parcels @$20/parcel

Red Garnet $8/g, eye clean-slightly included
Spessartine Garnet $7.50/g, slight-moderately included
Malaya Garnet $6/g, good eye clean roughs
Tunduri Garnet $10/g, eye clean-slightly included

Pink Tourmaline $20/g, eye clean-slightly included
Red Tourmaline $10/g, slight-moderately included
Bicolor Tourmaline $15/g, eye clean
Watermelon Tourmaline $20/g eye clean
Green/Green Blue Tourmaline $10/g, eye clean roughs

Blue, Green & Blue/Green Sapphires $35/g, eye clean-slightly         
included, up to 1g.

Blue Beryl (Aquamarine) $6/g, eye clean-slightly included crystals
Green Beryl (Emerald) $10-$50/g, eye clean-slightly included crystals,
zoned green
Cabbing Grade Aquamarine $3/g


Rock Peddler
Complete online discount catalog for cabbing and faceting machines, wheels,
laps, polishes, diamond saws, diamond blades, and general lapidary supplies
at http://www.rockpeddler.com.


Gewelers Gems
e-mail: sales@jewelersgems.com
Solid copper laps 1/4 thick 8" and 6"  you can charge both sides with
diamond. http://www.jewelersgems.com/faceting_laps.htm


NOW ONLINE!  RRGaetan Gem Rough - Featuring excellent, facet-grade,
Colombian Emerald rough! PLUS, Chrome Tourmaline, Achroite Tourmaline,
Golden Chrome Tourmaline, Aquamarine, Spess, Mint and Malaya Garnets,
and more! For photos and more information, visit us at rrgaetan.com.




For All National and International Masters, Past-Masters and
World-Class Cutters:

This post is simply a reminder that in 2003 the USFG will host its
first National and International Faceting Competition.  It is called
the North American Faceting  Challenge -- 'NAFC.'   Since the designs
and rules were first published in the 2001 September Issue of  the
USFG's Newsletter, and since they have not been published since 2001,
some of you, who are most capable - skill-wise, may not
know about the competition, and some of you may have forgotten.   The
"NAFC" is an OPEN Competition.   Please note:  The designs and rules
can be downloaded at  <http://www.usfacetersguild.org/events.shtml>.
The closing date is June 20th, 2003;  the amount of time between the
present date and June 20th, 2003 should be enough for all Master
cutters to cut the two required designs -- Fred Van Sant's "Four
Star," and Charles Covill's "Wind Wheel No. 2."   If   further
information is needed, please contact me at <clmoon@pacbell.net>.

Charlie Moon


Subject: First USFG faceting list design competition.
Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 16:29:21 -0800
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Dan Clayton <dclayton@speakeasy.org>

First USFG faceting list design competition.

Design: Hexagon or Hexagon Cushion in  Colorless or Colored Topaz

Judging: Highest number for total ISO values at 0, 10, 20,30, 40
and 50 degree tilt with five degree head shadow in GemFramx will
win. Example parameters are given below to achieve this configuration.
Online designs must be submitted by January 10, 2003. Design and
cut entries should have the design posted by that date but stone judging
will take place at the OPLC Hobnob in Tucson in February 2003.

Publication: All entries will be posted on the USFG faceting list site
and possibly on the USFG site as well. Designs may be included in
a USFG list CD. Designers maintain copyright to their designs but
must allow posting on the USFG faceting list site. Posting or publishing
elsewhere is not only permitted but encouraged.

Followup: Additional contests may be held for other shapes and
materials if there is sufficient interest and participation.

RI                                       1.61
head shadow                      5 degrees
ignore glare                     no (default)
tilt movie                       yes (default)
starting tilt direction    0
ending tilt direction     5 (default)
maximum tilt angle      50
tilt increment                   10
suppress VGA                     no (default)
concave                          no (default)
COS files                        no (default)
ISO files                                no ( you can enter yes if you wish
 but it will fill your disk )
DISP files                       no (default)
exit files                               no (default)
starting file #                  increment each run if you wish to save images

Values for ISO  will be summed and used as ISO total.
ISO Total will be deciding factor in judging but there will be 30
points deducted for a missed meetpoint. Fractional

Special recognition will be given to most original design as determined
by team of four judges selected by Jeff Ford or delegate/s.


 all work must be done by one individual. In the
case of a fractional indices or an incomplete design a design
coach will explain how the problem can be fixed and the
entry will be moved to Coached class.

more than one individual from a club, guild or area may work together
 as a team. If an individual wishes coaching they may do so but most
work must be done by the entrant with only suggestions by coach. This
means Fred Van Sant or some other designer can not do a design that you
enter as your own. I encourage friends, club/guild members to enter as a
team. Do not hesitate to enter if you need some coaching. We have design
mentors who are happy to help you.

for a public domain design or a copyrighted design that the copyright holder
gives you permission to use. You enter design with modified angles, new tiers
or deleted tiers which gives "optimum" performance as determined by ISO
total. We will post at least two very basic designs you can enhance as you

Design and Cut,
design will be posted and ISO Total noted but beauty of the finished stone
will be the judging criteria. Stones will be judged at the OPLC Hobnob in
Tucson. Individual, Team/Coached and Modified designs will be judged

I hope this format will encourage design and optimization  oldtimers and
newcomers to get involved and hopefully develop their skills. All
entries will be posted on the site and may drive some traffic and interest.
I think ISO Total is as good as any single value to evaluate design
performance but we will look to improve criteria in the future.

Dan Clayton




  Presented by the Faceter's Guild of Southern California
    At the Seaside GEMboree AFMS/CFMS Convention & Show
           Ventura, California June 6-7-8, 2003

     You are invited to participate in the Faceters
Symposium 2003 which will be held at the Seaside Park
(Ventura Fairgrounds) at Ventura, California during the
AFMS/CFMS Convention & Show.  The Faceters Symposium dates
are June 6th, 7th, & 8th.  That is Friday, Saturday, &
Sunday.  The CFMS GEMboree is on those dates as well as on
Thursday the 5th of June.  All of this is at the same
location, just a hundred yards from the beach.

     The Faceters Symposium will feature ten speakers, who
will have presentations covering various parts of gemstone
faceting interests.  A Hospitality Hour on Friday evening
and a Saturday Awards Luncheon are also part of the
Symposium.  There will be competitions at the Novice,
Advanced, & Masters levels.  Get started on your
competition entry soon.

     The CFMS GEMboree itself will have buildings that have
exhibits on display, dealers with their wares to offer,
demonstrators to show how it is done, and speakers with
presentations covering other lapidary fields of interest.

     For information & costs regarding the Faceters
Symposium (including competition information), your contact
is listed below.  Ask for one of the Packets.  Be sure to
state your snail mailing address so that a Packet can be
mailed to you.

Glenn Klein, Chairman
24001 Muirlands Blvd., Space #79
Lake Forest, CA 92630        email:   glennklein@yahoo.com



KANSAS: If anyone in the central portion of the country from Oklahoma city
to Wichita to Kansas City would be interested in forming something like the
Flatland Facet Guild or some such name give me a line at
Larry W. Davis

ILLINOIS - MISSOURI (Central Area, hubed around St. Louis, Missouri) A
group of 4 faceters have met and we had a great time. We intend to meet
again and would like to have fellow faceters join our group. I received an
email from another Newbie that expressed interest in attending our next get
together. Faceters from any and all areas are welcome... It's swell to meet
personally and exchange tips and hints! COME JOIN OUR GROUP! It's FREE! ;o)
Doug Smith, Alton, IL .at: gembin@spiff.net

INDIANA: I moved to Valparaiso, (Northwest) Indiana, about three years ago.
Are there any clubs in this area? or is there anyone interested in starting
one? I do faceting and some cabbing. Not much here but cornfields. Nice
scenery, but I get sooooooo lonely. LOL Let me know. (Bill) "William
J.Pysnack" <wjpin@home.com>

S.E. LOUISIANA: Anyone in or around the New Orleans, LA area wishing to
form a club or have get togethers for faceting, discussions, cabbing,
procurement, etc. Please contact me via email @ tbird@bayouself.org. (Thom
Bird - Chalmette, LA)

MISSISSIPPI: If anyone is near Meridian Mississippi and would be interested
in forming some kind of club or just get together with faceting and/or
cabbing please e-mail me at jennings@netdoor.com Thanks, Jim

TEXAS: Anyone in the Corpus Christi or Coastal Bend area that is interested
in starting a local faceter's guild contact me at: hankswan@earthlink.net or
gemscc@msn.com or telephone 361-857-2405 (days) or 361-992-1296
(evenings).Hank swan

WASHINGTON DC.(Rockville Md area) Looking for folks to get together
occasionally to facet. I have just started faceting and am also interested
in sphere making (infinate # of facets) Robert Winfield

Lurking is fine, but participation is more fun!! Get involved!!


is produced by
Thurmond Moore III

Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor


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