LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 94 - Wednesday March 26, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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From the Moderator:
Topical Focus for This Week: POLISHING QUARTZ GEMS CLINIC
One I would like to suggest is polishing different quartzes. I think that
most everybody has had polishing problems with quartz at one time or
another. I certainly have and it currently is driving me up the wall.
Scratches seem to show up no matter what I try.
HOMEWORK for tonight:
What polishing problems occur most frequently?
What type of laps / wheels / pads did you use?
What type of polishing media?
What pitfalls did you encounter ?
What solutions did you find ?
This discussion is one that all members (cabbers, tumblers and faceters)
of the list should have experience with since so many gem materials
are quartz based.
With that in mind, get those post in for inclusion in
OK only two post from over 950 members. Not so good.
Get those post in tonight.
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: Quartz Polishing Clinic
02 NEW: Tourmaline cutting issues
Subject: Polishing quartz gems
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 13:21:49 +0000
I have been cutting and polishing quartz and its various cousins (agate,
opal, amethyst, etc.) as both cabs and as facetted stones for many years. In
that time, I have never had much of a problem with polishing except when the
pre-polish lap caused scratches due to either contamination or delamination.
I would like to address several items that seem to keep coming back around
polishing and cutting of not only quartz but most gems. First, the issue of
using a coarse (180 grit or coarser) lap: I have only experienced sub-surface
crazing or cracking once and this was caused by too much pressure on the stone
during the final shaping! What may be happening is that there are very deep
scratches that occur with coarse laps and you MUST go through more grits/steps
to get rid of them than if you use finer material. I usually go to 360 or 600,
then 1200 and have no problem in the final polish. Second, the issue of what
polish or lap to use: I have found that, given a knowledge of the lap in use,
I can use phenolic, metal (ANY metal), or ceramic and get a good polish. The
key is to ONLY use diamond (14K then/or 50K) and regulate your speed to keep
the stone not just cool but cold! As to Ultralaps, I find them all but
worthless and far too expensive to be of any value. Third, the issue
of "orange peel": This is usually a problem only if you overheat the stone! A
cool stone will usually not show this unless it has internal flaws and, in that
case, you had best scrap it and start over. Fourth, as to opal cutting or
mixed hardness material cutting (including jades): Again, speed is the enemy
as is going in too large a step from one grit to another. If the opal is kept
cool, or the mixed hardness material is not pressed too hard and you take small
steps in grit size, you will NEVER have a problem!
As you may gather from these statements, my experience has shown that the
thing that most cutters really want, speed in cutting, is an enemy to good
cutting unless you REALLY know the materials and equipment in use. Also, the
idea of polishing with anything other than diamond should be permanently
removed from the minds of all cutters. At one time, diamond was so expenisve
that alternatives (including what seems to be black magic!) had to be found.
However, when you consider that, properly used, 10 ct of diamond will polish as
many stones as 2 oz of cerium oxide or 2 oz of Linde A and then compare the
costs and the time taken to polish, the diamond ALWAYS wins. The reason is the
heavy use of man-made diamonds has made the cost fall as compared to the case,
about 20+ years ago, when mostly natural diamonds were used. However, even
then, I found diamond polish to be the best; my customers have always
appreciated the better polish and the finer quality given by this polish.
Good luck in cutting and polishing!!!
Denney L. Wilson
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2003 09:18:24 +0600
From: "R&D" <email@example.com>
I have a difficulty in cutting tourmaline because stones get chipped at
the girdle and facet meeting points and lines.I tried different wheels
but no relief. Advice what causes and preventive measures.
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
TWELVE THINGS YOU'LL NEVER HEAR AN
EMPLOYEE TELL HIS/HER BOSS
1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait
until 5:00 and then bring it to me. The challenge of
a deadline is always refreshing.
2. If it's really a "rush job," run in and interrupt me
every 10 minutes to inquire how it's going. That greatly
aids my efficiency.
3. Always leave without telling anyone where you're
going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone
asks where you are.
4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books or supplies,
don't open the door for me. I might need to learn how to
function as a paraplegic in future and opening doors is good training.
5. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me
which is the priority. Let me guess.
6. Do your best to keep me late. I like the office and really
have nowhere to go or anything to do.
7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. Leaks like that
could get me a promotion.
8. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to
be popular in conversations.
9. If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them
down. If fact, save them until the job is almost done.
10. Never introduce me to the people you're with. When you
refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.
11. Be nice to me only when the job I'm doing for you could
really change your life.
12. Tell me all your little problems. No one else has any and
it's nice to know someone is less fortunate.
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
He who angers you controls you!
From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I am looking for a primary source for rough White Nephrite Jade, close
to point of origin, which is the Ho-Tien[ Hotan] or Yarkand area of
China. Contact Kenaii@earthlink.net I do have Carving and Gem grade
Green Nephrite Jade from Siberia for sale.
Get a FREE copy of the 2003 Faceter's Engagement Calendar
with a $100+ rough purchase at http://www.qualitygemrough.com
(see website for details).
We have recently added some new material, including a new African
find of green/yellow diopside (and we are the only people we know
who have it). Our stock includes things like alexandrite, amethyst,
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Rough to Cut
If you're looking for quality facet rough please check out Rough to Cut,
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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
Rough to Cut
AVAILABLE FOR SALE
Honey, red & brown zircons, 10g parcels @$20/parcel
Red Garnet $8/g, eye clean-slightly included
Spessartine Garnet $7.50/g, slight-moderately included
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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
Complete online discount catalog for cabbing and faceting machines, wheels,
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Solid copper laps 1/4 thick 8" and 6" you can charge both sides with
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LIST and WEBSITE INFO~
LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
is produced by Thurmond Moore III
Tempie Francis, Attorney at Law / Legal Advisor
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