Issue No. 234 - Friday, October 24, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre

Hi all.

Thanks to everyone who posted today. Great list.
Have a great weekend.


Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Precision LP Gas Torch
02  RE: Turquoise
03  RE: Dop Popping
04  RE: Dop Popping
05  RE: Dop Popping
06  RE: Lapidary the old way.
07  NEW: Lucida cut
08  NEW: Protect your PC (off topic)


Subject: Precission Torch
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 15:18:50 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: PANACHEGEMS@cs.com

The precision torch is not big enough nor with Propane get hot enough to melt
precious metals for casting, it cools to quickly while trying to get it in
the crucible and will cause blowout. Get a small outfit like plumbers use with a
medium  or regular torch, Oxy & Acet. This is really the only way.


Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 15:58:12 EDT
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Lapadary@aol.com

In a message dated 10/23/03 12:17:16 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
lapidary@caprock-spur.com writes:
 Some claim you can not tell, but having worked with this stone you
can.  If this is true about the "Sterling Enhanced" turquoise, my objections
(the major ones) would have to be reconsidered and weighed.  I do not carry
that magazine, if you could tell us which company this is, I for one would
appreciate it and give it a look.

The Rock & Gem article calls it the Zachery Process and it has been around
since 1987. The process is owned by Sterling Foutz, who apparently owns Sterling
Turquoise. At the 1997 Tucson show the GIA's Gem Trade Laboratory obtained
samples of Sterling Enhanced Turquoise and untreated turquoise from the same
location. Here is the quote from the article

"After two years of study, the GIA published the results of their research in
1999 Gems & Gemology. In an article titled "The Identification of
Zachery-Treated Turquoise" the GIA gemologists revealed the surprising fact that,
stabilized turquoise, Zachery-treated turquoise was not detectable with
standard gemological tests."

I guess a person needs to get a sample and test for them self. If you do, I
would love to hear your opinion.

Grant Johnston, Chico, CA


Subject: Re: Issue No. 233 - Thursday, October 23, 2003
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 18:13:41 -0300
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: David Stanley <davids@mail.cdlto.com.br>

   Re: Super glue release #1

          When we work with metal dops on the mast head machine in our
shop here in Brasil and we have to use glue (ie. heat sensitive stones),
we have found a system to avoid redopping/realigning while releasing the
stone. After the first side of the stone is done, we put the stone in
the transfer block and glue. Then we hang the two dops and the stone by
a wire into a jar of acetone only until the exact girdle of the stone.
the dop on the completed side releases and falls in the jar ( after a
time). It works perfect every time.
    Hope I've helped,
            David S. Epstein


Subject: "Dop Popping"
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 16:47:31 -0400
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: "Douglas Turet" <anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com>
Cc: anotherbrightidea@hotmail.com

Two days ago, Todd Gunz wrote:
" I just recently got some Superglue from Jeff Graham's site.  It's called;
"Hot Stuff Super
T".  Along with that I use a Mild Accelerator to make the glue go off. It's
a fairly thick slow glue and has plenty of working time without the
accelerator, too long in fact for me."

Hey Todd,

      Although I'm usually a "wax" man, there have been many times when I've
relied on CA glues to get me out of a jam, especially when old batches of
dop wax have become brittle and I need to reattach a newly undopped stone,
or when dealing with tiny pieces, for repairs. From my vantage point, it
sounds like you're actually dealing with a compounding of the effects of two
or three different physical limitations with your dopping challenges, not
just one. To help you move beyond these, let's dissect them, one at a

1)   "I started using the CA because I was working on some heat
sensitive material which literally exploded on the dop when the Blazer
Torch touched it.  It shot hot pieces of stone and scalding hot dop wax
all over!  I promptly started looking for alternate sources of dopping."

       To make sure that this doesn't recur, I'd suggest that you look more
closely at the process, rather than the adhesive. If you were to alternate
between mouthfuls of crushed ice and hot tea, your teeth would most likely
do what your suddenly Blazer-heated rough did, too. The Blazer torches, and
their "Creme Brulee" igniting equivalents, are good tools for some
applications, but can be absolutely  awful for others! Instead, you might
try warming your dop and stone with an alcohol lamp, filled with either
methanol or denatured alcohol, and slowing the warming process down, a bit.
When I'm dopping sensitive stones like Opal or Apatite, I'll hold the stone
in either a tweezers or hemostat way up in the air, starting from a height
of 8-12" (above a 1" lamp flame), and slowly encircle the column of hot air
and lower the stone over the course of, say, 30 seconds to a minute, or so.
Very often, I'll swab the stone with a little Windex on a paper towel,
first, then watch the surface of the stone, as I lower it, to see when that
wetness has evaporated; a half-second after it has, the sone is ready to
come into contact with the hot dop wax. (This assumes I'm using green dop
wax; on heat-sensitive stones, I don't take chances with anything that
requires higher temperatures.) Not only does the whole process takes less
than three minutes including the heating and "buttering" of the dop with
wax, but it's been extremely successful for me: I've yet to lose or damage a
stone, this way.

2)   "With this Super T Glue, I'm having a problem with the stones
"dop popping" right at critical times... As I went to cut the lap hit some
dried glue.
It had run down onto the crown from the pavilion joint in the cone dop."

       Todd, this may mean one thing, or it may mean another. If, as Jon
Rolfe mentioned yesterday, you'd bounced the glue off of the lap, you may
have literally "shocked" it off the stone and dop, since CA resins offer
their best adhesion against pushing and pulling stresses, but don't fare
well against sudden impacts. On the other hand, you could've run up against
another shortcoming of most or all of the CA adhesives I've tried: they're
hydrophobic! In other words, all it takes is a little icy water in the right
place, and they'll release, instantly. To prevent this, try coating your
(cured) glue joint with a vapor and water barrier of some kind; my favorite
is a little petroleum jelly (i.e. "Vaseline"), applied with a cotton swab,
but I've also used some of my wiife's nail polish, at times, and with equal
success. keep the water off the bond, and you're golden!

3)   "I'm a little heavy handed with the glue, I admit.  If you don't hit it
with the accelerator
right away the glue, even though it's fairly thick, has a tendency to run."

       Here's another non-sequitur of cyanoacrylates: the less you use, the
stroger your bond. By being "heavy handed", you're asking for weaker bonds
between dop and stone. For example, if I'm dopping a stone to cut a 4mm
finished stone, I'll apply a dot of Crazy Glue about 1-1.5mm across -- just
a little bead of the stuff. When the stone and the dop come together --
assuming, of course, that I've pre-ground and cleaned off a flat seat for
the dop on the face of the stone -- I get perfect adhesion, since the glue
does spread out, a bit. A minute or so later, I'll seal the joint with that
water barrier, and away I go. When all's said and done, I'll apply a little
nail polish remover (or, if it's the pavilion I've been cutting, just
transfer with heat, as if I'd only used wax) and away I go!

4)   "It sounds labor intensive, but if it's the only alternative I'll do it
rather than suffer the dop
popping. "

       Actually, Todd, this one gets my bet as the source for the majority
of your dopping or transfering challenges. Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting
your words, but it sounds to me like a lot of what you've said has to do
with a "need" for speed. The only problem with that is that this isn't
exactly the fastest-moving hobby (or profession, for that matter). Although
there are certainly a good number of bench tricks that'll help save you time
and effort, if you want to turn out great results, you need to give each
step of the process its due. Between the comment above, the one about this
not being the first time this has happened, or either that about needing to
rush ahead with the accelerator, or those about heavy handedness, stones
flying off into the lower atmosphere, ricocheting off (or sticking onto)
cats, etc., it sounds like your results might benefit from your leaning
back, taking a good, slow breath, and decreasing your stress level, from
time to time. Remember, these processes can be moved along by a little bit,
here and there, but in the end, you're still dealing with a process that
involves exerting a wide range of physical changes upon an object that is
equal parts delicate and rare... Just as the "less is more" oxymoron applies
to the flame-to-stone and CA glue-to-dop applications, I think you'll find
that it works with both your enjoyment of and results from faceting, as
well. If I can be of any further help, please don't hesitate to ask. (For
that matter, my forthcoming website, TuretDesign.com, will have a number of
articles, like this one, designed to help you and others overcome various
challenges with dopping, cutting and polishing, too. It should be up and
running in a few weeks.)  Until then,

All the best,

Douglas Turet, GJ
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: wax
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 16:22:36 -0500
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "MR" <rugroden@comcast.net>

I've been hoping for something new but, no luck.  In the interest of
speed, I've tried everything that has been posted.  Here's my techique. 
All relatively non-sensitive stones get a flat spot ground with a 260 or
600 grit lap and super glued using anything from 3mm-10mm dops.  I cut
the pavilion first. That lets me know how big the stone will be.  Then,
when I cut the crown I pop the stone off the dop just by grabbing it and
applying pressure.  If that doesn't work I heat it with an alcohol lamp
until it pops off with a little pressure.  For everything but corundum,
I use green wax.  It sticks better and comes off with less heat, or put
it in the freezer if you have time.  For corundum I use brown wax. 
Higher melting point. I've been using this method for years with out

Apatite you say?  That's a whole different deal.



Subject: sandstone wheels
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 19:51:54 -0300
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <lapidary@caprock-spur.com>
From: Robert <robertplowejr@uol.com.br>

23 October 2003

 >about how stones were cut in Idar Oberstein in the old days on "giant"
 >15 foot diameter sandstone wheels driven by water. That would
obviously >be difficult to replicate today.

Some of the stone houses in Idar-Oberstein still have the old stone
wheels and some even still use them.

'Gems of the World' - Walter Schumann
shows some pictures of the large sandstone wheels on pages 56 and 57
(not the ones where the lapidary had to lay down to shape the stone.

Best regards,
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson - February 5 - 10, 2004 - GJX # 205
e-mail: USA    <robertplowejr@juno.com> February 2004
e-mail: Brasil <robertplowejr@uol.com.br>


Subject: Lucida cut
Date: Thu, 23 Oct 2003 20:45:17 -0400
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Tom Pyles" <zpyles@comcast.net>

    I found the Lucida at the USFG site under Photos -Gem Designs and
second page of gem designs.  Does anyone have a Gemcad or other faceting
diagram of this, I would love to cut it.




Subject: Protect your computer
Date: Sat, 25 Oct 2003 03:05:07 +1000
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: Reg Hodges <rghodges@bigpond.com>

Hi Thurmond

This message does not relate to Faceting or Lapidary.  But since we all have
computers and, hopefully, use them for more than just receiving the Lapidary
Arts Digest I leave it up to you whether you post it to the digest or not.

I think most of us would like to protect our computers from all the
different dangers that manifest themselves with a connection to the
Internet.  Also there are a number of things we would like to try but are
afraid of the consequences to our computer system, so we don't do them.
Resulting in a limited view of the capabilities of our computer.  A sort of
"tunnel vision".  Well, there is an answer.

Most of us have probably heard of Symantec's (Norton) Ghost.  For those who
haven't, in brief, Ghost is a program that makes a compressed copy (image)
of your hard drive so if your computer crashes for any reason, you can
restore your system to its original state quickly and easily.

Before now, the use of Ghost was only for the "geeks" out there as in the
hands of the un-initiated it is a dangerous weapon.  I recently came across
a web site that explains everything about Ghost in very easy to understand
terms, and would like to share it with the Digest members.  Just go to the
following web site:


You can print out the instructions and read all about it in various formats.

I can honestly say it is the best explanation of Ghost I have seen up to

I have no affiliation to Symantec other than the use of Ghost.


Reg Hodges


From: JFS41@aol.com
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 10:14 PM
Subject: Message from Web Site

  My Uncle was very interested in lapidary. He passed away several years
ago at the age of 92 and we inherited his equipment. One item he made
himself, it is a rock saw capable of slabbing up to 14" and has several
extra blades. It has an electric winch to lift the hinged windowed
cover. It is quite heavy.  Also there are 3 different rock saws
(commercially manufactured) a polishing table and a tumbler. He made a
lot of tables with rock slab tops.

  We need to sell all the items as soon as possible or store them, as we
are removing the Buildings that they are in. The large saw will need to
be dismantled, so if someone is interested they would probably like OT
see it first.

  If you know of anyone that would be interested or know how to contact
same please let me know. You can call John Stewart @ (209) 538-1668 the
equipment is in Modesto, CA.









PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!

A school teacher injured his back and had to wear a plaster cast around the upper
part of his body. It fit under his shirt and was not noticeable at all. On the first
day of the term, still with the cast under his shirt, he found himself assigned to
the toughest students in school.

Walking confidently into the rowdy classroom, he opened the window as wide as
possible and then busied himself with desk work. The classroom became a bit unruly
and he admonished them. This happened several times.

When he could do work at his desk, the strong breeze from the window made his tie
flap annoyingly. He kept rearranging and rearranging the tie as the class raised it's
level of unruliness.

Finally, becoming disgusted with the wayward tie, he stood up and took a big stapler
off his desk and stapled the tie to his chest in several places.

Discipline was not a problem from that day forth.



Life is pleasant. Death is peaceful.
It's the transition that's troublesome
---Isaac Asimov--- 


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