LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 270 - Friday, February 20, 2004
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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Short list today. Keep those post coming in.
Have a great weekend.
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: Use of the Index Splitter
02 RE: Unusual Color-Change Garnet
03 RE: Mark Liccini's old site
04 NEW: Copper lap lubricants
05 NEW: Dealer info requested
06 RE: Books for Wirewrap instruction
07 NEW: Highland Park Vi-Bro-Lap manual online
Subject: index splitting
Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2004 16:07:34 -0800
From: "John Almasi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Thanks Glenn for posting the GIA article on index splitting. I have to
agree with you and although I don't compete personally, I do teach a little
and have just returned from a small stint of teaching in Dar es Salaam. I
found that in most cases, the concept of disciplined use of the splitter
might as well have been non-existent. Sri Lankans that I encountered will
use only their Imashi machines and are not interested in learning anything
else, while African cutters, who were familiar with Facetrons had the
impression that the use of that part of the machine was either a
free-for-all or useless. Once I slowed them all down, however, the Sri
Lankans from 10 stones per day to 2 stones per day (they claimed that for
the quality I wanted two was all they could do with the equipment they used
:) - and the yield dropped to 1 per day for anything real, like pieces of
tanzanite rough 5 grams and up......) and the Tanzanians also to 2 finished
stones per day and instructed on the proper use of the splitter, all of a
sudden there were no more wavy or double or triple angled facets and level,
faceted girdles began to appear. It seems that market pressures force these
folks to produce a large amount of virtually useless stones and they use the
splitter to put polish on each individual flat spot they have put on a
gemstone. This was especially true of cutters who had been "trained" in
Mererani to cut tanzanite in a production setting; the splitter was used to
make changes on each facet, rather than cutting either a crown or a pavilion
and lining up the opposite side of the stone accordingly. I found no
Tanzanian owner of a cutting operation who would consistently accept two
well cut stones a day per cutter over eight or ten possible that could be
considered as "completed", even though all of them claim to want quality
over quantity with 40% yield on their rough, however. The problem didn't
lie with the cutters per se, as all of them adapted very well to proper
training and knew exactly what to do. Most of these owners have made money
in other arenas and are attempting to cash in, so to speak, on the pending
ban of rough from Tanzania and have no concept of what to do with a piece of
rock, besides the throwing of it. Those that do know a little, think that
the world owes them because they have a rock. Anyway, all of that is for
another time, I just found it satisfying and somewhat amusing that the GIA
finally figured out how to cut a stone.......thanks Glenn!
Subject: Re: Unusual Color-Change Garnet
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 01:48:35 -0800
To: email@example.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Tony <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Well done, you are going to have fun with that parcel.
Several years back I had a gem dealer friend that had come back
from Africa with a nice collection of stones from the Umba
Valley region. A surprising number of them were colour change
and he had a wide variety of different coloured garnets.
Actually he also had a colourless one too, although I thought it
had a very pale blue tinge to it. He had a couple of blue colour
change garnets that went pale amethyst colour.
I would recommend carefully checking on the honey/pale green ones
as they may be chrysoberyl, several of mine were but strangely
two identically coloured ones with identical change turned out
to be a garnet and a sapphire. Thanks to this little part of the
globe garnets now cover the full colour spectrum.
Subject: Mark Liccini
Date: Tue, 17 Feb 2004 09:32:21 -0500
To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "Winfield, Robert (NIH/NIMH)" <WinfielR@intra.nimh.nih.gov>
Mark Liccini is dead but you can still access his web pages here
You can still find some of his stories, a few pictures, stone treatments,
agate treatments and other stuff but you have to hunt.
Robert in Rockville, maryland
Subject: Copper Laps
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 10:27:07 -0700
To: "Faceters Digest" <email@example.com>
From: "Randy" <The-Jeweler@lifesnectar.com>
At a recent show, during a conversation about using copper laps, someone
mentioned that copper laps should never be used with water but couldn't
provide a definate reason why. I've used water on my copper laps for 15
years and have not had any problems (that I know of). Can anyone shed some
light on why oil, and not water, should be used on copper laps?
My wife says I'm stubborn, but in reality I'm just persistent
Hi Randy, I use my copper with oil, water, wd40, triflo, etc. and have seen no issues
so far. (3 years)
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 07:41:51 +1000
Can any body help out.
I seem to remember in one of the digests that it was mentioned that a
dealer / supplier of lapidary equipment and the like was situated in a
place called Bigfoot and he was the best for prices I have been searching
the net for his e mail but without any success.
Can anybody help out with the e mail address or even the web site for the
I am sorry about the lack of information but that is how I remember it but
you know what an increase in age does to ones memory.
Subject: Re: Wire Wrap
Date: Wed, 18 Feb 2004 22:17:40 -0700
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "John McLaughlin" <email@example.com>
I would suggest you purchase a video tape rather than (or in addition to) an
instruction book. No matter how detailed the book and how good the photos,
you can't see how the author is using his/her hands and tools. Rio Grande
has a couple of videos and so does Kingsley North if you are not a Rio
customer. Watching someone working with the wire while they are explaining
what they are doing will cut hours off your learning curve.
There is also a magazine devoted solely to wire wrapping that has projects
suitable for beginning wrappers, along with more advanced projects. Details
are at http://www.wag.on.ca/
There is even a sample project at the web site. The site also has links to
suppliers (the suppliers are carefully chosen based on their proven
willingness to advertise in the magazine). The list of back issues details
the skill levels and projects in each issue, and the back issues are also
If that isn't enough for you, Yahoo has a wire wrap group
While I fabricate much of my jewelry, wire wrapping is great for
highlighting cabochons, especially when both sides are polished.
As an aside, wire wrapping has another great advantage over other lapidary
and jewelry making pursuits. If you find yourself undergoing chemotherapy,
most lapidary and jewelry tasks can be too tiring. Wire wrapping needs
only some wire a stone, three or four pairs of pliers, snippers and some
common household items (tape, a ruler, marking pen, etc.). It's possible to
work for twenty minutes, sleep and then work some more. It can be done
anywhere and it is very morale boosting to be able to complete projects when
the energy is just not there for one's normal avocations.
> Subject: Wire wrap
> From: Mel Pears, Mapples54@wmconnect.com
> I am looking for a good inexpensive book that will explain how to make
> wrap jewelry. Any suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.
Subject: Highland Park Vi-Bro-Lap manual online
Date: Thu, 19 Feb 2004 22:49:28 -0900
From: Raymond Marcil <firstname.lastname@example.org>
A bit of an introduction. I'm an amatuer lapidary here in Anchorage,
Alaska. I like to cut rocks that I find locally here in Alaska. My
website, rockhounding.net (.com,.org) is usually in a state of
destruction. I am getting more consistant about posting my latest
endeavors though. I've been ever so slowly building up my lapidary
workshop of mostly vintage Highland Park equipment. I recently picked up
a 27-inch Vi-Bro-Lap and obtained a good scan of the original
instruction manual. I performed some surgery using gimp and LaTeX2e. I
turned out a pdf that I think lapidaries will find useful. This document
has a lot of good tricks and information for vibratory laps. I contacted
Diamond Pacific Tool Corporation (that bought Contempo, that bought
Highland Park) who kindly granted permission to redistribute this document.
Please see: http://www.rockhounding.net/dist/vibrolap-manual.pdf (456k)
I will leave this link up indefinately. Be advised I only have 128kb
upspeed (cable modem) so you may need to be patient downloading. Please
feel free to mirror this document as needed. Also, if you spot any
typos, errors, or omissions, let me know. I'd be interested in any other
original manuals for Highland Park, Poly, Hillquist, or other lapidary
equipment (24" HP model U is highly desirable). Good quality 300dpi
scans are most useful.
Thanks Ray, Old manuals are always usefull. If you find one for a 20 Hilquist
slab saw I could use a copy.
MESSAGES FORWARDED FROM HALE SWEENY
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 ~
A geologist's song
Sea-Floor Spreading Lament (folksong) by Brenna Lorenz
Refrain: Alas for the spreading of the ocean,
Alas for the spreading of the sea,
Alas for every year that passes by,
Taking you two inches more from me!
Oh, why did you leave our native plate,
Causing me to weep and to mourn?
With the plates diverging at such a rate,
To leave me alone and lorn?
If only the mantle would my counsel take,
If the Earth would but listen unto me,
I'd say, "Your convection cell remake,
And bring my darling back to me!"
So dive you down, you ocean dark,
Part of the mantle be-
Fire you up, you island arc -
Subduct my darling back to me!
TIDBITS AND REFLECTIONS~
The greatest good you can do for another
is not just share your riches,
but reveal to them their own.
LIST and WEBSITE INFO~
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