Issue No. 265 - Friday, January 30, 2004
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
http://www.gemcutters.org or
Index to Today's Digest

01  RE: Tumbling Sapphire
02  RE: Video Taping a Performance
03  FS: faceting rough
04  RE: Info Request - Stabilizing procedure
05  RE: Killer Topaz - Stephen
06  RE: Graves modification / Alignment
07  WTB: Rainbow Moonstone
08  BIO:  Stephen Kotlowski


Subject: Tumble polishing sapphire
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 17:07:21 -0500
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: Denney Wilson <denney.wilson@att.net>

The only way I have heard to do sapphire and get a good polish is to use
either Aluminum Oxide or diamond grits for ALL stages, including rough
through final polish.  Most other materials are too soft to do the job
in a normal lifetime, as far as I know.  With the AlO2, you will need a
very long time, but it is possible (after all, sapphire is AlO2).
 Diamond, of course, will work but the cost is far higher than most
people want to pay. 

There is a way that I have seen used that "cheats" and makes it appear
that a good polish has been done on a sapphire (or any stone).  The dead
give-away is that the stone still has sharp edges and rough places even
with a high "polish".  The trick is to thoroughly clean the stone (with
sapphire, an acid such as muriatic, is usually used) then, after drying
thoroughly, spray coat it with a material found in craft shops called
"tole coat".  It looks acceptable, sometimes, but is not a real polish.

Denney :L. Wilson
Wilson Lapidary


Subject: Video Taping A Performance
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 17:06:03 -0600
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "Paul Newman" <Vet.Surgeon@verizon.net>

I know this has nothing directly to do with faceting, but since my second
hobby is doing sound and video for my wife, a Christian artist (who I will
shamelessly plug if it is okay www.stormiesheldon.com) I thought I might
just let Glenn know that the only way to get a decent tape is to plug the
external mic cord from the camera directly into the sound board that is
being used to run the sound through the P.A. system. This gets rid of all
the echo's and you get a great video and audio signal. I use a simple MiniDV
camera, and I found that the newer, and not very expensive, digital cameras
do a really good job with video and audio. It is a fairly simple process to
then make a DVD on your computer and clean up any sound problems video
glithes. I would be happy to produce the DVD for the group if someone sends
me a MiniDV tape of the next event. However, professionals are worth their
weight in gold!!! I, unfortunately, have moved to Nashville TN to further
Stormie's career and my Facetron made the move fabulously.
I am working on some beautiful Congo Tourmaline and enjoying the four
seasons TN has to offer.
Is there an association that anyone knows of in Middle TN???

Regards to all from TN,

Paul Newman, D.V.M.


Subject: faceting roughs for sale!
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 15:50:47 -0800
To: <faceters@caprock-spur.com>
From: "b-daw" <b-daw@pacbell.net>

Happy Holidays, a bit late, to you all, Thurmond included!
It has been along time since I have made a post.  Seems like one thing
after another happening at this end, but i am back and would like to
offer everybody some new roughs!
rubellite tourmalines up to 5g/each, $8-$12/g depending on size
mixed color kunzites, assorted sizes, $2/g
blue topaz, asst. sizes $2/g
blue beryl, avg. 1-2g/ea, $4/g
honey colored topaz, $2/g  (new shipment, also have
emerald, avg 1-1.5/g, $35/g
i also have two parcels of cut stones if anybody wants/needs apatite or
citrine, please inquire of me. =20
thank you for the post Thurmond!


Subject: Re: Info Request - Stabilizing procedure
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 20:02:21 -0800
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Phillip L Stonebrook <plstonebrook@juno.com>

Greetings list and Phil in Albuquerque...

I'm sure others that do this routinely have their own favorite approach
but, quite honestly, it's nothing more involved than dissolving the 2
tubes of resin and hardener (it seems any old store variety of epoxy will
work) in a jar with plenty of acetone, adding the cleaned and dry rough
and letting that cabbing material set in the jar for a week or so. After
removal, let it completely dry out (2-4 weeks) on news paper (it will
stick) and there you are .. fine tune this process for best effect. After
it's dry, cab away. You'll notice an improvement in material integrity as
well as color.

If you desire to include faceted gems, this procedure is a little more
complicated, but basically involves using "Opticon", a form of 24 hour
set 2 part epoxy with a RI at 1.54. After a faceted stone is cut and
polished, my preferred method is to immerse the gem in a small metal film
vial, set it on your dop wax pot or other warm surface that will allow it
to warm up slowly (to make the opticon less viscous), and then cycle the
gem (still under the warm opticon) in a vacuum chamber several times
between atmospheric pressure and the highest vacuum you can pull. This
"pumps" the air out of any fracture and forces the opticon to fill that
void. Works great just like this after a good cleanup with a paper towel.
Optionally, you can give the gem a light finger coat of the hardener (use
disposable gloves) included with opticon and wipe all of this off with a
tissue if you wish to permanently "harden" the impregnated resin, but I
very seldom do this .. just doesn't seem to be necessary.

Others have said to just seal the film vial (tighten the lid real tight)
and let it "cook" overnight in a pan of water that is slowly brought up
to a low boil, and then let cool to room temp. This process relies on the
build up of pressure inside the film vial to "force" the opticon into any
fracture plane. I guess I'm not brave enough to try this approach, as I
have hesitations about thermal shock and color stability, but others have
reported good results.

After I looked into this enough to satisfy my curiosity on it's
capabilities, I very seldom use either process now, even though marginal
cabbing material is brought into usefulness, and facet material clarity
is improving by as much as 2 grades if done correctly (professionals
might even include an acid boil pre-treatment to evacuate mineral
deposits in the fracture), since it has a negative "stigma" to it brought
on by those in the past that didn't make full disclosure .. remember to
make full disclosure to customers if you use this.

Hope this helps .. good luck.....
Phil in Florida


Hi Phil,  Just wondering if anyone knows anything about the Sterling Process for
Stabilizing Turquoise.



Subject: Re: Killer Topaz - Stephen
Date: Fri, 23 Jan 2004 20:03:57 -0800
To: faceters@caprock-spur.com
From: Phillip L Stonebrook <plstonebrook@juno.com>

Greetings STEPHEN....

What a KILLER blue topaz in your link yesterday!

I just finished an over 1000ct smokey rough which I cut into a step cut
oval (I wanted to see how an accurately cut large gem compared to a
"native cut" stone to get a feel for what they go thru) of 200cts, 32 x
41mm, with a 17 x 25mm table facet. What a job to polish this guy, but it
was just a trial run to prepare to cut a light blue topaz rough of 700cts
.. but nothing in color saturation to compare with your stone.

Anyhow, why don't you tell us how you cut and polished this doorknob,
with enough detail to benefit my upcoming cutting project, and other
doorknob cutters. If I do well on this, I may just cut that 5 LB (yep -
11,450cts) boulder of colorless CZ that's sitting (and beckoning) on my
window sill!

Thanks ... and welcome back,
Phil in Florida


Subject: Re: Graves alignment, Jan. 23
Date: Sat, 24 Jan 2004 11:59:44 -0500 (EST)
To: tony@stoffel.com, lapidary@caprock-spur.com
From: DaveWoolley@webtv.net (Dave Woolley)


I love the Graves for its simplicity, its fit to my hand, and its
intuitive operation. But I dislike some of its short comings. I've sent
several suggestions to Peter at the Graves factory for improvements but
have not head that they were implemented.

When my local rock club got started a few years ago, I was asked to
write monthly articles. The result was a series that I titled "Scratches
from the Master Lap" which documented my learning curve and included
experimenting that I did on my Graves Mark IV plus experimenting that my
friend Marcus Beale did on his Ultra Tec.

I suggest you do an internet search for that title. It includes my
method to align the Graves which may give you some help when you turn
your machine over. It also documents the development of the
"Beale/Woolley Depth of Cut Indicator" which also see. Some sites have
posted pictures of the actual Graves modification with it. (Thanks

I hope to start making the prototype tool for the Graves this week. If
it proves successful, I hope to make a couple for Beta testing to be
included with the first production run of my improved "pinch bearing"
all ready completed.

The improved "pinch bearing" and an Ohmmeter with a good alignment
should make an old Grave a top machine (if nothing else is worn out: see
the Scratches article for help on worn out items).

Best regards,
Dave Woolley


Subject: Rainbow Moonstone Wanted
Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2004 16:21:14 -0500
To: lapidary@caprock-spur.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: mskelly <mskelly@gte.net>

         I have an acquaintance who needs a piece of decent rainbow
moonstone suitable for cabbing into a pear shape approximately one inch
high by three-quarters of an inch wide -- or a finished stone. If anyone
has such, please e-mail me off-list with price and shipping.
         Thanks much

mike in West Coast Florida


Subject: Bio
From: stkkotlowski.ny@netzero.net

My background is with Ultra Tec machines.   I teach faceting,  though
it's been a long while since my last student and I formally sold Ultra
Tec equipment.  I also repair and modify Ultra Tec faceting machines.    
I started way back in 1968 as a teenager Rock Hound who is self
taught in faceting.   I have a BS degree in Geology and a GG in
residence from GIA NYC,   I also received a Certified position in 1989
as  CSM - Certified Supreme Master Facetor from the ASG - American
Society of Gem cutter's.   The previous year 1988 was when I was
the "first" person to receive a First Place Gemmy Award from the ASG
for Faceting in the  "Professional" category all this while I was employed
as Head Gem cutter and Advisor at Krementz Gemstone's, a division
of Krementz  in Newark NJ .   During my short time with Krementz,
1987-1989,   I also helped create custom cut gemstone designs for
entries into the AGTA's  Spectrum Awards for jewelry,   with jewelry
designers'  Judy Evans and Maria Cannali  who both won several
Spectrum Awards with help from Head Gold Smith Andre Hann.  
I also cut a number of gemstones that won AGTA Cutting Edge
Awards.  One of the most interesting and difficult of stones I cut
was for a collector from Chicago who had me cut  a 80mm in diameter
688 facet Sphere that was designed on Gem Cad,   the material was
Lithium Niobate and the finished weight,  5,577.76 carats.   about the
size of a baseball.   There were a number of very large faceted stones
that I'm responsible for cutting another of which was a "Door Knob"
of a CZ nicknamed "Biggie" again designed on Gem Cad,  that belongs
to a good friend and former student from NJ.   actually I cut a number
of Large CZ's for him " Biggie " being  62.40mm in diameter with 410
facets and weighing in at 2,480? carats.   I've include the Gem Cad
directions and a photo of what it looked like just before transferring it
with the pavilion finished.   The table on this stone was over 50mm
across about the size of a silver dollar,   it took me over three hours
to polish it!   all of the facets meet at 14X  and the polish is flawless.  
The key to polishing CZ,  Sapphire and YAG is to pre polish with a
knurled copper lap with 8,000 diamond and just a few drops of WD40
at a moderately fast speed and then 100,000 grit diamond on a knurled
8 inch Zinc lap lubricated with just a drop or two of WD40 spun at Max
speed with moderate pressure sweeping the lap rapidly.  I've used the
BATT lap ( Used it exclusively for several months)  but switched back
to the Zinc lap due to it's lubricity being far superior to BATT,  the BATT
would heat up and grab the facets where the Knurled Zinc would not
plus it held the knurls far longer.


Sorry Steve the Gem Cad file was not readable.

Here is another of Steve's "Doorknobs" LOL



None Today








PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)






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

From: Doug Smith <gembin@spiff.net>


1.  Kidnappers are not very interested in you.

2. In a hostage situation you are likely to be released first.

3. No one expects you to run - anywhere.

4.  People call at 9 PM and ask, "Did I wake you?

5. People no longer view you as a hypochondriac.

6. There is nothing left to learn the hard way.

7. Things you buy now won't wear out.

8.  You can eat dinner at 4 PM.

9. You enjoy hearing about other people's operations.

10. You get into heated arguments about pension plans.

11. You have a party and the neighbors don't even realize it.

12. You no longer think of speed limits as a challenge.

13. You quit trying to hold your stomach in, no matter who walks into
the room.

14. You sing along with elevator music.

15. Your eyes won't get much worse.

16. Your investment in health insurance is finally beginning to pay off.

17. Your joints are more accurate meteorologists than the National
Weather Service.

18. You lick your fingers to turn a page.

19. You finally find your magnifying glass under a pile of papers.

20. Your secrets are safe with your friends because they can't remember
them either.

21. Your supply of brain cells is finally down to manageable size.
22. You can't remember who sent you this list.

Yep! 2 funnies today.

Frank lavin" <nival42@hotmail.com>

An honest man was being tailgated by a stressed-out woman on a busy
Boulevard.  Suddenly, the light turned yellow, just in front of him.

He did the right thing, stopping at the crosswalk, even though he
could have beaten the red light by accelerating through the intersection.

The tailgating woman hit the roof, and the horn, screaming in frustration
as she missed her chance to get through the intersection with him.

As she was still in mid-rant, she heard a tap on her window and looked
up into the face of a very serious police officer

The officer ordered her to exit her car with her hands up.  He took her
to the police station where she was searched, fingerprinted, photographed,
and placed in a cell.

After a couple of hours, a policeman approached the cell and opened the
door. She was escorted back to the booking desk where the arresting
officer was waiting with her personal effects.

He said, "I'm very sorry for this mistake.  You see, I pulled up behind your
car while you were blowing your horn, flipping the guy off in front of you,
and cussing a blue streak at him.  I noticed the 'Choose Life' license plate
holder, the 'What Would Jesus Do' bumper sticker, the 'Follow Me to Sunday
School' bumper sticker, and the chrome- plated Christian fish emblem on the

Naturally, I assumed you had stolen the car."


Patience is bitter but its fruit is sweet.



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