LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 284 - Friday, May 07, 2004
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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Here is this weeks edition.
Have a great weekend.
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: Polishing Quartz
02 RE: Automated Faceting Machine
03 RE: Automated Faceting Machine
04 RE: bio Roxanna Abela
05 NEW: Cristinite - A New Created Gemstone!
06 NEW: Better Photos
07 NEW: Jade and equipment questions
Subject: Re: polishing quartz
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 15:58:17 EDT
I have found that a tin lap with cerium oxide will give you less trouble and
a great polish on quartz than anything else overall. I have and use batt with
50,000 red wing with 14.000/50000, alumina as well as cerium on plastic and
corian but keep going back to the tin lap with corian for the (devil) stones.
Billy Stringfellow has me using wax and cerium on corian and I am sold on that
for most other stones. It works well on most everything but corundums. I use
my ceramic with 50,000 for those. For some reason quartz will drive you nuts
polishing. Dennis on the North Coast
Subject: Re: Automated machines
Date: Mon, 3 May 2004 16:04:39 EDT
I downloaded the little video on the auto. unit and from what I could see
they use 2 laps? I am assuming one for cutting and one for polishing?
Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. If that is correct I would wonder what grit they cut with. Also in
my experience getting two laps absolutly the same is a bit of a miracle. Perhaps the
computer operated unit can detect and make micro (cheater) adjustments. Could
it be the machine (and I assume it is) set up for the commercial trade that
may be a bit less discerning? Just wondering. The query about polishing a
table on quartz prompted this response on the auto. unit. We have all been there
and done that. How would the computer detect a less than acceptable polish?
Dennis on the North Coast
Subject: Re: an automatic facetting machine
Date: Tue, 04 May 2004 02:15:56 -0700
To: email@example.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Don Rogers <Don@Campbell-gemstones.com>
>The cutting edge
>Are machines that cut gemstones the wave of the future or an unnecessary
The quick answers to your two questions are yes, and maybe.
The first part.
Just take a look at the machines produced in the last five or 10 years and
compare them with the machines made 20 or 30 years ago. Take a look a
Protractors. We went from a brass protractor with a pointer to 0.01 degree
digital readouts. Depth of cuts. We've gone from "feel" to dial indicator
and B/W indicators. Variable speed motor controls, Reversible
laps, Tossed out water pump shafts for arbor bearings and went with good
quality, well designed arbor bearings. Thrown away the painted cast
aluminum and went machined and anodized aluminum.
In other words, the faceting machines of today are head and shoulders above
the machines of 30 years ago. Now, have we reached the pentacle of
perfection with them. Not by a long shot. So, there is still a lot of
room for improvements. The thing with the machines though is that almost
all improvements have been very gradual. No shock to the hobby or trade.
Take a look at machining metals. In the 60's, when I went through my
apprenticeship, almost all cutting was done to a scribed line. Today, it
is almost all done by CNC controls. The parts were laid out from
blueprints that were drawn with a T squares, french curves and a set of
triangles. Today, it done on a computer screen with 100 times the
accuracy. This link between computer and machine is becoming more and more
ingrained in our lives. In every aspect.
So, how does this translate to faceting? One of the programs used by most
Faceters today is GemCad. When Carl first published it, I'm sure it was
not well accepted. Just another toy. Today, I can't, this should really
read won't, set down to facet without running the cut through GemCad for a
proof first. As the program is the basic drawing program for a CNC
operation, the next step is obvious.
Is this going to take away the accomplishments of faceter? No. The old
guys in the tool room grumbled and complained about the new "Automated"
cutting machines. Going to take away their work. Well, they were somewhat
right. they took away the cranking of wheels, measuring cuts, and all of
the tedious stuff related to machining. What wasn't eliminated was the
judgement and skill of setting up the machine to make the cuts. The same
will be true with CNC faceting machines. It will take all the skills the
old timer has ever used to get that stone aligned just right, so you could
get the maximum yield and still get the best out of the stone and then
setting that alignment up in the machine. This is judgment and skill, and
no machine that I know of today can do better than a human at this. The
real test is can the faceter master the new skills required to make it all
This all reminds me of a discussion that was on the old Faceters Digest, I
think it was, about if faceting an Art, or is it science.
Now, the second long answer. It will be an unnecessary expense only as
long as it isn't any benefit to what you are doing. If you are cutting one
stone every month, it could be a very expensive toy, If you are cutting
one stone a day, the cost could be very attractive, If you are trying to
cut four or five stones a day, I don't see how you could get along without it.
Subject: Re: Bio; Roxanna Abela
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 10:14:27 -0600
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: "jake" <email@example.com>
".. I would truly like to get started in lapidary skills and would
appreciate any feed back or information on where to start. I believe that
lapidary work should be kept alive and am very excited to get going. Thank
you for your time and I hope to hear from you soon."
The very best thing you can do is to find a local club. This also has the
great advantage of exposing you to a lot of experience. My club's shop/class
dose silversmithing and some of those people are rather good at it, the
advantage is you will learn tips and tricks as well as get many ideas for
some project. Some of these people have been cutting for decades and can
teach you a thing or two. People also donate rock that has been slabbed;
occasionally this is quite good, I just finished a large bright multi-color
jasper cab that is a "to die for." The statement is not without merit as I
have cut a bit of turquoise and some opal as well as labadorite etc. This is
also a good place to trade, I have given away some things as well as been
given things. But mostly you will enjoy yourself, I will eventually have a
home shop and technically not need any class/shop. Actually I could get by
without it now, but I will continue to go because for one thing you will
make friends, I actually like helping out and sharing what I know when I
can. (Some of the newer members think I am knowledgeable, this is rather
scary, I have made jokes about as the blind leading the blind, this probably
is closer to the truth. I have however leaned quite a bit and learn
something new all the time. Mostly I enjoy myself; this is one of the best
things I have done.)
It seems that as a group, people involve in this are the most open and
honest you will find, open minded and willing to help. You will as said
learn a great deal. I will mention another site that all those on this list
may wish to bookmark, as this is yet another very good source of
information, The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. http://www.vgms.org
Another source that can often be invaluable is who you buy from, the
goldsmith I bought the labadorite from was more than helpful in explaining
how to orienate and cut it (this usually comes pre-sawed and orianated), as
well as sharing other information. The guy I bought some Fox Mine turquoise
from last year was not at the Ogden show in March. I wandered over to the
McOpal booth, out of curiosity I asked do you have anything to cut. The
reply was, as a matter of fact I do, this was not the best stuff but I more
than got my money out of it, already. Over the next few days at the show
when things were a bit slow I talked the guy again, he was more than willing
to share quite a bit of information and cutting tips.
Subject: Cristinite - A New Created Gemstone!
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 11:22:24 -0600
From: "Todd" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I hope this post finds everyone doing well. Denver's weather
has played havoc on my pain levels and I've had a tough time of it lately.
Friday & Saturday it was in the 30's with snow and icy rain, Sunday it was
approaching 80 with temps today (Tuesday) going as high as 86. Sheesh,
well they say if you don't like the weather in Denver wait 10 minutes.
Anyway without further delay; on to the topic of this post!
Has anyone else received an email with the title of this post? I sign up
for a lot of updates/newsletters regarding the colored stone trade so I might
have signed up for this. I wanted to see if the addresses were "harvested"
from the Lapidary Digest, if he bought one of the lists Mike Williams has
made available, or what. Lemme know if you've gotten this email.
It's about a "new" man-made gemstone material made by "an
innovative Australian company, Advanced Crystallisation Technology",
called; Cristinite. It's available only from a company called Pinnacle Jewels.
They're listed as the internet distributor. Here's the link to their
From what I read and saw, it's got an R/I from 1.54 to 1.64,
a hardness between 5.50 and 7.0 on the Mohs scale and a Specific Gravity
of between 2.60 to 3.62. I guess the variable figures depend on the
coloring agent they use in taking the clear material to a colored one, I dunno.
It does come in a fairly wide range of colors, and some really neat
bi-colored and even tri-colored material, something you don't see all that much.
They do have some really nice solid colors, Lilac, Peach,
Lite and Deep Peridot Green, New England, Beryl & Emerald Green, a beryllium
baked Golden Sapphire color, Amber & Hessonite oranges, Sapphire,
Pacific, Ceylon, Aqua, and Teal Blues, the standard Citrine Yellows, Ruby Red,
Pink & clear. It seems to be sold in either about 25 or 50 +/- carat chunks.
The bi-color's are Blue/Orange, or Lite Green/Pink and the tri-color's are
Red/Clear/Blue. They offer two color change ones; an Alexandrite Purple,
and a Honey to Lt Green. They even have Opaque colors of it in; Light
Turquoise & a Marlborough Green Chrysoprase color.
Evidently it needs no orientation except for the bi & tri
colored pieces obviously. They recommend you can cut it on a 600 grit
lap and go right to Cerium Oxide, or to pre-polish larger facets w/a 1200
lap. You can also polish it with 50,000 diamond, or Alumina. Heck what can't
you polish it with, lol?
I've got an order for some of it in various colors to try
out. I didn't get any of the bi or tri colored pieces as they're a lot more
than the solids. Okay, I know $50 for a 50ct piece isn't a LOT of money in
the rough trade, but I wanted to see how it cuts/polishes/looks first before
I try 'em out.
Sorry for my long ramble about it, you know me. As always I
have no business affiliation with this company, the material or anything to
do with it other than to talk about it. Hope you take a look at the link.
Take care and do good all,
todd of 'Todz Rox'
home of 'Kustom Kut' colored gemstones
"It isn't one of Todz Rox, unless it's Kustom Kut"
Hi Todd, I received this mailing as well. I hope he did not harvest
his addresses. I suspect that most of our (and any other discussion
group list) addresses have been "harvested" by vendors of such
informational data bases and may therfore be purchased from said
same personal information robbers.
Some months back John contacted me and told me he would like to
offer sample parcels to the list membership (for a small price).
He sent me a sample parcel of rough. It contained 5 pieces plus a
green piece that had already been cut.
He unfortunately did not ever post his offer to the list. The material
that I received cuts a bright lively stone. It cuts and polishes easily,
much like glass and in my opinion resembles Laser Gems material
from Creative Gems in properties and price. I have not seen the
multi-colors any where else though.
Subject: Better Photos
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 16:06:46 EDT
I may have posted a comment about this before but I just have to do it again.
When you find a product that makes your life easier and makes you look like
you know what you are doing, you just have to make sure others hear about it.
Some time ago I purchased a Cloud Dome for taking pictures
of jewelry and stones for our web site. I can still remember how I struggled to get
reasonable photos. The Cloud Dome made it so much easier. I also just attended a
one day seminar Cloud Dome put on here and learned even more. You can mess around
with Tupperware and gallon milk cartons but if you are serious about good photos,
you owe it to yourself to check them out. I also do a lot on Ebay and good
photos really help sales. You can see them at: http://www.clouddome.com/.
I am in no way affiliated with this company, just a very happy user.
Subject: Jade and equipment questions
Date: Thu, 6 May 2004 17:29:50 -0500
From: "Criss Morgan" <email@example.com>
I have a large block of Jade that I'm in the process of slabbing, and need
some information about it.
An elderly friend from San Francisco, Mrs. Barbara Gray, gave it to me a
year or so ago, and she identified it as Wyoming Jade. It is a dark green
color and has light pink blotches throughout, and she told me she can't
remember whether the pink blotches are Rhodonite, or Rhodochrosite. Since
she is almost 99 years old, I can forgive her lapse of memory. Is anyone
familiar enough with this jade to tell me what the pink mineral might be?
My 72 year old Mother has asked me to make her a box from this Jade for her
Mother's Day gift, even if it's going to be a late gift. I've never made a
box from rock before, although I'm an experienced lapidary. Does anyone have
any hints that would make this project go smoothly?
I have seen many boxes before and have paid attention to how most of them
were constructed. I like the ones with mitered corners much better than the
ones which have the slabs just butted together. I've seen the Diamond
Pacific advertisements for their "The Boxer" attachment for the Genie
machine. Is this attachment worth the money? Does anyone know of a good way
to miter the corners on the slabs to 45 degrees without having to spend a
lot of money? I have several different grinding units, as well as a Fac-Ette
faceting machine, and I feel like there must be some way to build a jig that
will let me cut the mitered joints I'd prefer to use.
My last question is whether anyone has any good hints about polishing this
jade. Would it be better to polish the pieces of the box before I assemble
them, or should I wait until the box is completed?
All help you can give me will be greatly appreciated. This is a very
special project to me, and I'd really like to create a masterpiece of a box.
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
SELF SERVE http://www.gemcutters.org/cgi-bin/classifieds/classifieds.cgi
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
Subject: Todays Funny
Date: Tue, 4 May 2004 21:23:34 -0400
From: "J Wagstaff" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
WORD SCRABBLE Someone out there either has too much spare time or is
deadly at Scrabble. (Wait till you see the last one)!
GEORGE BUSH: When you rearrange the letters: HE BUGS GORE
DORMITORY: When you rearrange the letters: DIRTY ROOM
EVANGELIST: When you rearrange the letters: EVIL'S AGENT
PRESBYTERIAN: When you rearrange the letters: BEST IN PRAYER
DESPERATION: When you rearrange the letters: A ROPE ENDS IT
THE MORSE CODE: When you rearrange the letters: HERE COME DOTS
SLOT MACHINES: When you rearrange the letters: CASH LOST IN ME
ANIMOSITY: When you rearrange the letters: IS NO AMITY
MOTHER-IN-LAW: When you rearrange the letters: WOMAN HITLER
SNOOZE ALARMS: When you rearrange the letters: ALAS! NO MORE Z'S
A DECIMAL POINT: When you rearrange the letters: I'M A DOT IN PLACE
THE EARTHQUAKES: When you rearrange the letters: THAT QUEER SHAKE
ELEVEN PLUS TWO: When you rearrange the letters: TWELVE PLUS ONE
TIDBITS AND REFLECTIONS~
All kids are gifted;
some just open their packages earlier than others.
LIST and WEBSITE INFO~
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