This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. NEW: End of Beta Test in Sight!
2. NEW: Technique to Fill Flaws
3. Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects
4. Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects
5. Re: Jelly Opal
6. Re: Rhodochrosite


Subject: NEW End of Beta Test in Sight!

Just a note to remind everyone that the Digest Beta test will end on this
coming Friday, June 20th. Then I will be away for one week and will
return on Saturday, June 28th. The Digest mailing list will be open for
general subscription starting Sunday June 29th.

I will send notices to Rockhounds, Rocks-and-fossils,,
Orchid and other mailing lists announcing that the list is open for
general subscription, giving full instructions for subscribing.

So far, the test has gone well, for which I thank many of you for the
many tests of features, the posted notices which made up the Digests, the
tests of downloading and other features. In particular, I thank Ken Wetz
for first telling me about the software, and then giving constructive
criticisms of such features as the Welcome letter, the Help file, and
other features.

I think the system works well, and hope it works just as well when we get
more than a hundred subscribers!


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 09:49:37 -0700
Subject: NEW Technique to Fill Flaws

Sometimes a minor flaw will show up in the later stages of sanding on
the jasper and opal cabs I work with. I bought some Opticon to try
and fill them, but the directions that came with the bottle are so brief
that I'm not sure I'm using the right method.

The technique I'm using is:

Put the cab in a small dish of the resin and let it soak
at 150 degrees for a few hours.

Remove from dish. Mix a little of the resin with the hardner
and coat the flawed areas. Bake at 150 degrees for half a day.

One of my attempts worked very well. It was an opal doublet with a
small cavity dead center that became visible on final polishing
when the oxide got into it. I got a burr from my dentist, drilled
out the cavity, filled it with Opticon, sanded off the excess at
the 400 and 600 grit wheels, and did a final polish.

But several other attempts did not turn out as well. For instance
on a piece of silver onyx, the areas of a pretty iron colored stain
were a little porous and would not produce a good surface finish.
I stopped after the 600 grit sanding (so as not to get the surface
flaws filled with polish) and treated the area with Opticon. But
when I tried to lightly re-sand the surface, the porosity came right

Any ideas?

- Brad Smith
Los Angeles

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 09:49:39 -0700
To: <>
Subject: Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects

> Then I found that the glass craftsmen...use a glass etching paste
> made partially from fluoric(?) acid...

Hydrofluoric acid will etch glass, but it's REAL NASTY stuff.
I've heard reports that even minor exposure will begin leaching
the calcium from your body.

Hale, stick to the air gun!

From: Hale Sweeny
Subject: Re: Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects

Thanks, Brad, for the reminder. I usually get Material Safety Data
Sheets on all potentially hazardous chemicals I use, and I had not
in this case. I just ordered one from the supplier, and will check
this material for the actual hazards I will incur.


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 10:10:49 -0700
To: <>
Subject: Re: Jelly Opal

Mark Case asked:

> I got a few nice pieces of jelly opal in a trade the other day...
> Since I have never worked with opals, where do I begin?

I've just started working with opals in the last four months.
The best book I've found is Opal Cutting Made Easy by Paul Downing.
It's available for $5.95 from Majestic Press, Estes Park, CO
Call them at 800 468-0324 to find out how much the mailing is.

Downing also had a good article in Rock & Gem October 1996.

- Brad

Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 13:18:48 -0400
To: <>
Subject: Re: Rhodochrosite

At 11:04 AM 6/14/97 -0400, you wrote:
learn. P.S. There's a tendancy to undercut the white banding, Calcite (?)
>during the polishing phase, but make astoundingly beautiful gems. I have a
>pentiant for Rhodochrosite myself (sorry Hale), ecspecially facet grade!

Facetable Rhodochrosite is only found in Africa.In Argentina one mine(Santa
Rita) andalgala, catamarca, Argentina produces crystals.but almost all are
covered with a off white,I think Calcite.

Mark Liccini
Gemstone Rough Dealers since 1970 U.S.MAIL
E-Mail: 107 C.Columbus Dr.#1A Jersey City,N.J.07302
Voice Mail/Fax: 201-333-6332


Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 11:46:01 -0700
Subject: NEW: DIR & GET

The DIR & GET commands worked fine for me.

I'll make another suggestion here, if you can find some scripting support
software for your PC (I don't know what type of machine you have) you
may be able to do an automatic massage boundry insertion (it is relatively
easy to write in UNIX). If you can do this, then you could use the same
software to break the messages up for the archives. That would alow retrieval
by subject. I would not even consider it manually.

Dick Friesen

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