Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. BIO: Hale Sweeny
2. BIO: Andy Parker
3. BIO: Joan & Mack Lingenfelter
4. NEW: Polishing Obsidian
5. NEW: Stabilizing Turquoise and Opal
6. NEW: Tumbled Cabs


Subject: BIO: Hale Sweeny

I think it only appropriate that I start this first post-test issue of the
Digest with my BIO, so here it is.

I became interested in rocks and lapidary when a friend invited me to go
with him rockhounding. Bitten, I joined a club, and went to Wildacres
Retreat intending to take mineral identification. Instead I took cabbing...
and was really bitten.

Since that first exposure, I have studied - and practiced - intarsia,
channel work, opal cutting, scrimshaw and several other techniques. Channel
work, free-form and special-form cabbing, and intarsia are my current

In full circle, I now teach at Wildacres (when invited to!). I have taught
Cabbing and have assisted in teaching Channel Work, and enjoy passing it on.

I also work with both the Eastern and Southeastern Federations - my club
is a member of both Federations. I am currently Regional Vice-president of
EFMLS and State Director of SFMS.

My aim in starting this Lapidary Digest was to give a home to those who
have a primary interest in lapidary work, and who can share their knowledge
and experience with others in the field.

In real life, I live in Durham NC, am retired, married and 73 years old.
For those of you who may wish to contact me, my address is:

3500 Cambridge Drive, Durham, NC 27707 -- (919) 489-1800


Date: Fri, 27 Jun 1997 23:09:25 GMT
Subject: BIO: Andy Parker

Hi everybody
Although my wife Ann and I have only been into Lapidary for about 4
years my family has over 25 years under their belt. We get the
greatest buzz out of self-collected stones but living in north west
England limits this considerably. I learnt to cab on Scottish jasper
and agate which I still love but must admit to a love affair with fire
agate, and opal if I can get it!
I have built my own equipment, mainly out of necessity, including
tumbler, double grinder, sander/polisher and flat lap. Trim saw I had
to buy but a big saw is the next project.
I trained as a Civil Engineer and spent 14 years on mainly roads and
drainage before turning my hobby, computing, into my job when I joined
the local College to manage their computer systems. All that time
digging big holes in the ground and shifting thousands of tons of rock
and I wasn't interested in it - what a waste :-).
I am currently expermienting with freeform shapes, their cutting and
setting and suspect intarsia may be next because it looks amazing. I
would like eventually to try, if not master, most aspects of the
lapidary art with the probable exception of facetting - just too much
maths for my liking.

Andy Parker, Team Leader Information Systems, Furness College
Work :-
Home :-

Date: Sat, 28 Jun 1997 14:21:43 -0400
Subject: BIO: Joan & Mack Lingenfelter

Ok! Here is a brief BIO for my wife and I. We have been in and around
LAPIDARY for 25 plus years. In that time we have tried are areas of the
lapidary arts (except finding the animal in a block of soapstone) but we do
have the homemade equipment to do so. Joan is past President of two
Lapidary & Mineral Clubs, and at present is the Editor and (den Mother) of
the Delaware Valley Lapidary & Mineral Society in Springfield Pa. I am past
President of DVLMS, and presently a discouraged Membership Chairman, and
official teacher of cabbing and faceting for club members. We have a rather
complete workshop in the basement and more rough than we can cut in several
lifetimes. As far as equipment is concerned we have two grinding units,two
faceting machines, homemade casting unit, oven, carving tools, polishing
unit, and who knows what else.We have done casting, intarsia, channel work,
faceting, cabbing, jewelry design, and on and on.
Joan is also interested in bead stringing and mineral collecting.
Nothing on a grand scale.
I guess this sums up our interests, and if this group is as helpful
as the Faceting Digest I am sure we all ha ve a lot to learn.


Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 12:53:00 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: NEW: Polishing Obsidian

Are there any tricks to getting a high polish on an obsidian cab?
I've been using diamond 325, 1200, and 50000 but it still seems a little

Trish Councell
Denver, Colorado

Date: Fri, 20 Jun 1997 17:28:03 -0700
Subject: NEW: Stabilizing Turquoise and Opal

Dick Friesen <> recently wrote:

> For polishing very soft materials such as plastic, stabilized turquoise,
> or epoxy I have had the best luck with ZAM on a soft cotton buff.
> If any of you have had better luck with some other technique please
> share the information with us.

I've noticed the term "stabilized" used with respect to turquoise
and certain opals, and I assume this is a process of curing flaws
in a stone so as to be able to shape and polish it without getting
a lot of cracks and pits.

What are the commonly used stabilization processes?
Which techniques are used with turquoise?
Which techniques are used with opal?
How can one recognize a treated piece?

Date: Sat, 21 Jun 1997 23:39:26 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: NEW: Tumbled Cabs

Ok, now for the dumb question of the week.

I have been told by some lapidary people that they preform their cabs, fill
the tumber and let it do the polishing.

What stage do you finish to? 200, 400, 600 belts? and then toss in the
tumbler. How long do you let it polish like that? Normal time?

Thanks for indulging a brain dead camp director.

Mark Case
Randleman, NC

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