Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 39
2. Printing/Scrolling Problem (Issue 38)
3. Printing/Scrolling Problem (Issue 38)
4. NEW: What is "Sun Stone"
5. RE: Dangers of Rock Dust
6. RE: Polishing Intarsia
7. RE: Polishing A Star Ruby (was 23-3)
8. BIO: Dave Daigle
9. BIO: Steve Ramsdell


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 39

The last issue yesterday was completely accidental. Came to the computer, still sleepy from a nap, and hit a button marked "Get Mail Now". OOPS!! Hit the wrong button - actually hit " Send Next Digest", and away it went, ready or not!!! Fortunately, it was almost ready!!

A total of seven people reported some problem with getting, reading or printing the Digest. I am still trying to understand the problem. As a test, I have made sure that this issue does not have any hard returns, except at the ends of paragraphs; please tell me about any problems you have with THIS issue (Issue #39)

If any of you are experience in operating vibrating laps, please write me at and tell me briefly about your experiences, your vibrating lap and what you polish. I want to do a whole issue on vibrating laps sometime and want help from our members. The letters you send will not be published; at this time, I just want to identify members with experience.
I'll confess: I won't be worth a d*mn this week - my grandchildren (and daughter) came last night for a week's visit! So we will be lucky if anything gets published! (smile) Have a great week!


Subject: Printing/Scrolling Problem (Issue 38)

In a message dated 97-08-02 11:37:21 EDT, you write:

<<One member of the list has a housekeeping problem for which we have tried to find a solution. When he prints out a Digest, he gets partial sentences and cut-off sentences. He has tried saving the Digest to a file and printing the file, but the same problem recurs. DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE THIS PROBLEM?

Another member said that the text runs off the screen and she has to scroll to see the ends of each line. >>

Sounds like a mismatch with your users "word wrap" settings. It seems logical that the digest software not add carriage returns to limit line lengths to a given number, so likely what's happening is that the carriage returns are only at the end of paragraphs. If your readers read this without turning on a word wrap feature, then the lines will truncate. Same thing, if the software reading it works fine, but the print function doesn't know it has to "word wrap" the lines. It's even possible that some software setups will only save a given line length, and discard the rest, so saving a file with long (unwrapped) lines might end up truncating each paragraph at the end of the first line.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe

Subject: Printing/Scrolling Problem (Issue 38)

I managed to find a solution to my scrolling problem. My machine is a Pentium 90, and the software is Compuserve for Windows 3.0.1. I discovered that my software allows me to switch fonts by hitting Ctrl+T. That seems to have eliminated the problem I was having. The Digests switch from scrolling beyond the screen to wrapping.

I do sometimes see a word cut off in the middle with an "!". The text just continues on the next line, and I don't consider it to be much of a problem.

Just thought I'd let you know.

Dianne Karg
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Subject: NEW: What is "Sun Stone"

I bought four interesting cabs at a jewelry show that the seller said were "sun stone." Does anyone know what this is? Is it rock/plastic? Is it natural/treated?

They are varying heights and sizes so I will have to make my own small bezels, therefore it would help to know what the hardness is.

--Kathi Parker, MoonScape Designs (

Subject: RE: Dangers of Rock Dust

Here's an item for a slow day. You've devoted lots of space lately to the dangers of breathing rock dust. In the current Lapidary Journal (August '97), June Culp Zeitner's "Shop Helps" column points out that the longest word in the third edition of Webster's Unabridged Dictionary describes the condition caused by breathing fine silica or quartz dust. I'd think people would avoid doing so simply because, at some future time, someone might ask them the name of their illness and they'd have to say: "pneumonoultramioropicsilicovolcanoniosis."

While it's a fairly minor danger, gem hobbyists who go on to learn to cast their own lost-wax settings should avoid breathing casting investment (plaster) both when mixing it and when boiling it out of hot casting flasks in cold water. Investment is made of cristobalite, which is dangerous when large quantities are breathed. It's mostly a danger in big production shops and the occasional caster shouldn't be paranoid about it, but since there are people who have lung ailments who might be affected by light exposure. A good mask can't hurt.

Rick Martin

Subject: RE: Polishing Intarsia

<<Is there an easy way to polish intarsia made out of material with wildly different hardnesses ? Ken Wetz >>

Ken, Sounds like a beautiful piece. I have had some limited success with polishing on a flat lap using various thin materials ( felt, canvas, Leather) glued to old metal faceting discs. This has given me a fairly flat solid surface so undercutting has been minimized. This has helped, but not resolved the problem. I personally have conceded to materials of like hardness. Would be interested in alternatives and suggestions as well.
Thanks and best wishes

Gemstone Brokerage Associates Ltd. Telephone (518) 438-5487
Http:// Http://
Email addresses:

Subject: RE: Polishing A Star Ruby (was 23-3)

<<I'd like to know what is used for a final polish on a star ruby.>>

I polish my star sapphires (corundum, same as Rubies) with 16000 diamond grit. An even finer polish could be obtained by using "Linde a", but it is a very slow process. I use vinyl (plastic) floor tile which I glue onto an old lap. I try to keep the speed down in order to prevent overheating of the stone which could result in a lost stone. This method works fine for me and I hope this will be of help.

Albert Alberth ** Old Rubyvale Rd.- Sapphire-Queensland
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~** ...... Australia - 4702.............** Tel. +61 79 854278 ..............
.. .....

Subject: BIO: Dave Daigle

Greetings Fellow Laps!

My name is Dave Daigle and I hail from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Here we have 10 months of good skiing and two months of bad :>

I am a 42 year young married guy..whose wife of 23 yrs does not share in my hobby of Lapidary, Jewellery, and Rockhounding ....unless the stone is a color she likes and therefore wants :> I came to Edmonton from New Brunswick 16 yrs ago and started work for the Government in the Justice System.

I am a novice, a newbie, a beginner at this art and have only been involved in the last 6 years or so. I started collecting fossils around the world famous Drumheller ~ Dinosaur Park areas and became addicted, although as kids I believe we all were, too... It's like a second childhood :> Through courses taken in Drumheller and here at home I became interested in the lapidary side of it, purchased some used equipment and away I went. I couldn't find settings to fit my freeform work with Ammulite, so I took Silversmithing courses and now make my own settings as well. I am mainly doing work with Ammonite now but enjoy the beauty of all stones and ...just ask my wife...have a basement full of future cabs.

I am willing to answers all that I can., although from looking at the credentials of the bios before mine, it's doubtful that I shall have to :)

Great job Hale, I am learning so much from the Digest. Sorry for the length of this BIO, I tend to ramble :>

Thank You and Take Care


Dave Daigle
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Subject: BIO: Steve Ramsdell


My name is Steve Ramsdell. I have been involved with lapidary for almost 30 years.

For many years I taught stone cutting and jewelry making in Chicago. I have always enjoyed collecting and working on new materials. I have also been an avid fossil collector. That is a whole story in itself.

For the last few years I have been a 6th grade science teacher. This has cut down the amount of time I can get out to the shop! I like to hear what others have to say about the hobby and will contribute when I can.

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