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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 63 - Thurs 9/25/97
2. NEW: Causes of Pits in Formed and Carved Jasper
3. Re: Training and Certification to be a Judge
4. RE: Orienting Phenomenal Stones - Aquamarine
5. TIP: Refurbishing Old Equipment
6. Re: Grinding Wheels
7. RE: Soapstone Carving Rough and Supplies
8. RE: Labradorite and Peristerite
9. SHOW: Gastonia, NC
10. RE: Refurbishing an Old Lapidary Machine (was 62)
11. RE: BUDDSTONE (Was 62)


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 63 - Thurs 9/25/97

Some of you may have noticed that the last two items in
the last Issue, #62, were not formatted like the others.
Before sending out an issue, I format all items to a
standard, reorder so that, for example, NEW items are
first and BIOs are last, and finally do a spell check.
When this is through, I press the button and the software
connects to the ISP and sends them out. Well, this time,
the software stopped and checked for new mail, right in
the middle of them being sent out! And two items were
waiting in the wings, so they were read in and added at
the end of some of the messages but not others. (I thank
Eric Duncan for helping me find this out.) To make sure
that all of you have all of the messages, I am attaching
them to this issue as the last two items.

Members have been sending in, and we have been collecting
a number of TIPS, which will appear occasionally in the
Digest. The first is below, and seems a propos since
refurbishing old equipment is a topic of discussion. TIPS
will appear from time to time from now on. If you have
any good ones, please send them to me, and they will be
added to the collection for future use.

There is a temporary AFMS web site at the URL=,
and there is an article there by Ross Cranswick (a member
of this list) on "PAUA SHELL", or New Zealand Opal! It is
worth reading; check it out!!

Well, summer is coming to a close in North Carolina and
field trip time is almost over, so as we head into those
happy long sessions in our lap workshops, cutting all
the material we've bought, begged or stolen, lets remember
to think about what we are doing, and practice our art

Be good, stay well, and have fun!



Subject: NEW: Causes of Pits in Formed and Carved Jasper

And while I'm at it....yesterday I formed, carved, and
polished a piece of jasper. When it was all done I had
polishing compound in little tiny pits scattered here and
there on the cab. Why? Method, equipment, operator?

Carla <>


Subject: Re: Training and Certification to be a Judge

hale asked:
<<What is the cost of a week at Wildacres for the judging

I was a little quick with my last post on this. There is a
charge of $235 per person to attend the class on Judging.
This covers your room and food (5 days, 6 nights) and the
class tuition. There is also a nominal charge for the book
(I think around $10-$15). Some of the Federations are
providing scholarships, but I have no details on that
right now.

Jack <>
(Ed. Note: Where else could you spend a week in a
beautiful mountain retreat, eating very adequately, have a
private rooms (for two), associate with fine rockhound
people, and all for $235? This is the best bargain in the
hobby! And they also have classes in cabbing, faceting,
intarsia, channel work, silversmithing, ... the list goes
on! Hope to see you there, learning to be a judge. hale)

Subject: RE: Orienting Phenomenal Stones - Aquamarine


The cat's eye effect should occur in a plane perpendicular
to the color axis. Special orientation other than finding
the color axis should not be necessary with a round stone.
To achieve a good cat's eye effect, the bottom of the stone
must be polished to reflect sufficient light to show the
"cat's eye."

If a non-round stone, such as an oval, is desired the cats'
eye is usually oriented on the long axis of the oval.
Orienting the "eye" can be a problem.

The following process is not difficult but can be very

Polishing the "bottom" of the stone is a problem when one
is not certain where the bottom is located. Use a small
mirror placed under the stone to give the effect of a
polished bottom. A small mirror similar to one used by
faceters to align facets for repair will work well.

In a darkened room, place the stone on the mirror. Put a
drop of kayro syrup, or other similar suggary fluid on the
stone. Using a pen light, move the light above the stone.
Watch for any type of ray that might appear. The stone
may need to be turned, cleaned and re-syruped several
times. This will mean that the mirror will probably need
cleaning several times.

When the cat's eye is found, turn the stone so the cat's
eye lies directly below the light.

Mark the cat's eye with a permanent marker or a marking
pen, an aluminum nail will work very well.

Cut a flat on the bottom of the stone below the cat's eye.
This "flat" should be polished.

Re-dop the stone and cut the top orienting the mark that
was made along the longer axis.


non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: TIP: Refurbishing Old Equipment

Jeff <> offered the following advice to
the Rockhounds list last year:
"The easiest way to refurbish old equipment is to take it
apart..wire brush any loose material off the component
pieces...mask any areas you do not want to paint...then
spray them with a rust inhibitor type paint!!" He said it
worked wonders on his Highland Park machine.

Derek <> added:
"I would only suggest that wire-brushing does not get
enough of the rust off. A good coarse sanding pad or
something like that does a much better job on any deep
rust spots."

"Derek Levin"

Subject: Re: Grinding Wheels

Okay, this brings up lots of questions on my part.

<< Silicon Carbide lapidary grinding wheels. Silicon
carbide is the dinosaur of lapidary.>>

Is silicon carbide and carborudum the same thing?

I bought two old Lortone (two-sided) arbors and motors.
One had carborudum wheels 180 & 220. The other has two
expandable drums with sandpaper belts on them.

Can I eventually put diamond wheels to replace the
carborudum "dinosaur" wheels and what is the advantages
and disadvantages.

Thanks one and all!

Carla <>
(Ed. Note: Carla, Carborundum is a trademark used for one
company's version of silicon carbide abrasive crystals. So
yes, they are the same thing. I'll leave the other
questions about whether you can replace the wheels, and
the advantages of doing this, for others to answer. hale)

Subject: RE: Soapstone Carving Rough and Supplies

Diamond Files.
G'day; noticed a posting on 'Lapidary' to the effect that
a member was wanting little files which would work with a
fairly hard material. I live in New Zealand which is one
of the last countries to get anything a little bit out of
the ordinary, yet a week ago I was able to buy a packet of
5 'Swiss'-type diamond files - made in China! And from a
'Do-it-yourself' type hardware shop, of all places. They
were also offering packets of diamond coated riffler files.

They are really good and useful for stone carving and
checking on 'fire' in spectrolite and opal or fire agate
stones. The cost was NZ$30 for the five which is approx,
US$20, and worth the money. I have tried one on NZ jade
and on agate and they cut both stones well. As you would
expect if really diamond coated. So, I'm pretty sure if
one can get them here, they should also be available in
the USA.


John Burgess,

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Labradorite and Peristerite

In Issue #62, you write:

<I personally reserve the word SPECTROLITE for the gem
grade version of labrodorite which comes from Finland.>

Liddicoat, in "Gem Identification" agrees, describing
Spectrolite as "The Spectrolite variety from Finland
exhibits a similar color phenomenon but which has a very
dark gray to black background color." And I know at least
one long time dealer, who, when selling me some nice
labradorite that was a light grey color, but with (I
thought...) unusually even texture/translucency, was sure
to caution me to not try and represent it as
spectrolite, no matter how pretty the stones might be...
(Not that I had any inclination to do so...)

Peter Rowe

Subject: GEM SHOW: Gastonia, NC

The Gaston County Gem & Mineral Club announces the 19th
annual Gem & Mineral Show on the Nature Trail at the
Schiele Museum. 1500 E. Garrison Blvd. Gastonia, NC
Oct. 10 through 12, 1997
Hours 10th & 11th 9 AM - 6 PM; 12th, 9 AM-5 PM.
Admission is free.

Earl English

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Refurbishing an Old Lapidary Machine (was 62)

<<The following item appeared in some copies of Issue #62
and didn't appear in others. It is added here so everyone
on the list will have it..... hale>>

Richard Dudley inquired about refurbishing some Star
Diamond Lapidary equipment. I recently inherited a lot
of old Star Diamond equipment (with documentation) so I
thought I'd pass this along.

First let's start with the equipment. My 1969 Star
Diamond catalog lists four different grinding machines
that are not combined with a trim saw. They are the GP-6,
GP-8, Super GP-8, and GSP-8:

GP-6: two 6x1 grinding wheels, one 6x3 expanding drum,
and one 6" convex head - $89.95
GP-8: two 8x1-1/2 grinding wheels, one 8x3 expanding drum,
and one 8" convex head - $158.40
Super GP-8: two 8x1-1/2 grinding wheels, two 8x3 expanding
drums ,and two 8" convex heads - $179.95
GSP-8: Two 8x1-1/2" wheels, three 8x3 expanding drums, and
one convex head. - $199.95

Wish those prices were still valid! The Super GP-8 is the
model I inherited (with original documenation). Here's
the instructions for the Super GP-8 for changing wheels:

"To change grinding wheels, remove four nuts from the top
of the wheel cover. Remove small bolts from rear of cover.
Disconnect main line water from shut off cock. Lift off
wheel cover. Sightly loosen jam nut at left end of shaft
by turning clockwise (left-hand thread). Disconnect belt
from pulley. Entire shaft assembly may then be removed
from housing. Remove sanding and poishing head or drum.
Loosen bearing spacers, etc., and replace. It is not
necessary to remove either the pulley or bearing on right
end of shaft. Replace by reversing the procedure. It is
best not to tighten set screws on bearing until shaft
assembly has been located and jam nut tightened in pace.
Replace belt on plulley, install wheel cover and connect
water system. Machine is then ready for operation."

As far as replacing the wheels and/or belts, you have two
choices silicon carbide or diamond. The original equipment
is silicon carbide and is cheaper to purchase initially.
Diamond is more expensive, but cheaper in the long run
when you consider how fast carbide wears out on the tougher

With lapidary grinding wheels, you also have two choices
for bond - the softer green (more common) and a harder
(and cheaper) black bond. Green wheels claim to be self
sharpening. That is because of the softer bond. They
don't need sharpening (dressing) to expose new sharp grits.
Because of the softer bond, dull grit just tears away.
The black wheels don't wear down as fast, but they tend
to dull and glaze over. So you will need to dress them
frequently to remove the glaze and expose fresh, sharp

For purchasing wheels and/or belts here are some possible
suppliers. For a more extensive list, you may want to
consider the May 1997 Lapidary Journal buyers' directory
which lists many sources of lapidary equipment. These are
some that I have already requested catalogs from and they
have been more than happy to send them:

All these are for 8" x 1-1/2" 100/220 grit Silicon Carbide
wheels. Amounts shown are in $ per wheel:

Black bond Green bond
Bourget (310)450-6656 34.40/37.60 N/A
Griegers (810)304-7690 N/A 48.99/51.99
Eloxite (307)322-3050 N/A 35.00/37.50
KingslyNorth (906)563-9228 47.95/51.95 62.95/68.95
AlphaSupply (360)372-3302 47.50/51.50 62.00/68.00
Graves (800)327-9103 N/A 46.95/49.95
Thunderbird (505)722-4323 29.95/42.05 29.95/42.05
MLS (612)872-7211 44.00/49.50 44.00/49.50

And I just found this one and I want to call up and follow
up on it to verify what they mean: Rough and Tumble
(541) 459-3351 has listed a price "for a case package of
5" green Camel brand wheels: 100/$49.50 220/$55.00"
I wonder if they mean the price is per wheel in qty of 5
or the whole case of 5???

Now if you want to go diamond, the going price for diamond
grinding wheels seems to be running around $200 each.

Jim Schnell
Storage Technology Corporation

"non-commercial reproduction permitted"

Subject: RE: BUDDSTONE (Was 62)

((The following item appeared in some copies of Issue #62
and didn't appear in others. It is added here so everyone
on the list will have it.... hale))

The following appeared in Issue 61:
<<I have a small slab of a material I have never seen
before. It is a pale lime green color with a swirl of
white thru it. There is a paper stuck to it with the name
"BUDDSTONE" written on it. ... (snip) ... Any information
would be appreciated.>>

I have an old "Gem Material Databook" (1957), a
publication of Gem & Minerals Magazine:

Buddstone: chalcedony or cryptocrystalline quartz
Dark vivid green, lighter & darker figured
translucent to opaque
refractive: 1.531 1.539
specific gravity: 2.58 - 2.65
hardness: 6-1/2 - 7
toughness: 7
cleavage: none
fracture: conchoidal
habit: mammillary, botroidal, massive, more brittle than

I, too, have a few slabs and cabs of this material. Wish
I could get more and I haven't seen any sources - yet -
but I'm always looking.

Jim Schnell
Storage Technology Corporation

"non-commercial reproduction permitted"
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