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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 65 Sun 9/28/97
2. New: How to Use a Trim Saw
3. New: Intarsia and Channel Work
4. NEW: Leaking Lids on Lortone Tumbler
5. NEW: Horizontal Slab Saw Lubrication
6. RE: Refurbishing Old Equipment
7. Re: Refurbishing Old Equipment
8. RE: Grinding Wheels
9. RE: Pits in jasper
10. RE: Streaking Minerals - The Streak Test
11. RE: Lapidary Publications Lists


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 65 Sun 9/28/97

At Wildacres, I saw a doublet made of abalone shell and
smokey quartz; this made a very nice combination. And that
doublet reminded me, does anyone know how to clean an
abalone shell, including how to get the calciferous(?)
material off the back side? If so, please write and let
everyone know how!

Be safe, live in peace, have fun!!


Subject: New: How to Use a Trim Saw

My mother and I make jewelry. We've just recently
purchased equipment so we can cut and polish stones (cabs)
for use in our jewelry. Although my great-grandfather was
a rockhound, we've just recently begun trying our hand at
this endeavor!

I've just purchased a new 4" diamond blade trim saw and
am ready to use it. However, unlike the large slabbing
saws, there is no feed mechanism. In a nutshell, I'd
hate to saw off a fingertip when trimming a piece of stone
and wondered if it's really as dangerous as it looks?!
I'd appreciate any suggestions/advice on this subject.

Phyllis and Betty
Asheville, NC

Subject: New: Intarsia and Channel Work

Greetings All,

>From reading the list, I have come to the deduction that
Intarsia is the making of ...say Brooches, that have
different stones inlaid into it. Could someone please do
a short paper for those of us who are not in the know
about Intarsia and Channel Work?

Thanks SO Much. Take Care............Dave

Dave Daigle, Edmonton, Alberta

The Edmonton Tumblewood Lapidary Club

Subject: NEW: Leaking Lids on Lortone Tumbler

Hi All!

Moving and need your help...with something easier than

An Eclectic Lapidary reader asks:

"We recently got into rock tumbling, with a Lortone 4#
tumbler. Several times, the lid has come off, leaking
slurry all over and making a helluva mess. Is there some
sort of trick to putting it on, or did we get a defective
tumbler? I'd like to find out all I can before taking it
back, because the guy I bought it from is 87 years old and
kind of hard to talk to (it was a new unit, he's been a
dealer of rock stuff for 51 years, at the same location,
his house!). We'd appreciate any and all tips you might
have for newbies."

Thu, 25 Sep 1997 18:50:41 -0700

Anyone have some advice (or a reference to an earlier
post) for the bcs?

Thanks much! Carol

Carol J. Bova

Subject: NEW: Horizontal Slab Saw Lubrication

I have been given a horizontal 10" slab saw (actually a
general purpose lapidary machine). The saw arbor is
vertical through the bottom of a fairly large cast aluminum
"bowl" affair with the blade running about 1.5 inches off
the bottom. A faded sticker on the side says "Gem Maker",
B&L Mfg, Burlington, Wisc. It is in super good condition
with the rock vise-jaws and the pulley for hauling the rock
through the saw showing NO signs of wear. I think the
previous owner(s) used it as an 8 or 10 inch circular lap
or grinder only.

My problem is that I can't see how to lubricate the saw
except by drizzling water on the blade. This means that the
underside gets its cooling/lubrication from the top.
Obviously, this is supposed to happen when a grinding wheel
is running on the arbor but seems a bit risky for the 10"
diamond blade I propose to get for it.

There is a half-inch hole in the bottom of the bowl-shell
which has a drip lip sort of protrusion underneath. The
assembly stands about 5" off the deck on three legs, just
room enough for a multi-speed cone pulley underneath (2"
to 5"). I suppose one puts a bed-pan or whatever under
there to catch the water running through (no hose

This was probably a common design some years ago. Anyone
know if this is the way the saw lube is fed- or is there
a piece/part missing which I should know about?

...George Butts <>

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Refurbishing Old Equipment

In Issue 64, wrote:--

<< I use penetrating oil (to help loosen rusted nuts).
.(snip).. It is very thin, works beautifully and slips
into tight places nicely. I think Liquid Wrench is a
branded version.>>

N.A.P.A. automotive stores carry the stuff. I think they
are nationwide but if not, cutting oil or machinist oil sold
to machinists is a close second.

robert larry crum

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: Re: Refurbishing Old Equipment

Steve Ramsdell wrote:

"How do you loosen that last nut, bolt, or screw that is
rusted into position. I have been using transmission fluid
to get things loose. <snip> Anyone have a better way?
(without buying half a hardware store)"

For really stubborn nuts/screws you may apply a little
heat with a propane torch. Nuts are normally heated when
practical. The area around screws may be heated, and, I
have seen screws heated then allowed to cool (or even
quenched with water) loosen up. Use of heat also depends on
location of equipment and the stubborn part. Not for screws
holding plastic switches & etc. Use turning force while
applying heat if possible; you might need 3 hands! :-)

If heating fails, try using a center punch or a small
chisel and hammer. Light tapping in the desired direction
will usually result in success. Start the punch or chisel
straight down to get a small "burr" to work on, then
gradually shift the direction of the blows. Should this
fail, resort to violence, then to the drill and "EZY-out"
for screws or a nut splitter for nuts.

Earl English

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Grinding Wheels

In LapDigest #64, Peter Erdo said:
<<You certainly can replace the SC wheels with diamond and
the pros far out weight the cons. ....>>

Not biased, but truthful and very well said. But you might
cover the differences between sintered and plated diamond
wheels. And for sure point out that the first time around,
because of the longer life the more expensive diamond wheel
is really more economical, but a lot of manufacturers of
these wheels will replate them for a fraction of the
original cost. Making the second time around a real bargain.

Never throw away a dished Diamond Saw blade either.It might
not be practical on the smaller ones, but on 10" and above
the manufacturers will straighten them.

<Oh,don't throw away the old carbide wheels either.You can
make great small carving tools out of them and use the
220's or lower for saw sharping sticks.>

Gemstone Rough Dealers Since 1970
(Ed. Note: Mark, I would like hearing how you make carving
tools from old carbide wheels. hale)

Subject: RE: Pits in jasper

Carla asked about pits in jasper that grab polishing
compound. There's probably nothing wrong with her equipment
or technique; the tiny "bubbles" were probably in the stone
from the beginning. There are three possible solutions to
the problem:-
1. Polish on a 50,000 grit diamond belt or wheel.
2. Fill the pits with candle wax before polishing and then
boil the stone in water with a spot of detergent after it's
3. Get some better jasper.

Geoffrey Haughton

Non-commercial republication permitted

Subject: RE: Streaking Minerals - The Streak Test

In LapDigest #64, Dr. Bill Cordua said:

<<I think that when a new mineral is described, the streak
should always be included. After all, the material had to
be powdered in order to do its microprobe or x-ray analysis,
so all some one needs to...>>

You know your stuff!! Here is a challenge for you.I need
to separate quickly and economically White Quartz from White
Beryl.They are too close for standard heavy liquids, mixes
would become unstable quickly.The only quick and sure way
I have found so far is to irradiate them, then it is easy
to pick them out by the reaction. But this is after the
fact, and it is a presort I am seeking BEFORE the expensive
irradiation. Any ideas???

Your streak won't work due to hardness, how about a
hardness test itself? Someone mentioned to me Polasicope?
Another idea we had was a quick reading spectroscope, but
the costs $15000 to 20,000 or more for the unit, it seems
impractical as we can irradiate tonnage for that. Same
impracticality with Electron microscope. What is microprobe
analysis? Could the X ray analysis you mention be made
practical for this application and usable in the field? And
bear in mind our application can get into hundreds of kilos,
even tonnage.

Mark Liccini

Gemstone Rough Dealers Since 1970

Subject: RE: Lapidary Publications Lists

List Members:
I did the best to compile the list of all lapidary
publications available, but I guess there aren't that many
around.... So from several sources the list has changed to
gem-related publications....and it is real long so I will
only post with approval.. or I will be happy to email
anyone a list... and I will host the list at our site...

Thanks and best wishes

Gemstone Brokerages Associates Ltd. Tel. (518)438-5487
P.O. Box 8930 , Albany, N.Y. 12208
Agents for: Lukusuzi Gemstones Ltd. of Zambia, Lake Valley
Minerals of Malawi, Truva Minning of Turkey, Fortune Gems
and Jewelry Ltd. of Tanzania
(Ed. Note: In addition to this list, there is a Swedish
list of mineral and lapidary journals and magazines at the
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