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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 69 - Mon 10/6/97
2. NEW: Types of Diamond Wheels
3. NEW: How To Make Opal Doublets
4. NEW: Diamonds in Tumbling Operations
5. RE: Lapidary Club near Hatfield, Mass
6. RE: Leaking Lortone Lids
7. RE: Leaking Lortone Lids
8. RE: What is "Ellensburg Blue"?
9. Re: Waterglass
10. RE: Don Henson's address


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 69 - Mon 10/6/97

I have started making files of the many threads which have
developed over the past 68 issues, and three of them are
available in the Archives. The threads, and their file
names are:

Surface Treatment of Lapidary Objects
File name: SurfaceTreatments.txt

How to Work Jelly Opal
File name: JellyOpal.txt

How to Fill Flaws
File name: FillingFlaws.txt

These will slowly be added to so that ultimately you may
look up topics by thread in addition to reviewing whole
Issues. Please look at one or more of these and give me
your opinion of this presentation. If you don't find it
useful, I won't do all that work! So please let me know.

And thanks to George Butts for pointing out that long file
names as I gave them originally do not work. You might want
to download the new version of Index.txt to get the latest
file names.

Have a great week! And don't forget to hug someone you love
today; we can never overdo that.

Next issue will probably be on Wednesday.


Subject: NEW: Types of Diamond Wheels

I have been following the thread on lapidary wheels. As a
newbie, I would like to know is the difference between
Galaxy and Nova wheels. I have talked with some people
about their cabbing machines and most of them have told me
to use Nova's. Is this just a brand name or due to the
method the diamond is bonded to the wheel.

I look in my Kingsley catalog and my brain begins to swim!!
The materials I have the most interest in cutting are opal,
jasper, agate, dino bone....

Thanks in advance.

Terri Collier
Dallas, TX


Subject: NEW: How To Make Opal Doublets

I have some thin pieces of opal (Australian white) and
would be interested in learning how to make opal doublets
or even triplets. The questions I have are what kind of
matrix or base is used, where to get the quartz caps for
the triplets, and since the opal is already cut to
calibrated sizes, can calibrated sized bases be bought.


Subject: NEW: Diamonds in Tumbling Operations

I have enjoyed the discussion on the pro and cons of
diamond and silicon carbide grinding wheels. Does any one
have any idea whether there are diamond grinders in the
form of hollow cylinders forms that can be fitted into our
rotary drums to do the work which the grit does? If not is
there any interest in that type of grinding medium? It
felt like with a "diamond cylinder" the same advantages of
the wheels will apply. What do you think?

Dan Otchere
Unionville, Ontario, Canada

Non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Lapidary Club near Hatfield, Mass


There are many clubs in the Mass. area of New England.
Please contact me off list and let me know where Hatfield
is in Massachusetts (I'm not familiar with that
area). I will then send you the information about the
clubs in that particular sector of Mass as well as VT, CT,
NY or RI if they are near the area you are seeking
information about.

Carolyn Weinberger
EFMLS Editor


Subject: RE: Leaking Lortone Lids

I had a tumbler like the kind described (Loritone) My
tumbler had seven large barrels (12#?) sometimes a lid
would pop off during tumbling. The cause was two fold I
discovered. (1) When you press the inner lid down you
compress the air inside the tumbler. There is not much air
so the compression is large.(2) When the rocks tumble they
build up heat, which further compresses the air. This
increase in pressure causes the lid to pop off or move out
and leak.

The solution I found that worked for me was , after the
inner lid is in place, take a screwdriver or other
instrument and force it carefully between the lid and
barrel. Then turn screwdriver to open an air space and let
the pressure out. Then place the outer lid, if the lid is
loose use some electric tape to go around the barrel under
the lid. Next take a rubber mallet and drive the lid on
tight, or stand on it and move around. The above solved my

However when I built my next set of tumblers I searched and
bought the type of barrels with six wing nuts to fasten
cover. No problems with these.

Hope the above helps.

non commercial free to use as desired.

Subject: RE: Leaking Lortone Lids

I use a Thumblers's tumbler and I experience the exact
opposite. The initial instructions on tumbling was to check
the drum daily to let off gas build-ups. I have never
experienced any gas build-up. On the contrary the drum
seems to create a vacuum.

However from my elementary chemistry class we learned that
ordinary house charcoal is a very good ADSORBER of gas and
that it was used medicinally to treat tummy GAS. I believe
this may also work in the tumbling drums. Is there any one
out there who has tried it? Adding charcoal powder to the

Dan Otchere
Unionville, Ontario, Canada

Non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: What is "Ellensburg Blue"?

<<Olympic Gems page showing Ellensberg Blue is:
<> hale)>>

I've been in Olympic Gems shop and looked at their EB.

Everybody that finds a bluish piece of agate within one
hundred miles of Ellensberg has a tendency to call it EB
and IMHO I think this is what Olympic is selling! It is not
the old original great colored EB that has been hoarded by
the old time collectors.

Now if you're ever in the Everett WA area and seriously
need to buy some good EB at a dear price, then look me up
and I'll send you in the right direction.


"-- non-commercial republish permission granted --"

Subject: Re: Waterglass

In Issue 66, Dave Daigle <> wrote:

<<the same thing (is) happening with some beautiful Rainbow
Obsidian ...(snip)... As I'm sanding, never being too rough
on it, it looks as though I'm continually opening up new
pores or fibers and then the polish fills them up and I got
a mess in otherwise beautiful stuff. ...(snip)... I am
trying to find some Waterglass in my area but not having
much luck.>>

In Issue 67, he also wrote:

<<I thought I had read where waterglass was the preferred
way to fill in fibers and pits before the final polish in
stones like Tiger Eye and Rainbow Obsidian. Was I correct
or mistaken?? Help please.>>

Most likely, you are having one of two possible problems;

1) your polish pad/wheel is contaminated causing the
scratches, or/and
2) [more so with the tiger eye] your polishing slurry is
too dry, and the pad is grabbing and pulling out fibers.

For 1), I was taught to use the flat end of a file,
while the pad/wheel is running press into the pad, hard,
scrapping off the surface down to new leather. Mix up a
NEW batch of polishing slurry and recharge your polishing
surface. My mentor taught me that the dust in the air
could contaminate my polishing pads and slurry, to keep
the pads covered when not in use, and a lid on the slurry.

For 2), keep your polishing surface wetter, you should
never feel a 'grab' while polishing.

Doing the above has always solved my scratch problems.

Good Luck

Subject: RE: Don Henson's address

Does anybody have the URL or internet address for Don
Henson. His snail mail address is: Boweya, RMB4820,
Glenrowan, Victoria 3675, Australia.

Would you please contact me off list at
I need to send him a book and we need to decide best way.

Charles Covill

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