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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 72 - Tues 10/14/97
2. NEW: Flat Vibratory Lapping Problem
3. RE: Soapstone Carving Rough and Supplies (62-2)
4. RE: Soapstone Carving Rough and Supplies (62-2)
5. RE: Vertical Flat Lap Problems
6. TIP: Waterglass (Sodium Potassium Silicate),


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 72 - Tues 10/14/97

If you make a list of the rocks we use in lapidary, and
consider only those which are minerals, you will find that
a majority of them fall into two mineral classes: quartzes
and feldspars. Feldspars will be the topic of a paper by
Anita Westlake, president of the Georgia Mineral Society,
which will be the lead article in the next issue. The class
of Feldspars include some of the more dazzling lapidary
stones: amazonite, labradorite, sunstone, and moonstone.
I think you will find her article very enlightening. - I
certainly learned a lot from reading it! And hope you
will, too.

More threads are now in the Archives cast as downloadable
files; the thread files are:


Four or five more will be up in about a week.

Not all threads will be recast as files. Some threads are
only one item long, and these obviously will not be recast.
I look at each of them and ask whether they have content
which may be of interest; if so, a file will be developed
from that thread.

The INDEX has now been extended to include all items
through Issue 71.

Received an announcement that a new daily newsletter is
being started by Ashlea Lyons Creations, called the Gem
and Lapidary Newsletter. It appears to focus on faceted
gemstones, but they invite everyone to join. Details are
given at the following URL, where you may also subscribe:

Mark Case sent a note saying that the High Point, NC
mineral show scheduled for 10/31/97 - 11/2/97 has been

Two 'factoids': our first member from Romania signed
up this week, and our first inquiry from Singapore is in
this issue. We now have more than 530 members!

Take care... And have fun...


Subject: NEW: Flat Vibratory Lapping Problem

Greetings to Everyone who love rocks.

I have a problem with my vibratory flat lap. A small area
of the groove channel on the surface of my flat lap is
disappearing due to localization of the grinding action
(my mistake in not leveling the lap).

My questions:

Can I still use the lap to grind rock ?
What should I do to restore my flat lap ?
What is the function of the groove channel
on the flat lap ?

I thank you in advance for your help.

>From Singapore

Chee-Kwong Han

---- non-commercial republish permission granted----
(Ed. Note: Chee.Han says, in a personal letter, that the
lap is a vibratory lap, and the only info found on the lap
are the words: "Ezy Lab". Can anyone identify the maker?

Subject: RE: Soapstone Carving Rough and Supplies (62-2)

David Tuttle wrote:
<<I found a abandoned mine about 15 years ago north of
Asheville, NC, and have been back to look for it .(snip).
I can't find it. ..(snip).. it has smooth textured
soapstone that was orange and black.>>

I did a little searching with the Delorme program and data
from the MAS/MILS CD ROM.

Due North of Asheville off of US 25 take SR 1402 to the
right for about 1/4 mi. take road to left about 0.1 mi.
the Tipton Soapstone mine would have been about 100 ft.
from the road to the left. There was another soapstone
mine about 0.67 mi. NW of the Tipton, called the
Marshburn. I can't tell you if either site is available,
or who the current owners are. (if you find out lemmie
know) :)

On a down side, there is a site near Pacolet Mills, SC,
off of Hammet Grove Rd. that has some brownish soapstone
and corrundum. This area is now posted, and I understand
that they don't allow collecting now.

Hope this helps.

Earl English

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Soapstone Carving Rough and Supplies (62-2)

A request was made for sources of soapstone (aka
steatite). Steatite of Sourthern Oregon, 2891 Elk Lane,
Grants Pass, OR 97527. (541) 479-3646 has soaptone in
many colors and excellent quality.

Also, there are a number of soapstone mines in a
band stretching east of the southern tip of Death Valley.
Some are active, others are closed and wide open to
collecting. The soapstone is white and light green and
sometimes has inclusions of a slightly harder material,
probably calcite, although I have not done any acid or
hardness type tests. A good dirt road runs ESE from
Tecopa along the line of mines. Do not go there in the
summer! Winters, however, are great.

John R. Duncan

Subject: RE: Vertical Flat Lap Problems

I tried this setup a few years ago when the only equipment
I had was my home made tumbler and it does work - sort of.

I actually fastened one plywood disc to a spare pulley on
the end of one of the shafts with 3 wooden dowels on its
face and then pushed one of several plywood discs with
matching holes (not all the way through !) onto the dowels.
This lets you change grits easily.

The shaft is doing about 480 rpm - a bit slower would have
been less messy !

I applied water with a sponge.

I found that I used the paper up so quickly on agate slices
that it wasn't an economic proposition but I was using
standard 'wet and dry' paper stuck on with spray adhesive.

I've built a flat lap (cast iron) since and am having great
fun with that. Don't be put of by my experiences, it will

Andy Parker

-- non-commercial republish permission granted --

Subject: TIP: Waterglass (Sodium Potassium Silicate),
Where to Buy

Waterglass solution, mentioned in several messages to
adhere stone to wood and for temporary sealing of surfaces,
can be purchased from Lehman's in Kidron Ohio. Their web
address is: and their eMail address is: Note- they take orders from the web
site, by fax or by phone. Visit their web site for details.

Their virtual catalog doesn't list Waterglass but it's
#10-406 and I purchased a gallon for $21.95 (including
freight). If you have their current paper catalog, it is
a small item on page 150. If you don't have their catalog,
that's because you don't know about Lehman's yet. If you
get to Kidron and visit their store, plan to spend at least
an hour and a half, probably more... but don't go on
weekends this time of year, the tourists are like a black
plague of locusts and will drive good folk mad!

...George Butts <>

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