Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 84 - Monday 11/17/97
3. NEW: Dopping for Lathe Turning
4. NEW: Instructions for Vibratory Flat Lapping
5. NEW: Cleaning Rocks after Lapping
6. NEW: Saw oil from FUCHS
7. RE: Lapidary Glues and Cements


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 84 - Monday 11/17/97

As I have said before, there are several topics in the wings;
these will be published in the coming weeks. They are:

.. doublets and triplets
.. rebuilding old lapidary machines, revisited
.. how to do channel work (mineral inlay)
.. ammonites
.. lathe turning
.. mud saws
.. polishing with diamond
.. opals

If you have any questions about these, or think you can help
with any of them, please write me.

Any who does channelwork, please write and tell me about it;
I need some information concerning channelwork!

Do you have topics you would like to see discussed? If so,
write a query and send it to That
should get the discussion going!

Remember to wear masks goggles when you need to, stay safe,
and have fun!!



Introduction by Hale Sweeny

Terri Collier is a lapidary from Texas, who is also
wheelchair bound. She has her own setup at home, but learned
lapidary in her club's workshop. Thinking about it, I
wondered what troubles a wheelchair bound person might have
in doing lapidary, in using equipment which was set up for
people not wheelchair bound, how they would design their own
workshop to allow them to do lapidary more easily, and in
general the difficulties which the wheelchair caused.

So I asked Terri to write about these problems for our
education and enlightenment. Her article has given me a
whole new perspective, for which I thank her.

Do this: mentally put yourself in a wheelchair and imagine
how you would operate each piece of equipment in your shop
or at your school. Then read her account and see how much
harder it is and how many things there are that you didn't
think about! Good going, Terri!!


Over the past several years I have encountered many obstacles
with lapidary and processes. I hope this article will help
others with the same challenges I've had along with anyone
that may teach the art.

A major factor is the weight of the tools including the
safety in using them. I belong to a local rockhound club
that has a shop, this allowed me to analyze the do's and
don'ts when it came to purchasing my own equipment.

I've found a good height for a table that is about 2-3 inches
higher than my lap. This allows for a good leverage when
working at a cabbing unit or trim saw.

I use a cabber and trim saws which are portable. This allows
me to move them when necessary from point to point and
cleaning can be a ease. You don't want to use a unit that
will in time cause problems with your wrist, i.e., so I
suggest a unit that allows you to move it around while
working a stone, but doesn't constrain you to always having
to lean your wrist against for balancing your own weight.

If you have your equipment set up in a permanent shop, you
may choose to raise the floor so that you can use the larger
slab saws or modify the slab saw legs to lover the whole saw.
This was the one thing in my club shop I had to leave to
others because I could not reach in to mount the rock in the

Coolants, I prefer water when possible. As you know, it's
important to always use the proper gear when using any
equipment. But when you are working from a wheelchair, your
face is closer to the spray then someone sitting at a stool
looking down at their work, and water is not as noxious as

Safety, most important..... I use a beauty salon style cape
to cover me and the wheelchair from as much of the spray as
possible. The mist from the cabbing unit or oil from the saw
can cause trouble for the casters, hubs and such on the
wheelchair. A cap or head wrap should be used to cover your
hair. Protective eyeware that cover the eyes completely are
important, I suggest the use of goggles instead of a pair of
protective glasses. Respirators, the most important part of
your gear. I purchase the type that has replaceable filters
and after each use, I discard it.

I think it's important for everyone to remember that you
never know when you might be confronted with the challenge...
.so always keep the idea of flexibility in mind when setting
up shop, this way you'll always be prepared not matter what
life throws your way!

Terri Collier

Subject: NEW: Dopping for Lathe Turning

I met a fellow who turned serpentine on a lathe. He wasn't
specific when I asked what was the dop he used to attach the
piece to the wooden head-stock. He mentioned beeswax and was
vague about the rest, "a little of this and that". Does any
one have knowledge of what would hold a rock to a lathe

David Tuttle

non-commercial use permitted

Subject: NEW: Instructions for Vibratory Flat Lapping

Gary Henson, President of the Badger Lapidary & Geological
Society, in Monroe, WI, has written up directions for use of
the club's flat lap, for new or infrequent users of the lap.
These directions have been laminated and attached to the
club's lap. They are given below for those who may buy a used
lap without instructions.

These were published in the October Issue of Badger Diggin's,
which is edited by list member Bill Figi <>.
Permission to reprint was given in the Newsletter.

Using a Flat Lap
By Gary Henson

1.) Make sure the machine is level.

2.) Bevel all the edges on your stone so the grit goes under
it and doesn't push it around.

3.) Blacken the entire bottom of your stone with a waterproof

4.) Put a couple of tablespoons of 80 to 100 grit silicon in
the pan & enough water to make it into a thin slurry.

5.) Some weight on your slab is important, you can stick
weight to the slab with waterproof caulk, dop wax, double
back tape, etc.

6.) Put slab in the pan, you should make a ring out of
plastic tubing with both ends slipped over a stick of wood.
Make it large enough to go around your slab to protect the
edges from breaking.

7.) Let it run a couple hours checking the water it should
not run dry, check the bottom it is black in the center let
it run longer till the black is gone and the bottom is

8.) If any of the grit seems to be worn out, clean the pan &
put in new grit.

9.) When smooth, clean stone and pan then put in 200 grit &
water after an hour or so check the slab when all the rough
marks made by the first grit are gone, clean everything
again, now put in 400 grit do it all again, clean it l again
& now put in the 600 pre-polish grit when you have just about
got a good shine you get to clean everything again.

10.) If you have two pans, one has a pad in it, this is the
polish pad, take the grind pan off the frame & put the
polish pan on with springs. Put a couple to tablespoons of
cerium oxide polish on the pad, add a little water to make a
thin slurry & turn it on. Check in an hour or so, let it run
till you get the polish you are after. If you don't have two
pans, clean the grind pan thoroughly & put in the polish pad.

11.) Never put your fingers between the frame & pan when
running (IT BITES)!!!

non-commercial use permitted

Subject: NEW: Cleaning Rocks after Lapping

I am having a problem getting the lapping grit and polish
cleaned off the stones from lapping operations.

I have tried scrubbing with dish soap and other household
cleaners. I get the loose grit and polish off but still have
the white residue or stain left on the rock. Any suggestions?


Subject: NEW: Saw oil from FUCHS

Does anybody have any experience with an oil from FUCHS
called Ratak W927 or Wallcut 927 ?

It is a blended mineral oil like Almag R but I can't equate
the technical details due to different testing methods and
units used on different sides of the Atlantic.

Reason ? I can get the 927 in 5 gallon drums but Pella or
Almag only in 45 gallons - that's about a lifetimes supply
for me !

Andy Parker

-- non-commercial republish permission granted --

Subject: RE: Lapidary Glues and Cements

Goeff and Hale,

If you would like a more detailed account of the glue that
was used to cement the gem discs together you can find it in
Henry Hunt's books. He was using a glue that the dentists use
that is cured with ultraviolet light


(Ed. Note: This all started with a query from Goeff Haughton
who had read a paper in Lapidary Journal and asked for info
on 'new glues'. The paper he read was entitled: "Stuck on
Glue" (LJ 2.97.34), and it presented six artists who use
'new' glues in their work. SID BERMAN uses a masonry cladding
used in swimming pools, and uses a catalyst for slow curing.
THOMAS HARTH AMES uses a UV adhesive which is also used in
art glasswork, with optically flat joining planes. EUGENE
MEULLER makes intarsia-like pieces using never-yellowing
HXTAL epoxy, precisely finished surfaces, and clamps. MARTIN
KEY bonds stone to metal using an adhesive developed for the
watch industry. HENRY HUNT, who bonds tablets of colored
stones, has written a book describing adhesives; the book is
entitled: The American Lapidary: Designing the Carved
Gemstone. ($25) More to come! hale)
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