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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 96 - Wed 12/24/97
2. NEW: Introduction and equipment query
3. RE: Replacing Lortone Lap Polishing Pad
4. RE: Replacing Lortone Lap Polishing Pad
5. RE: Fire Obsidian
6. RE: Fire Obsidian


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 96 - Wed 12/24/97

The Indexes have been updated through Issue 95. The main
index is named 'index1.txt', so you may get it by sending the
command: GET INDEX1.txt on the subject line of a message, to

Christmas eve!!! I'll bet all your little children are just
terribly excited - I know I am (smile)! I know you will be
going to parties, etc., so have a great time, but please
designate an alternate driver or just be very moderate in
what you drink, and please be careful on the road. Stay safe!

I wish each and every one of you a Very Merry Christmas. Hug
those you love and be sure you tell them you love them.


Subject: NEW: Introduction and equipment query

Hello everyone. My name is Deborah Brown and I'm just getting
into lapidary work. Up to now I've worked primarily with
already polished agate and with amber, engraving the former
and carving, back-carving and engraving the latter. Now I
want to get into the hard stuff, which means my little Dremel
tool is no longer going to do the job.

I'm planning on purchasing a lapidary kit after christmas,
but before I do, I'd like to get some idea of what are
considered reasonable prices, as well as what kind of
equipment is an absolute must.


Deborah Brown
(Ed.Note: Deborah, the kind of equipment you need will depend
on what aspect of lapidary you wish to pursue. If you want to
make faceted gems, you obviously need a faceting machine, and
so on. What do you want to do? Tell us more and I'm sure you
will get plenty of advice! hale)

Subject: RE: Replacing Lortone Lap Polishing Pad

Simply replace the polishing pad with some inexpensive
indoor/outdoor carpet! Works great and you can get it

Peter Erdo
Graves Company

non-commercial republish permitted

Subject: RE: Replacing Lortone Lap Polishing Pad

I had a similar problem with my own lap and overcame the
problem with the polishing pan by replacing the old material
with a piece of carpet.

I found that a short pile wool carpet was the best (being
British I suppose I should recommend Axminster or Wilton),
nylon or blended carpet does not work. Also, it should be a
cut pile (as opposed to loop pile).

It will take a while, and a fair amount of polishing
compound, to get it started in the first place but it works
fine for me, As far as the cast iron lap is concerned, if you
find an answer that avoids buying a new one please let me
know, mine's in the same condition.

Barry Longbottom

Subject: RE: Fire Obsidian

I think it is rough so you want to cut it exactly parallel to
the bands if you are making domed cabs or flat free-forms and
the fire occurs in widely separated bands, or about 5-10
degrees off the plane of the bands if you are polishing flat
surfaces and the fire occurs in multiple bands close

Contrary to popular belief it isn't particularly heat
sensitive as I have sanded flat pieces of rainbow from Glass
Buttes (probably the source of your fire) and Davis Creek for
many minutes on a high speed sander, dry, with dull 220. Not
one has fractured or blown out from the heat, which would
blow out opal in a few minutes.

Diamond is fine, I use high grade (white) cerium oxide on
leather to polish. If you get it exactly right and expose a
band of fire, you will have cut it perfectly flat, not domed.
The only reason I can think of to dome it would be if the
fire is in multiple bands and you want some of each to show.

The best piece I have seen was a flat free-form about 2 x 2
inches and it looked like red tin foil. The fire layer had a
very thin layer of clear grey over it, just enough to protect
it when it was being worked, like fire agate. It was done on
a sanding belt.

Tim Fisher, 1995 President, Pacific Fishery Biologists
Ore-ROCK-On Rockhounding Web Site
See naked fish and rocks!

Permission granted to publish.

Subject: RE: Fire Obsidian

My experience with Obsidian is that there are two kinds of
Obsidian you are describing Fire Obsidian and Rainbow
Obsidian. I have both kinds. The Fire Obsidian is large
horizonal lines of fire (color) and the other is vertical
with smaller lines and shows almost four colors of fire

The first Obsidian With horizonial lines needs to be cabbed
with a high dome. This will allow the fire to be displayed
through the other layers. The second Obsidian can be cut
either with a flat top or domed cab,the flat top shows more
of the fire (color) I hope I am describing it in a way that
every one can understand.If I can give a better description
to any one please leave a message in the digest or contact
me at <>.

George Maul
non commercial republish permission granted
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