Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 97 - Sat 12/27/97
2. NOTE: How To Access the Archives - Part 1
3. NEW: A Lapidary Book
4. RE: Equipment Query - Clarification
5. RE: Fire Obsidian
6. NOTE: Merry Christmas
7. NOTE: Merry Christmas
8. BIO: Keith Longbottom


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 97 - Sat 12/27/97

I first wish to apologize; I said that the index file was up
through Issue 95. Unfortunately, I was wrong, as I saved the
prior one! But it is NOW up tp date through Issue 95.

I hope all of you had a great Christmas. We can't go rock
hunting in the cold, the wet and the snow, so lets all get
into the workshop and do some lapidary! Do it safely, but
above all, do it and have fun!!


Subject: NOTE: How To Access the Archives - Part 1

>From looking at the commands which have been sent in to
Archives recently, it seemed that some tutorial might be
needed on how to get files fron the Archives. I hope this
will help.

First, note that everything in the Archives is in files, and
all the files have the extension ".txt", which must be added
to every filename in every command.

Next note that all commands are put on the SUBJECT LINE of
the message, and the message with the command is sent to
<>. The computer reads the command
message and sends back the requested file. Only one command
may be sent with each message; only one file may be retrieved
with each message.

The first step should be to look at a list of all available
files. There are two ways of doing this: First, you can send
an e-mail with just the word DIR on the subject line. The
computer will return a Directory of all files in the Archives.
Next, you may send an e-mail with the following command on
the subject line: GET index1.txt. (This is the one I prefer)
The index is also a listing of all available files. Either
way, when you look at these lists, you will see that the
Archives contain three types of files:

First, there is a file of each Digest published, with a
file name of "DigestXX.txt", where XX is the Number of the
Digest. To get Digest 95, for example, send a command message
with "GET Digest95.txt" on the subject line, (Omit the
quotation marks). Put one space between GET and Digest95.txt,
no other spaces or punctuation are in the command.

Next, there are files which contain all messages from a
particular thread. An example is a file named:
"MySlabSawBinds.txt". Several months ago, there was a query
about causes of slab saws binding, and this generated a
number of messages in response. The first query and all
responses, the collection of which is called a thread, were
gathered into a single file, and this is called a thread file.
Ultimately, there will be a thread file for every thread with
significant content. You get these files the same way; to get
this one, put "GET MySlabSawBinds.txt" on the subject line
and send in (You don't need the quotes in this case).

Finally, there are files which are copies of articles
either especially written for the LapDigest or reprinted
with permission - as it was felt that they are important
enough that each lapidary (and you are one!) should have
access to them. A good example is Streak.txt; this contains
a paper on how to do streak testing to help identify rocks.
Get these the same way; send an e-mail with the command:
GET Streak.txt

I will add more on this subject in the next Archives; to
guide me, write with any questions you may have about how to
access the Archives. There is lots of 'goodies' in the
Archives -- Use them and enjoy them.


Subject: NEW: A Lapidary Book

Christmas Greetings to all from a very wet and windy UK.

I have the opportunity to buy, (sight unseen from a list), a
book called Gem Cutting Shop Helps: How to do it Handbook
edited by H. Leiper and P.D.Kraus. It was published in 1967
and described as the best articles selected from 17 years of
the Lapidary Journal.

Any comments on it's usefulness would be appreciated since my
only experience of LJ is in the last 3 years and it isn't
particularly technical now !

Andy Parker, Team Leader Information Systems, Furness College
Work :-
Home :-
(Ed. Note: If anyone either has this book or has seen a copy
of it, please write and give your impr4essions of the book.
Would you like to see a list of (all)(most)(a lot) of the
published lapidary books? If so write and tell me so. hale.)

Subject: RE: Equipment Query - Clarification

Quite right, Hale. I should have been clearer in that I'm
looking for equipment that will let me cut and polish cabs.
I'm not quite ready for facets in any case.

One of the systems I've seen that looks interesting is Graves
Cabmate Workcenter, which seems to be fairly versatile. Is it
any good? Are there better? Is diamond a must, or simply an
exciting option?

Also, since I'm asking all these questions, what lapidary
stores are there within 150 miles of the Dayton, Ohio area?
I'm willing to go to Louisville if necessary, but if there
are closer ones, it'd be nice.


Deborah Brown

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Fire Obsidian

<<I enjoyed the advice on rainbow obsidian. Please tell me
if there are any different procedures to follow when working
with fire obsidian. I bought a piece on a silent auction
this summer and could use some advice.>>


I use a lot of obsidian in my jewelry, and I think you will
find that what applies to one form of the stuff usually is
the same on others. There is a new type out there called
velvet or smoke and this applies to that type as well.

The brighteset reflection happens at about 12-15 degrees from
perpendicular to the flow lines. It is easiest to orient when
a single light source is used. In a dark room turn on a
single bulb. Keep it over either shoulder. Have a gallon can
of cheap white paint open on the floor in front of you. Find
the brightest reflection of color on the stone and dip it
straight down, partway, into the paint. The paint will be dry
in twenty minutes or so and you can use the paint line to cut

Don't cut your fire obsidian too thin as the dark matrix acts
as a mirror underneath to bounce the fire back to your eyes.
The cabs you cut will also need to be on the flat side. Low
domed. If the dome is high it will give a cat's eye effect
(which is nice) but the fire will be very directional.

Larry Crum

Subject: NOTE: Merry Christmas


I want to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas and a
happy new year. Thank you so much for the Lapidary Digest.
I know each issue takes many hours of your time and I just
had to let you know how much I enjoy turning on my computer
and finding a new Lapidary Digest waiting for me. Your
information about your wife and her care a few issues ago
makes me treasure your e-zine that much more. May God bless
you and remember He never gives us more than we can handle.

Best wishes,

Subject: NOTE: Merry Christmas

It's Christmas Eve...just want to wish everyone a very Merry
Christmas. Thanks to all the contributors for the marvelous
information and thank you Hale for such a good job of
compiling, editing and generall making this a very well
organized and informative list.

God Bless...and Have a very Merry Christmas.

Beth E.

Subject: BIO: Keith Longbottom


My name is Keith Longbottom and I live in Manitoba,Canada.
My main interest is in tumble polishing stones.I built my
tumbler a few years ago to polish stones the family had
collected over the years,we were getting quite the

I have been going to build a 10" slab saw but my son started
playing hockey a couple of years ago which has cut down on my
spare time.I am interested in hearing what kind of polishing
compounds people use in their tumblers,also, speeds and
coolant for the saw,if I ever get it finished.


Keith Longbottom
To subscribe to the Lapidary Digest, send a message to, with the word SUBSCRIBE DIGEST as
the subject of the message. Other commands you may use are:
UNSUBSCRIBE DIGEST to quit, HELP to receive a page of help
instructions on the use of the list, and DIR to receive a
list of names of all files in the Archives.

The command <GET filename> may be used on the subject line
(without brackets, of course) to obtain a copy of the file
named "filename". Type filename exactly as it appears in the
directory, including the extension txt. Do not cut-and-paste
filenames into the subject line.

Each author is requested to write the words
"non-commercial republish permission granted" at the end of
every item submitted. This gives permission for others to use
your item for non-commercial purposes. Please use those four
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