Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 109 - Monday 1/26/98
2. NEW: Using Dishwashing Detergent in Tumbling
3. RE: Converting a Metal Bandsaw to a Mudsaw
4. RE: Orienting Spectrolite and Labradorite
5. BIO: Edward G. Robles, Jr.
6. SHOW: Gem Show in Corpus Christi
7. FS: Used 10" slab saw


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 109 - Monday 1/26/98

There was a thread on Rockhounds on tumbling; it is copied
below, with the authors' permissions. This reminds me of how
long it has been since we had any good thread on tumbling.
This is one of the simplest of the lapidary arts but one that
still has many questions ... so if you have any questions,
send them in and lets get a discussion going on tumbling.

Be good, stay safe, and be sure to tell 'em you love them!!


Subject: NEW: Using Dishwashing Detergent in Tumbling

Over on the Rockhounds mail list, there was a recent thread
which I thought those who do tumbling should read. With
permission, it is reprinted below. Hopefully, this will start
a discussion of various aspects of tumbling. Do you have
questions? Send them in!
Just thought I'd share a little something with the newbies.
I'm new at rock tumbling. A friend of my had suggested I use
dish soap to clean the rocks between steps. Not knowing any
better, I figured I could use dishwasher detergent......NOT!

I'm no chemist, so I'm not sure what caused it, but the
rubber was dissolving from around the edges of my lid and
tub. I immediately washed the tub and lid, it seems OK, but
that's one trick, I'll never do again.

Any tips from the pros, what causes this to happen???

signed clueless

Terri Collier
Dallas, TX
Long time no hear! The corrosive action in detergents for
the dishwasher causes the problem! Liquid dish washing (by
hand) detergent, laundry granules (use ones with little
or no bleach) will work.

WE HAVE MOVED! We are now

Genuine rubber is softened by bleaches. To clean between
steps, rinse everything and brush clean. Refill barrel with
just rocks and water, run 1/2 hour, pour out water. Repeat
until water comes out clean, then refill with proper grit and

-dan- (Dan Z)

Subject: RE: Converting a Metal Bandsaw to a Mudsaw


Regarding the conversion of a band saw to a mud saw and wear
and tear on the blade guides, is there enough room ahead of
the guides to put a pair of wiper brushes or pads. Could be
small pieces of left over carpet (we all have some of that)
or small brushes.


Subject: RE: Orienting Spectrolite and Labradorite

A simple way to orientate spectrolite or a moonstone type
rock is to mount a pencil (I use a pointed aluminum rod),
with the point coming out the side (or at you). Have a
light from above. Hold the stone near the point of the
pencil and rotate it to get the best play of color. When you
are satisfied you gently rotate the stone against the pencil,
making a mark that will be parallel to the top and bottom.
Some people have held a bright flashlight in their teeth
while looking down on the stone. The trick is to keep
looking down while you are marking the stone... This keeps
you on target.

Steve Ramsdell
Can be republished for any use.

Subject: BIO: Edward G. Robles, Jr.

Retired Chemist; started career on Manhattan Project as
Analytical Chemist, became Water Chemist for USGS, Materials
& Processes Chemist later Environmental Chemist, USAF. Last
Position Chief Chemist, USAF Western Regional Environmental
Health Lab; half the planet as area of responsibility.

Been rockhound all my life; equipment: Slab saw, 3 lortone
tumblers, 2 vibratory tumblers, Facetron(R) but you don't
want to hear about that.

Immediate past President, Gem and Mineral Society of
Franklin, NC, Inc. Currently Editor, The Mountain Gem.

Come down and visit us, sometime.

Edward G. Robles, Jr.
575 Riverview Heights Street
Franklin, NC 28734

Subject: SHOW: Gem Show in Corpus Christi

The South Central Federation Gem and Mineral Show and it will
be held on February 28 - March 1, 1998 at the Bayfront Plaza
Convention Center in Corpus Christi, TX.

We are having cabochon and faceting competition, also. If
someone would like to enter competition, they can get in touch
with me.

Thank you,
Bill and Lois Pattillo
619 Wright, Robstown, TX 78380-3815 <512-387-5190>

Subject: FS: Used 10" slab saw

I was asked to list this saw by a widow in church today.

For sale: 10 inch slab saw WITH gravity feed. The blade is
used, but in good shape. I used it today to cut a geode in
half. It comes with the motor and is currently mounted on a
piece of plywood. Price: $250.00

I need to remove it from the ply wood to ship. There is no
box big enough to ship the plywood. You will need to supply
the base to mount to. Most people remount their saw anyway.

The saw and motor weigh 36 pounds. Shipping is $30.44
including the pickup and insurance fees. Total cost is

The retail on the saw unit from Gemcrafters is $949.95
without the motor.Their used price is $450 without the motor.

Bombay Bazaar's list price is $875 without the motor.
Kingsley North's list price is $699 without the motor or
feed. The gravity feed is $125 more.

If you are interested in this saw, please contact me off
list. Thank you.

Mark Case
Randleman, NC
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
words at the end of each item you submit.