Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest Issue No. 121 - WEDNESDAY 3/4/98
2. NEW: Replacing a Burned-out Motor on a Genie
3. NEW: Tumbling Small Pieces of Turquoise
4. NEW: Searching for Material for an Eagle's Eye
5. RE: Dopping Opals
6. RE: Dopping Opals
7. RE: How Do I Cut A Cat's-eye Chrysoberyl
8. RE: Lapidary Glues and Cements
9. RE: Expanding Drum Question
10. RE: Electroforming (Metal Plating) On Lapidary


Subject: LapDigest Issue No. 121 - WEDNESDAY 3/4/98

We now have 880 members on LapDigest! Never thought it would
grow to be that big! I just did a search & count of the last
extensions of members' addresses. Omiting .COM, .EDU, .NET and
the like, we have the counts shown below.

AU Australia 10
BE Belgium 1
BM Bermuda 1
BR Brazil 1
CA Canada 22
DE Germany 2
DK Denmark 1
ES Spain 1
FI Finland 2
IT Italy 1
JP Japan 1
KE Kenya 1
LK Sri Lanka 1
NA Namibia 1
NL Netherlands 1
NO Norway 5
NZ New Zealand 3
PK Pakistan 1
RU Russia 2
SE Sweden 3
SG Singapore 1
TH Thailand 1
TW Taiwan 1
UK United Kingdom 8
ZA South Africa 2

As we have said before, this is not an accurate count, as
many Canadians have .COM extensions and others, in South
America, for example, have .NET extensions. But this shows
that 74 members definitely have extensions of countries
outside the U.S. and that our members live in 26 countries.

Take care of yourselves! Have FUN!!!


Subject: NEW: Replacing a Burned-out Motor on a Genie


Has anyone had experience replacing a motor on a Genie? My
motor recently burned out, and it's very difficult to find a
replacement on the open market. Has anyone had experience
repairing their motor when they finally burn out?

To have the motor rewound, or replaced will cost upwards of
$350. I am thinking about using the motor housing as an
arbor, and then getting a replacement motor to drive the
wheels and pump.

What have other lapidaries done in this instance?

Your help would be greatly appreciated


Ben Hyman

Subject: NEW: Tumbling Small Pieces of Turquoise

I work with very small pieces of turquoise (1-5mm). Most of
these are small squares left over from trimming cabs. I would
like to round them into nugget shapes but no luck. Two weeks
of tumbling with #80, plastic filler, and (later) ceramic
fill produced a very small amount of rounding on the edges. A
vibrator tumbler was even worse because the hopper has to be
half full or more for the thing to work. (Factory words)


ps: Sandpaper 1000-1500-2000 grit is available at Wal-mart
AUTO section.

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: NEW: Searching for Material for an Eagle's Eye

Hi Hale, Hi folks,

Here's one that's a bit off the wall. I've been
commissioned by a prominent Canadian native leader to make an
eagle eye out of stone. The idea is to do it as an intarsia,
the pupil being black obsidian, the iris yellow tiger-eye,
the eyelids something else. I have a large photo to work

The challenge of this though is that the finished eagle
eye stone intarsia is intended to be set in a ring. My
clients want "something really special, something that will
be passed down to the grandchildren". That means it must be
so small enough to be set into a ring and yet detailed enough
that it is unmistakeably and eagle eye. Ooohhhh boy! What a
job!! It'll be special alright.

As I said, the client thought that the iris of the eye
should be tiger-eye, which does have the right colour and
iris-like silkiness. However I have never seen orbicular
tiger-eye, but only that in which the "silk" runs in parallel
and more or less straight lines. To get an eye out of that
would entail cutting a nearly infinte number of exquisitely
small pie shaped tiger eye "spokes" and glueing these all
together into a circle.

I would go some way to avoid having to do this. I've
dragged out every conceivable piece of orbicular this and
that from various boxes and shelves. No luck. It's orbicular,
yes, and I could get an eye out of it, of the right size too,
but it just doesn't look right. Yellow tiger-eye's definitely
the stone to match the iris of a bald eagle's eye.

After all that, here comes my question: Does anyone know
if there is such a thing as orbicular yellow tiger-eye?
Individual orbs would need to be about the diameter of a pea.
If there is such a thing, where can I get some? If there is
no such thing, what would _you_ do in my shoes? Any
suggestions are highly welcome.

Email me off-list at Or on-list if you
want to contribute to the amusement of list members.

Hans Durstling
Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Subject: RE: Dopping Opals

I have read all sorts of methods for dopping of opals...

I have never dopped using anything but stick shellac. I was
taught by two of the best Opal Cutters and Authorities (and
Hale - you know them) Dr. Basil Martin from St. Petersburg,
and Paul Downing (who was and still is a member of our club).

..They only used stick shellac or wax....cannot imagine
using epoxy or instant glue or any other for that matter...

Stick shellac and wax are easy to apply and easy to remove
finished stone.....Have had no trouble losing a stone off the
dop, or difficulty removing stone upon completion....

But thennnnnn......use the method that works for you. I
can't see reinventing the wheel.

I do warm the opal, as do my teachers, in the doping...
another tip was to cut using lukewarm water in your cab
machine...Cold water it seems - shocks the stone....


....May be reprinted....

Subject: RE: Dopping Opals

This is an old method of getting opal ready to put on a wax
dop. Put a stiff piece of paper on a lamp shade and turn on
the light. Place the opal on the paper and let it heat up
gradually from the heat of the light bulb.

An old rockhound back in the sixtys taught me that, and it

This is my first response, but I've surely been reading the
LapDigest each time it commes in.

Hope this helps.

Barb Langham

Subject: RE: How Do I Cut A Cat's-eye Chrysoberyl


By building a simple little unit I have saved myself a lot of
time on star and catseye material. It goes like this: take a
piece of plywood and mount a wooden dowel at 90 deg. to it.
Attach your mini-mag light to the dowel. At the base of the
dowel place a small lump of good old clay. By sticking the
stone in the clay, holding your head over the light, using a
little oil and a waterproof marker you can shift and mark the
stone to where it looks the best.

Craig Nielson

Subject: RE: Lapidary Glues and Cements

Received the following:

<<Sorry Hale but I couldn't get the address for "Summers" to
work. Think I could have it again?
Craig Nielson>>

You are right, Craig ... I left off the 'html'. It should
have been:



...non-commercial reprint permission given...

Subject: RE: Expanding Drum Question

<<I installed a new expanding drum to use with various grit
belts. The Drum vibrates like crazy, it is ~ 1/8" out of
round. Is this normal for these expanding drums? It is
installed correctly ; tight with the bushing etc. Or do I
have a defective drum, perhaps mismolded? >>

If it is 1/8" out of round, it is defective, you'll get a
chatter which will keep you from getting a good polish. If
there is a vibration, you will get "orange peel", or worse.

If you mounted it however, are you sure that it is on the
shaft centered, that your bushing is true or that there is
no vibration in the shaft?

Gil Shea

"non-commercial republish permission granted"

Subject: RE: Electroforming (Metal Plating) On Lapidary

I just thought of one more item which I thought I'd mention.
"Super Glues" contain Cyanide compounds and don't work right
in an acid plating solution; they will contaminate the piece.
Thus don't use them on lapidary pieces you intend to plate.
I'm not sure what other glues work in an electroforming bath
but I would try to stay with epoxies if at all possible.

Gil Shea

"non-commercial republish permission granted"
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