Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest Issue No. 122 - Sat 3/7/98
2. NEW: Polishing Chrysoberyl Cat's-eye
3. NEW: Another motor question
4. RE: Replacing a Burned-out Motor on a Genie
5. RE: Replacing a Burned-out Motor on a Genie
6. RE: Replacing a Burned-out Motor on a Genie
7. RE: Searching for Material for an Eagle's Eye
8. RE: Searching for Material for an Eagle's Eye
9. RE: Dopping Opals
10. RE: Dopping Opals


Subject: LapDigest Issue No. 122 - Sat 3/7/98

Carol Bova wrote to say that Peter Collins died this past
week. "Co-Founder of the Australian Factors' Guild in 1981,
and editor of its magazine, Facet Talk for 12 years, Peter
Collins leaves a legacy of knowledge, friendship and
enthusiasm. His memory will always be for a blessing."

Also, Ted Robles, Jr., Editor of the The Mountain Gem
newsletter, wrote: "I regret to inform all you rockounds who
knew and respected him that that Basil ("Doc") Martin passed
away last month. He will be missed by all who knew him,
particularly the members of the Gem and Mineral Society of
Franklin, NC., Inc., which was "His" Club."

Those of us who have been in this hobby for a long time have
gotten to know others, even distantly located, through shows,
workshops and the like, and this has enlarged our circle of
friends and enrichened our lives. It is sad to hear of the
death of others in the hobby, and we send condolences to
their families and friends.

Take care, be safe!


Subject: NEW: Polishing Chrysoberyl Cat's-eye

(Ed Note: This is a follow-on to the thread entitled "How Do
I Cut A Cat's-eye Chrysoberyl.")

Although I was asked by Don specifically, I thought I should
share my polishing tips.

I use a slab of 'Corian (sp) on a flat lapping machine with a
speed control, most important. Corian ia a synthetic
marble-like plastic used for kitchen counters and such and an
offcut piece of 6 - 8" diameter is ideal. I then cut half
round concentric grooves into the lap. I used a variety of
burrs in my flexible shaft to achieve this, spinning the lap
as I cut the grooves, messy, very messy. A lathe would make
short work of this part. I then mixed 8,000 diamond with
baby oil and worked it into the grooves. It gets quite noisy
but polishes a Sapphire or Chysoberyl beautifuly and very
quickly, and most importantly there are no ugly little flats
all over the stone. I finish up with 14,000 which is on an
inner groove. I have three grooves cut into the lap.

For small cabochons I use a reshaped wooden golf tee. The tee
is shaped to fit into my flexible shaft collett, almost
nothing, and the ball end is made more cup shaped, and an
appropriate size, this is then charged with 8,000 diamond,
baby oil mix and applied to a static held cabochon. Working
your way over the stone quickly leaves a high polish, free use
of baby oil keeps it cool, about 1 drop should do for the
average 3mm stone. You can also repolish cabs in their mounts
this way. Warning, softer stones will disappear or get very
grooved with this technique.

Anthony L. Lloyd-Rees
web site:

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: NEW: Another motor question

The post from Ben Hyman reminded me that there's a lot of
minds on this list... I have 2 vibratory tumblers that have
dead motors. Both small, both mounted on frames with a place
to attach the motor underneath. One is a "Tumble-Vibe", the
other I got at a yard sale. Is there any off-the-shelf type
of motor that I can use to run these puppies? I tried a fan
motor for a bath vent, it lasted about 47 seconds. The old
motor on the Tumble-Vibe had an eccentric weight on the shaft.

Any ideas?

al macneil
somewhere near seattle

non-commercial republish permission granted

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

Ben Hyman burned out the motor on his genie. I don't own a
genie but have replaced many motors on other pieces of
lapidary equipment including saws, grinding wheel set ups,
tumblers etc. Unless a genie is vastly different electrically
a motor is a motor. Take the genie motor off, see what
horsepower it is, and get a new motor of the same horsepower.

The last time I had a motor rewound it cost about $100. I get
motors rewound every few years so I know it hasn't been too
long. You may want to shop around for someone to rewind the
motor at a more reasonable price.

Dixie Reale

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

I had my Genie motor rewound last year at a cost of $230.
This came with a lifetime warrantee. You might want to check
around with several motor shops. I priced a new motor from
Diamond Pacific and I think it was about $100 more than the
rewind. By the time you buy a replacement motor and some new
cutting wheels you are almost to the cost of a new unit. I
looked into using another type of motor. To get a motor with
the same RPM and torque, and then pulleys or gears to adapt
it, you are about the same cost as a rewind and have a jury
rigged machine. The rewind made the most sense to me.

Good luck.

Terry Norman

*non-commercial republish permission granted*

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


in response to Ben about replace a motor on a genie. Check
with Baldor (who makes the motors for the genie) at their web
site: You will have to type in the zip code
or city you are near and they will list a distributor for
that area. The motor you want is listed under polishers.
The speed is 1800 rpm. I don't have the model number here
with me now, but I will send it later. The cost for a new one
is about what they are charging to rebuild.


non-commercial reprinting is allowed

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

If you haven't tried Australian Tiger Iron, you may want to
take a look. There is also a material from Minnesota called
Silk Stone. Silk Stone is another form of tiger eye. These
may be harder to come by in your area. Maybe someone in the
group has some around.

Steve Ramsdell

You can reprint for non profit.

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

In Hans' original description of his problem, he used the
word "orbicular" to describe the kind of material he was
looking for. Knowing that it generally meant 'circular or
spherical', I wrote him and asked him to define this word in
relation to lapidary materials. He replied:

"Orbicular is when the pattern in a stone is circular. One
term that describes it for agate (in German) is "Augenachat"
= "eye agate". Turritella agate, composed of a myriad of
silicified snail shells has orbicular patterns on the slices,
where a snail shell is cut through such that it leaves a
circle pattern. Then there's orbicular jasper, in particular
the one I'm familiar with being the cocoa-brown stuff from
Cape d'Or on the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. There you'll
often see a pattern of concentric white and brown circles.
Basically "orbicular" is any orb-like circular pattern."

Thanks, Hans...


Subject: RE: Dopping Opals


I have been cutting opals and other stones on a commercial
basis since 1974 and have yet to damage an opal through heat.
I use commercial facetors wax, the high melting point stuff
and a commercial dopping system.

I heat the aluminium dop sticks with an alcohol lamp and melt
wax into the dop's cavity. Holding the stone at all times the
wax will transfer sufficient heat to provide a positive bond,
and never enough to cause damage to the stone. My fingers are
many times more heat sensitive than any opal and I would
blister long before there is sufficient heat to damage a

I use a wooden holder whilst heating and aligning the
dopstick and an aluminium transfer block to quickly cool
the stick after attaching the stone. At no time is direct
heating or cooling applied to the stone thereby eliminating
thermal shock which is probably the true cause of heat

A fast, safe, quick method is essential for commercial
cutting and only a system can provide this.

Anthony L. Lloyd-Rees
web site:

non-commercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Dopping Opals

Hi! Maybe I missed it, but I haven't seen the water method
of heating opals for dopping mentioned. The stone is put
into room temperature water and then gradually brought up to
the proper temperature for dopping. Probably it should be
raised above the bottom of the pan with a pad of wire or
something under it to keep the temperature as even as
possible all the way around it. Makes sense if you are
unsure how stable your opal is.


Rose McArthur

non-commercial republishing permission granted
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.