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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest Issue No. 125 - Sat 3/14/98
2. RE: Eliminating Flats
3. FS: Rough


Subject: LapDigest Issue No. 125 - Sat 3/14/98

There is a great letter by Ted Robles below, supposedly on
eliminating flats, but really containing a mouthful of good
advice on making cabs -- the sort of stuff we all 'know', but
it is worth reading and thinking about for all of us!

Have a great weekend, but stay safe, and above all, have fun!

Subject: NEW: What are Nova Wheels?

Tim Fisher wrote, in discussing eliminating flats:

<<IMHO, Nova wheels will completely eliminate this problem.>>

And also Vance wrote:

<<I was advised by my mentor to switch to nova wheels ..>>

My interest has been piqued: what are these Nova wheels?
Are they like a diamond -impregnated Cratex wheel? Who sells
them, and how much do they cost? How many grits do they come
in, and which are they? How big are they, do they come in six
and eight inch sizes like expanding drums? Are they available
in small sizes for use with a flexshaft? Can they be shaped
like silicon carbide, and do they wear down like Cratex? If
they can't be shaped, do they come in different shapes, like
concave, convex, knife-edge, etc? I will admit to being
plagued by scratchy areas appearing in the middle of cabs,
especially the low-dome types and with touchy materials like
obsidian, and it sounds like this might be the cure. Who
knows, this might be the excuse I needed to set up yet
another arbor...

Andrew Werby - United Artworks
Sculpture, Jewelry, and Other Art Stuff

Subject: RE: Eliminating Flats

A while back, someone was saying that he was having problems
with getting 'flats' on his cabs; that there was insufficient
"Give" in his wheels and it didn't seem to make any
difference no matter how much presure he applied. That was
his first mistake.

Diamond and Carborundum are two different animals.
Relatively speaking, about the same difference as between
quartz and chalk. If you "Lean Into" a diamond wheel, you
will get lousy results (flats, etc.) on your stone, and your
wheels will wear out long before their time. (I just
replaced the first two wheels on my wife's Pixie - and she's
been using it for seven years!) On diamond, you try to do
your cutting (and everything else) by almost not touching the
wheel. You use essentially no force. Don't "Grind" the stone
- let the diamond wear it away, but keep spinning it. The
technique is simply to use the whole face of the wheel, and
keep your cab moving. Any time you stop, you just bought a
'flat!' Can't help it! It's the same principle as
sharpening a knife on an emery wheel. If you don't want
notches in your blade, you keep it moving.

You do almost ALL of your cutting on the coarsest wheel you
have. If you leave ANY flats on the preform, you're going to
have them on the final piece - can't help it.

And, finally, practice - practice - practice. Use some
agate that you don't care too much about, and go through the
procedures until out of ten agate cabs, you get ten you like.
Then go to Quartz crystal, and do the same thing. Once you
can cut and polish Quartz Crystal, you're proficient enough
to go on; but do not expect to walk up to a nice new
machine and start turning out flawless work the first thing.
Machines, like people, take some acquaintanceship before you
really know what you can get out of them.

To sum up, lean into your Carborundum and Emery wheels all
you want; they can take it: but with diamond, be gentle,
and it'll treat you right.

Ted Robles

**non-commercial republication rights granted**


Subject: FS: Rough

Hi fellow lapidarists,

Here is the March sales items on consignment:

Songea (spelling?) sapphire rough. 1/2 carat to 3 carat
pieces. Mixed colors from ruby to clear to blue and all
between. $1 per carat. 25 carat minimum please. Normal
price: $6 per carat.

Pakistan Cat's Eye Cab Rough Aquamarine. Pieces range from 5
grams to 200 grams. Normal price: $4 per gram. Sale: $2 per

Kunzite cab and specimen grade. Normal price: 30 cents per
gram. Sale: $10 cents per gram

Mixed facet garnet by the kilo. Normal price: $1500 per
kilo. Sale: $600 per kilo (one kilo minimum at this sale

A grade Lapis. Normal price: 35 cents per gram. Sale: 15
cents per gram.

These consignment items will be available until April 10 or
until sold out.

Mark Case
Randleman, NC
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