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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 146 - Sat 6/13/98
2. NEW: Want Plans or Help in Designing 6" Rock Saw
3. NEW: Source for Sphere Stands
4. NEW: Home Made Saw Filter Systems
5. NEW: Can Layered Common Opal be Used for Cameos?
6. NEW: Polishing Obsidian in a Vibratory Tumbler
7. NEW: Using Water with Dremel or Drill
8. NEW: Frosting Black Onyx
9. NEW: Workshop Setup Advice Needed
10. NEW: Polishing Carved Material
11. NEW: Does Ammonite Occur in US?
12. Trading: Opal Rough Material for Trade
13. WTB: Used Genie Cabbing Unit


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 146 - Sat 6/13/98

Well, have you ever noticed that bad luck runs in streaks? I
hope my streak is finally over and we can get back to normal.

I still have to go get my car at Asheville, and will do that
tomorrow. Will stay a couple of days visiting my brother,
and then go to the SFMS Quarterly meeting outside of Atlanta.
Will be back Sunday, so the next issue will be on Sunday or
Monday (June 22).

Thanks for all the postings you sent to help us get started.
Had too many for one issue, so I saved the others and they
will use them in the future.

Meant to mention that in the June issue of R&G was a very
nice paper by Dick Friesen on polishing jade, and one by
Sandy Downs on backpacking. Way to go!!!

Have fun! And be sure you have good backups (smile).


Subject: NEW: Want Plans or Help in Designing 6" Rock Saw

Hi Hale and group

Glad this is back on line. I, for one, missed the chat.

Does anyone have plans for a home made 6" saw. I've kicked a
couple of ideas around but haven't come up with anything I'm
happy with yet. I put together my own 8" grinder units and
have been using them for about 3 years with good results and
am now going to try some 95/5 flat laps ( thanks to a great
guy with his gears loose ) but still have a need to build a
6" saw for trimming.

Guess this has something to do with the totally
unprofessional look the rest of my equipment has. That and
the fact that so far it has saved me over a grand. Big
savings, Just blew it all on rocks anyway.

Thank you Hale for the cost and effort you've put out to
bring us all back together.

Craig Nielson

Subject: NEW: Source for Sphere Stands

Does anyone have a good source for sphere stands? I know
about Spherestoyou, but I thought that I'd ask around for
other alternatives.

Art Berggreen
Santa Barbara Mineral and Gem Society

Subject: NEW: Home Made Saw Filter Systems

I would like to put a filter system on my 16 inch saw . I
can buy one from Diamond Pacific (Contempo Lapidary) for
$190 plus shipping. Also, I want to put a filter system on
two 21 inch saws at our club to avoid having to clean them
so often.

Anyone have any ideas or plans for building one?


Don, the ramblin rockhound.
noncommercial republish permission granted.

Subject: NEW: Can Layered Common Opal be Used for Cameos?

Our club recently brought back some common opal with layers
of cream and a rich root beer sort of brown. I am wondering
if opals characteristics would make this good cameo material
or not?

non-commercial republishing allowed

Subject: NEW: Polishing Obsidian in a Vibratory Tumbler

Hi Anyone,
I have a vibratory tumbler and am trying to polish obsidian
flats, or even obsidian cabs, and cannot get a polish. Is it
possible? Maybe I should stick to cabs? But they aren't doing
so hot either. Anyone with ideas or experience on this?



Subject: NEW: Using Water with Dremel or Drill

I read that carving stone should be done under a steady drip
of water and that drilling should be done under water. What
are the rules for using water around a Dremel -- I will be
doing gems, not large 3d carvings. I will mostly carve
bringing the stone to the stationary Dremel but also use the
flex shaft at times. How do the rules differ for a drill.
Is mine more dangerous because it has a metal housing , not

Thanks ,

(Susan, I sent this query to Dremel Customer Service at
<>, and am awaiting their answer. But I
am sure someone on the list has had experience with this and
can give some advice. hale)

Subject: NEW: Frosting Black Onyx

Good Evening,
I have cut some interesting shapes in black onyx and
would like to apply a "frosted" finish to them without using
a sandblaster. I have tried leaving light sanding marks but
that looks really bad. Also tried soaking for about an hour
in nitric acid (70% solution) with no effect. I'm thinking
that there must be some chemical solution or an acid that
will etch the surface of the stone to give it that frosted
look. Maybe whatever it is that glass artists use to etch
window glass? Any suggestions on this matter will be greatly

Subject: NEW: Workshop Setup Advice Needed

As a result of a move to new premises where we can set up
our own rock shop and my imminent departure from paid
employment (unfortunately redundancy rather than retirement)
I have the opportunity to set up my workshop from scratch -
well as far as layout goes, I'll have to stick to the same
basic equipment for now.

Any advice on layout, absolutely must have facilities - apart
from coffee on tap, that's top of the list already !

It might help if I say I am a cabber and slabber - carving
yet to come and have a 10" saw, 6" saw,10" vibro lap, 6
barrel tumbler, double grinder, face on 6" sanding/polishing
unit and 12" flat lap (the last 4 home made).

Silversmithing equipment can be ignored since I have an
experienced acquaintance who wants to use the space in
return for teaching me - now that's what I call a good deal!

Andy Parker
-- non-commercial republish permission granted --

Subject: NEW: Polishing Carved Material

As I gem carver, for quartzes in general, I use a combination
of 3 part cerium/one part tin oxide on leather for polishing.
However I have trouble ith this on the smaller pieces in holes
etc. I wonder if anyone has a routine that works.

Subject: NEW: Does Ammonite Occur in US?

Does all the gem quality ammonite come from Canada or is
there some available from the United States?

R. McArthur
non-commercial republishing rights granted

Subject: Trading: Opal Rough Material for Trade

I have picked up some extremely nice Mintabe seam opal, some
Lambibia opal (extremely nice) and some very nice Honduran
opal. I have quite a bit of the Honduran material. I am
open for trades for faceting equipment.


Tim Vogle

Tim Vogle's Southeastern Exotic Bird Fair
Exotic Bird Fairs since 1988

Subject: WTB: Used Genie Cabbing Unit

Jerry and I are looking for a used Genie Grinder. He is
wanting to get back into cabbing. Please put in the Digest
that we are looking for a cheap one. They can e-mail us at, or fax us with the information at

Hope to be at Wildacres for the fall session. I send my best
to you.

Nancy D. Libby
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