Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 171 - Thurs 10/29/98
2. NEW: Backing Stones
3. NEW: Cushioning Stones
4. Re: Polishing Jade
5. RE: Wirewrapping
6. RE: Wirewrapping
7. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
8. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
9. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
10. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
11. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
12. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
13. Re: New Lapidary Web Site
14. WTB: Fossilized Ivory for Carving
15. WTB: Good Used Fiber Optic Light Source
16. AD: Web site update-V-Rock Shop Home Page


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 171 - Thurs 10/29/98

Thank you, guys, for all the suggestions for what to include
in our web site. I have been working like mad to get it up
and running ... then we will tweak it to add things pertinent
to lapidary.

At first, I am planning to put up the following: 1) FAQ about
Lapidary Digest, 2) Way to subscribe easily. 3) Some articles
from the Digest. 4) A copy of the latest issue of the Digest.
5) A list of every lapidary book we could find. 6) About our

After that, I want to add links - to important lapidary sites,
like Roger Pabian's agate pages. PLEASE send me any URLs you
know which you think are important lapidary sites. -next, add
members sites... but that is a week or so away!

Thanks for your help, guys... now get back in the shop and--
have FUN!!!


Subject: NEW: Backing Stones

Hello Hale:

I have been trying to back stones to get the same quality
backing as is found on Turquoise cabs from IJS or Rio Grand
(or other southwestern jewelry suppliers).I was told Devcon
plastic steel and steel epoxy are used. Unfortunately, there
are no directions on how to back stones. When I lay a stone
on the the steel putty, it sinks into it. I've tried gluing
the stone onto hardened plastic steel and sawing it out but
I'm not sure if this is efficiently secure. The epoxy seems
too runny. Does anyone know if there is a special (and
secret)trick to achieving the smooth backing on cabs?

Thanks fo any comments,
(Hale's note: Sally, the plastic steel I use (from Walmart) is
so stiff when you knead it that nothing much would sink into
it. I think you must have the wrong product .. the kind I use
comes in a cylinder, and is an epoxy with steel 'filings' of
about putty consistency. It has a tubular shape, with the
hardener - also a putty like material - in the middle of the
tube. You cut off a small amount (say, 1/4" long) and knead
it till the two parts are well mixed. Then flatten it on wax
paper and put your stone on it and push just enough to seat it
on top. Then cut the edges to conform to the stone with an
Xacto knife, and let set! After hardening, you can file it and
sand it to get it as smooth as you want. Oh, if the steel
epoxy you buy is white (sold for use on boats), just knead
some color into it as you knead it. Anyone else do it another
way? hale)

Subject: NEW: Cushioning Stones

Hello, Hale, I have some more questions.

For cushioning the stone in the bezel I use jeweler's sawdust
but I'm concerned that moisture may cause the sawdust to
swell, or to rot. I'm sure it's not a concern in dry New
Mexico for example, but here in Houston we have developed
gills because the air is so humid. Any Comments?

A Goldsmith I met in New Mexico told me he uses aluminum foil
to cushion the stones in his settings. It sounds like a great
idea, thought I'd pass it on.

Thanks for any comments,
Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 01:58:22 -0400
To: <>
Subject: Re: Polishing Jade

Like everyone else, I also have had very frustrating problems
polishing jade. I won't go into the details, they're well
known. "Orangepeeling" sums it up.

For cabs, I ended up polishing on 2,000 grit wet-or-dry
silicon carbide paper (you can get it at auto body supply
shops), DRY!, with plenty of pressure. Just JAM! that stone
against the disk. When the dop wax melts from the heat of
polishing it's about right. The sandpaper is on a 1/16"
hard rubber backing. Automobile tire tube rubber is about
the right thickness but too soft; it'll orange-peel the
stone. I don't know why but it does. Nor do I know where
I got the hard rubber backing, just something that
happened to be in the workshop. 2000 grit paper on a
hardwood wheel ought to work, it would be about the same

The result is a near mirror finish on places where the jade
is most uniform. There are inhomogeneities, patches that still
do undercut a bit, don't polish as uniformly or as smoothly,
but that's inherent in the material. Overall the polish is
bright and impressive.

I would imagine that to get the same thing on spheres the
same principles would apply: polish using very fine grit
silicon carbide, LOTS of pressure to get the stone surface
HOT!, and a comparatively hard substrate.

Hans Durstling
Moncton, Canada

Subject: RE: Wirewrapping

Dear Hale:
I have some information that the wirewrapper Tom Staley in
Elko, Nevada may like to have, but unfortunately he did not
have his e-mail address on his inquiry. Do you forward e-mail

Verle Stadel
(That's my fault, Verle -- I accidentally erased it when I put
the issue together! Hopefully he will read this and send in
his address --hale)

Subject: RE: Wirewrapping

I have watched several videos on wirewrapping. In my opinion
the very best is Seth Blansett, HC52 Box 893-54, Hemphill TX
75948. He has four videos around $40 each, including Prong
ring, and a Prong Cabochon. Also, for practice or a different
look, check out an electrical supply company for different
kinds of wire, including some enameled wire.

I'm learning so much from Lap Digest. Thanks to all with
template suggestions.


Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

Hale ..for my 25 cents worth, # 4 on your list (Links to
important lapidary sites) is the most desirable item with #3
(Links to member's web sites) being next.

Best regard...........
Hale's Note: Gonna have both of these, David. If any of you
know important lapidary sites, please send me the URLs.

Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

<What would you like to see on your lapidary page?>

Hi Hale,

How about submissions for articles with pics of field trips
members have taken in search of good lapidary materials with
directions to the sites, materials to be found & pics of some
of the materials found (before & after cutting)?

Noel, I have tried hard to keep focused on a very narrow list
of items, as spelled out in the Welcome letter; this does not
include field trips, and I hesitate to widen it any. There is
plenty to cover in lapidary, and I would rather do lapidary
well then do a mediocre job on a broader range. If any of you
have forgotten the scope, you can get the Welcome letter from
the Archives, using
GET Welcome.txt
on the Subject line hale

Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

I love most of your ideas. My first interest is in beading
and there is a site by Emily Hackbarth, She covers most of what you
mentioned. You might want to take a look at how she did it.

Rita B.

We are not humans having a spiritual experience,
We are spiritual beings having a human experience!

Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

<<Have gotten a few ideas about web pages, and want to try
out a few on you-all (or, more properly, y'all):

1. Put some of our single topic pages, such as spheres or
channel work, for viewers to read.>>

[This is a good idea, but only if a little editing is done
to make them easier to read. Otherwise an archives with a
search engine (this is a cgi script you can probably find,
or else give instructions at the table of contents on how
to use your browser's search function.]

<<2. Pictures of member's work - cabs, intarsia, and so on.>>

[This is a lot easier to do with a web page than a list.
But there's a lot of work involved- are you really up for
all this, Hale?]

<<3. Links to member's web sites.>>

[That's another good idea. What about live e-mail addresses
for those without sites who send in images?]

<<4. Links to important lapidary sites.>>

[You're welcome to use any of the links I've got on my site,
under Resources. If you use my commentary, please give me

<<5. If we can find plans for home-made lap equipment, put
them on these pages.>>

[And along with that, include a bit on how to use them,
perhaps cribbed from the archives. I've been working on
editing and HTML coding some of Dick Freisen's insightful
opinions on various technical aspects of lapidary craft
for my page, but if you can use them over there, I'm sure
he won't minda little duplication of his efforts.]

[If you do all of the above, you'll have done a lot.]
[Right, Hale. We can have fun, but you're going to be tied
to your computer...]

Andrew Werby

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



Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

I would love to see a page that lists our web pages. That
would be great.

A links page for equipment and supplies would also be great.

One of the things I love about the list is the tips on how to
make your own tools or where to find non Lapidary tools that
work great for lapidary. The latest issue is good example of
this with the band saw. This would be good to see on the page.

Thanks for a great list.

Non-commercial republish permission granted.


Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

I'm still fairly new to computer communication, so I'm not
sure what suggestions are reasonable for a web page. I do
prefer the digest to come to me rather than downloading a web
page and scrolling through it.

It'd be fun to have information grouped on different pages
(like all the postings about cutting spheres on one page
and information about polishes on another). Even as I write
this it seems like a nightmarish amount of work. I hate to
make suggestions about things that I'm not really familiar
with. Plus as much as I'd like to help out, I don't know
the first thing about setting up web pages or anything that
I could volunteer for.

I do have one bit of information that might be useful. I
found a rockhound webring at;list

So far they have about 15 sites linked up. They are looking
for mineral clubs, rockhound oriented pages, dealers, etc.

Thanks for all the hard work you put in.


Subject: Re: New Lapidary Web Site

Howdy* Hale,
(here out west we are allowed to say "howdy")

Can you include a search of the archives, and FTP for
"found" information? Or just access to the archives through
the web page?

The remaining items are just fine with me. I suppose that
you will have a link to "Bob's Rock Shop" and a couple of

I'm not much on HTML but if you need a list of links I do
have several (keep saving snippets from searches and email

non-commercial republish permission granted.

warm regards from western NC,

Subject: WTB: Fossilized Ivory for Carving

Could someone tell me a source for reasonably priced
fossilized ivory?

I need pieces suitable for carvings 2 to 3 inches in width,
in a color close to the shade of regular ivory.


Subject: WTB: Good Used Fiber Optic Light Source

I want to buy a used fiber optic light source for gem
identification purposes, in good condition. It doesn't have
to be GIA, but s/b similar.

Please reply to

Subject: AD: Web site update-V-Rock Shop Home Page

For those dealers out there check out,
prices and selection on receipt of Tax and/or business ID.
The url is:
<"">Click here: V-Rock Shop
Home Page</A>


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