Administered by Hale Sweeny (

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 173 - 11/3/98
2. NEW: Slabbing the End Pieces of Rough
3. RE: Polishing Jade
4. Re: bumper
5. RE: Source for Ivory
6. RE: Cushioning Stones
7. RE: Cushioning stones
8. Re: Good Used Fiber Optic Light Source
9. BIO: Joe Kilpatrick
10. COMMENT: Copyright
11. COMMENT: Our New Web Page
12. Question: Collecting in Ireland
13. FS: Pet Wood
14. HELP: Need Stones Drilled
15. Need: Gold/Silver Plating Service


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 173 - 11/3/98

First, we just got our 1300th member!

Next, I want to start a new section on the Web Site which
will be called: - Meet Our Members - or - Lapidary Work by
our Members - (or something similar) in which we will
feature the work of one member every two or three weeks. If
you would like to be included, please send me a photo
snapshot of yourself, a short bio, and a picture of the
piece of lapidary you made which you are most proud of.
The feature picture will be the lapidary piece, followed by
a smaller picture of you, with both followed by a
description of the material used in the piece, how you made
it, and any other interesting thing about the lapidary
piece. Then include a brief bio.

Sound good? And it would even be better if the two pictures
have been scanned and were in either .jpg or .gif format,
so you could send it all via e-mail! But if not, OK - I can
scan them.

Now if 1000 people send me pictures all at the same time,
(isn't that a fearful thought!), I'll just save 'em up
and do them one at a time when I can! But I don't really
think this will be a real problem!

About the policy on copyright... Giovanna pointed out that
many of their club's articles are reproduced after a lot
of cutting, which distorted what the authors intended.
Thus the policy has been reworded (in the second paragraph)
to say:

<Thus, blanket permission is given to Gem and Mineral Clubs
and to Lapidary and Mineral Federations to reprint items
from the Digest and from the Archives in their Newsletters,
given that the item is reproduced in full and that all
authors and the Digest are cited as the source.>

Any comments?

Any suggestions for the Digest or the web site?

OK That’s all -- now back to lapidary, and let's all HAVE


Subject: NEW: Slabbing the End Pieces of Rough

My partner and best friend became a member of Livermore
Lithophiles about 1-1/2 years ago, and they have a great
idea for slabbing the thin end pieces of rough that most
people can't use. The idea is: Save your old milk cartons,
or at least the bottom half. Purchase cement that is fairly
easy to cut, and mix a little thick. Pour into the carton
about half full, and then place the rock in with the flat
side down, to make sure it is straight. Add the rest of
the cement, and when it's dry, tear off the carton.

You should now have a nice even piece that is easy to fit
into your slab saw, and the rock can be slabbed down to the
last inch.
Steve Ensor
noncommercial republish permission granted

Subject: RE: Polishing Jade

Jade nephrite from different part of the world can be very
hard to polish. Here's a tips from New Zealand:

Many inexperience amateur lapidaries or gem hobbyists have
found that they cannot get the desired high-gloss polish on
nephrite that is so easily obtained on other gemstones. This
is because the felted, fibrous structure of nephrite
presents a texture with patches of uneven grain and varying
hardness which, when polished, often show a dimpled surface
known as "lemon peel". Much have been written how to polish
jade using a great variety of equipment and techniques, but
all authorities agree that experience is the basic factor
in achieving good results.

Polishing is done on a leather polishing wheel aided by
mineral oxide powders, of which tin oxide is the most common.
Wheels are generally of two types, either of laminated
construction or of soft leather stretched over the slightly
domed side of the wheel. Brush on a thin mixture of tin
oxide and water, and work the whole surface of the cabochon
applying sufficient pressure to generate considerable heat.
This will cause the water to evaporate so take care that
the wheel does not become too dry. When the cabochon begins
to tug, the polish is working best, and a little water may
be necessary to keep this tugging effect going until the
degree of polish is acceptable.

Here are some more stones which are very hard to polish:
rhodochrosite from Argentina and Lapis Lazuli from
Afghanistan. Any tips? Maybe some pictures of the high-gloss
polished stones can be presented on the new Web Page?
Med vänlig hälsning
kenneth svensson
Subject: Re: bumper

Another idea for flat lap bumpers is to take sections of
old inner tubes and stretch around the stones. Works well
on large pieces also.(bookend size)

Date: Sun, 1 Nov 1998 13:37:39 -0000
To: <>
Subject: RE: Source for Ivory

For the gentleman that was looking for ivory for carving:

Mastodon and walrus ivory can be purchased from K&G Supply
in Lakeside, Arizona. Their number is: 1(800)972-1192.
They are a finishing supply house for guns and knives.

They also carry a huge supply of unique materials such
as horn, bone, meteorite, jade, mother of pearl, oosik,
abalone and paua shell, sea cow bone, dinosaur bone,
exotic wood, stabilized wood and laminates, tagua nut,
reconstituted gem materials, water buffalo horn, synthetic
ivory, kopal, imitation tortoise shell and more.

Give em a call!!

Paul Ahlstedt
The Gemking

Subject: RE: Cushioning Stones

Backing up cabs to raise them for deeper bezels is a cinch
when you use the foam from egg boxes 3/64' thick and soft
and cushiony and won't rot away. Just press bezel into it
and cut around the mark and it keeps it out of the

Leon kusher
(Leon, I like to use plastic cut from the lids of peanut
jars to cushion or raise stones. hale)

Subject: RE: Cushioning stones

Liquid neoprene is sold as a waterproofing for electrical
connections and can be purchased at marine/boating parts
stores as well as some of the large chain hardware
companies. I have used this to build up a backing. It dries
rather fast and can be trimmed with a razor knife.

Additional layers can de added to the back of the stone and
the final coating can be applied directly into the setting.


Subject: Re: Good Used Fiber Optic Light Source

American Science & Surplus ( claims
to have nice ones for $145.


Subject: BIO: Joe Kilpatrick

Hello everyone,

I have been doing jewelry and metalsmithing for about 25
years. I started out cutting rocks and then basic
silversmithing. Years ago I was stationed in Korea were I
worked with a fifth generation goldsmith. Later I attended
University of Houston where I was able to learn a lot more
techniques and fine tune my skill. I do mostly custom work
in silver and 18k. I enjoy using unusual cuts and shapes of
stone. I market my work at galleries, art shows and on the
web. I am looking forward to learning more about rock



Joe Kilpatrick
Expressions With Metal

Subject: COMMENT: Copyright

Not to nit-pick, but you might want to add that the article
or piece of information should be copied in its entirety.
Our club's editor is appalled at the number of things
reprinted in other club's newsletters that are published
and cut to the point of being incomprehensible.

Good idea, Giovanna! Will change it accordingly! Anyone
with any other comments on the new policy?

Subject: COMMENT: Our New Web Page

Great job, Hale!! I especially enjoyed your bio and the
picture of you and Anne. And having a list of articles on
the web is so much easier than trying to find information
on a particular subject in the digest's archives or my own
personal digest archive! Only one thing I would still like
to see and that is some pictures of some great stones/cabs
our users have found/cut.

Bacliff, Texas US on the Gulf Coast, just blocks from
Galveston Bay

Subject: Question: Collecting in Ireland

Jim and Wendy are going to Ireland for their
honeymoon and would like to know what gems and minerals
they could collect there. If anyone has any information
they would appreciate a note at "".


Subject: FS: Pet Wood

I have some very nice PET Wood from 4 locations. All have
EXCELLENT grain pattern. I have identified 6 species so
far. Select: $7 per pound. 200 pounds for $800. Shipping
extra. Please reply off list if interested.

Mark Case
Randleman, NC

Subject: HELP: Need Stones Drilled

I am looking for a source that can drill holes in agate
for me. I have small stones that I need two holes approx.
3/32". I think they need to be done with an ultrasonic

Also I want to have simple facets put on these same stones.
I would need a couple dozen done at a time. Any with
any leads would be helpful.


Joe Kilpatrick
Expressions With Metal

Subject: Need: Gold/Silver Plating Service

I've been a member of Lapidary Digest for almost a year now
and it has been great! I am designer of beaded jewelry and
hope to be able to expand my skills through lists such as
this one.

I am currently trying to find a service that will plate
glass with either 14k gold or sterling silver in 1/2 kilo
quantities. If anyone has a referral for such a service or
does it themselves, please email me. Thanks.
Wendy Van Camp
mail to

IndigoSkye Bead Fashions
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