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1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 184 - Wed 12/9/98
2. NEW: Need Information on Cabmate
3. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
4. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
5. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
6. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
7. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
8. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
9. Re: Polishing Pads [Speed]
10. Re: Polishing Pads [Speed]
11. RE: Polishing Spheres
12. Re: Polishing Jade
13. RE: Ivory Flakes for Tumbling
14. FS: Old Lapidary Journals Available
15. BIO: Allyson Morrison
16. BIO: Jack L. Edwards


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 184 - Wed 12/9/98

Please note the last letter below; Jack Edwards collects
rough from the Pacific Northwest and wants to trade. A
great opportunity for those in other parts of the country
who don't have the chance to collect there. Please
communicate privately and not on-list.

We have had 80+ degree weather in Durham, and it is just
not Christmas!!! Hard to get in the spirit!!

Remember to hug those you love - and maybe those you don't
love. Be at peace with yourselves and above all - have fun!


Subject: NEW: Need Information on Cabmate


Our CabMate is a year old now and has done well for us
(that's not an "imperial" us - both my wife and I use it
;-). There is something I'm puzzled about though.

The CabMate comes with a rough diamond wheel, and a diamond
lap marked 600 mesh. These are used wet. Then there are
three pads used dry, marked 325, 1200 and 50,000 mesh
diamond. This makes it sound like the first dry pad is
rougher than the flat lap, but that doesn't seem to be the
case. The instructions say to use the them in that order
(grinding wheel, 600 lap, then 325, 1200, 50,000). Is this
a case of different meanings for the grit size numbers?
Say, if I wanted to add another diamond lap, for stock
removal midway between the rough wheel (120? 180?) and the
600, what should I get? All parts: the saw, grinding wheel,
flat lap, and the diamonds for the dry laps are from
Crystalite, though, so it would seem that the numbering
should be consistent.

Also, any other suggestions for ways to upgrade a Graves
CabMate? Crystalflex pads to allow other polishing agents
besides diamond? Any other ideas?


Bob Lombardi W4ATM in Melbourne, FL
blombard@iu.net or blombard@freenet.fsu.edu
Bicycling, telescope making, optics, astronomy,
Radio Design, piano, SW and ham radio

Subject: RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?

This system is excellent for cabbing and intarsia as well.
It does include all you need, except I would suggest that
you purchase sponges to place between the lap and base to
provide additional resiliency. This is especially helpful
for cabbing work.

Contact me for more info.

Art Mott

Subject: RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?

The "All-You-Need" Machine if made by:

Hi-Tech Diamond Products, Inc.
750 Easy St.
Simi Valley, CA 93065

It is available as a 6" unit for about $300 and a 8" unit
for about $400. I don't own one but I have used them and I
have a set of the sanding disks from the 6". I think that
for the price they are a good choice for a beginner. I
found that I had difficulty getting used to the horizontal
position. I have done all my cutting on vertical wheels
and this old dog just didn't want to learn this new trick.
I am sure that if you don't already have a preference, you
can learn to use it. It does work OK and $300 for an all
diamond unit is hard to beat.

Dick Friesen

Subject: RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?

I bought an 8" unit to help with intarsia and channelwork.
I have been pleased with it, except for a few minor details.
For example, it is plastic and certain parts don't seem
rigid enough to me. Also, the tray under the top which
collects the water is hard to clean; it has channels which
are far too narrow to allow a toothbrush through, and the
residue can cake very hard in just a day. But all in all,
I am pleased with it and recommend it.

Unlike Dick (see next letter above), I have no feelings of
awkwardness when cabbing. For this purpose, I put the unit
on a very low stool, and I sit on a moderately high stool,
and holding the dop stick at a low level seems natural and

I use masking tape to hold flat pieces that I am lapping.
I fold the tape like this -> _/\_ with the adhesive
side down and squeeze the upper parts together so that it
looks like this -> _|_ . I then push (adhere) the two
bottom wings onto the flat piece to be lapped and, for
lapping, hold the piece by the upper folded part. This way,
I get much more control of the piece (using other fingers
to control the pressure across the piece), and am able to
pick up the piece without it sailing across the workshop!!


Subject: RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?

I've gone on about the virtues of the All You Need Lap
(which is actually manufactured by Hi-Tech Diamond Products)
in the digest before and if the members will bear with me,
I'll do it again. For the money I think it's the best
machine of it's kind available. It's quiet, clean and low
maintenance. It's a great machine to have if you don't have
a lot of space, plus it's light weight enough to carry to
shows. Some people don't like the fact that you have to
change the laps between stones, but I don't mind since I
usually will cut ten stones at a time. The one drawback is
the water feed: I found it hard to adjust and replaced it
with an IV bag (The only better drip system I've ever seen
is the one that came with my faceting machine).

Hi-Tech has distributors that travel to gem shows. If
there's one coming to your area check it out, often they
offer even better prices than through mail order.


Subject: RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?

I have an All U Need and I love it! You can't beat the price
and although I am still a beginner, I have seen some
incredible stones done on it. (Mine are getting better and
better.) I especially like the fact that it is so light
weight (same as a gallon of milk) that I can actually work
on the kitchen table or outside. It uses water which is an
easy clean up. I have, in my concentration, forgotten to
empty the little cup and had it overflow, so be careful of
that. I replaced the drain hose with a longer one (check the
Home Depot type stores)so that it drains right into a bucket.

I would also recommend ordering the polishing kit they
have that screws right into the shaft.(about $30) It
includes some three inch wheels and pads which saves on
diamond and is great to use while polishing.

P.S.: I have no affiliation with Diamond Tech, I'm just a
happy customer and would recommend it. I saw it demoed at a
trade show and got hooked on lapidary (bought the demo
model right then and there!).


Subject: RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?

The All You Need(R) is a great little workhorse that you
can use from the moment you get your hands on it, if you've
ever done any work with diamond. It's basically a
variable speed flat lap with interchangeable laps - which
is to say, a faceting machine without all the bells and

I disagree with the "All You Need" part of it,
because if you want an accurate bevel on your cabs, it's
much easier to use the "Genie(R)" or the old "Highland
Park(R)" with the cab rest. Not to say you can't do it,
but it's a lot easier with the jig that's built to do the
job. (It is not too well suited for free-forms unless
they are everywhere convex). We got an "AYK" for the
Club, and I liked it so well that I got two for myself.
If you can keep even pressure on your stone, the speed with
which you can cut high-quality cabs is quite literally

One of the nicest things about it is that you can cut a true
"Flat Spot" for dopping, and not have to depend on whatever
the saw left you! The main trick on the machine is to get
your stone centered as exactly as possible, because the high
spot on the cab is going to be right opposite the dop.
Also, if you're not careful. you can cut a cab with a flat
spot on top, so you need to go back and forth in every
conceivable direction.

I think it requires a lot less concentration than the
Genie (R), because it's a good bit simpler in my estimation
to cut round against flat than it is to cut round against a
wheel - that may be a personal quirk, but I like it better
than I do my wife's Genie(R).

The only caveat is the usual one with diamond; don't be
heavy-handed; Wear the stone away; don't GRIND it!

Oh, yes - for polish on most things, I'm using Ultralaps(R).
They're quick and do a very good job. The machine comes
with Phenolic and Methacrylate plates, but I don't use them
anywhere as much. (It also comes with very complete
directions, which is useful),

One thing - keep everything wet! It even does a super job
on jade. (Both types)

I heartily recommend it if you have the touch for it.

Ted Robles

Subject: Re: Polishing Pads [Speed]

Unfortunately there just isn't ONE speed that works best.
The glass industry has published a lot of research work
on polishing glass and they found if you can keep everything
else equal, the faster the "wheel" the faster the polish.
Now before someone jumps all over me for that statement,
I'm condensing a lot of pages into one sentence and you
can't keep "everything else equal" anyway. If nothing else,
it's hard to keep the heat down with increased speed and
some stones don't like to get hot.

The bottom line is, it isn't the speed of the wheel, it is
how you use it. I don't know how many Genies Diamond Pacific
has sold but they all spin at about 1725rpm and somebody has
probably polished every stone there is on one. Conversely,
somebody probably has had trouble with every stone also.

I know that I can't get the results I want with a single
speed polisher. I have tried almost every combination
of equipment I could think of to get the speed control
I wanted and I finally decided to spend the money on
a 1/3 horse DC motor. It cost more than I wanted to spend,
but I got the results I wanted. I can spin almost any
wheel up to 8" diameter from 200 to 2000 rpm with no
rpm lost from polishing pressure.

While the glass industry has been able to quantify how the
all the parameters of polishing work together they have the
equipment to do "repeatable" work. For us, the technique
becomes almost an art rather than a science. For example,
there are curves that show that as pressure is increased,
you should change the type of pad to match the pressure.
This is just one example of why different people get
different results with the same equipment and why it is
very hard to tell someone else how to duplicate your work.

A general recommendation, if you can't control the speed,
work with the "dampness" of the polishing compound.
Polishing actually takes place before the pad dries to the
point of pulling and it's associated heat, but it is much
slower. You can also try less pressure, changing dampness
and pressure will help control the amount of heat build-up
that takes place. On the other hand, some stones like the
heat. Jade and jasper seem to like a lot of pressure and
will forgive a lot of heat (but I have burned both).

I wish there was a table of stone vs. speed vs. pressure
vs. polish vs. etc. but for every table I have ever seen I
could show how, by making a change somewhere that the table
didn't take into account, the table didn't work.

Dick Friesen

Subject: Re: Polishing Pads [Speed]

Every type of stone is so different. Maybe we should ask
list members to send in their polishing speed/medium and
polishing surface type and we could have a page on the web
site just with that sort of information. A lot of new
information has come out since the last edition of
Sinkankas came out.

Here's my contribution: I polish a lot of spectrolite and
find that if I run a felt lap at full tilt with lots of
water, I can get a mirror finish. For a gem that soft, I'm
really pleased with the result.


Subject: RE: Polishing Spheres

I suspect the plastic crosses referred to are small plastic
spacers used in laying tile. They keep the tiles spaced
evenly. They possibly might work well as buffers.

Bob Boston

Subject: Re: Polishing Jade

I have a serious problem here I know that in the past this
subject has and will in the future generate a lot of
disagreement, but I STRONGLY DISAGREE with "DRY SANDING"
Jade (or Nephrite)as it is a Massive Fibrous Actinolite
{ASBESTOS) and should always be worked wet.

I know, there is a test out there that says that the
cuttings are rounded and not fibrous. I have done my own
research on the subject, and had conversations with the
likes of OSHA on the subject about 10 years ago when I was
offered a job at a large Jade Shop; it is Actinolite ie:
asbestos, especially when you cut and grind it into dust.
It is also the fibers that cause the undercutting, and
orange peeling, The orange peeling occurs across the fibers,
the undercutting and pulling of fibers occurs in the
direction of the fibers.

If anyone wants to flame about the subject or discuss it I
am more than happy to discuss it, but please when cutting
stone of any kind don't work it wet unless you have an
extremely good (Commercial Type) ventilation system, a lot
of them are dangerous even that seemingly harmless agate,
some toxic such as Malachite, or MOP.

Happy Holidays all

Gil Shea
(Hale's note: Gil, no one will flame you on this list for
anything you say -- it is not allowed!! Discussions of
possible health dangers of any kind should be carried out
openly and freely and passionless. That is the type of chat
we promote here. Open discussion - NO flames! hale)

Subject: RE: Ivory Flakes for Tumbling

I saw some good old Ivory Snow in the grocery store the other
day and was really disappointed when I saw that it was no
longer the same product. I have cut up bar soap for
tumbling, but for the past few years, I've used liquid hand
soap (I try for the ones with as few additives as possible).
It works very well in the tumbler, just a couple of squirts
for a 6 lb drum or 4 lb vibrator.

Here's something else I learned: There are a few products
available at natural food stores that are designed to
dissolve the wax that is used to coat fruit for shipping.
It also takes iron deposits off of crystals. A friend of
mine was swirling a piece of quartz in a baby food jar and
it took the rust right off of it. It's too expensive to
replace oxalic acid, but once winter comes, I'm not too
crazy about using oxalic acid indoors.


Subject: FS: Old Lapidary Journals Available

Just a note in case some one is interested. Last week
while searching bookstores in Oregon, I came across a pile
of Lapidary Journals. It was about 3 feet high, mainly
from 1970's. The dealer wanted $2-3 dollars each. I didn't
buy any. But if someone on this E-list is interested ,
contact me and I'll give them the dealer's name and address.
I'm not a middle man; it's up to the interested parties to
work out the arrangements.


Subject: BIO: Allyson Morrison

I'm new to this list, but see familiar names from the
jewelry and faceting lists. My interests began with
jewelry, but have expanded to include all lapidary areas.
I'm a well-read beginner. I do not own any lapidary
equipment yet, but have been fortunate enough to take a
class at NCSU. I have experimented with hand tools on
softer stones. BTW, I've just finished the home-study GIA
course, for background info.

After seeing the work of Kreg Scully and talking with
him, I've developed a definite interest in gem carving.


Subject: BIO: Jack L. Edwards

Hello. My name is Jack and I reside in Walla Walla, WA. My
wife and I are both rockhounds. My lapidary interests right
now center around sphere making, but we have a wide range
interest and lapidary equipment. I have been making spheres
a little over a year now. My sphere equipment came from
Richardson’s in Oregon. We have had several 1st & 2nd
Place wins at the local fair with the spheres. I also
like cabbing and collecting gemstones, minerals and

My wife and I collect most of our own sphere material except
for some of the hard to find jaspers such as Biggs and
Bruneau. I hope to give faceting a try next year.

I have been involved with rock hunting since I was a kid
in Colorado. I am now retired. We belong to several clubs
in our area. I am past President of the Marcus Whitman Gem
& Mineral Soc. here in Walla Walla and am currently Club
Treasurer of the Hells Canyon Gem Club, Lewiston, ID. I
also held the Office of Secretary of the Kitsap Gem &
Mineral Club in Bremerton, WA before moving here a few
years ago.

We do a lot of our rock hunting in Idaho, Montana, Oregon,
Northern California, Nevada and Washington, but try to
collect from any locality we visit. Would be interested in
trading material with other rockhounds.

Jack L. Edwards
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