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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 186 - Tue 12/15/98
2. NEW: Web Site by Vance McCollum
3. INFO: Faceting Equipment Plans
4. RE: Lapidary Equipment Plans (Sphere Machine)
5. NEW: An Inexpensive Polishing Motor
6. NEW: Leather for Polishing
7. NEW: Lortone Portable Combination Unit Speeds
8. NEW: What is Pietra Dura?
9. NEW: Polishing Feldspar
10. NEW: Thom Lane and polishing
11. NEW: Out of Country Cutting
12. RE: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?
13. Re: Any Comments on "All-You-Need" Flat Lap?


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 186 - Tue 12/15/98

I've had two letters about the headers of the Digest and I
have tried to make adjustments with this issue. Please tell
me, Mickey and Terrie, if this is any better!

Ten days till Christmas! I hope all of you will remember
that this is the season of love, joy, and forgiveness. Be
sure those you love know that you do love them, and hug
them often.


Subject: NEW: Web Site by Vance McCollum

Vance, on 'ol timer' on this list, has just announced his
new website at <www.cchat.com/erelics/>. Vance has focused
on making pendants from a wide variety of rough with
attractive gold-filled posts drilled and apparently glued
into the pendants.

This is not a sales pitch. Rather, I encourage all of you to
visit his site and look carefully at each of his pendants -
the shapes (no, you don't have to make oval cabochons all
the time!), the placements of the patterns in these shapes,
how he used the different rocks/fossils and the general
workmanship. A nice example of what can happen if you focus
on one area of work.

Nice going, Vance! Hope it is very successful!

Now, I'm not promoting his site and will not promote others
unless they show something furthering all our education in
lapidary arts - so please don't send a flood of requests!
But do send in your URLs for listing here and on the web


Subject: INFO: Faceting Equipment Plans

<<Now that we have a website, we can do things we never
could before. On the website, we can show plans, for
example, of how-to-build lapidary equipment. And this is
something I'd like the Digest to do - on the website.>>

Although this is a lapidary group, some of you may be
interested in making faceting machines and laps.
Check out: http://www.gearloose.com

Paul Ahlstedt
Thanks, Paul. When we start the 'how-to' section of the web
site, I will make a link to John's pages, and to Eclectic
Lapidary {www.bovagems.com/bovamain.html} on the how-to
page. Hale

Subject: RE: Lapidary Equipment Plans (Sphere Machine)


If some one out there has plans on how to build a sphere
machine would they please share on the web-site.


(Hale's note: Karen, a great set of plans for a three arm
machine is available in Lapidary Journal, in two parts:
Part 1: LJ 65:09:710, Part 2: LJ 65:10:813. You may get
reprints from them easily - download the file:
LJReprints.txt. It tells you how to order reprints from
LJ. One of the sphere files in the Archives is about
building and using this machine, written by one who built
and uses one. (LJ also reprinted these two articles as a
single one later, but I could not find my reference to
that article) Enjoy!! hale)

Subject: NEW: An Inexpensive Polishing Motor

I have been cabbing and wire wrapping for about 4 years.
I have a genie, a cab mate, and a 10" Ray Tech trim saw.

I built what we will call our all purpose polisher for
little jobs and general touch ups. At a garage sale I
found a Shoe polishing machine, the kind with 1 black buff
and 1 red buff. Take off the buffs and buy shaft extenders
to 3/8" or 1/2" ( from Ebersoles).

On one end use a soft cloth wheel or what ever you choose.
On the other end use a tapered spindle. Add a train
transformer to control speed. Could also use a light dimmer
switch or a ceiling fan control. Built a box larger than
your motor and hook up a small shop vac to an opening in
the rear. Put on your respirator and go for it.

Hale thank you for all this free information. I print out
each issue and place it in a 3 ring binder. When I am
relaxing I flip thru and read all of the wonderful tidbits
and excellent ideas.

I may not be the best but I sure enjoy being a rock hound.

Jack Hemstreet

Subject: NEW: Leather for Polishing

I have seen a post or two about using leather for polishing.
I have access to a never ending supply of very expensive
and very soft leather. Sizes range from bits to large from
which one could be cut (6"-8") circles.

It is suede on one side and skin like on a very fine leather
couch or chair on the other.

It is quite thin - I would say about 1mm thick. Some is
thicker but most is not.

Here go the questions:

...How thick should leather be which is used for polishing?

...Which side do you use, the colored or non colored?

...Do the stones ever pick up any of the color?

JR Schroeder
J & J Jewelry

Subject: NEW: Lortone Portable Combination Unit Speeds

Speaking of RPMs, can anyone tell me what 1, 2, 3, 4 etc
means on the speed control of my Lortone portable
combination unit? Yes, I've written the company and the
instructions they sent didn't tell -- really bugs me that
a lot of manufacturers of gem and jewelry equipment either
include skimpy instructions or none at all. Maybe they
haven't waked up to the fact that times have changed --
many of us in the field are self taught and more of us are
women who didn't necessarily pick up some of the basic info
about equipment from our Dads!

Susan Herrmann


Subject: NEW: What is Pietra Dura?

I have several pieces of Pietra Dura. The background of
each of these pieces is a black material - not agate -.
Would love to know what material and how to polish it.
Some parts are scratched. Can anyone help?

A. Joseph


Subject: NEW: Polishing Feldspar

Feldspar doesn't SEEM to be porous. However, in trying to
polish some in a vibratory flat lap (bookends), I have a
problem when reaching the fine grit. It gets absorbed into
the feldspar and I have a large dirty gray blotch. Since I
also have some amazonite I would like to turn into bookends
and since amazonite is essentially green feldspar, I thought
I'd get some advice before I spoil my amazonite.

Anyone have any ideas?


Subject: NEW: Thom Lane and polishing

I met Thom Lane (Lane Lapidary) and finally have a polishing
disc - moving much slower than I would have expected .. a
14" disc with hard leather turning at about 170 RPM. I did
this with a gearbox that turns 1750 rpm to 10%, in either
direction. I do have to manually "start" the spin.

I found the gearbox at a flea market, and Thom sold me some
of the micron polish used for optical applications.

Now I just play with my Opals, or other rocks on the various
grinders, and then press them against a slow moving hard
wheel, with "competent" polish, and end up with great shiny

When I need other alternatives, I change the belt, and use
the same arbor to spin an 8" diamond belt with water to cut
the major stuff off - and then play with the slow wheel
'til I can say " I like this" .. and quit ..

Thanks, Thom, for the insights to trust myself in
experimenting ..

<< when the wheel stalls initially, I just spin it manually
either direction, and it starts .. I do have to change the
belt to get 1750 rpm on the 8" arbor shaft .. >>

Here is Tom's link .. Great advice, and the best
Morrisonite pix I have ever seen .. If you get to meet him,
he has the greatest view of the Atlantic ocean from a hill
in Mass ... and humble and friendly at the same time ..
thanks for the special polish, Thom ..

Here is Thom's Page -- enjoy ..


The special Specimens of Morrisonite will end up in the
Smithsonian, I predict ....none of us beginners deserve
them ...


Subject: NEW: Out of Country Cutting

So much rough, so little time!

Does anyone have any experience sending rough overseas to
places like Sri Lanka for cutting? I'd like to compare notes
with you, please email me if possible.


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

I wish I had bought the 8" unit, rather than the 6" one.
I find it difficult to make some of the very large cabs on
the small unit.

(Hale's Note: Ray, I was fortunate to be able to try out
the 6" unit before I bought one, and decided that I needed
a larger one. Suggest to anyone who is thinking about
buying one that you try both models if possible. hale)

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

I'm noting with interest that everyone loves their Hi Tech
all-you-need units.

I spoke to someone the other day who growled and rolled his
eyes when I mentioned that that was what I was after. He
recommended I go for the Crystalite version if there was
any production cutting in the offing (I'll be cabbing hard,
gemmy stones).

Does anyone own the 6" Crystalmaster? Any thoughts? I know
they're a little more expensive...

Dana Carlson

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