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This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 204 -- Sat 4/3/99
2. NEW: Slab Saw Kits
3. NEW: Bay of Fundy Agates
4. NEW: Visiting New England
5. RE: WTB: Tuffa Stone
6. RE: WTB: Tuffa Stone
7. RE: WTB: Tuffa Stone
8. RE: Carving Rocks
9. RE: Carving Rocks
10. BIO: Bill & Diane
11. WTB: Wire Wrap Tapes


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 204 -- Sat 4/3/99

Well, we're back! And feeling great! First I want to thank
all of you who sent me messages after my two 'extras' to
you ... I counted 187 of them which is obviously too many
to respond to individually. So please accept this group
'Thank you'! I have printed them all out and they are
going to be bound; then when I get down in the dumps, I'll
just start rereading them and that should cure any 'blues'.

In addition, my children threw a 50th Anniversary Party for
Anne and me, at which all of my family (sons, daughters,
old enough grandchildren, my sibs and tons of nephews) and
closest local friends - and Anne's last first cousin and
last Aunt (close to 90) attended. Wonderfully, Anne was
really 'with it' that night - I think seeing her close
cousin and aunt did some of that) so it was a WONDERFUL
event from which we still have a warm glow.

Your messages were wonderful -- many of you volunteered to
do part of the work of this Digest and I have been thinking
about what I can spin off. The first thing is this: I
monitor Rocks and Fossils and Rockhounds Mail lists for
several things, and realized that - probably - many of you
also read these two mail lists. So I am looking for two
volunteers to take over this task for me. Very simple -- if
you find anything on those lists which would be of interest
to our membership, copy it and get permission from the
authors to reprint the messages in LapDigest, and send it
on to me. Also, if you see any letters from people who
should know about LapDigest, send them a form letter which
has been written and used for the past year. If two of you
did this, the redundancy would guarantee that the lists
were well covered, and I could drop my subscriptions to
those lists and not have to read the 30 or 40 messages per

There are several other items to bring up - queries not yet
included, but I will catch up with them in the next issue.

I am excited to be back and look forward to the coming
year! Information on Wildacres will be coming out in the
next day or so! Now please send in your queries and let's
get this thing rolling again!

And REMEMBER -- have fun!


Subject: NEW: Slab Saw Kits

Does anyone know where I can get a kit to make my own slab


Cornelius: There was a company named Mohave Industries that
made a slab saw kit some years ago. I have not seen ads for
them in magazines published in the 90s and when doing the
web page on equipment manufacturers, tried to find out if
they were still alive or who took over. No luck! Does any
of our members know for sure? hale

Subject: NEW: Bay of Fundy Agates

HI Hale,

You had asked me some time ago to furnish pics of some
polished agates and such for the Lap-Digest; and am
finally getting around to taking some this weekend -
unless the weather turns really good and we get out to

Meanwhile, we've put up a web page which "Lap Digest" folks
might enjoy. It's called "Virtual Fundy", and the URL is


It's an armchair photo safari to some of the many
collecting localities on the Bay, including a map of some
of those 13 Bay of Fundy localities mentioned for their
quartz gem occurrences in John Sinkankas' "Gemstones of
North America". Also pics of that incredible 50+ foot
tidal difference. You'll see agate in situ in veins in the
basalt cliffs, mineral pockets ditto, mineral specimens,
and quite a bit more including a few of my jewelry pieces.

Y'all come visit the Bay!

Hans Durstling
(Hans: A great website, and with an added bonus that for
the first time, I know what you look like! Enjoyed seeing
your picture!! hale)

Subject: NEW: Visiting New England

I am a Scottish rockhound and I will be visiting New
England during October 1999. Can anyone give me any
information on rockshops or collecting sites?

(Hale's Note: Don't normally publish these, but I have an
affinity for Scotland and their rockhounds! Anyone with
information on rockshops or collecting sites, please send
that information to Brian Leith directly, rather than
through the list! And Brian, let us know what you
received! hale)

Subject: RE: WTB: Tuffa Stone


In response to the person looking for Tuffa stone, it can
be purchased from Indian Jewelers Supply Company,
800-545-6540. They offer other lapidary supplies, as well.

Other responses with the same answer:

You can purchase tufa stone from: Indian Jewelers Supply.
Bill in Vista <billeisenberg@juno.com>

A source for Tuffa stone is: Indian Jewelers Supply or Four
Winds Trading in Flagstaff AZ. Sorry but I don't have phone
numbers for either.
Michael <Metalwerks@aol.com>

Subject: RE: WTB: Tuffa Stone

We have mined, stocked and retailed Tufa for some years now.
Anyone interested can contact us at: sales@gemking.com
We can provide rough material from about one pound up to
the one ton range. The cost is $3 per pound. This is from
old stock recovered prior to the Desert Protection Act
recently set forth in California.

Tufa (correct spelling) is actually a type of calcium
carbonate formed through complex underwater reaction with
algae, chemical and geothermal agents. Many occurrences of
Tufa are known in California. One of the best is at the
Trona Pinnacles at Trona, California. This is a national
landmark however, and collection is prohibited.

For more information about the Trona Pinnacles, please feel
free to contact us off list. For more information about
purchasing Tufa rough, please feel free to call or email us.

Paul Ahlstedt http://www.gemking.com sales@gemking.com
P.T. Ahlstedt Mining and Mineral Exploration- 1(877)GEMKING

Subject: RE: WTB: Tuffa Stone

I ran into the same problem. I just used investment poured
into small cardboard boxes. After the investment cures,
peel the cardboard off, true up the surfaces you are going
to put together, and carve. Like regular investment, this
is a one shot deal.

Good luck.

Steve Ramsdell

Subject: RE: Carving Rocks

<<I was wondering is there a Digest for Gem Carving? I know
there is one for lapidary and one for faceting; is there one
for carvers?>>

There is a newsgroup devoted to carving. I believe it is
rec.crafts.carving. It has been a while since I read it,
the subjects were at best on softer stones, mainly wood and
metal sculpture. There is another called
rec.crafts.metalworking and numerous arts and craft
newsgroups. If you don't know what newsgroups are, you must
subscribe to them through your ISP and use a reader or a
web browser to download the posts.

[You can also talk about it in alt.sculpture . We have a
pretty loose working definition of sculpture, and lapidary
carving certainly qualifies. If you have trouble with the
newsgroup subscription process, you can alternatively go to
http://www.dejanews.com and enter the newsgroup name in
their search box to dredge up all the posts for the last
six months or so- and you can even post your own message
from there.]

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

Subject: RE: Carving Rocks

As a member of the Gem Carvers Guild of America I would
like to add a few words on this subject.

Most of us use a drip system as we carve. My husband has
developed a very good one and an I.V system is fine though
more expensive and not as easily regulated. I have
attached a drawing and list of parts with this. Also a
diagram of a stand I use to hold the drip system and my
flexshaft motor.

The Gem Carvers Guild has published two hand books on
carving. Unfortunately both are out of print but perhaps
you may find a copy somewhere. Another book still on the
market copyright 1968 is Handbook of Gem Carving by Ed
and Leola Wertz published by Gem Guides Book Company
3677 San Gabriel Parkway Pico Rivera, Ca 90660. I have
seen this book at Gem and Mineral shows recently. In the
December 1996 issue of Rock and Gem there is a very good
article on carving by some of our members and a jade
carving by Sylvia Cliffe with instructions on how to carve
it. In old issues of Lapidary Journal and Rock and Gem you
will find good craving articles. I get these for around
25 cents at Gem and Mineral shows.

Dremel markets a very good shield for carvers. You can
easily build your own with pvc pipe and plexiglass as the
diagram shows. I have not included measurements as that
will depend on your space.

(Hale's Note: I wrote Verle with some questions and got
the following reply:)

Yes, I use a Dremel most of the time. I use a flexshaft
with the motor hung up out of dust or water. I like the
small handpiece on the Dremel as the larger motor I have
had a Fordom handpiece and it is rather large, I believe
there are smaller neater ones on the market now. Some of
our members insist only a Foredom is worthwhile. Also some
of us like the freedom of using cordless tools for carving
as we do demonstrations at the Los Angeles County Fair,
at the Orange County Fair and various Gem and Mineral
shows in the area that invite us.

I do like the Henry Hunt book you recommended.

Verle Stadel

Attachment Converted: "c:\eudora\attach\dripsys.jpg"

Subject: BIO: Bill & Diane

Hi...My husband and I recently moved from Oregon to Nevada
and something about the wide open spaces got us out in
the desert looking at the ground. We are very new to this
and quite eager to learn. We have started slowly to gather
materials and tools and are slowly gathering "more input."

We wish all our horseback trips into the Oregon country
side had included rock hunting as well as sight seeing.
Just think of all the neat stuff we missed. (smile)
Looking foreword to receiving the digest..

Bill & Diane

Subject: WTB: Wire Wrap Tapes

Looking for a good source for Wire Wrap instructional tapes.
Need beginner, intermediate, and advanced tapes. If anyone
knows a commercial source or have some you would like to
sell please contact me.

Thanks a rock

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