Edited and Published by Hale Sweeny
Web Site:
Associate Editors: Geo. Butts, JR Shroeder, Steve Henegar
and Margaret Malm

This list digest contains the following message subjects:

1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 219 - Sun 7/4/99
2. NEW: Who Makes a Really Tough Diamond Blade?
3. NEW: Glues for Intarsia and Inlay
4. NEW: Lapis Lazuli Powder
5. RE: Lapis Lazuli Powder
6. RE: Polishing with TXP and #61 compounds
7. RE: Tumbling Potch and Color with Matrix
8. RE: What Happened to Star Diamond?
9. BIO: Patrick J. McCarthy
10. BIO: Rick and Karen Westerholm
11. BIO: John Cerullo
12. WTB: Used Lapidary Equipment nr Vancouver Island


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 219 - Sun 7/4/99

I have added some Member's links to our website (check them
out!) but in the process accidentally deleted a note with
about 5 more links which should have been added. So if you
don't see yours on the Link's page, send me your URL, web
address, member's name, and about 2 to 4 lines describing
your site, and I wil try NOT to hit the delete button this

I am proud to announce that our knifemaker member Dan
Fronefield <> will have some of his
meteorite knives featured at a meteorite show at the
Ferndale Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, GA (Feb-Aug).
WTG, Dan. You can see some of his work on his website:

Received a note of thanks from Roger Pabian for posting the
note on Rotten Stone. He said: "I received quite a number
of replies in addition to those posted in the Digest. Many
thanks to all of you who responded. I'll be checking out
the building suppliers and paint stores in the next few
days and will be doing some experimenting with this
polishing compound from antiquity. Will post the results to
the Digest as soon as I have the chance to try it with
several different materials on several different kinds of
pads." We'll look forward to hearing about it, Roger!

Lorna Quinton, who lives in South Africa, wrote saying that
she appreciated the many notes she has received, but trading
is too awkward to arrange trades between US and S.Africa.

I will leave tomorrow for Nashville. Am going to drive over
with Fred and Dorris Sias - man, am I glad to have company
on that long drive! Will be back Monday week.

In the meantime -- all you guys, Happy Fourth of July! Play
and HAVE FUN!! But be careful with fireworks!!


Subject: NEW: Who Makes a Really Tough Diamond Blade?

I remember reading somewhere on the list that there is a
diamond blade company that makes blades designed especially
for cutting the hardest agates and jaspers. I guess the
diamonds are coarser and the blade design is a little
different from other blades.

Do any of you veteran cutters know which company offers a
blade like this?

Thanks for your help.

Vance McCollum
Earth Relics Co.

"Ready-to-wear pendants made from
the finest agates and jaspers"

Subject: NEW: Glues for Intarsia and Inlay

I have been to Jeanne Rhodes Moen's web site today. I liked
the inlayed jewelry. I would like to know what kind of
adhesive is used to glue the little pieces of stones
together. After the pieces are glued together, do you cut
and polish the stone part of the jewelry? If anybody
like to answer my questions I will be happy.

My website address is:
If you like to visit you are welcome.

Kind regards from Turkey.
F. Oya Borahan
J. Moen's website is at

Subject: NEW: Lapis Lazuli Powder

On the subject of Lapis Lazuli, I would like to add a story
you might find entertaining, and within it some information
of what you might do to reclaim a waste product provided you
are cutting with Diamond wheels and keep your catch pan
clean of contaminants.

Once upon a time, I was cutting Lapis Lazuli with a bank
of German automatic cabochon machinery to the tune of 300
kilos a month production. In the factory, one man's job was
just to keep the machinery as clean as a hospital. I observed
at the end of a days cutting, a very attractive blue sludge
in the catch pans. So I instructed the mechanics each day to
scrape it out and spread it out on sheets to dry. Next thing
you know, I had a couple hundred pounds of it. Now my daddy
told me never throw anything away. I guess we could have
sent it out to be reconstituted into plastic like blocks
and recut again.

But I was reading though a magazine called "Sunshine
Artists", like a Lapidary Journal for the Art Shows. And
there it is: Lapis Lazuli paint pigment, advertised at like
$50-100 for a tiny tube like you buy your Diamond polish
paste. As it turns out, Lapis was the original artist's
paint pigment for the color blue, it was used by Leonardo Da
Vinci. Today they use some sort of lab grown synthetic, but
natural Lapis dust still remains in big demand to produce
certain shades of blue.

I sold the entire batch to the largest artist's paint
company and they were flabbergasted. They went on about how
hard it was for them to obtain Lapis in pure gem qualities,
and how expensive it was for them to grind it up to a

So you may not be able to put together 200 lb. of it,
but certainly you can scrape a few grams from your clean
catch pan.

Mark Liccini

Subject: RE: Lapis Lazuli Powder

Sometime ago, Mark, I also noticed a pretty sludge in the
pan on my Pixie and in the pan on my Glass Star machine,
particularly when cutting Lapis or Malachite. Since I was
doing channel work and intarsia, I started letting the
contents of the pan settle when I was through, poured off
the clean top water, and then poured off the remains into
clean glass jars, which I then put on a shelf. The water
evaporated, and I scraped the powder into very small jars,
and covered them with their jar tops.

I routinely mix a bit of the powder with epoxy when glueing
the mineral inlays into their channels; if there is a small
gap up into which the epoxy oozes, the epoxy will have the
same color as the mineral. I guess this is also using the
powders as a pigment!

I have jars of Lapis, Malachite, Rhodochrosite, magnesite
and black onyx powders. You don't need much: a little
goes a long way!


Subject: RE: Polishing with TXP and #61 compounds

I received the TXP when I purchased some material from a
fellow's granddaughter after he passed away. There were
just several bags of white powder with the letters TXP
written on them with a red magic marker; there were no
labels. The same for the #61.

I assumed they were polishing compounds because he use to
have a rock shop in Nacogdoches, Texas and had a lot of
rough for tumbling.

Thanks for the information though.


Subject: RE: Tumbling Potch and Color with Matrix

Pauline inquired about tumbling "Potch & Color" to remove
matrix. Not having seen the specific material can't be
sure, but offhand I'd advise against it. "Potch," being
common Opal, is quite delicate, and you'd more than likely
lose more Potch trying to get rid of the matrix than you
would matrix (Especially if it's Rhyolite!).

Here is where the old standby Carborundum wheels come in
handy; quick removal of unwanted material.

Ted Robles

Subject: RE: What Happened to Star Diamond?

I think Flint just about covered the whole thing in
answering to Vance McCallum except that MK Diamond bought
out Star Diamond and they are located in the same place as
Flint noted on Storm Parkway, which is in Carson just off
the 91 freeway and Avalon blvd. (By the way the Storm
Parkway address in Torrance Ca. is next door to where Star
Diamond was 30 years ago when they built my saw.)

Star Diamond was a big manufacturer of lapidary saws and
grinding equipment for many years. I have a 24" of theirs
that was built over 30 years ago when they were located in
Torrance Ca. and a 10" that I bought just before they sold.

The last time I was there the owner was getting along in
age and did not look to well so I hope he was able to
retire. I am glad to hear about Barranca Industries taking
over the blade business as I would have gone to MK as I
have in the past for blade work. The Star Diamond blades
worked real well for me and I hope MK Diamond continues to
make them.

Ernie Ogren
The Geode Man

Subject: BIO: Patrick J. McCarthy

My name is Patrick McCarthy, and, by occupation, I am a
Professional Astronomer. My lapidary Interests include
Intarsia, Cabbing, and Specimens

I have been active in the lapidary hobby for roughly six
years. My primary interest is Intarsia, but I have done
some cabbing and polishing of specimens (geodes etc.).

I have the following equipment:
Covington saws (24" slab and 6" trim)
Two-station 8" diamond grinding arbor
Hi-Tech 8" All-U-Need flat lap
Contempo 27" vibrating flat lap (2)

I am a member of the Pasadena (California) Lapidary Society.


Subject: BIO: Rick and Karen Westerholm

Both Rick and I belong to a Rock Club here in Lewiston.
Rick is the President and I do the newsletter for the club.
Rick works for Potlatch Corp. and I work for H & R Block.
Rick is the main rock hound, as I don't feel the need to go
where no man has ever been before as most places are
straight up and after you get there you dig straight down.
I don't think Rick has any favorite area of rock hounding
as he likes it all.

We began this hobby as our grand daughter lived with us and
it gave Rick/Amanda something to do that was good clean fun
and a learning subject also. Amanda will be 13 on 12/25/98
and needless to say we are having ideas about boys and less
about rocks. So we try to find something new for her to do
with gems all the time as 13 is far to young to grow up. So
I guess my question is --Is this along the lines you were
asking for? Have a good day


Subject: BIO: John Cerullo

My name is JOHN, I am 57 and from KANSAS. I have been doing
Lapidary for about 6 years now, and actively collecting for
about 6 years also. I kind of fell back into the hobby as a
way of easing into retirement. lol

I do have quite an assortment of equipment:

4"-6"-10"-18" Rayteck saws
Sphere machine
Diamond bandsaw
Beacon Star double grinder w/expandos
Beacon Star 5 station Grinder
couple of other home made grinders
Hustler 15" VibraLap

I think that is about it that I can think of....
Take care and have a good one. For now and till then.


Subject: WTB: Used Lapidary Equipment nr Vancouver Island

Does anyone on or near Vancouver Island know of anyone or
any shop that sells used lapidary equipment?

I'm looking for tumblers and a slab saw.

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