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. 220 - Fri 7/16/99
2. NEW: Who Makes a Really Tough Diamond Blade?
3. NEW: Improving the Color of Blue Chalcedony
4. NEW: Pre-Polish for Tumbling - What Is It?
5. NEW: Converting Between Carats and Grams
6. RE: Your Cabmate Suggestions
7. NEW: Who Made StoneMaster Saws?
8. RE: Knives on Display in Atlanta
9. NOTICE: Greetings from Turkey
10. WTB: Slab Cutting Services
11. WTB: Lapis Lazuli
12. BIO: Wendy Jordan


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 220 - Fri 7/16/99

You probably received two notices saying that I would be
away for a week. My goof. I didn't think the first one
actually went out, so I sent the second to be sure! Sorry
to load up the bandwidth.

Happy to say there was nothing wrong with my machine, so we
are back up and running. Due to personal problems, I did
not get to Nashville, dadgum it!! But I will get to the
Franklin show next weekend (8/22,23,24,25)!

Take good care of yourselves and tho

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

I got one of those about three years ago and I think it was
called a piranha blade, but don't know who makes them. Can
anyone tell me the name of the maker?

Rose Alene McArthur

Subject: NEW: Improving the Color of Blue Chalcedony

Dear Hale ,

One of our customers wants to improve the color of our
natural blue chalcedony to get darker color . Can you or
any of our members suggest any treatment method (except for
dyeing) and the name of any firm performing this service?
Also, can you advise me of any person who might have
knowledge about this concept ? If you help me I really
appreciate your help .

Your Sincerely ,
Kerem Ozutemiz
Truva Mining Ltd.

Subject: NEW: Pre-Polish for Tumbling - What Is It?

Hi folks -

It came up in a discussion today that tumbling kits often
contain a tin of "pre-polish." I know it's not necessary.
My friend goes directly from 600 grit to polish and gets
excellent finishes.

So clearly the pre-polish (the ones I've seen are a white
powder) is not necessary. But is it even useful?

And for that matter, what exactly is it? Is it an ultrafine
grit? The white color suggests no it isn't. Is it a more
impure version of the normal refractory metal oxide
polishing compounds like cerium oxide, tin oxide, aluminum
oxide, chromium oxide etc.?

Can anyone authoritatively tell me what the common
pre-polish powder actually is?

Cheers and thanks
Hans Durstling
Freelance writing. Feature stories, technical ad copy, clear
manuals, bid documents, simple english, videos, speeches.
Email for publication and client list.

Subject: NEW: Converting Between Carats and Grams

Hi all,

You were all so good on the Lapis Nevada question I am
hoping to pick your brains again. Every time I go to a Gem
and Jewelry show, or look at sites on the web, I am
confronted with the carat and gram questions. Merchants
tell you how much an item is by the carat, and then weigh
the number of grams. Then they do some magic to convert
carats into grams. That is the hidden part.

I know a gram is a weight but I'm not sure what a carat is.
Does each type of stone have a specific conversion factor?
A metals website said there are 5 carats per gram (.2 grams
per carat) but one dealer multiplied grams by 9 to get
carats for ammolite that I was buying.

kathi parker


Subject: RE: Your Cabmate Suggestions


About two weeks ago, I posted a note to the LD about
upgrading my cabmate. Geoffery Haughton posted a nice
letter that seemed like the answer. I wrote him to ask
some questions and never got an answer.

Well, I dove in and bought the stuff to update my cabmate
anyway: a 6 x 2 1/2 expanding drum and several diamond
belts. All told, about $300. 1/3 the price of a Genie,
but not anything to sneeze at. I'm having troubles.

To begin with, how do you get water on the wheel in a way
that you don't end up taking a bath? I've tried dripping
water onto the back side of the wheel, where it's coming
forward, and it just sprays out of the opening. The Genie
sprays water on the bottom of the wheel and the over spray
seems finished by the time it gets to the open area. Do I
need an aquarium pump or something to spray the wheel?

And that brings up where on the wheel you work the stone.
On the Genie, you work on the bottom quadrant of the wheel
- from straight on to the bottom of the wheel. On the
cabmate, it seems like you have a small zone from just
about straight on, upward. On the Genie, the stone can be
held as the wheel swipes away from it; on the cabmate the
action will be into the stone. Isn't swiping away from the
stone safer, and less likely to damage the stone? I can
envision a point on a stone getting caught in the oncoming
belt and something getting ruined. The only way I see
around this is to cut the metal of the cabmate away to
expose more of the bottom of the wheel, but I'm afraid that
will compromise the casting's strength.

I'd appreciate any help you could give.


Bob Lombardi W4ATM in Melbourne, FL (ex-WB4EHS) or
Bicycling, telescope making, optics, astronomy, Shortwave,
ham radio and far too many other interests to list.
Visit ATM's Resource List at
Bob: There will be an answer from Geoff in the next issue
addressing your questions. hale

Subject: NEW: Who Made StoneMaster Saws?

A note to Rockhounds List asked for a supplier of parts and
an instruction book for a 12 inch StoneMaster saw. I have
not heard of this brand before and wanted to add it to our
equipment makers list. If anyone on the list knows who
makes/made this brand, please send that info on maker
(address, etc.) to me. Also, the current status of the
maker, if you know it.



Subject: RE: Knives on Display in Atlanta

Dear Hale:

In LapDigest #219 you mentioned some knives being on
display at the "Ferndale" Museum of Natural History in
Atlanta. Did you mean "Fernbank"?

Anita D. Westlake
Robert W. Woodruff Library

from Hale: Yes!!! That IS the kind of silly mistake I
frequently make!

Subject: NOTICE: Greetings from Turkey

For some time I have been in your group. I enjoy all the
knowledge I get from various people. I noticed that very
few people know about my country. Please will you be kind
to put this web site in your digest for people to bookmark.

I hope to host many people from the Lapidary Digest one day
in Turkey.

F. Oya Borahan

Subject: WTB: Slab Cutting Services

I am looking for someone, preferably with a variety of slab
saw sizes, who would be interested in cutting some of my
rough into thin slabs. My saws, and the time I have free,
are just not up to it. I can pay in $$$ or through trade.


Dan Fronefield

Handmade Knives by D. Fronefield
"Specializing in meteorites and other exotic materials"

Subject: WTB: Lapis Lazuli

Does anyone know how I can get a hold of some lapis lazuli?
I will buy it or I will mine it. I live in Auburn,
California and I would be very grateful if you could help
me. It is very important that I get hold of some.

Thank you for your time


Subject: BIO: Wendy Jordan

Hello all. I've been lurking here on the list for a month
or two and have been thoroughly enjoying the open exchange
of ideas and information. So I guess it's high time I do
the BIO thing and become less of a lurker.

I am an artist and I split my time in the studio between
textiles and metals (jewelry). My jewelry revolves around
my fascination with stones and the fabulous colors and
textures that live in them. I use cabs almost exclusively
because I (personally) find them much more interesting and
character filled than faceted stones. Since childhood I've
had a love of stones and in fact still have all the rocks
that I hounded as a child. I certainly knew nothing about
them then except that they were beautiful to me even in
their rough state and I would lay them out and play with
them all the time (still do).

In the last 6 months I've come around again to being
interested in actually going out and collecting the rough
and learning to cut the stones myself. In the meantime, I
wanted to connect with folks like all of you who are doing
interesting lapidary work. I'd love to hear privately from
any of you who cut and sell to jewelers or collectors (I'm
always on the lookout for beautiful cabs to use in my work).

My heartiest thanks to Hale for his work in compiling this
list - I always heed your counsel to "hug those you love".

Thanks again.

Wendy Jordan
Indianapolis, IN
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