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 250 - Mon 11/29/1999
2. NEW: How to Apply Cerium Oxide to Leather
3. NEW: Sources for Sintered Diamond Blades
4. NEW: Instructions for Vibratory Lap
5. NEW: Expanding Wheel, Belt Too Tight
6. NEW: Plans for Sphere Making Machine
7. NEW: Diamond Sanding Grit Between 220 and 600
8. NEW: Mines or Quarries in NC
9. NEW: Opal Doublets and Triplets
10. NEW: Lapidary Materials in Spain
11. RE: Crack Healer Recipe
12. RE: Materials for Intarsia
13. RE: Materials for Intarsia
14. RE: Need Source for Sintered Diamond Segments


Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No 250 - Mon 11/29/1999

The BIG news is that the Digest is finally going GRAPHIC!
Thanks to George Butts, we will have the ability lots to
have lots of graphics on the web site. Also, I have just
upgraded the website to a full site with 30+ MB of storage
and lots more bandwidth (allowing more people to access the
site simultaneously).

We will be able to put up pictures or sketches or plans to
accompany items in the Digest, which will give an added
degree of information.

So, while we are busy scurrying around here, you just relax
and plan your Christmas list and shop for Christmas, hug
the ones you love and enjoy your life! (It's the only one
you're going to have!!!)


Subject: NEW: How to Apply Cerium Oxide to Leather

I wonder if someone would describe how they load cerium oxide
on a leather belt (for opal in this case). I make a bit of
a slurry, but loose much more than I use.

Any tips would be appreciated.

thanks -

R. Galbach
Regis: How fast is your polishing wheel turning? Frequently
the loss is related to the rpm. This is an interesting
question, and I am sure you will get a multitude of answers.

Subject: NEW: Sources for Sintered Diamond Blades

Mr. Sweeny & friends,

I am looking for manufacturers or suppliers of quality
sintered diamond saw blades (U.S. or European).

Please advise.

Kind regards,

Nasim Ahmad

Subject: NEW: Instructions for Vibratory Lap

Can you help with vibrating lap instructions? We bought a
used Lortone 20" vibrating lap and received no instructions.

Tanya Sherwood
Tanya: We had quite a discussion of this a year or so ago;
it is all in the Archives: full instructions and tips for
operation, how to make weights, and so on. Search on the
word: vibratory. hale

Subject: NEW: Expanding Wheel, Belt Too Tight

To explain the problem, let me give a bit of the history.

I have two expanding type rubber (8") grinding wheels where
all belts I use slip on easily. Rotation expands the wheel
to give a fine grinding/sanding/polishing surface. As
advertised, increasing the rpm increases the firmness behind
the belt. At low enough rpm, a little pressure on the
dopped cab allows a shallow "nest" for working the edge

Another wheel of the same ilk only accepts a belt if the
wheel and belt are dry, preferably, with a little talcum
powder! I finally bit the bullet and decided to buy several
wheels, dedicating each to a specific belt grade. So, I
planned to swap the whole wheel+belt on/off and just not
fight the swap problem. I bought these two (FWIW- RayTech
via Rio Grande) wheels and, oh-my-gosh, all belts fit great!

Meanwhile, I introduced the concept of diamond compound on
composition belts (Crystalite Crystalbelts) at the lapidary
club with which I am involved. The extremely low cost
(about $7.50 per grade) to get the power of diamond sanding
and polishing became a hit. A member owns their own belts
and diamond paste, just slipping a belt on/off to change
grades. The problem is that the club has decided to
re-wheel some older split-belt type wheels for the
expandable rubber type.

The one drum that works so well there happens to have a
Graves label, and there are two other (side accessible)
wheels where it's tooth and nail tugging time to change a

So, the problem is- how to specify and from whom to buy the
good wheels. How do you say, "I want to buy your easy 8"
expanding wheel and don't want any of your difficult ones"?
Surely, out there in lapidary land, there is some
experienced person (expert) who can give me some advice.

I used the new Lapidary Digest Search Program (in the LD
Archive) to scan all the messages and got only one hit-
Issue 230, message 8, (RE: Upgrading from a Cabmate) where
Bob Lombardi said:

<<---snip--- Getting the belts on and off the drum is very
difficult. They are quite tight, so putting them on requires
pushing with some force around the drum. Taking them off is
the worst part. That requires pinching the belt to grab a
spot, pulling the spot, and repeating over and over. ...
So how about it? Am I doing something the hard way when
there's really an easy way? Should I coat the rubber drum
with grease? ---snip--- >>

I didn't find any messages with a direct answer to his
problem.. now my problem too! Anyone with a sure source of
"easy" expandable wheels would be especially welcome news.
I would really like to have some feedback on this.

...George Butts

Subject: NEW: Plans for Sphere Making Machine

Where can I find information on how to build a large sphere
making machine ?

Thank You !
Todd McGuyer
I know it will sound like a broken record, but, Todd, check
the Archives. We have a reference there to plans published
in the Lapidary Journal. There is lots on sphere machine
and sphere making in the archives. Search 'sphere'. hale

Subject: NEW: Diamond Sanding Grit Between 220 and 600

I am wondering if any have had experience using a 400 grit
diamond sanding belt between the common 220 and 600. This is
for an 8x3 inch expanding drum. 3M (I think) has the 220 and
600 (this is what I have) and I am wondering if there is a
400 grit diamond belt available. Or is this step even needed
when using diamond.

When I go from the 220 to 600 it seems to take a lot of work
and it seems that a step between the 220 and 600 would not
really take too long and would make it easier to then get a
good finish off the 600. Any thought, suggestions, or
especially experience.

Then, the second question is, if it is desirable to have a
400 grit between the 200 and 600, which company makes a good
belt in diamond.

Thanks ahead of time for any information.


Subject: NEW: Mines or Quarries in NC

I am looking for any books on North Carolina Mining or rock
quarries, I am temporarily located in North Carolina at
Carolina Beach. I am looking for any Lapidary interest in
this area, any help out there.

Thank you very much.
Why not contact Kenny Gay, with the NC Mineral Survey? His
address is He knows everything
worth knowing about that subject! (Well, maybe a bit of an
exaggeration, but not much!!) hale in Durham, NC

Subject: NEW: Opal Doublets and Triplets

Hale, sorry to contact you by this backdoor route. I have
been tumbling stones for some time but have been getting
increasingly dissatisfied with the tumbling machine(s) I
have been using. Do you know of any suppliers in the UK who
can supply the lap vibrators I have been hearing about.

For interests sake my name is John Benzie. I have been
tumbling stones, general flint pebbles, seashore pebbles and
some semi precious stone such as rose quartz, tiger eye and
amethysts. Now I'd really like some more information on

I have been in touch with Peter Brusaschi at Opal Mine and
he is going to supply me with a batch of rough suitable for

I don't really think that this is what I really need to do.
I have heard of doubles and triplets but don't really have
a clue as to what that means. Can you help me out please. I
am completely ignorant as to how I should proceed. I'd hate
to spoil a good (semi good) stone through ignorance. I have
been searching the Internet for lapidary equipment suppliers
in the UK without very much success.

What are caps and what would I do with them?

I have read every issue of the digest since I first
subscribed about 3 weeks ago, with real interest and have
wondered about cabs, dop sticks and the interest/worries
about glues and fixatives.

I'm sure that if I searched the archives I'd eventually find
all I need to know but I am very keen to take any shortcut I
can. Can you help. I intend to go to our local library to
see what they have but if you can help me with these
questions I'd value them from the expert rather than the
written word.

Best regards

John, you have asked several questions in this one letter;
for answers to the first one, use the Subject Title:
"Lapidary Equipment Suppliers in the UK". Next about opal
doublets and triplets, there is lots in the Archives about
them. I am sure members will describe them for you, advise
you on them, and then you can read the Archives and read
the responses. Can you access the WWW? hale

Subject: NEW: Lapidary Materials in Spain

Hi all

I will be going to Spain in a few weeks and would like to
know if there is any lapidary material native to this
country. Have searched the archives, the internet, and
Lapidary Journal (even for clubs or organizations) and have
found nothing. I've about exhausted my ideas for getting
information on this subject.

Any other ideas?

Cathy Anderson
Yes, I do. We have two members who live in Spain, and I
suggest you contact them and ask the question directly. I
have sent their e-mail addresses to you separately. hale

Subject: RE: Crack Healer Recipe

<<First, we read of the latest earthquake in your homeland,
and hope it missed you and your family and pray that you
and your family are safe.>>

Dear Hale,
Thank you for your concern. Although the part of Istanbul
where I am living was not effected from the two recent big
earthquakes, I am not very sure we will be so lucky with
the future ones. The whole Marmara region is in danger now
as I understand.

<< About your UHU adhesives: possibly the first one will
work. I do not think the second or third ones will work for
this crack healing application. Why not try the first one?
Add the contents of the two tubes to the acetone, and try
it out! And let us know how it worked.>>

I will try these two and let you know. Please will you be
kind to let all Lapidary Digest friends that I wish
everybody "Happy Thanksgiving".

Kind regards from Istanbul

Oya Borahan

Subject: RE: Materials for Intarsia

Consider fiber optics when solid, bright colors are called
for and the chatoyancy of same is an added feature. A
ready source of slabs and/or 24 to 32 oz. blocks in a
variety of colors is

Floyd Carpenter,
Box 14512,
Springfield, MO 65814

Lou Harms
Independence, MO

Subject: RE: Materials for Intarsia

I noticed that there is some white opal potch offered for
auction at It seems a bit pricey to me but if you
gotta have white... Once you get to the ebay site type
"rough opal" in the search window and hang on!

Hooooweee, but there is some pretty stuff for sale there.
If I recall correctly there was another inquiry regarding
sources for white opal potch a while back.

Hope this helps.

Paul Boni
Boulder, CO

Subject: RE: Need Source for Sintered Diamond Segments

This might be something you could use. Go to
"" They have brazing rods
with diamond powder in them that might work. They can be
used to make lapidary tools Have not used any so can't say
how they work and know nothing about the company. You would
use them like regular brazing rods
Thanks for this note; I had not seen these diamond brazing
rods before and am interested to learn other people's
experience with them. If any of you have used them, why not
send your experiences in a note to the Digest? These rods
look, on the surface, as if they would be useful tools for
building lapidary tools. hale
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