LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 183 - Thursday August 7, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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Index to Today's Digest
01 BIO: Harv Turner
02 RE: torch question
03 RE: torch question
04 RE: torch question
05 RE: Faceting Machine
06 RE: Faceting Machine
07 RE: Faceting Machine
08 RE: Rough Sources
Subject: BIO - Harv Turner
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 16:20:12 -0700
From: "Harvey Turner" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Upon my retirement from aerospece project management, I began taking
classed in precious metal casting which led quickly to fabrication and
so on it went... In the past my family had always been involved in the
arts; ceramics, oils, metal sculpture and leaded glass have been my
I got into lapidary in order to shape and polish stones for my
Southwestern style jewelry work only about 3 years ago. Since then, I
have been doing more with rocks and less with silver, although I love
the combination. My rough collection has been growing by leaps since I
began traveling to Tucson and Quartzite over the past 3 years. I love
the local shows at Paso Robles, Nipomo, and so forth. My favorite
stones, so far, to cut are, Sugilite, Turquoise, condor agate, red horn
coral, and chrysoprase. My equipment now consists of: 20 " slab, 10"
slab, 6" trim, All-you-need 8" with both hard and soft laps, a genie cab
machine, and a few pieces of fix-it saws and expanding drums. I recently
completed a new addition to my house, a studio workshop. My "wet room"
is still in the garage, but the cleaner stuff has moved into the new
digs. I have an outside shed for slab storage, and of course the yard is
becoming "decorated" with some nice display sized rough. I am currently
looking for faceting equipment, but good used equipment is hard to
Our Santa Barbara Gem and Minerological Society recently folded.
I have adequate sugilite for trading and would be interested in finding
some nice druse for cabs. I enjoy the enviable position of making what I
enjoy and love to try continually more challenging projects. I do manage
to earn enough to subsidize my enjoyment with commissions and selling
cabs and slabs to fellow jewelry designers/fabricators.
I was a subscriber to Hale's board for awhile, but lost contact.
Certainly happy to have found this new home. I will try to be a helpful
Welcome Harv, Glad you found us.
Subject: Re: Butane pencil torch
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 16:21:43 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <email@example.com>
From: John McLaughlin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
If you don't open the torch valve (best not to light it) when filling
the torch you can't put more than a small amount of butane in it. Open
the valve and then fill until the butane comes out the nozzle (filling
upside down). However, an hour burn time seems wildly optimistic for
these torches. The flame is so small one must usually turn the torch on
full bore to solder. Even then the torch is only useful for jobs.
Heating a large silver surface with it can cause bad language.
Subject: Re:Butane Pencil Torch
Date: Thu, 07 Aug 2003 10:26:48 -0700
To: LapidaryArtsDigest <email@example.com>
From: Dave Arens <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> So I bought a butane
pencil torch filled from a compressed butane canister (as for cigarette
lighters) which is supposed to burn for one hour on a charge. I get about 2
minutes burn time at most and it goes empty. What am I doing wrong with
this little thing?<<
I think the 1 hour figure is a little optimistic for these pencil torches if you want
a useable size flame. The 1 hour figure is based on a fully charged tank & the
smallest flame possible.
The amount of gas these torches hold is dependent on some extent to the amount of gas
in the canister used to fill the torch. The pressure of the gas in both the torch &
container cannot exceed the pressure of the gas in the container. As the container
begins to empty, the pressure tends to drop resulting in less gas in the torch.
I've found when filling the large butane fueled torch (Proxxon Micro Flam) that
shaking the gas container vigorously prior to inserting it in the torch results in a
better fill. It also helps to hold the torch & canister upside down during the
I my estimation, the pencil torches are good for lighting the candles on the table
for Thanksgiving dinner, but little else.
Subject: Water torches
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 19:12:00 -0500
From: Gene Goldsand <email@example.com>
I would advise against using stoichiometric OxyHydogen mixtures under
pressure. Another name for this is a fuel-air bomb.
The "Brown Gas" website has lots of hogwash in it. If lightning struck
power lines a few miles away while you were using it you could be blown to
smithereens. Ditto some other static or electrical discharge. This does not
apply to UL and CSA approved units which don't store the mixture under
pressure and have small volumes internally. This mixture does not implode
50 psi is 3+ atmospheres so the explosion will liberate an amount of energy
equal to about three times the volume at atmospheric pressure.
Plastic containers are good when used within their design limitations but
they are not designed to contain explosions. (Yes I've played with spud
guns but I wonder how many of them have exploded) When plastic does fail it
often shatters. (Unless you used UHMPE ) which is a party I'd rather miss.
This is why you also shouldnt use plastic for shop air. To much stored energy.
You could use a DC, separated system which would be safer and would allow
you to add flux vapors to the fuel gas. Bubbling oxygen through volatile
ketones is another party I'd rather miss. Ask your fire marshal.
Just my .02
Subject: Re: $500 and change faceter
Date: Wed, 6 Aug 2003 20:22:00 EDT
Bob, I looked on the site and that is definatly an old lee knock off. I read
on the list (either this or the usfg list) that they are made in China and
had a bit of a fit and finish problem.I believe Lopacki acquired the rights to
the lee design. I hope I have that right, if not no big deal I have been wrong
before. Perhaps Ole Daniel will fill us in on the true scoop.
Dennis on the
Subject: Re: Faceting Machine
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 21:49:08 -0700
To: firstname.lastname@example.org (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Don Rogers <Don@Campbell-gemstones.com>
At 05:51 PM 8/6/03 -0500, you wrote:
>If anyone has experience on the machine, I'd be interested in hearing
I have no experience with the machine, but you need to take a close look at
what you are getting and how much it is going to cost you to get a "usable
Reading the ad closely, what you need to consider is.
1. a transfer jig, none offered that I saw.
2. a 96 tooth, the standard for a one index shop, gear, It will cost you an
3. Laps. while some of the manufactures don't include laps, the choice for
this machine is a little less than acceptable, The 1200 and 600 are the
ones you would use for faceting, but again, reading the ads, they require a
master lap which is not listed. In addition to these two laps, you will
need a couple polish laps which are not offered. The coarser laps are a
way to destroy your facet rough quickly.
4. The machine looks like a knock off of a 1960's style machine. No
features that I could see from the ad
My recommendation would be, Take the $527 and put it in the piggy bank and
add to it until you have around $1000 to spend. Then watch Ebay, the news
papers, and check with the local clubs. For the $1000 you can get a very
good used setup.
I have been watching the Raytech machines on Ebay for over six months
now. A complete setup including 6 to 10 laps, a couple dozen dops, and
books will usually go for under $1000.
Some of the UT and Facetron are also bargains.
For new machines, The Polymetric Xrystal Tech 87 is a great buy. You will
need to add some laps, and a drip tank, but you have a really rugged
machine with a precession soft stop in the way of the dial indicator to
allow great repeatability, a must for any machine.
The bottom line is that when you jump on a "beginners machine", KNOW what
you are buying. Or better yet, know what you are not buying.
Will the machine give you a the chance to succeed with your first few
stone, so you can truly decide that this it the hobby/business that you
want to jump into. Or, will amplify your "beginners" mistakes and sour you
on the whole faceting scene.
If you can, hook up with a local club and get some hands on time with some
different machines. Make sure you get a look at both the 60's technology
and the 00's version. There have been some great improvements in the last
40 years or so. Don't ignore them for a low price.
Subject: Re: Issue No. 182 - Wednesday August 6, 2003
Date: Thu, 7 Aug 2003 14:26:42 -0400
To: "LapidaryArtsDigest" <email@example.com>
From: "Clyde" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I would recommend calling Lopacki Co- Daniel Lopacki usually answers the
phone himself. Last time I spoke with him (about a month ago) he said he was
having QC problems with his faceters from the manufacturers. He suggested
that folks call him to see if he has stock (he's supposed to have 36 new
machines in about now, checked and ready to ship) and if he's happy with the
units. I have been given his personal assurance that he will not allow any
of his machines to be shipped without his OK for QC.
Hope this helps
Subject: A reliable faceting rough source
Date: Wed, 06 Aug 2003 19:05:18 -0700
From: Webb Long <email@example.com>
Hi All, If you are looking for a reliable dealer from whom you might
purchase faceting rough, I highly recommend Michael Williams at
http://www.qualitygemrough.com. Regards Webb
RESOURCES FOR LAPIDARIES:
PERSONALS: (General Lapidary and Faceting)
Lurking is fine, but participation is better for learning !
Post something from your experiences in gemcutting today!
TODAY'S FUNNY ~
A father and son went fishing one day. While they were
out in the boat, the boy suddenly became curious about
the world around him. He asked his father, "How does
this boat float?
The father replied, "Don't rightly know son." A little later,
the boy looked at his father and asked, "How do fish
Once again the father replied, "Don't rightly know son.
" A little later the boy asked his father, "Why is the sky
Again, the father repied. "Don't rightly know son." Finally,
the boy asked his father, "Dad, do you mind my asking
you all of these questions?"
The father replied, "Of course not, you don't ask questions,
you never learn nothin'."
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
TWO GENERATIONS CLOSER
PBS film critic and columnist Michael Medved has shared this
anecdote out of his Jewish heritage:
A few years ago, Rabbi Jacob Karmenetzky made a trip to Israel
accompanied by his teenage grandson. Ironically, these two deeply
religious people were seated in the airplane next to a prominent Israeli
socialist leader and outspoken atheist.
On the flight, the cynical atheist traveler couldn't help noticing
the way the teenage boy attended to the needs of his aged, bearded
grandfather. He got up to get the old man a glass of water, helped him
remove his shoes and put on some slippers, and otherwise demonstrated
that the rabbi's comfort represented his primary concern.
At one point, as the boy got up for yet another errand on behalf of
the old man, the atheist could contain himself no longer. "Tell me
something," he asked the rabbi. "Why does your grandson treat you like
some kind of a king? I have a grandson, too, but he wouldn't give me
the time of day."
"It's very simple," the old man replied. "My grandson and I both
believe in a God who rules the universe and created all things,
including the first man. That means that in the boy's eyes, I'm two
generations closer to the hand of God Himself. But in the eyes of your
grandson, you're just two generations closer to a monkey."
LIST and WEBSITE INFO~
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