LAPIDARY ARTS and FACETERS DIGEST
Issue No. 93 - Tuesday March 25, 2003
Moderated by: Thurmond Moore III
Committed to carrying on the fine works of
Hale Sweeny and Jerry Dewbre
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From the Moderator:
Topical Focus for This Week: POLISHING QUARTZ GEMS CLINIC
One I would like to suggest is polishing different quartzes. I think that
most everybody has had polishing problems with quartz at one time or
another. I certainly have and it currently is driving me up the wall.
Scratches seem to show up no matter what I try.
HOMEWORK for tonight:
What polishing problems occur most frequently?
What type of laps / wheels / pads did you use?
What type of polishing media?
What pitfalls did you encounter ?
What solutions did you find ?
This discussion is one that all members (cabbers, tumblers and faceters)
of the list should have experience with since so many gem materials
are quartz based.
With that in mind, get those post in for inclusion in
Index to Today's Digest
01 RE: Quartz Polishing Clinic
02 RE: Quartz Polishing Clinic
03 RE: Quartz Polishing Clinic
04 RE: Quartz Polishing Clinic
05 RE: Quartz/garnet clinic
06 NEW: Marble dyeing
Subject: quartz polish
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 19:57:05 -0500
To: "faceter's digest" <email@example.com>
From: "Doug Dover" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have only had a problem polishing quartz AFTER using a 180 grit lap to get
rid of the garbage on a large stone. It was subsurface damage that caused
the "scratches". I had to remove even more material to get rid the
scratches. Polish has always been relatively easy for me using dyna disk
type spray-on cerium oxide on lucite laps. Flat, highly polished facets
that come up quickly. Prepolish is with a nubond that has been well used on
many stones from amethyst & citrine to chrysoprase.
Subject: Re:Polishing Quartz
Date: Mon, 24 Mar 2003 18:40:45 -0800
To: email@example.com (LapidaryArtsDigest)
From: Don Rogers <Don@Campbell-gemstones.com>
At 06:27 PM 3/24/03 -0600, you wrote:
>The only problems I occasionally have with quartz is when I'm polishing
>quartz with large
>inclusions, usually black tourmaline. I suspect I should use diamond for
>the final polish.
Polishing a stone with hard inclusions, or soft matrix is always a
problem. An opal cutter I know in Australia cuts some of the smoothest
ironstone matrix opals I have ever seen. All of my attempts were dismal
failures due to the undercutting. His recommendation was to grind the
stones to shape, then "dry" sand up to 600 grit at a very fast speed. Then
go to diamond on fabric belts on an expandable drum, and use each grit all
the way through 50K. It is dirty, but it works. If you don't linger on
any grit for long, the diamond sees the soft matrix (quartz in your case)
and the harder opal (tourmaline in your case) about the same. The matrix
opal hardness difference is much greater that the difference between quartz
and tourmaline so the results should be better with your mix. Don't use a
expandable drum though, it makes really rounded facets. (grin)
One more thing that might be giving you problems is that the quartz and
tourmaline are not bonded. I had one piece of quartz with a tourmaline
that the tourmaline would slide in an out of the quartz, but couldn't
completely escape it. It is impossible to get a smooth surface on
something like that.
Subject: Polishing Quartz
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 17:57:35 +1030
From: "Island Hire Enterprises" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I have read so so so much about the problems of polishing Quartz.
I cut and polish Quartz all the time from many areas
It is my considered opinion that all of the main problems have been
caused by having too much polishing medium on the lap causing
agglomeration and scratches. This does not depend upon the medium used.
Diamond of good quality is always the best choice.
But other tried and tested mediums for polish are usable.
Difficulty can be experienced where inclusions of a harder or softer
material are to be polished with the stone.
Here the direction of the lap as to the inclusions are important and
lower pressure of the stone on the lap and less polish material are
Take it slowly and it will work!!
Regards to all.
Eric from OZ
Subject: Working With Quartz
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 09:04:52 -0800 (PST)
To: LAPIDARY ARTS & FACETERS DIGEST <email@example.com>
From: Glenn Klein <firstname.lastname@example.org>
For me, Quartz has given me the most problems and work at cutting an excellent Competition
stone. I would rather work with a ceramic lap and CZ.
Much as I agree with almost everything that Glenn Vargas has to say in his book Faceting
For Amateurs, I do not agree with his references to polishing Quartz with a Lucite lap and
cerium oxide. First of all, the Lucite doesn't even made a good frisbee, let alone be a
good lap for anything....in my opinion. And always forget using Slurries of anything.
What are you trying to do, paint the stone and lap?
The only way I have been able to get a competition quartz stone well finished was with
using a cerium oxide Ultra-lap that is glued down on a plain lap (in my case, an aluminum
base lap). Forget using the Ultra-laps that are floating above the base lap on a film of
water. I tried that on an Austrailian IFC competition stone one year, and got terrible
rounded facets that I really could not control. I ended up cutting another stone of that
design, which I polished on a glued down Ultra-lap. The method that works for me is the
glued down Ultra-lap, and then polishing with a very light pressure against the firm stop
on my Ultra-Tec faceting machine. The Ultra-lap gives a fast and beautiful finish to
quartz, but as soon as you start using pressure you will get rounded facets and un-sharp
meets as well as poor facet edges.
But, we all experiment until we find what works best for us. Then we keep doing it that
same old way until a better way is discovered that works.
I keep reminding faceters to read my article of Faceting Against The Stop. Most of my
articles are getting quite old now, but that does not mean anything. The older methods
work better most of the time....after all, the quartz is many, many thousands of years
old, so why not use some of the old methods that work at handling the faceting of it. New
methods are not necessarily better just because they are new.
I would change the total attitude of the United States people back to the days of the
1940's if I could. But the new age thinks that they know it all better. And so, the
Glenn Klein, Chairman
Faceters Symposium 2003
Subject: Quartz/garnet clinic
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 08:56:35 +0000
From: "Frank Romano" <email@example.com>
First, the pic of Gustavo's garnet: superb! And you were brave enough to
photo it in your hand, so we *know* the only light reflected back came from
the gem. Really nice!
As regards quartz, I've only had a few problems. I've used the Batt lap
recently to polish with 50K diamond and it did a great job. In the past
with lucite and cerium slurry, I've encountered orange peel facets once.
That's the best way I know to describe the appearance of the facet. I kept
polishing and polishing and still had orange peel. 2.5 hours later I turned
off the machine and wrote the digest. Lo, a response! Touch the facet to
the pre-polish lap and then try to polish it again. DUH! Worked like a
charm. A follow up suggested that I may have over heated the facet, as
lucite's known for that. Anyway, for what that one's worth...
I also have had one quartz that insisted on crumbling the meetpoints on two
of its facets. I switched the direction in which I was polishing it and the
meets came out fine. And no, I'm NOT one of the lucky few with a reversible
motor. I lowered that baby right into the oncoming lap, praying the whole
time. DON'T try this with a stone or lap you value!
As for variable hardness, the only cure I've found is patience. Just keep
grinding the hard facets, they'll come through. I actually timed it once on
quartz that finished at 10 cts and those hard to cut facets that just take
so much extra work really only took about 10 minutes each to polish. It
just feels longer when there's a gorgeous gem waiting to "pop the dop"!
"Gemcutters are Multifaceted Individuals"
Subject: Marble dyeing
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2003 16:26:48 +0500
From: "Nasim Ahmad" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
I trust all my friends in Lapidary Arts Digest are in the best of
spirits during these tense times, and wish all peace on earth.
Aside from working in gemstones, I am heavily involved in the marble
handcraft field. I do a lot of marble handcrafts (vases, chess sets,
ashtrays, tabletops, etc). Pakistan does well in these, and our "green
onyx" is quite famous.
I have noticed lately of some marble products coming from India which
have been dyed in different colors (purple, lapis blue, malachite green,
red, yellow, etc). These mostly come from India and are quite beautiful.
I would like to do the same, especially in marble eggs as we manufacture
upto 100,000 eggs per month. Just felt that it's something new and
different. I kindly ask counsel from members on how this is done. What
is the process of dying marble - something small like marble eggs (which
are about 2"x3" in dimensions)? What type of equipment do I need? What
type of dyes are used?
Any counsel in this would be much appreciated.
Nasim Ahmad Associates
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 ~
Quotes Taken from actual (?) performance evaluations:
"Since my last report, this employee has reached rock bottom and has
started to dig."
"His men would follow him anywhere, but only out of morbid curiosity."
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"This associate is really not so much of a has-been, but more of a definitely
"Works well when under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap."
"When she opens her mouth, it seems that this is only to change whichever
foot was previously in there."
"He would be out of his depth in a parking lot puddle."
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"He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to achieve them."
"This employee should go far - and the sooner he starts, the better."
"This employee is depriving a village somewhere of an idiot."
REFLECTIONS AND TIDBITS:
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From: "RICHARD P ROSENTHAL" <email@example.com>
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