Administered by Hale Sweeny (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This list digest contains the following message subjects:
1. LapDigest News for Issue No. 56 - Thursday 9/3/97
2. RENEW: BOOK LIST: TUMBLING
3. RE: Peruvian opal info?
4. RE: Peruvian opal info?
5. RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
6. RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
7. RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
8. RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
9. RE: My Slab Saw Binds
10. RE: Opal vs Super-glue
11. RE: Opal vs Super-glue
12. BIO: Ed DeWindt-Robson
13. BIO: Bill McIntosh
14. SHOW: Denver, CO Gem Shows
Subject: LapDigest News for Issue No. 56 - Thursday 9/3/97
Recently, I was asked: "Wouldn't it be easier for everybody
if you put the LapDigest Archives on a web-page? Geo-cities
will give you one for free, if Mindspring won't."
Yes, it would be much easier and much better if the Archives
were on a web page. I have two mailboxes and 5 megs on
Mindspring now, and Carol Bova, from the very beginning, has
offered to host the Archives on her site. (Thank you, Carol!)
So neither space or cost is the reason which has held this
back. The plain truth is that I just don't have time to do it
right now. All my time is taken with just getting the Digest
out and attending to my other duties.
Moving to a Web page with a new format is and will continue
to be a goal. But not at the expense of QUALITY of the
Digest and quality of attention to my other duties. Just
think about this - it has been less than THREE months since
the software was first downloaded! And we now have 56 issues
under our belt and over 440 members on the rolls. I know we
will move to the Web, but it will have to be on my time.
For a change of pace, if anyone has suggestions for topics
they would like to see, like the HARDNESS paper or the flat
vibratory lapping letters, please let me know, and I will
try to get some experienced person to write that paper for
all of us.
Bill Collins wrote: "My thanks to all you who responded to
my questions on fire agate and slab saw binding. Looks like
I have a lot of fun/work ahead om me. Thanks again, Bill"
See you again Saturday or Sunday.
Subject: RENEW: BOOK LIST: TUMBLING
Thanks to Alan Silverstein, there is a good file on tumbling
in the Archives, which is dynamic and which he adds to from
time to time. Also, a list of Tumbling books (and videos)
is being developed; the most recent version has been placed
in the Archives as BOOKS-TU.TXT.
If you have a book or a video on tumbling which you like and
which is not on the list, please send info about it to me at
email@example.com; the info wanted is: Title, Author,
Publisher, publish date, ISBM Number (if it is there), and
where one can buy it. Any comments about the book would be
This is the Tumbling Book list so far:
The Complete Book of Rock Tumbling
Hoffman's Rockhound Guide : A Complete How-To-Do-It Guide
Rock Tumbling : From Stones to Gems to Jewelry
The Tumbling Book (may be about gymnastics)
Gem Tumbling and Baroque Jewelry Making
How to Tumble Polish Gemstones and Make Tumbled Gem Jewelry
Pro-Am Tumble and Polish Guide
How to Tumble Polish Rocks into Gems
Subject: RE: Peruvian opal info?
<<I just purchased a small piece of rough of Peruvian opal--
a wonderful sea foam green/blue. Other than it from Peru
and is called opal, can anyone else tell me more about it.
My piece has black speckles in it.>>
Andean opal comes in both blue (sort of turquoisy)
and pink (similar to massive rhodochrosite). It often has
black spots or white or has variations in the basic color,
often in streaks.
It polishes beautifully and is reportedly easy to work with.
I got some of the pink recently but haven't had a chance to
take it to the wheel. Cracks appear to be a potential
problem. I have never heard of any of it having play of
color, so it is common opal, but attractive in its own
Subject: RE: Peruvian opal info?
Peruvian opal is new to me, but Wes Roth, president of the
American Opal Society (firstname.lastname@example.org) had this to
<If this is the same material I cut before, it cuts like
most Australian opal, in the 5 to 6 hardness range. Takes
a medium to good polish and shows very little if any color
play normally. If you get some pictures or samples, please
let me know.>
Mark Liccini was kind enough to tell me about who advertises
Andean Opal in pink and blue. I will check with a dealer and
let you know what he says.
| Carol J. Bova email@example.com |
| The Eclectic Lapidary e-zine |
| http://www.bovagems.com/eclectic/ |
(Ed. note: At our gem club meeting tonight, I talked to an
experienced opal cutter who has worked both blue and red
versions; he said it worked much like Mexican jelly opal,
and was quite heat sensitive. He suggested that you use
cold dopping methods. hale)
Subject: RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
<< At shows and in Lapidary Journal I've seen things like
"Lube Cool." I like the benefits they list, but what's the
down side? .. We will cut things from boulder opal to
jasper to granite and basalt. Then we'll cut nothing for
a few weeks. What are all your thoughts on using
water + additives in your saw?>>
Most of the water based coolants have a down side... if
left in the saw, rust builds up on the metal parts.
Does anyone know of a non oil-based coolant which can be
left in the saw without the rust problem?
non-commercial republish permission granted
Subject: RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
I enjoy the products made by Universal Photonics, in
Hicksville, NY. If you order products from them please let
them know you heard about them from Thom Lane, the lapidary
in Gloucester. They have an interesting catalog and supply
the optical grinding trade, rather than the lapidary.
(quartz lenses) Their products are therefore aimed at a
professional market rather than a 'hobby' market.
I recommend their Rhodes DiaKool water soluble oil. It will,
however, attack certain metals and you may find some parts of
your saw corroding badly. Whether the other water soluble
oils have this problem I don't know. They only sell 5 gallons
at a time and, as you mix it 20/1 you will probably want to
share this purchase between several cutters.
Please see my website at http://www/shore.net/~lanelap/
Subject: Re: Trim Saw Lubricant
Although I am new to lapidary, I too started out with oil
and switched to waterbased coolant/lube because I had
turquoise to cut and had read in several places that oil
should never be used to cut turquoise. I am using LUBE
COOL 4800 and it is working very well, but I also got some
bags of CRYSTAL CUT to use next for economic reasons.
There is an article in June 1997 Rock & Gem by Dale Hileman
that covers the subject very well.
LUBE COOL 4800 was $10.50 for a pint and I am very satisfied
with the results, but here in Hemet evaporation is a big
problem. Heck the ink even evaporates out of my ink-jet
printer faster than I can keep filling it. LUBE COOL 4800 is
diluted 10 to 1 for cutting, and in less than a month I've
used half the pint.
I heard of CRYSTAL CUT from Mr. Hileman's article and it
goes for about $5.25 a pound with a dilution of an ounce per
gallon, and that comes to about 33 cents. Nothing can match
oil and kerosene for blade life and cutting speed, but
water-based coolant is what I intend to stay with.
On the minus side is (more frequient) saw dressing by
cutting a piece of red brick when the saw "dulls" - the red
brick exposes the diamond particles. Also, waterbased
coolant evaporates quickly, but so does kerosene.
On the plus though is that waterbase coolants are (for the
most part) safer from an environmental standpoint as well
as being non-flamable and cleaner to work with. Your slabs
won't need to be soaked in DAWN detergent to get the oil
out of the pores - a simple rinse will leave them dop-able.
Jerry Mings / Rich Balding
Wizard Home Page: http://www.net-quest.com/~wizard/
"-- non-commercial republish permission granted --"
Subject: RE: Trim Saw Lubricant
The second item in Issue 37 (Digest37.txt in the Archives)
is a paper by Bill Ritter, President of Contempo Lapidary,
on reasons saw blades won't cut. His information comes
from several makers of diamond blades. His second paragraph
summarizes it all:
"Nobody likes the smell of diesel or kerosene (which many
old-timers use, and we stress DO NOT USE!) and the trouble
of clean up and disposal of the sludge. But for cutting hard
stones like quartz-based stones (agate, jasper, petrified
wood, etc.), oil is the only cutting fluid."
Note that he is ONLY talking about cutting hard stones, such
as quartz. He then says:
"We or our friends have tried about all the water-based
coolants available and we have not found one that does not
"glaze over" the saw blade. Basically what happens is that
the water does not really lubricate, and at the point of
contact between the blade and the material, it gets so hot
that there is a micro flow of the metal bonding material
over the diamond. Once this happens, the metal starts to
ride on the material and the diamonds are no longer exposed.
Then the blade stops cutting. It's that simple."
So paraphrasing the above, his recommendation is: If you cut
Quartz-like stones, use oil to extend blade life. (I guess
the flip side of this is - if you don't care about blade
life, then use any coolant you want on any stone you cut.)
But what if you are cutting soft stones? He says:
"For soft stones like marble, travertine, turquoise, or even
granite, you can use the water soluble coolants, as these
stones are abrasive, clean the blade and do not produce as
much heat when cutting as the quartz type stones. Also, you
will not impregnate the porous stones with oil. But remember,
when you use water, even though it has a rust inhibitor in
it, you should drain the saw every night and wipe it down and
spray something like WD-40 on it to prevent rust."
This is pretty clear: water+additive is OK for cutting
softer stones, but daily cleanup is required to prevent rust.
And by daily cleanup, for me, it means doing exactly what
he said: empty the fluid, wipe dry, and spray metal parts
with a rust inhibiting oil.
If this is a topic of special interest to you, you should
get and read his whole paper; I have copied and quoted only
three paragraphs from it, but I believe these three
paragraphs answer most of the questions asked in the query.
He also discusses qualities of a good cutting oil, and other
topics of sawing interest.
--Non-commercial republish permission granted--
Subject: RE: My Slab Saw Binds
Hello to all diamond saw users:
The problems mentioned that cause saws to bind are
all the correct ones: misalignment of vise and blade, blade
not cutting because its worn out (or more likely just needs
to cut a brick or old 100 grit silicon carbide wheel fragment
to expose fresh diamonds). But the most likely explanation
from my experience is that the blade is dished.
The first time the rock comes loose in the vise, the blade
stops cutting fast enough to keep up with the amount of rock
being fed into it or misalignment leads to disaster, the saw
blade itself will be deformed. As the blade spins through
the rock and starts cutting to one side, almost always away
from the vise, the pressure on the blade from the rock bends
the blade away from the vise, in the direction the blade is
You can tell when this has happened because the side of the
blade that was getting pushed will be scraped by the rock.
If you take the blade out of the saw and put a straight edge
across the blade you will notice that on one side the hole
will be touching the straight edge. On the other side the
hole will be about 1/8" away from the straight edge. The
blade is shaped like a very shallow dish.
Send the blade to be straigtened. Any use of a dished blade
leads to immediate disaster because the blade itself will
now start the cut a little to the left of where it used to
cut. This leads it to wander off more acutely and the blade
will be dished further. About 1 to two inches into the cut
the blade will bind! Sound familiar?
Please see my website at http://www/shore.net/~lanelap/
Subject: Re: Opal vs Super-glue
<<Does anyone know a safe way to remove an opal from a
setting which was reinforced with super glue? Would nail
polish remover work or would it damage the opal?>>
Nail polish remover is mainly acetone and should have no
effect on your opals as long as they are solid stones (not
doublets). Another product you might try is called Attack.
The active ingredient is a little more aggressive than
Acetone works well for me in dissolving superglue. I've
been using a gel type superglue to dop opal rough onto
brass and aluminum rods for cutting and polishing and
routinely use acetone to remove the finished stones, I just
throw the dops into a bottle that has enough acetone to
fully submerge the stones. It usually takes only an hour
or two to disolve the bond.
If the opals you're working on are doublets or triplets,
I'd suggest you be very careful in trying to use a solvent
for the job. I've found that acetone will eventually
separate a doublet, (I forgot a stone overnight) but it
takes a much longer soak time. I don't know if this is
because the acetone must penetrate a much deeper bond or
because my doublets are cemented with epoxy rather than
superglue. Nevertheless, the acetone has had its way with
a couple of my small doublets.
- Brad <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> Non-commercial republish permission is granted <<
Subject: RE: Opal vs Super-glue
The same places that sell super-glue also often sell
super-glue remover. I haven't tried it on opals, but it
would probably work. Of course, if this is a doublet or
triplet which was put together with super-glue, the stone
might come apart too.
Andrew Werby - United Artworks
Sculpture, Jewelry, and Other Art Stuff
Subject: BIO: Ed DeWindt-Robson
I am a new collector, having started last summer with trips
to Hiddenite,NC, then joined the Forsyth GMC in the fall and
made several club and/or family collecting trips this year.
My main partner in collecting is my 6-year-old son Andrew,
but my daughter Chris (13) and wife Kim are starting to get
the bug, too. Kim is the one with the luck, as shown last
weekend when we went to Barger's Quarry in Lexington, VA
with Dee Penick; Dee assured us that the good pyrite had
all been mined out already, but Kim came out with half a
dozen nodules 3cm or larger.
No equipment yet beyond a small tumbler, but we're on the
lookout for used stuff to help us get into cabbing and
slabbing. We love meeting other collectors to explore new
places, or meeting on-line to swap stories and specimens,
and would be delighted to hear from others similarly
In our spare time, Kim and I keep trying to make a living as
private psychologists, and I explore the interface/overlap
between psychological and spiritual issues with a weekly
Subject: BIO: Bill McIntosh
My name is Bill McIntosh. I am new to the list, and a
newcomer to Lapidary. I'm 62 yrs old. I attended a Basic
Lapidary course at William Holland school for the
Lapidary Arts in Young Harris Georgia last year and have
recently been given a Diamond Pacific "PIXIE" machine for my
Looking forward to getting lots of help
Subject: Denver, CO Gem Shows
Mine Design will exhibiting at the main Denver Gem & Mineral
club show, September 12-14, 1997 in room H52 featuring custom
cut colored gemstones, collector gemstones, faceting rough
and SoLux Daylight Lighting. You are all welcome to stop by
and say hello.
GemData, Mine Design & The Spectrum Network at
http://www.gemdata.com Home of the original interactive
"Gem, Mineral & Jewelry Show Calendar" Colored Gemstones,
Diamonds & Cutting Rough Databases and Information
SoLux Daylight Lighting
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