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Congratulations to yukonjade and his Richardson Ranch Thunderegg Cab!

Another cabochon contest coming soon!

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 on: Today at 06:36:24 AM 
Started by ileney - Last post by ileney
I’m sure this has come up before but though I’ve done some reading, I’m still awfully confused about it. I have a fair amount of various minerals that I think would all fall under the copper complex category but don’t really understand how to differentiate them. Some stones I have were clearly labeled as turquoise with prices to match but much of the rest were bought in bulk by mail or picked up at shows decades ago. When I have a stone, what defines it as chrysocolla?  If it is chrysocolla, what defines it as parrot wing; is that just light green mixed with turquoise green and blue? What is it called when it has a lot of white quartz with blue and green staining and other copper matrix? What is it called when it is mostly red or brown but has a line or mix of green in it? When I have something labeled as chrysocolla that really looks and acts like turquoise, what differentiates it? When a azurite is heavy in the mix and green minerals much less prominent is that just called azurite or is that something else? Any information that isn’t wildly technical would be helpful. Thank you! Adding: I believe all my material is from the US or Mexico.

 on: Today at 02:14:41 AM 
Started by Jhon P - Last post by southerly
This is a link to a published analysis it says the rock is a mix of jadeite up to 60%, k-feldspar and lawsonite.

i have found it miserable to cut and polish as it undercuts and orange peels big time.

 on: October 15, 2018, 09:08:04 PM 
Started by ileney - Last post by vitzitziltecpatl
Thanks Phil. I didn't even think of sewing the leather ends together. Must have rocks in my head... .

I see from re-reading this thread that the leather was used on an old Nova wheel - not a hard wheel. The thread started off on hard wheels, but many thanks to 55fossil for posting a photo of the leather "belt" on the soft wheel.

The rubber cement works too. I've used that when assembling resin disk/foam pad/steel backers for a flat lap.

 on: October 15, 2018, 01:23:09 PM 
Started by Mossagatemac - Last post by Larry
Found one pic with the 014 so far.

 on: October 15, 2018, 01:12:10 PM 
Started by Quitclayton - Last post by 55fossil
   I am not a purist per say....    I like to hand cut and polish my cabs. I have over 100 cabochons on the bench and in stages right now. My major market is to consumers who want cabochons that I hand mine and hand finish as well as those pieces I out in jewelry I make. Yep, it is a small and special market that I fit in with and appreciate. My prices on these special pieces reflect the value of Hand Made cabochons...

   But, I do use a vibratory tumbler at times. When I am doing cabs for the under $40 price range they may go into the vibe after the 280 grit wheel. I put them in 600 grit polish for 3 days. Then it is back to the Diamond Genie. This middle stage removes a lot of little pesky marks that I see on way to many cabochons that are just done quickly. These are the marks you see when you look at a cabochon with optics and roll it under a strong light. Also those tiny little flat marks you may see on many stones of mid quality.

feel free to visit my website or flickr page for examples...   or

PS:    I have found that vibratory tumblers are not kind to stones that under cut or have mixed hardness

 on: October 15, 2018, 01:01:53 PM 
Started by 55fossil - Last post by 55fossil
    Thanks Vince.  Guess someone thought it was good marketing with that name....

 on: October 15, 2018, 01:00:54 PM 
Started by ileney - Last post by 55fossil
    I did not do any special treatments to the leather. This was meant to be a simple test and it was. Since it worked well with just a straight seam I left it alone and made three more like it. I have used this leather wheel for over a year now with good results. I use a sprayer on mist to keep the leather damp while polishing. On some stones I let the leather get dry and actually let it heat the stone up to get a dazzling finish on really hard stones. Softer stones seem to polish wet with a rather damp leather pad.

     Make sure and let the glue set up well before using!  Since this is a soft wheel that flexes I think the rubber cement was a great choice as it will flex forever. There could be a better choice.

   Is there a better way.... most likely.   I think the biggest key is getting a leather that will hold the polish and do a good job. I really found the suede side to do a great job. Some times simple is good.....   

 on: October 15, 2018, 09:15:10 AM 
Started by ileney - Last post by PhilNM
If you sew the leather into a circle slightly larger than the wheel before putting it on, then getting it wet and slipping it on, it will shrink to a very tight fit.

 on: October 15, 2018, 08:03:20 AM 
Started by ileney - Last post by vitzitziltecpatl
That's a good looking seam where the leather ends meet. Do you prepare the leather strips in any way before putting them on the wheels? Soaking and drying or pre-stretching - anything like that? Wondering about shrinkage during use.

That really is a great idea. Thanks for posting it.

 on: October 15, 2018, 07:55:25 AM 
Started by 55fossil - Last post by vitzitziltecpatl
Most sapphire polishes I've seen are just another name for aluminum oxide. They are a 9 on the Mohs scale so they are good for polishing corundum.

Can't comment on the RH130. Don't have any experience with that one.

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