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Messages - FlashGP

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For Sale or Swap / Re: Faceting Designs Book
« on: July 17, 2019, 08:01:47 AM »
Hi Andrew,


How much to buy direct from the author?


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Moulding Gold
« on: June 25, 2019, 06:10:15 PM »
Hi Moth,

There are tables you can look up to give the ratios neede for the desired colour, yellow, rose, white (also the less common purple, green and black).  You would need ti get the quantities for 18ct and subtract them from 9ct to work out how much impurity to add to 1 oz of 18ct to make it 2 oz of 9ct.

If the percentages are the same, you could use gold alloying beads from AJS or A&E Metals to oncrease the dilution of the hold and turn 18ct into 9ct gold.  These beads are not gold, but an alloy which when added to pure gold makes the quantity of carat gold you want.  They usually also include deoxidising agents.

Gemstone Faceting / Re: TV glass toxicity?
« on: June 25, 2019, 07:59:31 AM »
Hi Makky,  the high lead glass should be the front of the screen, to protect the viewer from X radiation.

TV screens have tens of thousands of volts potential in them, the little 16 inch screens we ran in space invader mavhines ran at between 15000 and 25000 volts.  The bigger the screen, the higher the voltage.

When breaking a svreen, first earth one end of the probe to the chassis, then poke the business end under the rubber flange over the end of the HT lead where it meets the screen.  If the screen is live, it will discharge with a crack.  It is then safe to handle.

Remove the yoke, a good source of copper binding wire, and break the neck of the tube off with a hammer.  It is thin here and the safest place.  You can then saw up the tube with lapidary equipment, or a diamond blade on an angle grinder if you take precautions to avoid breathing the dust.


Gemstone Faceting / Re: Stepper motors Fantasy machines
« on: June 25, 2019, 07:50:30 AM »
Thanks Makky,

Do you know if they work by toggling each set of pins sequentially like with a flip flop, or or if the pulses overlap so rotation direction is controlled.

I am also looking to rotate my machine on a pivot under the centre of the cutting mandrel.  I just have to work out how to keep it stable as the top of my plattern pokes through the base plate and in operation clears my motor by 2mm.

However to fantasy cut using shaped wheels, you meed the motor at 90 degrees to the direction of oscillation. 

This means making the whole unit bigger so you can mount the motor pointing at you across the top of the pivot, or oscillating ths axis you usually use to allign the cutter to the centre of the C axis of the stone. 

Hence the stepper motor for the y axis.  It can serve both as a positioning servo and as an oscillator.

I am yet to get sn arduino, but would use one if I confugure with a stepper motor.  Then I can have a position readout, voltage monitor to check the motor health (my last speed controller was feeding up to about 180vdc to the 90vdc motor, no wonder it was humming like a centrafugr) and a taco for the lap.  If I had a need, also an angle readout for the quill.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Moulding Gold
« on: June 24, 2019, 08:21:40 PM »
Hi Tinker

I use a square of  screen mesh sitting on a small propane stove, the ones with dizposable gas canasters.

The cuttlefish mould sits i  a jam tin and is held in place with jasper geavel from the garden.

Then I place an upturned 3litre Golden Circle fruit juice tin over the jam tin to form a small oven.  Use a welding glove to remove the tin just before you pour the gold.

Put the burner under the tin on full blast until you are ready to pour, tgdn swigch off the burner and bring the cruicible to the mould, heating it as you go so ghe gold stays liquid.  Then line up and pour.

I get beginners to line up the mould and do a dummy run before starting fhe burner and melting the metal.  With small pours, 50 gms oe less, gold or silver freezes pretty quickly and you want the pour to go smoothly..

Here's a link to the site.  Read the safety first notes. From memory cuttlefish casting notes are under things to do.


Gemstone Faceting / Stepper motors Fantasy machines
« on: June 24, 2019, 06:02:18 PM »
Hi all, does anyone know much about stepper motors and if they are in home/office printers.

I pulled apart our old colour laser printer and salvaged 4 motors, a 5v/24v dc power supply and some optocoupliers they use as switches.

I am toying with the idea of putting a stepper motor on the y axis of my concave cutter so I can oscillate it at right angles to the usual axis of oscillation and use it for cutting grooves parrallel to the steps on step cut stones to see if tilt performance can be improved.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Moulding Gold
« on: June 24, 2019, 07:36:34 AM »
You need to heat the cuttlefish mould before casting gold into it.  I have instructions on homesilversmithing on Google sites

Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Metal Detectors
« on: April 30, 2019, 07:59:48 AM »
I had a go with a Minelab GM1 on the weekend near Warwick.  Found heaps of bits of Iron.  Was looking in the wrong place.

Any how, it will also detect Aussie sapphires if right on top of them.  I placed sbout 5 cts in a bag on the ground and the detector picked the ferous irones on them.

Interesting, but may not be of practical application unless screening for large sapphires in the rubble dump.

Hi Makky,

Anoit 2.5cm each side of the centre of the mast.  It lets me cut parrallel facets on big step cut stones.

However, I found that you need to have the splash pan wide enough to accommodate the movement.

Am also looking to add splash protectors to my oscillation bearings.  When I use water as a coolant, it splashes onto the rods the bearings run on.



 Graeme McLean is one of your club members, he's also a judge and member of the Moreton Bay Group of the Australian Facetors Guild.  If you get a chance  have a chat to him about faceting and the Guild.

The Guild publisheas a bi monthly magazine that is well worth the annual membership fee.  There's a sample on the Guild's website.



Which club are you in?

I'm in Waterloo Bay club, and the Facetors Guild.

Conversion from 96 index isn't hard, just multiply each index by 64/96 or 2/3.

Ideally you will find 96 index diagrams with indexes that are multiples of 3, otherwise you'll be working with fractional indicies  :-[

There are a number of 64 indes designs out there.  The Murray Bridge Gemboree had some in their competition.  Some also appear from time to time in the Australian Facetors Guild magazine, Facet Talk.

Pm me if you need help sourcing 64 index designs.  I have quite a few in my database.

Dean Baker on the Facebook Group, Faceting Technical, recently had a 96 index made for his Agate Master.  It cost him $120.


Hi Lenkiely56,

I learned on a Hall delux.  The Halls have been a reliable machine over the years.  I enquired about buying 3 Halls for a lapidary club a couple of years ago but at that time the wait was 6 months.

You may wish to ask Peter how long you have to wait for your machine.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Cooking Matrix Opal
« on: April 01, 2019, 06:36:12 PM »

It's a good thing you asked, Opal is generally considered heat sensitive.  I wouldnt burn it and would talk to an opal specialist before treating it.


General Discussion / Re: faceting
« on: March 30, 2019, 06:37:18 PM »
Hi Bucket,

you can sand the Darkside flat again, or Andrew (Aussie Sapphire) can resurface it.

Sanding is a bit messy as you get heaps of fine black powder resembling photocopy toner.


Hi Makky

I purchased a couple of 13mm Darkside mandrels from Aussie Sapphire, old stock.  They also had a 13mm BATT mandrel which I was going to use for cutting and prepolish, but it had a 3/8 inch shaft that was too big for the ER11 collet chuck.

If I was starting again I would use ER16 colletts so I could use the mandrels sold by Polymetric.

The 13mm Darkside mandrels are 12.31 and 12.34mm respectively.  So we made 12.31 mm mandrels as I should wear the 12.34mm Darkside to 12.31.

These worked a treat for the 2019 AFG comp concave cut.  I've posted a video of it on the Faceting groups on facebook.  I had trouble putting it in the gallery of this forum, and gave up.  I had a bit of chipping on the edge of the rolled girdle with this stone so finished it with a 100K polish so it sparkled and Mrs Flash has claimed it.

The stone is 11.7mm in diameter and I think using mandrels about the size of your stone works well.

I also have 8mm printer rod which fits snugly inside 3/8" copper tubing and will make mandrels about 9.5mm in diameter.  we just need to turn the end to fit in the collett down to 6 mm, glue on the tube and size the mandrels so I have a set of 3 matched mandrels.

By the way, Polymetric sells mandrels in 4 sizes starting at 13mm.



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