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Topics - scratchie

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1
Gemstone Faceting / TopazTec Faceting machine
« on: June 05, 2015, 04:36:56 PM »
We have a TopazTec XT6 machine at our Club. It seems there is a problem with the electronics that control the motor speed. Also the DC motor may need some attention. Our thoughts are to replace the motor with an AC motor and fit a suitable speed controller. Has anyone tried such a conversion and was it successful. Any help will be appreciated because the rest of the machine is in excellent condition.
Hopeful someone can help
John

2
Gemstone Faceting / Kapunda quartz
« on: April 07, 2015, 04:47:43 PM »
Sometime ago I saw a mention of Kapunda Quartz . Can anyone advise a possible source of this for faceting?
I recall there were quarries outside Kapunda for marble or granite. I believe this stone was used to face Parliament House in Adelaide, but i have never seen Kapunda quartz.
Happy faceting
John

3
Gemstone Faceting / Zinc faceting lap
« on: February 15, 2014, 08:47:17 PM »
Have any facetors used a zinc lap for polishing?
Was it successful?
If yes , What type of stones and polishing medium?
If Not successful , why not.
Any other comments
All comments will be appreciated.
John

4
Gemstone Faceting / Dopping wax
« on: March 18, 2013, 02:12:53 PM »
Some years ago some facetors from our Club made their own facet dopping wax. I have been told that they bought a block of some sort of wax and they think it was fromsomeone in Glen Innes. They melted this wax with shellac flakes and the powder used by gyprockers to plaster over joints etc.
Some of these facetors still have some of the wax they made and they say it's the best wax they've ever used.
Any info will be appreciated
John

5
Gemstone Discussions / Matrix Polishing Lap
« on: March 08, 2013, 10:20:56 PM »
I have just polished a piece of synthetic corundum with Gearloose's new Matrix lap. When I read about this lap I was keen to try it because I've never had any success using the traditional ceramic lap . I know I'm no orphan  but  then I also know facetors who swear by their ceramic lap.
Gearloose ( Jon Rolfe) describes the Matrix lap as being a "microporous ceramic composite" lap.
I was surprised when I first looked at the Matrix lap because it had quite a rough surface , unlike the hard surface of the traditional ceramic lap. My first step was to smear some light oil on the lap and some 60,000 diamond mixture and dress the lap with a piece of corundum boule with the lap running at fairly slow speed. I did this for about 5 minutes.
Following Jon's advice I then washed the lap with warm water, Morning Fresh and a new stiff nail brush and rinsed it well and dried it.
I then tried to polish some facets on a piece of synthetic corundum that had previously been pre-polished. The results were not good - under the 10x loupe there were many small scratches. I also noticed that on the edge of the facets was a small of residue of white powder which I think came from the lap.
I then applied more oil to the lap and some 60,000 diamond powder and repeated the use of the corundum boule, again for about 5 minutes, and then repeated the washing of the lap.
I went back to the faceted stone and repeated the pre-polish with 3000 Battstick on a Battlap.
I then applied some Diastix 60,000 to the Matrix lap . I found it was difficult to get a decent spread of the Diastix so I added a few drops of light oil and spread the diamond evenly with my finger. I wiped the lap gently with a tissue and tried again to polish the corundum.
 :D I got great polished facets in a very short time - the largest facets may have taken 30 seconds , the smaller ones much less. And the facets were nice and flat. It worked better that the BA5T lap that I have used in the past.
So Gearloose has another winner . The Matrix lap polishes corundum quickly and well.
At this stage I haven't tried softer material on the lap nor have I used Oxide polishes. I caution that this is the result on only one stone and will have to be repeated before I could say it will always work.
Like all faceting , it is essential to get a good pre-polish. I have two pre-polish laps , both Battlaps , one with 3000 diamond and the other with 8,000.
And like most new laps the Matrix requires some preparation. In my case I used light oil and plenty of 60,000 diamond with a corundum boule. Other facetors may find other methods works equally well or better.
So if you want a lap to polish hard stones like corundum I can report that the Matrix has been excellent.
I'm sure that as more facetors try this lap there will be more tips and hints about the usefulness of this lap.
P.S. I got my toughest critic (my wife) to look at the polished facets under our Gemmological microscope ( 40x) and she agreed they were good.
It's a warm fuzzy feeling when something new works so well.
PPS I use the nickname "Scratchie" because it has taken me years to learn how to avoid scratches !!
John

6
Tips and Gadgets / Spectrometer
« on: February 27, 2013, 06:36:09 PM »
Has any member current knowledge of gem spectrometers. I don't mean the spectroscope commonly used by gemmos but the apparatus that  connects to a computer and creates a wave length pattern from the stone being examined. I saw that there was a model being sold at the Tucson gem show recently for $1295. Now that's a lot of cappucinos but my aging eyes can't cope with the spectroscope.'
I remember having read that it is possible to make one from the chip in a digital camera.
Any info. will be of interest.
Also ideas about how to win the lottery will be welcome!!!!!!!!
John

7
Gemcad Discussions / Gemray for Windows
« on: June 17, 2012, 05:51:13 PM »
Have been playing with the Gemray for Windows program - an add-on to the Gemcad program.
It's brilliant .
If you want to get the best angles for any stone you're going to facet this program is a must. There are demos. of it on YouTube. Just type Gemray into the search box on the YouTube page and you'll find six demos. there by the author of the program, Robert Strickland.
And no , Robert is not my uncle or any relation in fact !!!!! ::)
John

8
Gemstone Faceting / Gemray for Windows
« on: June 07, 2012, 01:21:01 PM »
The Gemray for Windows program is now available. This program is an add-on to the well known Gemcad program. Gemray gives facetors the opportunity to tweak their paterns to take account of factors that are not covered in Gemcad - dispersion , colour and a better display of the effect on tilt on faceted stones. There is a demo on You-Tube ( type Gemray into the search box on the YouTube page.
This looks like being a valuable tool to facetors wishing to get the best result from their faceted stones.
John

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