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Messages - Aussie Sapphire

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Gemstone Faceting / Re: Concave Cutter
« on: May 24, 2020, 06:05:12 PM »
The cut with 3k on brass is fairly aggressive, I'm not sure if going straight to 100k on aluminum will pollish harder materials.

We have sold a zinc lap from Gearloose that tended to be quite aggressive with #3000 as a pre-polish.  He used to recommend using #8000 diamond instead for pre-polishing on that more aggressive lap.  Maybe that might be worth considering on your brass mandrel.


Gemstone Faceting / Re: help identifying diamond dust
« on: May 09, 2020, 05:12:45 PM »
Possible they are mesh labels??

If so, 0/2 would be #14,000 grit.

This reference chart may help:


Gemstone Faceting / Re: Faceter
« on: April 14, 2020, 02:53:17 PM »
God I hate these file restrictions

We ask members not to post photos as attachments to messages as there is a size limit on that folder.
Please post them in the Media Gallery instead and then add it to your message using the BBC codes.

More info here.

It really helps us out if you do it this way and is better for those viewing the thread.
ALF is provided as a free service to the lapidary community but it does cost us money for hosting space, etc.  We choose not to offset that by selling advertising because I feel that is annoying to those using the forum but admin-wise, it is a lot easier for us to store photos in the Gallery folders instead of the Attachments folder.

Leah (admin)

Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Lortone power useage
« on: March 31, 2020, 03:58:32 PM »
The motor is actually 230 Volt.  The 3A or 33B tumbler motors are 0.33 Amps so pretty cheap to run.

Gemstone Faceting / Re: Lapidary precautions during Coronavirus
« on: March 27, 2020, 05:48:43 PM »
Metho is a great way to disinfect hard surfaces - cheap, easy to obtain and effective.

However, as Swirly points out, methanol is toxic and is absorbed through the skin so perhaps not a great idea to use as a base for hand sanitiser.

Probably better to use something like Isopropyl Alcohol for that kind of thing.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Sludge accumulated
« on: March 19, 2020, 03:51:29 PM »
only small saws, 6'' and 10''

That is completely different to a large 14" slab saw.

The advice you have given is not appropriate for a power feed slab saw.

Cheers Leah

Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Sludge accumulated
« on: March 18, 2020, 04:32:27 PM »
i just use water and a cap full of soluble oil.
nothing rusts and its cheap.

What size saw?  That might work for you but it is NOT recommended by any manufacturer of the larger slab saws.


Ask a "Silly" Question / Re: Sludge accumulated
« on: March 15, 2020, 06:15:43 PM »
Dirty oil and excessive sludge is a problem as it increases wear on saw parts and reduces lifespan and cutting performance of the blade.  As Rusted notes, you can clean your cutting oil so that the cost of replacing it is reduced.  Filter it through any suitable material and re-use - using clean oil will significantly improve cutting performance and reduce wear/tear on the saw itself.

There are oil recycling units you can fit to your saw to do this job automatically.  The commercially available ones are not cheap but I know of a couple of clubs who have made their own.  They still need to replace cutting oil but much much less frequently resulting in a cost saving and it is better for the saw to be using clean oil.

But very do-able to clean oil manually - just a bit slower and fiddly.


Also try Brett at Gemhunters Haven - he sometimes finds second hand faceting machines and sells them on.  Just google them for phone number.


Forum Announcements & Rules / Re: Help How to spot a Fake
« on: December 31, 2019, 07:18:14 AM »
Disregard the hardness number - that is not really of interest to you.

Shape is a standard oval shape - I presume you are happy with the shape of the gem.

Size - 11 x 8.4mm is not a standard calibrated size so if you intend to set it in a piece of jewellery, it may cost a bit more for jeweller to make custom setting rather than use an off-the-shelf calibrated size setting.  Extra cost may not be an issue for you.  11x9 or 10x8 is a standard size.  Depending on where it has been cut, depth may or may not be ideal.

Weight - this describes the weight of the stone in carats but not really of interest to you in practical terms.  Size is more important if you intend to set it.

Comment - this is to do with enhancement treatments.  CEE - Clarity Enhancement Emerald.  The minor grade indicates minor traces of oil.  Probably not unusual (emerald is commonly treated) but depends how you feel about treatments.  Need to be cautious how you handle a treated (oiled) emerald - ie. dont wear them in bath/shower or while washing up in sink for example - dont clean in ultrasonic.

Hope this helps.


Gemstone Faceting / Re: Gemmasta GFE3 Manuals
« on: November 12, 2019, 02:01:44 PM »
I only have the GF4 manual.


Gemstone Faceting / Re: please advise on lap choice
« on: October 20, 2019, 10:02:00 AM »
The Creamway and Greenway laps are quite specific so best used if you have a lot of particular material.  The Darkside will be a lot more versatile.

Creamways are a zirconium charged lap so well suited for all quartz material - also good on peridot and beryls.  Brochure available here:

Greenways are a chrome oxide charged lap so well suited for beryl - also good on other material such as quartz, tourmaline, garnet.

However, both are not general purpose laps - in contrast, the darkside is designed to be more flexible in that you use the polish best suited to the material (obviously a bit less convenient than a "just add water" lap).  Facet flatness should be reasonably similar across the three.

However, use of #100k on a diamatrix should also be suitable for all sorts of material such as tourmaline.

Others will hopefully have advice on cutting lap choice and differences between polish laps.

cheers Leah

Gemstone Faceting / Re: Polishing zircon
« on: October 05, 2019, 07:50:12 AM »
Hi Frank, no, the 10x headband loupe is neasured differently, it is about 3x in an eye loupe. 

When looking at the Donegan Optivisors (headband loupe), the lens are are marked in dioptre values which is NOT the same as magnification.  This can cause a lot of confusion with people when they think their DA10 Optivisor should mean x10 magnification.
As Flash notes, a dioptre value of 10 is equivalent to about x3.5 magnification.

When buying a loupe of any kind, make sure you know which system is being used.  Most manufacturers use magnification power which is simple to understand but there are a few (including Donegan) who use Dioptre value instead and the numbers are not the same.

Also keep in mind that if a x10 loupe works well, a x20 loupe will not be twice as good.  Tempting to think that stronger magnification is automatically better but you need to pick the strength to suit the job you are doing.  Stronger magnification means a smaller depth of field so more difficult to keep the item in focus.  Of course for competition cutting, you need good magnification to see quality of polish but for general faceting, a good quality x10 loupe is the common choice as it hits that sweet spot between good magnification and ease of use. 

Most cutters will have a range of options as they work though - head loupe while they are cutting and a hand loupe for closer checking.


Tell Us About Yourself / Re: Hi everyone
« on: September 26, 2019, 02:19:08 PM »
Welcome to the forum.


Sorry - have not seen a Patriot so cannot give any advice.  Hopefully others can assist.

From memory, they may have used an odd size dop and spare dops were difficult to source.   Most will will use quarter inch brass (or occasionally aluminium) to make dops with a variety of keying methods but I just have a feeling that Patriot/Omni used a weird size for some reason.  If you have a more standard size, then often dops from another machine may fit - they can often can be used no problem or can easily be manufactured if you have or know someone with a lathe.
 Probably not a deal breaker but maybe check on that before making the final decision.

Slow supply is definitely a big problem for just about all the manufacturers - seems impossible to get machines in a timely fashion.  Probably the main reason why we gave up on stocking them - was just too frustrating for both us and customers.

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