in this issue
-- Fathers' Day
-- LESSONS NEEDED FOR CONCAVE FACETING?
-- A FEW GOOD RECIPES AND A FEW WORDS OF GUIDANCE ?
-- Franklin Faceters Frolic
-- POLISHING ADVICE
-- We're on FACEBOOK!
-- New Representatives...
-- Tom Mitchell
-- Lou McAllister
To all of you in the Ultra Tec family.
Googled "Fathers' Day" to see just what is its exact date. I
learned something - it's on June 20 - well, that's what it is in
the USA, and in 8 other countries, but not everywhere. In 20
countries it's some other date. And in some countries, those
deserving Dads have no Fathers' Day at all.
Well, that doesn't
stop me from saying - for Dads everywhere--on Father's Day in
particular, or whenever, THE RIGHT GIFT FOR DAD - IS A DAD! Dad
will thank you with every angle that he sets - with every facet!
One Dad wrote:
I just purchased and installed the Digital Angle Dial for my
Ultra Tec faceting machine. It was very easy to install and
calibrate. I just cut and polished a synthetic sapphire in 1/3
the time it has been taking me. I really like how easy it is to
set the angle and then when I come back to polish I know for a
fact it is exactly at the same angle that I cut it at. This new
add-on has really made a huge difference in my faceting.
Click for More Info
LESSONS NEEDED FOR CONCAVE FACETING?
Someone wrote to us asking about lessons for Concave
faceting. Now, I always think that lessons are good, whatever it
is that you are learning, but there are many skills for which
the best teacher is DOING IT. And Concave faceting is one of
those things - after all, the person who ventures into it is
already a faceter, and the same principles that apply to flat
faceting apply to concave faceting too. It's like - if someone
who is a good cook desires to try cooking, say, Italian food,
would that person need lessons? Well, I think that lessons
wouldn't hurt, but more important is a having a few good
recipes, and a few words of guidance from a good chef, and then,
A FEW GOOD RECIPES AND A FEW WORDS OF GUIDANCE ?
news! -- DALAN HARGRAVE, one of the best chefs out there, a
prize-winning lapidary artist we all admire, is writing a book
on the subject - specifically an instruction book. It's planned
for release within a few months. Now that's cookin'!
Franklin Faceters Frolic
the Franklin Faceters Frolic in July (Click on Image for
Program) Dalan Hargrave will be talking about Concave and
Fantasy cutting on Ultra Tec equipment.
month we had a section of the SomeTimes with this very same
title - "Polishing Advice". And, with this issue, the leadoff
paragraph deserves repeating: "If you made a list of the first
10 subjects of concern to faceters - amateurs and professionals
alike - the number 1 subject would be "polishing". For that
matter, probably numbers 2, 3, and 4, would also be polishing. I
think if you ask 10 faceters, you'll get 7 "best ways" -- none
of them "wrong", and none of them "the absolutely right way" but
all of them worth considering. You will find a technique that
feels best and works best for you - but even when you think
you've got "IT", keep your antenna working".
Last issue, the advice was from Brad Amos. This time, it's from
gemologist Allen B.Smith a master gem cutter from Grand Junction
Colorado. It's interesting to note that both of these faceters -
Amos and Smith - became interested in photographing their
gemstones and have written articles about that subject (you can
look in our Library).
Here's what Allen had to say about polishing:
I have been faceting for thirty years and have a drawer full of
polishing laps I almost never use. I find myself returning to
two basic types of polishing laps that work well for me. These
are Corian, one charged with cerium oxide for quartz and beryl
and the other charged with Linde A for almost everything else
except corundum and CZ. The other lap is the Batt lap. One side
is for Linde A for polishing tourmaline, garnet, Peridot and
topaz. The other side is for use with 50k diamond for corundum,
Chrysoberyl and CZ.
CORIAN: Mine are scored. They can be scored with a 1-1.5 inch
section of fine hacksaw blade. Mine is glued to a dop for a very
even score. The lap can also be scored with a razor blade from
the center to the edge. Scoring will raise a burr at the edge of
the cut. We'll fix that shortly. After the lap is washed, put it
back on the machine and at slow speed apply a slury of polish
making sure it covers the whole lap and fills the grooves. Once
the lap is dry I apply a tablespoon or so of paste floor wax
near the center of the lap and mix in a little dry polish. With
a finger and the machine on slow speed spread the wax to cover
the lap. Carefully scrape off most of the excess with a razor
blade. Now take a dopped cab of agate or something and while the
machine is still running work the cab back and forth across the
lap until all the little burrs are pressed out. Remove any
excess of polish with a terry cloth.
You are now ready to polish. I use a little extra polish now and
then. This I keep in a 4 ounce plastic bottle with a flip top. I
mix a couple of teaspoons of polish a drop of liquid dish soap
and fill the bottle with water. Keep 2-3 tumble polished rocks
in the slurry for agitation. Just give it a shake and apply a
couple of drops while polishing. Use a slow drip from the water
Go to a cabinet shop that handles Corian and have then cut a
couple of 8 inch circles with a ½ inch center hole from a piece
of ½ inch thick scrap from when they cut the opening for a sink.
If you are at all handy you can do it yourself; outside as it is
messy with Corian flying everywhere.
BATT LAP: Follow the directions and it polishes rapidly with
either Linde A or 50k diamond compound. Do not use too much
diamond. For corundum, CZ or Chrysoberyl the polish is excellent
with no diamond haze.
THE TRICK IS PREPOLISH! Corundum and CZ have a tendency to pit,
"orange Peel" whatever you want to call it even from a 3000
diamond lap. These must be removed or it will take forever to
polish the stone.
I use 8000 diamond compound on an old zinc lap as a
"pre-polish". I use this after the final cut on a 1200 or 3000
diamond lap. I start on the main facet that is the "pittiest".
Keep the diamond compound fairly sloppy and be careful as this
is an aggressive "final cut- prepolish". Some directions will
cut much faster than other directions, a whole lot faster. Cut
until all the little pits are gone and the surface is composed
of even 8000 diamond scratches. Use your 10x loupe. Now cut the
rest of the mains in opposite pairs until everything is cut to
the same depth, mast height, down gauge or light. Cut all the
remaining facets to exact meet point. Then go to the Batt lap
with 50 k diamond and the final polish is 10-15 seconds per
facet. Some directions and the table take a little longer.
It will take a couple of stones before the lap is broken in so
it will require frequent recharging. I use a wood match size
squirt of diamond compound with a couple of drops of extended
liquid. Spread it across the turning lap with a finger and
lightly wipe off most of the compound with a tissue. Once the
lap is broken you should be able to polish a whole crown or
pavilion without recharging. When the polishing slows down and
the lap begins to be covered with dark grey cutting residue it
is time to clean and recharge. I use a few drops on extender
fluid or olive oil that is spread over the whole lap and then
wiped thoroughly with a tissue. Occasionally I will have a facet
that refuses to take a final polish so I give the lap a very
quick squirt of WD- 40 wipe it down and then polish using the
lap which appears to be polish free. Works well for the tricky
Now - there are only three things certain in this life: death,
taxes and different polishing advice. Stay tuned.
Introducing our colleagues:
MITCHELL , is active in the local lapidary cub at The Villages,
in central Florida.
Tom has this to say:
I have been an amateur geologist since college and have been
fascinated by rocks and crystals all my life. Since retirement I
have pursued these interests vigorously and over the past
several years have amassed a modest collection of gem rough. I
had a few of these pieces faceted by someone else, which was way
too expensive. So I took up faceting. I love taking a rock and
turning it into a thing of beauty, a treasure. I did my
research, talked to several other faceters and chose Ultra Tec
because it is without doubt the best machine out there.
It's hard to imagine someone more enthusiastic about faceting
than Tom Mitchell.
MCALLISTER lives in Orange Beach, Alabama.
years ago Lou bought an Ultra Tec. He fell in love with it and
faceting, and two years later he'd become a faceting "pro",
cutting for customers from Georgia to Louisiana. Over the years,
he has shared his lapidary skills and knowledge, his experience
having included the teaching of faceting, and also carving and
cabbing, as a member of Mobile Rock & Gem Society and as a
founding member of The Southern Lapidary Guild. Lou is a welcome
"new guy" to the Ultra Tec team.
We'll be in touch again soon with the next Sometimes Bulletin.
We're on FACEBOOK!
Tec Faceting is now on FACEBOOK. Take a look at our page for interesting
links and updates.
We welcome all our Ultra Tec cousins as FANS
-- your, pictures, experineces, comments and suggestions are welcome.
Ultra Tec's FACEBOOK Page
We'll be in touch again soon with the next Sometimes Bulletin.
The Ultra Tec Team
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