Forums Laps Tired of Scratches

  • Tired of Scratches

    Posted by Kensington on June 26, 2017 at 3:17 am

    I am tired of scratches on my stones and having them look like ebay specials. I have toppers and a D-Lite 3000 for pre-polish. The D-Lite works well but would take an eternity to get to the deep scratches left behind on the 600/1200 toppers from Kingsely.

    I’m thinking of getting a Batt Lap and charging one side with 600 and the other with 1200. The only problem is I’ve never had to charge a lap, nor know how to do it. Do Batt laps need a small flow of water/coolant to run for cutting?

    The video(s) on the website seem to assume one knows how to do all of this. Any thoughts, resources/videos on this would be helpful.

    gemmakermz replied 5 years, 8 months ago 7 Members · 11 Replies
  • 11 Replies
  • nightrider

    June 26, 2017 at 4:51 am

    A lot of people will have these same problems without realizing why. You need to evaluate your cutting procedures first. Cleanliness is the biggest problem, you do not want cross contamination of grit sizes on your laps. So the first thing to do is CLEAN all your laps (soap & water) and also thoroughly clean your machine. Always use new, clean tissues/towels with each lap and clean the stone and machine when done with that grit size. When going from one lap grit to the next make sure you’re taking enough material off to eliminate the previous grit scratches.
    You may be doing this already, it’s just a checklist to be sure. I know the feeling of frustration with scratches showing up or not being polished out. If you get a new lap DO NOT charge both sides of the same lap. This will invite contamination and will be a never ending source of frustration for you. Try cleaning everything first before investing in a new lap, no sense spending money if you don’t need to.

  • Alan Balmer

    June 26, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    Cutting grit BATT (assuming you use the new Pandemonium sticks) works well with a slow water drip, or even a spray bottle. I would recommend that you use 600 for fine cutting, and 3K for prepolish. You shouldn’t need the 1200.

    nightrider has it right in emphasizing cleanliness. The toppers, however, are going to give you trouble no matter how clean you are. I wouldn’t use them for anything other than rough preforming. It is possible to use both sides of a BATT if you are careful. Some people use a throw-away coffee filter (with a hole for the spindle) under the lap to help prevent cross-contamination.

  • Kensington

    June 26, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to respond Night and Alan. I have cleaned all used toppers with soapy water, with no luck. I’m also pretty obsessive with keeping my machine clean and free from splashed grit/swarf. I think the bottom line is the quality of the toppers. I’ll probably go with a Batt with 600 on one side and see if that alleviates the problem. Smaller deep colored stones ~1.5ct or less seem to hide the scratches better as I can use the DLite 3000 more effectively to remove scratches on the smaller sized facets. But I’m probably putting more wear on that laps than it was designed for.

  • gemmakermz

    September 5, 2018 at 5:56 am

    i’ve bee buying the china made laps,they have more diamond and are very cheap compared to u.s.a. made. i teach faceting and we use whatever grit size to form our stone then true it up for polish on 1200. we use the batt TIN lap or other TIN laps to polish on. we use VERY slow speeds, about 100rpm to polish and use a good grade of 50,000 diamond powder. applying with a finge to the lap with an extremely SLOW drip of water enough to keep it a muddy slur. i just finished the cutting and polishing of a 206.95 carat pink laser YAG, 8 to 8.5 in hardness with very little problem. i use this same on topaz, spinel,garnet, sunstone, and a quartz egg about 450 carats and most all stones. we use this same lap and diamond system on everything, and all sizes, on 8 different make faceting machines.

  • Alan Balmer

    September 5, 2018 at 4:08 pm

    ” batt TIN lap”
    Since I’ve seen this twice now, I’d like to comment that the BATT (TM) lap is a proprietary alloy, with tin as one component. It’s a far cry from plain tin, and several times the hardness, with a much different structure after casting.

  • gemmakermz

    October 18, 2018 at 7:38 pm

    yes, alan, it is harder do to it alloy, i learned about it here on the faseters guild, i have been using the crystalite tin laps for year and its tin is a little softer. after reading here about the batt lap i bought 2 6″ laps and that’s what my students use. and i use a good used 1200 as the prepolish, on smaller stones i may use 1500 or even 3000 on very small. from 1200 prepolish to batt/tin lap with 50,000 powder even gets some of the missed scratches. i’m hoping you’ll all give it a try. remember i cut at high speeds and polish at very very low speed and use the tip of my finger to add the diamond powder to the lap with an extremely slow drop, just enough to keep it wet but not enough to wash it/slig it off, a muddy slur. i have a china soarce for diamond powder. i’ve bought 1000ct for $80 about 8 cents a carat and that will last us a long time. the 50,000 tends to charge the lap as being use so does a lot of facets. a 4.5 carat yag with a modified brilliant cut i polish 24 facets in about a minute and a half. most of time indexing than polishing. if you havent tried it please do and let me know of your results.

  • scottwkelley

    October 22, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    well it takes scratches to remove scratches. I use LL D laps and find that I will have to go back a lap to get rid of that scratch, the one on that large table that just is not going away. I start over and go back a step, by just taking that very fine material will find that the facet will not move that much or change. Go back to your polish and adjust if needed. But I have found that I saved a lot of time by just realizing that I have to go back a step, and just do it, for that facet.

  • tkishkape

    November 9, 2018 at 9:36 pm

    I have been trying to get back into the art of faceting now for over a year, but still having problems in polishing. I use a Faceton, cutting sequence beginning with 350 plated lap, progressing to 600 plated, then to 3000 plated lap. All is well through this progression. Trouble arises when I use 50K “ITALDO” diamond on my 8″ ceramic lap. SCRATCHES all over the place.

    I scrub the stone and lap with dish soap, then wipe the machine down. Last, I remove the bowl and scrub it with a “greenie” and hot water until all visible impurities are removed. Then I reassemble the machine. By this time I’m pretty well disgusted with the whole event and drink a beer to relax.

    I have read the preceding posts suggesting I have been turning the lap too fast. Also, I do not read about pressure. How much hand pressure is used (if any)? I have tried using very light pressure (just a touch) but it takes forever. I find myself pressing harder to speed up the process. Is this my mistake?


  • Alan Balmer

    November 10, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    My first guess is that the polish lap is uncovering subsurface damage from the 350 plated lap. Avoid using the 350 at all, unless you must remove a large amount of material. If you do have to use it, stop at least a couple millimeters from final dimensions.

    Ceramic polishing laps are notoriously tricky. I’ve never used one. Perhaps someone else can give you advice on that.

  • Frankwood

    November 13, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    Those green scouring pads use aluminium oxide as an abrasive, which is hardness 9 on Mohs’ scale, so you don’t want to use them on your machine.
    I can’t help you with the ceramic lap, but I can tell you how I use my Batt laps for polishing.

    I go from a 1200 plated lap to 3k diamond on a Batt lap for pre-polish at around 200-300rpm using a couple of drops of baby oil with the diamond powder. It will give you a far better finish than a plated 3k lap.
    The finish is so good that I polish with 60k on a stationary Batt lap, it will polish most facets with just a couple of wipes across the lap. Leaving a perfectly flat facet with an excellent polish. I apply a decent amount of pressure with the 3k, light pressure with the 60k.

    I have used Diasticks but I find diamond powder and baby oil much faster. The key is not using too much oil, two drops with the powder on an 8-inch lap is more than enough. What I’m trying to achieve is a semi dry surface where the diamond doesn’t ball up and create grooves or scratches in the stone. With this method most of the material removed from the stone will stay on the lap, so I only cut one half of a stone before cleaning the lap and recharging.

    Cleanliness with the 3k diamond is very important, I once got some on my 60k lap and even after thorough cleaning and recharging it would after a while start scratching again. So, I bought a new lap and now every time I touch anything with 3k on it I wash my hands.
    Also have three different liners for the inside of the bowl made from those indestructible plastic buckets. You can cut them up into whatever size you want and they will always retain their curved shape. One for general use, one when using 3k and one for 60k.

    Hope this helps

  • gemmakermz

    November 24, 2018 at 9:49 pm

    as i have said i have many cutting and polishing laps. been faceting for 50+ yrs.. it has come down to using a coarse to shape/rough in, a fine (1200) to finalize and make ready to polish– then 50k on a tin lap. finer polishing diamond powder takes longer to get work done and eyes can’t see any diff.. as to the ceramic i have 2- 6″ and one 8″ and haven’t found any polishing agent or method that produces a good polish so just us them as master laps– their useless to me. the batt lap i found out is 90% tin and has been doing a hell of a lot of polishing with no problem now for over a year and with students using it too and again we all us SLOW speed, and just enough(VERY SLOW DRIP) water to make our slur. as for charging any kind of lap with grits for cutting its no wonder folks have scratch problems. if you can push diamond in, your stone can pull it out, why are we going back to antique methods???? and get contamination from loosening diamonds. yes cleaning is important but we her don’t have to over do that and cut several stones before clean up. the only loose diamond we have around is the 50k., that way we don’t have to worry about that kind of problem.

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