Forums Beginner Questions to clean or not to clean (laps)

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  • to clean or not to clean (laps)

    Posted by rubinm01 on May 16, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    I am very new to faceting and just begging to set up my shop.
    I have nubond laps (325,600,1200) as well as a darkside and batt lap.
    The question I have is…do you need a separate lap for each polishing grit or can they be cleaned in between and set up for the next grit. This is obviously intended for the Batt lap and darkside laps. I also bought some dynadisc mylar type polishing laps.

    Thanks for your help and advice.
    Mike

    gemmakermz replied 4 years, 11 months ago 3 Members · 8 Replies
  • 8 Replies
  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    May 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm

    Diamond embeds in the BATT laps, so you can not clean them off and use a different diamond grit. However, you can use both sides, and if you have only one, I’d suggest 3K (for prepolish) on one side, and 60K (for polishing) on the other. You have to take care not to cross-contaminate. You can use something like a coffee filter with the center punched out to prevent the 3K from contaminating the platen.

    As long as you stick to polish, the Darkside laps can be cleaned and another oxide used. You can use diamond polish as well. Originally, for diamond, the rule was to clean the lap, then wipe with oil to repolarize for diamond, but that may not be necessary with the new water-compatible diamond polishes from Gearloose.

    The Nubond 1200 works well for prepolish, but it will wear out more quickly than the Darkside or BATT. I’ve never used the coarser Nubonds.

  • rubinm01

    Member
    May 17, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Thank you. That was very helpful.
    Do you have any other recommendations for laps that I should have on my bench?
    I plan to cut mostly quartz but I do have some synthetic ruby and saphire to cut as well.

    Mike

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    May 18, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    Sooner or later you will want a lap for fast preforming. I use a 220 grit solid steel, but a standard steel or even a topper will work. Speaking of toppers, you will find a master lap useful for various things. Just remember that a coarse lap does unseen subsurface damage, and you must leave plenty of material for the finer laps to eliminate this damage. Go to http://agmc.info/index.php?page=lapidary and download “Attaway_Steve-Fine_Cabinet_Makers_Don’t_Use_Chain_Saws.pdf”. You’ll see some other interesting articles there, too.

  • rubinm01

    Member
    May 18, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you for all the great information.
    In so far as preforming is concerned that is why I have the 320 nubond disk.
    I will look into getting a master lap as well.
    Thanks again.
    I can’t wait to start cutting.

    Mike

  • Alan Balmer

    Administrator
    May 19, 2017 at 1:22 pm

    The 320 Nubond will be very slow for taking off a lot of material, but it will leave a pretty smooth surface, probably only about 0.1mm damage layer.

  • gemmakermz

    Member
    June 7, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    hi Rubin I’ve been faceting since 1965 and still going at it at 76. any metal wheels when done s/b spun dry and store in a zip lock. same with any type cutting and polishing laps. there is splatter and dusting in cutting and can cross contaminate. as far as cutting and polishing laps I’ve just replaced some of my laps. I’ve found on Ebay some china made laps for a fraction of the cost of those made in u s a and since i worked for Crystalite during the 70’s and made the diamond laps back then I’m finding they (china) are not sparing the diamond, the laps are loaded. i bought for cabbing an 8 x 2″ ring grinding wheel of 80 grit for $85 free shipping the same wheel made here is $300+. i bought a set of 3 6″ flat laps for faceting, 120, 600, 1200 grits from china loaded with diamond, metal bonded, for $15 including shipping, that’s total for all 3. myself i generally use only a pure tin lap for polishing everything, with 50.000 grit diamond powder. and run the lap slow and low drip and make kind of mud with the powder. run at very low speed so your not slinging off you diamond mud it polishes quick. the diamond powder is about $15 for 25 carats and last for many stones, again from ebay–china–. do feel free to contact me for any questions. and tricks to faceting. mike zinski (gemmakermz@cs.com)

  • rubinm01

    Member
    June 7, 2017 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks for your help.
    I am still a little nervous but I am anxious to begin.

  • gemmakermz

    Member
    August 18, 2019 at 11:23 pm

    i am now almost 79 only another month and day. and also teach faceting to anyone interested for free. i now have 54 yrs of experience faceting and what i said above is on going. if you go to facebook and type in ultra tec search i have a video put there by ultra tec of a stone i cut an you can see what i do. by the way i just want to let everyone know i found diamond powder 50,000 grit from glass polishers dealer on ebay in china for $80 for 1000 carats and it goes a long ways. all my students and i use it and polish very quickly, its a very good quality. thats only 8 cents a carat. and the stone on facebook is a neodymium yttrium aluminum garnet– laser YAG– and is 245 cts. 193 facets.
    gemmakermz@cs.com

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