Photoluminescence Spectra of Emeralds from Colombia, Afghanistan, and Zambia by Brian Thompson. See Research Below
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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Sun May 26, 2013 8:15 pm 
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sorry, no pro photo of that umba sapphire.. it got sold to another person while I was showing it to a dealer at the SF Mineral Society swap meet!!! One of the best looking ones I've cut..

One of my dealers was demonstrating the lap at a show, and somebody bought his demo stone. It's that peculiar water-wet polish that attracts attention. What makes the effect seem strange to me is that with diamond, the scratch sizes of the finish should be at least a little similar no matter what the lap material. It could be the number of particles per unit area....making it more like a diamond-like film. Shrug. I may never find out.


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:38 pm 
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Hi all,
I just bought a Matrix and 60K Diastik from Jon and am looking forward to trying it out on a CZ. I do have a couple of questions if someone would have the time:

    1) Can I use different grits on the Matrix after washing it off? Or if I use the 60K diastik, is that pretty much it?

    2) In regards to the diastik, how much should be applied? The only other diastik I've tried is 3K on BATT and I go round-and-round while the lap is moving to give it a decent coating. But is this too much for this sort of grit size/lap? And after the diamond paste is applied, do I want to use some oil as well?

Just looking for any advice on how to use this :-)

Thanks!
Dave


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 4:45 pm 
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Some diamond will embed into the lap surface and remain after you have washed the lap.

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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 5:05 pm 
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It appears from my experience that you can maybe EVENTUALLY deplete the 60,000 somewhat, in switching to 100K, but it is probably never all gone entirely.

The Matrix™ does not seem to be too fussy about diamond loading. In my torture tests, after I cut a few stones, I deliberately loaded it with powder. It did not seem to make much difference in the way it polished. Perhaps if I had made a constant habit of it, it could have caught up with me. The Diastiks™ are kind of self-limiting in that they force the diamond into a thin layer. Any excess is simply wasted.

To date, 60K seems to be the default.


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:40 pm 
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And after the diamond paste is applied, do I want to use some oil as well?

Try adding a tiny bit of oil and wiping it nearly dry, first, then apply the Diastik™. It helps it spread easier and seems to make everything a little smoother. Do not overload it with oil.


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 4:04 pm 
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Can I use different grits on the Matrix after washing it off? Or if I use the 60K diastik, is that pretty much it?


I feel I must report that I got a fan letter about the Matrix™ the other day, along with a lap that had a stone bounce mishap. Actually it was more like a hymn.
But this individual reports using sequentially on the lap, 8K as a prepolish, followed by 60K, followed by 100K, and finishing with a touch of 200K, and there followed many superlatives about meet sharpness, facet flatness, and superior results. No mention was made of intermediate cleaning, though I imagine there as some kind of step between the grits.

Anything that can be imagined, people are going to try. As the manufacturer, I would never recommend this, because you just know that someone would extend the process it to 600 cutting followed by prepolish, ....etc... on the same lap and end in tragedy.

8K is 2-4µ, nominally 3µ. This is really not in the design range of the MATRIX™, but if there is particle trapping it would be possible to get a near 14K finish.

Nevertheless, no one who cares about the products they make would ever suggest using grits outside the polishing particle size range of not over 1 µ. The biggest reason for this is that it can be misinterpreted, especially by the vulnerable (Beginners or Bargain Hunters <Oh good. I can buy ONE lap, and cut and prepolish and polish on it>) and create bad shop habits and a lot of frustration when luck runs out.

We have had postings in the past that have gone the other way, with more than a dozen lap changes to facet a stone...Which would have convinced beginners to take up needlepoint instead.

Both extremes need to be considered outliers. There are people who run their machines at 3,600 RPM, also. In all cases the test is "What works best for most people most of the time?" and start with those parameters.

Disclosure: Of COURSE I have experimented with such things on my laps. But I do not cut for competition. Would such stones survive a judge's microscope at 20-30X? Maybe, maybe not. Using a dedicated polish lap can remove much of the "Maybe", I suspect.


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 9:51 am 
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The Matrix lap was never designed to act as a pre-polishing lap. Any particle size coarser than 2 microns should not be put on this lap. Putting coarser grits on this lap will cause it to wear and go out of true much more quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:33 am 
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Thanks Jon and Thomas for the information!

I'm happy to report that I was able to use the Matrix this weekend to successfully polish a piece of CZ (which has always been an "iffy" thing for me). I did a pre-polish with 3K BATT and then used the Matrix with 60K diastik.

I can say that I've now experienced what must truly be "flat facets" for the first time. Polishing-wise, I can't say it was much quicker than other polishing laps I've used, but it didn't scratch on its own and the couple problem spots I had were little pores that pulled up from the surface and likely there from the BATT or previous laps. But when the facet is polished, there is a huge difference from "other" laps I've used in the past.

Looking forward to my next piece =D>


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:42 am 
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Looking forward to my next piece =D>


So am I, because from many accounts, the lap just keeps getting better as it breaks in.

On the prepolish-on-polishing lap issue, people did that when the Darksides™ first came out also. It's human nature. People try things.

While it did work, it put a month's worth of lap wear with every stone.

It is not unusual. People use screwdrivers as chisels and wrenches as hammers all the time. Maybe it's a Man Thing :smt105


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:23 am 
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Gearloose wrote:
It is not unusual. People use screwdrivers as chisels and wrenches as hammers all the time. Maybe it's a Man Thing :smt105

I discovered that when I installed a striker plate on our front door frame. Had to use lots of plastic wood to build up what looked like a meteorite impact and carve out a proper recess with a 1" sharp chisel.

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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:26 am 
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gronkus wrote:
Thanks Jon and Thomas for the information!
I'm happy to report that I was able to use the Matrix this weekend to successfully polish a piece of CZ (which has always been an "iffy" thing for me). I did a pre-polish with 3K BATT and then used the Matrix with 60K diastik.
I can say that I've now experienced what must truly be "flat facets" for the first time. Polishing-wise, I can't say it was much quicker than other polishing laps I've used, but it didn't scratch on its own and the couple problem spots I had were little pores that pulled up from the surface and likely there from the BATT or previous laps. But when the facet is polished, there is a huge difference from "other" laps I've used in the past.
Looking forward to my next piece =D>


I pre-polished CZ with 3K sintered and polished with 100K diamond on the Matrix . Comparing the polishing time to other laps I have used, it appears to me that the Matrix works more quickly, but I confess to a favorable bias for the lap.

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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:46 am 
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gronkus wrote:
The only other diastik I've tried is 3K on BATT and I go round-and-round while the lap is moving to give it a decent coating.


That sounds like a LOT of 3k to me. I generally apply 8 radial swipes with the 3k stik: 4 are full-radius (from hub to edge), 4 are about halfway to the edge (to get more diamond on the larger circumference out there).

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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 11:46 am 
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but I confess to a favorable bias for the lap.


Same here. it makes it difficult to say anything good and have it mean much.
In my case, it's worse, because I could be obsoleting some of my old products.

Again.


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:57 pm 
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I generally apply 8 radial swipes with the 3k stik: 4 are full-radius (from hub to edge), 4 are about halfway to the edge (to get more diamond on the larger circumference out there).


Eric,
What do you do then? Work it in with a norbide or piece of corundum or do you just spread it around and begin cutting?


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 Post subject: Re: Matrix Lap
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:25 pm 
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I could use some help with this lap. I normally use a batt with 100k polycrystalline diamond as my go to polish lap. I don't have any experience with ceramic laps or laps where the diamond doesn't embed. I've heard that less diamond is better than more diamond on ceramic. Working on a CZ, I decided to pull out the Matrix for its first use. Put a little diamond on with 100k diastick, and went to polish from a 3k on batt finish. Scratching.....but I recognize this type of scratching as balling up of polish compound. Spread a little extender fluid on and run a norbide stick over it for 30 seconds, did the same in reverse. Less scratching....added more diamond and ran the norbide over it for a longer period. Wiped off excess material. I'm now able to get a decent finish on the face of the facet, but it appears the ends of the facets roll off to the meets, more rounding than I like. What am I doing wrong? I spent 3 hours trying to polish 8 large facets. I get a flatter finish almost instantly on my 100k batt. Help me please!

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Last edited by Michael O'Neill on Mon Jun 03, 2013 2:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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