A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
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Author:  wilsonintexas [ Sat Jan 02, 2016 1:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

Jon, not sure what you did with the matrix formula. This version seems a little harder than the other ones I have. I was also a little surprised to see an aluminum base instead of the black plastic. I assume that that is because of the Diamatrix that needed to be molded and bonded.
I was going to use the zinc + to move a few girdle faces and then start a comparison when I cut the crown. But as I finished off the girdle faces I found that it was cutting so nice that I decided to rework the entire pavilion. (I was tired when I was cutting it, so it could use the fine tuning anyhow. I was able to fine tune the pavilion on the zinc+ very quickly. It moved faces much easier than 13k on a Batt. The polish on the matrix was quicker that 100k on a Batt.
This may also be the result of the surface finish and the fact that I was loading it p with 13k. The Batt was pretty saturated.

I used 13k on the zinc portion and 100k on the matrix. I did use a piece of CZ when I first loaded both surfaces. I know that I would be doing the girdle first, and wangted to get some 13k embedded on the whole surface. I ran it slower, (at a 7 on the Ultra Tech) because it was a little more aggressive than a Batt. The matrix was also a little more aggressive. Not sure if that is just the surface left from the finishing. BUT I LIKE IT. I also used a mister to keep the surfaces moist. I only used a slow water drip when I really had to actually cut a face on the 13k. I refreshed the 13k often, I know it was a new surface and would take a lot of diamond at first. I refreshed the 100k on the matrix a littler more often than I would on a well used lap.

Yesterday I received the mount that let me reverse mount a lens. I took this picture of the stone which was finished with 13k and 100,000 on a Batt. I was only testing the setup and did not think I would use the picture, so I was not worried about cleaning the stone.


I thought I know what good edges looked like. But when I polished on the matrix, the edges seemed to get even sharper. I do not know if it shows up, but here is the stone after I re worked it on the zinc plus. I am not sure if you can tell any difference, but I could tell that the edges are sharper. (or maybe it is just my tired eyes. I was having trouble focusing by the time I was done.


So first impressions:

1) I LIKE it.
2) It is a little more aggressive than a batt, but in some ways that is nice. Moving meets is easier.
3) The 13k on the zinc does leave very fine lines. On a BATT they are barely noticeable.
4) They polish out on the matrix in literally a second or two.
I did not test it from a 600 cur surface, but I am sure that it will have no problems at all with that.
I think that when I get it loaded with 13k, the finish may get a little better (from the initial 13k). On my well loaded BATT the 13k is almost a polished surface. It is good enough for girdles. Almost good enough for facets.
I will transfer the stone I have and start the crown.
I will try to get pictures of the 13K surfaces on a BATT and the zinc + for comparison. I am sure that the BATT will always be better. BUT THE ZINC PLUS leaves such a fine cut (even if it is not polished) that on the Diamatrix it finished in literally one or two seconds. The fact that it is a little more aggressive is a plus in my book. It makes cutting small faces and moving meets easier.
The goal os not a polished face anyway, only one that can be polished quickly. THIS MEETS THAT GOAL.
The only problem is that you can overcut your meets. IF you miss an index, the eror4 is bigger on the zinc+. As I reworked the face, the first thing I did was to touch the facet on the matrix. If I needed to move the face after that, I went to the 13k. Even the matrix was more aggressive. I missed an index, and could tell from the sound that it was wrong. BUT the size of the cut surface even on the matrix with 100k was bigger than it would have been on a Batt.

Author:  Gearloose [ Sat Jan 02, 2016 7:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

Thank you for your usual effort! That is a Diamatrix center, but made with higher shear/cavitation equipment. The real difference was the finished texture of the surface, though. The tool choice when machining that combination is what produced that. That new zinc alloy machines very much like copper. The Zinc+ performs so much like copper that I have removed the custom copper laps from the product list. They are obsolete, and too expensive to stock, anyway.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Sat Jan 02, 2016 11:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

Sorry, another longish post. quick edit.... this is synthetic carborundum.

I really like the surface that these come with. I will try to get a picture of the zinc plus soon. But after a little testing you can still see he fine lines from the finish. It has not gone a uniform frosted like the batts did. I think that that is one reason it is more agressive. Less surface area means more pressure on the surface tat is touching the stone. it will be interesting to see what happens and it settles in.

Anyhow, the testing today....

Notes on the test:

This is the starting point. All faces cut with 600 sintured. Most of the faces are still painted with a marker. I needed thagt to see where the cutting was going.


On both the BATT and the ZINC+ I dampened the lap and put on some fresh 13k. I then used a piece of CZ to spread it around. SPEED a 2 on the UT.
BOTH the batt and CZ literally took 1 or 2 seconds to get below the frosted surface from the 600. I had to move the meet on the zinc plus a little, which only took a few seconds.



And polished on an original matrix.


Now the zinc plus with fresh 13k. You can see the fine lines.


And the polished face. Polished in just a few seconds.


Both polishes were seconds, 5 quick sweeps on each.

I know that this was a comparison to a dominatrix. But what the heck, I have a banded twistor. Let’s compare it.

The prepolish with a little 13k added to boost the twister. …. Look a lot longer but the face looks good.


And the polished face


The twister had some 13k as a topup. It took 3 tiles longer, but left a almost polished surface. I may have to hit it again to get the last line out. I did…. Go back and touch it p. It also took 2 rounds on the polish to get a last pit out.

Ok, I also have a banded greenway with zinc….. let’s try it.



I over cut the face, and it would not polish out on the greenway. So I took it back to the zinc plus. Fixed the face, adjusted the meet on the right and then cut the face coming down the middle. I forgot to get a picture of the 13k before polish, but it was just like the others, light lines in the surface that polished out on the matrix. The next shot is to show the meets. I left it just a little shy on the 13k, and did the final move on the matrix with 100k. Both the zinc plus and the matrix move meets easier than the batt, and my old matrix and Diamatrix formula. It could just be that the surface is a little rougher and not worn in. I did increase speed to a 6 and added a water drip when cutting the face.

THE STONE POPED OFF. My first failure using the 2p-10 jel. GRRRRRRR. There was enogh of a mold left that it mounted back in ok. I used the Jel again, and it was nice to have a little open time to adust it. I had to make some minor cheater adjustments. P put arker on the facet and gently rubbed on the matrix. It was only touching on one corner, so I cheated it until it got the whole face.

I added a water drip and bumped the speed to 7.

First the zinc plus. I left the full reflection to show the meet point. Actually this side is all zinc plus. I used the zinc plus to fix the greenway and move the meets to get everything ready. I then cut the face and polished it.


And the polished face, cut on zinc plus polished matrix.


The cutting of the face on the Batt was generating some groves. I tried cleaning the swarf off but it did not help. I think if I added a little more 13k it would have helped. But I left the face short, to try and polish them out and finish the face. The original softer matrtix was taking a long time to pol=ish out the groves. I =switched to a Diamatrix with my banded twister. It took a while but it eventually took care of it. I overcut it just a little trying to get the last of the damage. I had to increase the speed to
9 and freshen up the 100k.


I need to clean the batt. I think that during all of the testing some of the swarf and diamond dried on the surface.

I eventually got it cleaned up.


Overall, I like it better than my dominatrix. Moves meets faster, I like this formula of the matrix better. Not sure if it is really harder, or if it is the finish from the cutting.

I am going to call it enough for now. I have to fix dinner. You can see the comparison on pre polish, moving meets and cutting minor faces. I hope that I got the pictures in the right order. I am also tired, so I may have to go back and edit this if it does not read well.


I will finish this crown on the zinc plus. I will then do more testing on different materials. By then I hope to be able to test a well worn zinc plus.

Sorry about the typos. It takes me a while. I actually spent over an hour doing just the post, never mind cutting and taking pictures..... Avoid brain surgery if you have a choice.....

I think that I got the correct pictures in the right place... I may edit it tomorrow if I see an error.

Author:  Gearloose [ Sun Jan 03, 2016 7:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix


That is an interesting summary, and one that I did not expect! Thanks!

Author:  gempile [ Sun Jan 03, 2016 1:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

I'm glad to hear that your matrix/diamatrix removed your zinc plus polish lines. Neither matrix will remove mine. Your pictures of the extensive polish lines on zinc plus mimics my own experience. On another thread I mentioned minimalizing this by ending the sweep with ultra fast sweeps in one location of the lap.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

I suspect that the lines may be caused by the texture of the zinc. If the very fast sweeps remove them, that reenforces that origin of them (at least in my mind).

I am surprised that the diamatrix is not removing them for you. The formulation that is in the new lap takes them out in seconds.

My other diamatrx that I have available is on my banded twister. I will try that later today.

But that formulation took care of the gouges from the 13k on the batt. (not sure what happened there.....) That was much worse than the 13k.

BUT my original dominatrix has the softer matrix center, it would not surprise me if it had more trouble with it. It was slowly taking care of the gouges from the 13k on bat, but it was taking a long time. The diamatrix on the twister eventually got it. I am very sure that the formla from the zinc plus would have been faster.

The texture on the zinc plus is noticeably different than my other laps. It will be interesting to see how long the texture holds up, and how it behaves over time. I do not have first zinc plus I got to test and I can not remember what the surface was like.

I will try to get a shot of the zinc plus today. With the 13k loaded on it the texture is more obvious.

I will also try the fast sweeping. I am going to use the zinc plus to finish off the crown.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Mon Jan 04, 2016 3:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

I was just working on the crown. I was able to sue the zinc plus to finish off the first tier of facets. When I gouged the surface on teh cazt zinc gfreenway, I had to move the facet down pretty far to polish out the gouges. I nded p having to move all of teh first tier of facets down to get the girdle level. It also caused me to basically cut the rest of them. I probably should have gone back to the 600, but I went ahead and did all of it on the zinc plus.

It is having n problems at all cutting the facets with the 13k.

I did increase the speed to an 8, and added a water drip that kept the zinc portion wet, but left the diamatrix dry.

The diamatrix had settled down a little. I think that the original textured surface from machining is wearing down a little. When it iwas new, I could easily move the meets just a little with a fresh touch of 100k. IT was also taking out the small ridges from teh 13k in a second or two.

Now it is taking 4 or 5 seconds to take care of teh 13k, and longer to move meets (that last little nudge).

I did find that by increasing the speed and sweeping faster that the ridges from the 13k are reduced. A few times they were barely noticeable.

I had to pause my faceting for a few mnutes because the stone got hot to the touch. I had let the water drip stop and I was cutting a second tier facet when I noticed that it was hot.

I am pretty sure that it got hot yesterday when it popped off of the dop.

I will have to keep an eye on it as i finish the stone.

I can see that when I remounted it there was a shift. The facets on the narrow end are not even. Not sure what to do to fix that. I think I wold have to go back and change the angles a little on the first tier to shift them. But I will probably just let it go and see what happend when I do the table.

To be honest, I was cutting this from a piece that had the color in the edge, wth a clear center. I missed an inde on the pavilion, and ended up cutting off most of the color.

My wife is expecting a deep blue set of ear rings, this is going to turn out to be more aqua color.

AT least I get a change to learn..... I may finish the crown, and then see if I can go back and recut one side to get the table to look right. It will be an interesting learning experience.

AT least it is not expensive rough.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

Finished the stone last night. Here is the best picture I could get.

This is a close-up of the zinc plus surface after finishing the stone. I know that any surface at magnification looks rough. If you run your fingernail across this, you can just feel it. Not as nice as Gearlose’s that show the crystal structure.

And the Diamatrix surface. At least here you have the label for reference
DO NOT RUN THE MATRIX DRY AT SPEED. It heats up the stone.
I like this lap a lot.
I have to get to some appointments with my daughter today. I will try to cut at least one test face on several materials over the next day or two.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

I lost the post after half an hour working on it..... this will be a quicker update.

I wanted to do some other materials on the zinc plus. So I dug into a stash of natural materials that I bought off a nice man in Australia when I was there on a business trip. All of the material is natural.

I was working around my camera setup when doing this, and the goal was to get some sample faces. I Most of the material was simply presented to the zinc plus which was running at a 6 for 4 or 5 quick swipes. I then took a picture, and swiped the Diamatrix for 5-10 sweeps. All of the surfaces could be improved with a little more attention.
First a piece of rutilated quarts. Polished with some zircon stick (I wanted to get in least one oxide) I tried to get the faces aligned to show the surface. I had more luck in some faces than others. The ones that are a good polish are hard to get a picture of. I am also using s reversed 28mm lense and there is not any depth of field.

Cut with a 600 and pre-polished on 13k.

And polished with some zircon

Some peridot. This is a 13k cut face I did not cut it on 600 first. It is the small oval patch.


Polished, added some 100k to the zircon that was left.


Some zircon This took a little longer on the polish.


And polished This one was really hard to get, looking at it at 10x it was clean.


And some topaz. This kept popping off the dop. So the picture of the polish is just the stone setting on the dop.

It looks like I forgot to take a picture of the 3rd face that I ended up polishing. But this is typical of the face from a 600 cut to a prepolish on 13k.

And a polished face.


And last some tourmaline (closed c). I was getting tired, and did not really do a good job of either pre-polish or polish on this one. Not sure where I got this one, it is not really a good piece, but I had it on hand.




1) I like it.
2) It seemed to handle everything fine.
3) The surface is a little rougher that from a batt, but the diamarix handles it without a problem.
4) faster than 13k on a batt
5) be careful after loading it with 13k, it cuts quick
6) Once in a while with 13k on a batt I have a hard time moving a meet that last little nudge. Usually I am on a tier and have one that needs to move a little. I a against the stop, and really do now want to move the mast, because there are other faces to work, and this height has worked for some already. THIS NEVER HAPPENED on the zinc plus. I cold always get a little nudge out of it.

I am sure that one difference is the texture of the surface. I pretty much ended up moving every facet on the crown and cut a few facets on teh zinc plus. By now the batt would have been a nice even frosted surface. The zinc pls is still textured. I sspect that the texture does 2 things:

1) I think that the groves hold some of the diamond
2) The surface area actually touching the stone is reduced. This increased the pressure per square inch, and causes quicker cutting.



It is so fine, that you can see the diffraction of the light in it. All kinds of nice sections of the rainbow, like that of a CD. )

SO I will call it done for now, before I loose the post a second time.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Tue Jan 05, 2016 12:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

this looks like the lost post so cleaning it up.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

A quick question, and if you want you can reply with a pm.

I know that my to write has gotten much worse. It was never really very good.

Is the posts that I have done on the zinc plus helping anyone, or is it so confusing that it is not really useful.

I take no ego in this at all, and will take all comments knowing that they are provided to help.

If it is to confusing, no problems. It it helps than I will continue to put in the time it takes to try and provide something of value to the group. .

Author:  giesweinsgems [ Tue Jan 05, 2016 11:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

Wilson, I for one find your posts/reviews helpful and I have no problem getting the point of what you have posted. I can only imagine the time and effort you have used for your detailed posts. So thank you

Author:  Stephen Challener [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:09 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

You're shooting well above average for language on the internet. I'm really not in the market for this stuff but I read your posts anyway because they're informative and interesting.

Author:  wilsonintexas [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

Thank you for that.

OK, one more status report. I have been cutting a K12 oval. It is coming along very well.

OK Jon, I am not sure what is going on, but some of it has to be your fault. Or at least the zinc plus lap’s fault.

Background when I was replacing the bearings on m spindle, I ended up machining the platen to try and get it level. It ended up to low to cut some of the facets. So I added a second piece of aluminum to the mast and put in 3 leveling screws on the original platen. I can now use the DAD and level my platen very accurately. This time, I got the lap to read the exact same number on my dad all of the way around the lap. I then adjusted the mast, and got the sweep inside to outside to be within 0.01. So the machine is pretty well tuned up right now.

So, with the zinc plus lap I was able to get the last digit on my dad to stabilize when cutting against the stop.

I have now cut one and a half stones on the zinc plus. The last one is a K12 oval by Fred Van Sant. I just finished the pavilion on it.

For the very first time in about 10 attempts at cutting ovals, the break facets used to level the girdle actually met in the middle. On every other attempt I had to end up chasing the meets around the stone. I am sure that this is because the first cuts at the end of the stone were not level.

With this lap I was able to cut against the stop, get the last digit to settle, and the ends were actually level. The break facets met in the middle, and when I cut the girdle in from the ends, it met perfectly.

On every other oval I have cut I end up chasing the break facets around the stone, trying to get everything level.

I am sure that some of this is the tuneup on the machine, but I have had it adjusted this well before, and still had problems.

SO IT HAS TO BE THE LAP's FAULT. I could not have gotten that much better in the past week.

There is one other thing that is very different on this lap.
In a stone and a half, I have NOT over cut a single facet. This is a first for me. Actually it is a first and a half…. (one and a half stones)

I usually end up over cutting something and having to chase the mistake around the stone.

I think that there is a reason for it. I find the zinc much more predictable when doing the pre-polish and the polish. I do find that I take several looks to move the meet that last little bit. I take lighter cuts as it gets close . But I have been able to judge it much better on this lap.

The stone I am cutting now is a very soft piece. I a not sure what it is. But I got several pieces tat had been cut from a large circle the circle was about 10 inches in diameter and the pieces are about 1 inch thick. I have been able to polish it from 600 sintered on the matrix with 100k. I have been able to cut facets on the matrix with 100k. That is how soft it is. I like it for testing a cut because it works so quickly.


One last point…. I have never had edges as sharp as the ones I am now getting. .
The matrix material in this lap is a pleasure to work with. It is behaving differently than the other two Diamatrix laps I have. It seems to take the diamond better. The texture of it is different and I really like how it takes the diamond and polished.

My impression of the zinc plus Diamatrix only gets better the more I use it.

I am interested to see how long the texture holds up on both the matrix and the zinc plus. I am sure that that is affecting how it is working.

So.... thanks.... It is a nice lap to work with. With a 600 sinctured lap for cutting , this could easily be a 2 lap solution for someone who cuts a lot of different materials. It certaily wuld have lightened toe luggage on this trip. [color=#404000][/color]

one last thought... ..

Not sure if the skyway or the greenway should be next. I do not have a syway, so it would be nice. But I would be willing to test any of them...... :lol:

Author:  Tsavy [ Wed Jan 06, 2016 8:12 am ]
Post subject:  Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix

I finally found time to test this new lap:
I tried to do a comparable test using this new lap and the Dominatrix, as Jon requested.
Using 2 nice pieces of Spessartite Garnet from same parcel. Cut both into rounds for ease.
This new lap ( Banded Zinc+ / Diamatrix ) results,... Started with 600 cutting, pre-polished on the Zinc+ with 13k waterbased Blakstik PCD and polished with 100k waterbased Blakstik PCD.
I found this lap to be a bit faster prepolishing than the Dominatrix lap ( Batt ), but also a bit more "grabby". Maybe not as forgiving as the Batt ?? Took a little time to get the feel for it, but once I got into a good pattern, I had no problems. This is typical of any new lap. Finally I polished on the Diamatrix area with 100k Blakstik PCD. Again, since it was the first stone cut on a new lap, it took a little bit to get it to perform the way I wanted, but no problem really. Once I got it loaded up the way I wanted, it performed very nicely. It seemed a little bit more aggressive than my Diamatrix area on the Dominatrix lap, but could also be from being brand new.
Onto the 2nd stone using the Dominatrix lap results,.... again cut on 600, prepolished on the Batt portion of lap ( 8k was already loaded into lap ), but I did have a small section where I used the 13K to try as best I could to do a fair test. Trying to avoid the 8k area the best I could and prepolish only in the 13k area of the Batt, I found the 13k a bit slower to reach the same prepolish finish that I achieved on the above mentioned Zinc+ / Diamatrix lap. I totally expected this anyway, so that was not an issue. I felt the Batt was a bit more predictable, smoother and less grabby than the Zinc+. Just because I wanted to know myself, I prepolished using the 8k area on a couple facets, these prepolished a bit quicker than 13k, but also it was already loaded with 8k, so not exactly a fair test. No huge difference really. Onto the polish with 100k Blakstik PCD ( just like on the Zinc+ lap ). No problem, and polish came up very quickly.
Final results,'s hard to pick a winner but if I had to pick only one it would probably be the Dominatrix. Only because the Batt is less grabby than the Zinc+. I think the Batt is more forgiving and a bit more versatile overall. The Zinc+ certainly has it's place and will undoubtably work well, and especially well on stubborn facets. I really like both laps very much, and if never had the Dominatrix lap and only used this Zinc+ / Diamatrix lap, I would think it was great.
In the end, both stones achieved same polish quality so I guess it's just personal preference.
The stones were cut as a matched pair ( 7.3mm ).

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