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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 10:56 am 
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Yes tsavy. Nice comparison , but everything seems to polish a garnet nice . Zircon and sapphire i think the zinc will win . Does for me . The zinc is faster and flatter for these materials .


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 11:33 am 
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I agree that Garnet is "typically" not the toughest to polish, but I've had more than a few that were stubborn.
-Jon did Not ask for any specific material be cut to test , so I picked Garnet as I had several pieces to choose from,.... from the same parcel. I wanted to cut a matched pair to keep everything equal. Getting 2 Sapphires to match in color / clarity is not exactly easy.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:02 pm 
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Wasnt having a go at you , I said nice comparison:) funny you say that , actually trying to do a match pair of small sapphires from ones I've dug , far from easy :) just finding a couple that turn out similar or not have problems is ... Challenging ? Or an easier solution would be to throw machine out window and tell them a sapphire inspired me to do it ( its their fault , sown the seeds of madness )


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 12:14 pm 
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Oh, not a problem. I was just explaining to all why I chose to cut Garnets ( for "relative ease" of getting a quality matched pair ). I also thought that many newer faceters likely cut Garnets ( Rhodolites ) due to their availability and price. I thought that by cutting the Spessartite's that it would give them a pretty good idea on what to expect. I remember when I first started out, being so confused on which laps to buy.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 3:52 pm 
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I agree it is more graby. I found that if I kept the zinc plus a little wetter than the bat it was smoother. Never as smooth as a batt, but better. At first I used a mist bottle, but switched to a slow water drip when I was doing a lot of cutting. It was smoother on the water drip. It also got grabby when it needed a new charge of 13k, at least for me.

But I do agree that the 13k is not that silky smooth feeling that you get with a batt. With the texture it is like driving on a road that they have cut groves in for drainage. Not a bad surface, but not the smooth feeling of a fresh asphalt road.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:21 am 
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Jon, did you get enough feedback to make a decision on this?

Is there going to be a 6 inch version?

I am thinking about a weird idea. 6 inch version wold fit into the plan nicely.....

If there is a particular material you would like to see tested, please update this thread. If I have it with me, I will do a few facets.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 9:01 pm 
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I must begin by expressing my apologies, Jon, for the delay in furnishing some testing results. When you said you'd whip up another small batch for the demo panel, I had no idea I should expect a package within the week, yet a prototype lap arrived in my mailbox last Saturday. Talk about a quick turn-around. Sadly, the timing of a little trip could not have been more unfortunate in terms of trying the lap out, as it put off any cutting for a full week. So again, I am genuinely sorry to keep you waiting. Your generosity certainly did not merit having to wait, but extenuating circumstances and all… ; ( So I figure, I'll do my best to make it up to you by writing this tome of a review.


Prologue

I spent yesterday exposing the lap to a little battery of trials and put it to the true test of cutting a stone for a little jewelry commission. The mission? A simple, straight-forward project – just a 8 mm round brilliant in lab-created (Czochralski pulled) alexandritic sapphire to be set in a sterling ring mount.

Without further ado, I present a short story about a hunk o' rough, a super high-tech novel lap to try out, and one man, determined to struggle against a potentially endless tide of lapidary strife, prepared to do whatever it takes to come out the other side alive, still standing, ready to fight another day…and with a standard round brilliant.


Chapter I
The Dia-Z+ ® Banded Pre-/Final Polish Zinc Alloy & Micro-Porous Ceramic Matrix Composite Faceting Lap: An Introduction


…Yeah, so here's the lap concerned.

Image
A brand spankin'-new Dia-Z+ lap ® by Gearloose shown lovingly stored in handy protective case (not included ®).
[NOTE to Mr. Gearloose:] You are more than welcome to use this image on your site if you like, or I can get the full-res version to you upon request...

It's of the solid build quality, manufactured to the most exacting standards we've all come to expect from the Gearloose brand ®.

A little disclaimer here: I must confess to not having experienced using the (banded) Dominatrix lap, but I can readily compare this new guy's make-up in a piecemeal manner to the conventional single-surface Matrix, Diamatrix, and BATT lap versions.

I've never had the pleasure of working on the relatively new Zinc-Plus material, but a cursory examination reveals the surface to be drastically different from the tin-based BATT ®, both in grain and porosity. OK, I have no idea whether I'm using the right terms here, but the metal plain looks and feels different. I just get the sense that it's at-once more refined in consistency – smoother, more even texture(?) – and possibly more resilient; whereas, you knock a BATT the wrong way, and the porous structure collapses for good and renders the lap unusable. But again, this is all speculation from a layman with respect to material science, so I don't really know whether any of this is in line with its true nature. Also, is it really mostly zinc? I mean, obviously it is, hence the name, but I would have guessed Z+ to be something else altogether, at least based on appearance/feel. Seems like some Gearloose voodoo's going on there is all I'm saying…

As far as the inner (final polish) disc, I tend to prefer Diamatrix to "ragular" ol' Matrix composite, so it seems like a legit choice to me for a banded polishing lap. I find Diamatrix to be ideal for topaz, spinel, chrysoberyl, corundums, and CZ – essentially anything ≥ Mohs 8. It works great on other stones, too, I realize, but nothing beats a Skyway on alumino-silicates in my opinion in terms of polish quality, speed, and ease. Still, I'll tell you what: Armed with only this Dia-Z+, a Darkside for quartz and opal, and the previously proposed (and presumably abandoned?) idea of marrying Skyway with a Twistor outer band, and I'd be happy to take anything from a fine grind to polish. Now, Mr. wilsontexas notes below his finding the composite formulation to be a bit more rigid than previously in the new Dia-Z+. It's definitely harder than a (ragular) Matrix, but, if anything, I found it slightly more forgiving than my Diamatrix. It could be due merely to the difference in usage and grit charge, though. So I'd be very curious to know whether it is a new formulation and, if so, how it compares to your other composite recipes..?


Chapter II
Trial by Fire: Cutting a Synthetic Corundum


I figure a synthetic sapphire is likely the ideal test for my own purposes. I dislike cutting synthetics and generally steer clear of them whenever possible. Additionally, flame fusion corundum seems to sometimes offer resistance to taking a fine polish on certain planes – more so than with natural ruby/sapphire (due to imperfections and less consistent orientation of crystal structure, I guess..?). Anyway, I find I occasionally have to switch up motor direction or quill positioning on particular facets. But I digress…

I tend not to bother with pre-forms and will saw to save smaller bits when a rough stone is significantly larger than the cutting target, but since this was just a hunk of relatively inexpensive lab sapphire, I began by trimming off a decent chunk and hand-grinding to a 10 mm pointed cylinder on a 300 grit disc. I dopped with my favored high-shellac, high-temp sealing wax – the kind, I'm told, which is favored in certain diamond setting circles. (Incidentally, if you've yet to find a dop wax you like, seek out this reddish brown wax. It can be found more easily as a sealing wax - like for envelopes and whatnot - than as a lapidary supply.) Then, I blocked out the mains and outline with a sintered 600 grit lap.

My usual series for hard stones of significant size like this would be 600 ≫ 3000 ≫ ~5-8k diamond pre-polish on BATT ≫ and either Diamatrix w/ BlakStik 100k PCD, Last Lap composite w/ 60k diamond, or 100k diamond on copper – depending on various factors. In this case, however, I went to 1200 next, instead. There are two reasons: 1) I wanted to skip cutting pavilion girdle facets and also setting meets on 600 but knew it would take too long to do so on 3000. 2) I wanted to see how the Z+ pre-polish behaved on a hard stone straight from a 1200 grind finish. Now, the sintered 1200 puts an even finish on facets; i.e. you won't find the same uneven surface with gouges as a plated 3000 will leave you with. Still, it should take longer to produce a satisfactory pre-polish than from the 3000, plated or not.


Chapter III
Pre-Polish with Firewater Diamond Compound on Zinc-Plus Band


I roughed up the Z+ with some steel wool in order to get any chemical/contamination/who-knows possibly remaining from production removed from the surface and, more importantly, to ensure maximal retention of the initial diamond charge. Lord knows, you gotta work lot of diamond into a fresh BATT, for instance, unless you want to polish metal onto a gem, rather than polish out the scratches. Anyway, when it comes to lubricators and extenders, there's nothing better in my book than plain-old mineral oil. I wiped a bit over the whole lap before charging the inner Diamatrix section with BlakStik 100k poly-crystalline diamond. Porous composites are a cinch to charge, though. When I moved on to getting the outer band of Z+ charged with Firewater, I used a bit more than I should have, and no amount of trying to work it in and wiping excess could undo my mistake. I have this tendency – to overcharge metal laps – and always pay for it by having to either clean the lap and redo it completely or just waiting for the charge to smooth out as I put a stone to the wheel and begin polishing facets. Being the lazy type, I always opt for the latter.

Wow, this thing works fast‼ I found running completely dry to present no problems. Best results were within the 350-400 rpm range, but being the outer band of an eight inch disc, that's relatively fast. Still, heating was not a problem at all. Quick sweeps of even but light pressure back and forth seemed to do the trick, and I could fly through facet rows without even worrying about checking the 1200 finish was worked through. If you need to move meetpoints, that is definitely not an issue at this stage. Some posters commented on the "grabbiness" of the Z+ material, and I totally get that. In point of fact, I found it to be an eminently satisfying sensation, as if I could feel a smooth surface being worked down to on each facet with blazing speed. With the aggressiveness of this combination of Z+ and Firewater, I've never had a quicker pre-polish come up on anything with anything, yet neither was swarf build-up an issue. A quick wipe of the surface with some lightly moistened cotton after a series of facets, and not a sticking point could be found to the pre-polish stage.

In summary: Holy smoky, sweet pre-polish, Batman! So much fast! No heat, even running the motor pretty fast and even on sapphire! And so easy to boot! As much as I love the BATT, it's often been a love/hate relationship, and I've personally always found BATTs to be stubborn, grumpy, old bastards, just waiting to find fault in the smallest detail and have an excuse to give a hard time. Eventually, you learn the caveats and can get consistent results with it, but my personal experience comprised of a steep learning curve.

Anyway, the photo below shows the results prior to pre-polishing the mains. You can't really see the micro-scratches left on some of the facets. The deepest ones are undoubtedly the result of diamond clumps not yet broken from overcharging with polish. Yet even after the lap surface charge was worked over and evened out, while the mains did not have gouges to work out, a consistent micro-abrading was apparent. It looked as if someone took their finger and smeared it over every facet – as if oils remained and left them dirty. But it was actually just the pre-polish surface. It would pass for a commercial grade polish, sure, but it's a bit less fine than I would like in prep for a quick final polish.

Image
Pavilion comparison: 1200 grit sintered (from Gearloose ®) mains vs. girdle facets pre-polished w/ Firewater formulation on Z+ from 1200.

In this photo of the crown post-pre-polish, the scratches are more apparent. I went from 3000 grit to pre- on the crown, and it was only slightly quicker and easier than jumping from a 1200 grit finish. Either way, my only complaint, if pressed, would be that final polish is a bit long to come from this pre-polish surface. I might end up either trying a finer grit re-charge for Z+ pre-polish, or I will charge the Diamatrix with a slightly coarser final polish, like a 50 or 60k grit.

Image
Crown following pre-polish w/ Firewater on Z+ from 3000 grit plated steel; note micro-abrasions visible on table and star facets.


Chapter IV
It's the Final Countd – I Mean, Polish – It's the Final Polish!


The recipe used for final polish was, as previously mentioned, BlakStik PCD on Diamatrix. As with pre-polishing, I ran completely dry. I found the sweet spot to be a little faster – perhaps ~450-500 rpm – and with more pressure. I had success with slower sweeps but accelerating outward with moderate pressure before letting up and quickly resetting toward the center. This sort of method usually works best for me with hard stones on ceramic composites. The lap material is very forgiving. It actually feels a bit like a Darkside. I don't think it's any less usable than a Matrix. A harder matrix lap like a Last Lap is certainly more finicky, although I do find harder composites to polish faster, with straight ceramic being the extreme in the category.

Regarding heat generation, I am always especially careful not to sprint for the finish line with sapphire, as it tends to heat up quick on composites and at the moderate speeds I prefer, but it's not too severe on a Diamatrix, and some misting here and there would ameliorate any problems, I think. Even with the longer-than-usual time I had to spend to work out micro-abrading on each facet from pre-polish, I didn't have to pace myself too much to keep from over-heating the stone and, more to the point, the wax. And the quality of the final polish from a BlakStik does make the time spent rewarding – very, very shiny!

The Diamatrix is a wonderful compromise in my view, though, between speed, polish/flatness quality, and ease of use. It's a perfect complement to the pre-polishing outer band and, having never owned a banded lap, I think I'm hooked on the idea. I was initially concerned with possible contamination of coarser polish on the matrix center, but it seems to work just fine. It did take some time to work out micro-abrasions left by pre-polish; however, as I said, I plan on likely trying a different final polish on the composite center to speed up the process.

Below are some photos of the completed stone with the first best illustrating the quality of final polish but still not a great pic, I must admit. We got a new camera and are still mastering the intricacies of using it with our gem photography set-up. Anyway, at least you can see the color change in the stone…

Image
Completed stone, un-dopped and cleaned, with lighting conditions and exposure settings to illustrate final polish quality. Never mind the opaque blue splotches, which are reflections of the little putty blob securing the stone at the culet.

Image
The stone under 6500° K fluorescent light to demonstrate color; white balanced and tone mapped for true color representation. Again, blue putty is slightly apparent, and focus quality is wanting.

Image
The same stone beneath a 3000° K xenon lamp; also, color-calibrated...and horribly focused. Have I mentioned, I'm still getting a handle on this new camera?

…And then you might as well see what the stone looks like in a real-life scenario and set in the ring.

Image
The nearly finished product, pending final clean-up: stone mounted in a sterling half-bezel solitaire ring setting; prominently displayed knuckle hair not included ®.
The beaten look is intended, despite all speculation to the contrary. I'm not sure if this style of finish has a formal term attached, but I'm proceeding with coining it "Death by a thousand bright cuts"...
®.



Parting Words

I also tried the lap out a bit on some other materials, like spinel, chrysoberyl, and natural ruby. I don't have photos, nor will I expand on the above. Suffice it to say, it performed equally admirably on other types of gemstone I tried – even better on spinel, I think. It's safe to say that this will now be my go-to finishing lap for all harder stones. But the most surprising take-away for me was the eye-opening experience of pre-polishing on Z+. Man, that stuff is good stuff! I mean, I like my BATT just fine, but I'd be lying if I said I don't kinda feel like I don't need it anymore.

All in all, this lap marks a good leap innovation-wise in my eyes – possibly an instant classic. I can't imagine it not being a wild success!


PS – Thank you very much, Jon, for allowing me the privilege of a sneak-peak, not to mention a free lap which has instantly become one of my favorites and will assuredly be very heavily used.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:08 am 
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OK pigs are flying and there are snowballs where they should not be.

I was cutting a synthetic ruby. When I went to the zinc plus with the 13k, the stone looked almost polished. None of the lines that I had seen with softer stones.

As a test, I cleaned the zinc plus and put on a small band of 60k. It still moved meets, and was almost a finish polish.

So I tried 100k on the zinc plus as well as the matrix. The zinc plus left almost as fine of a finish as the matrix did.


I was trying to finish off the pavilion tonight, so I did not take the time to take pictures. BUT if all goes well, this will be one of a pair. I still have one and a half stones to cut.

I will get some pictures in the next few days and post them here.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:44 am 
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Thanks for the more-than-a-review. That's the best deal for a free sample than I have had since one of Wilson's classics. And the best part for me is that because we are buried in record Tucson orders, there is no way I have to worry about getting these into production for a while, because I have no choice but to wait. There is presently not one hour to spare. So these cannot be ready for Tucson. I suppose it is just as well. We have had new products done in time for previous shows, and it was madness, with sellout cellphone calls from the floor demanding more, some vendors selling out every day. I can't handle that this year, what with the sintereds now in transit and the show shipping deadline approaching.

All hands aloft. Image

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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 12:21 pm 
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My 2nd time testing this new lap,.....
This time I tested on some harder material and larger stones. I cut a matched pair of Synthetic Spinel from same boule.
This new lap ( Banded Zinc+ / Diamatrix ) results, after first cleaning thoroughly....started with 600 for cutting, pre-polished on the Zinc+ with 8k Diastik and polished with 60k Diastik. I found that this lap prepolished a bit more aggressive as compared to 3k on Dominatrix lap ( Batt ) for prepolish. Although a bit more aggressive and a bit "grabby", it prepolished very nice. I tried the 8k on Batt portion of Dominatrix lap, but found it a little slow and switched to 3k. I used 60k Diastik to polish on both laps ( Zinc+/Diamatrix and Dominatrix ). Both this lap and the Dominatrix lap have the same polishing material ( Diamatrix ).
I switched it up this time using 3k and 8k for prepolish and 60k for polish. First test I used 13k and 100k.
Polish came up relatively quickly on both laps,.... there were some pretty large facets so I was pleased overall.
As in first test, both laps are great but I still give the slight edge ( only slight ) to the Dominatrix. Although it may also be because of my familiarity with using Batt laps for years.
Matched pair 10 x 8 Emerald cuts.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:05 pm 
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Fancy foxygems.

I bow to the master. Your writeup puts anything I have done to shame.

I had this all done, but lost the internet connecton and lost the reply. This will be sorter.


I know that we all find out own way to facet. I have had to accommodate my own personal issues, and how I changed is not needed by everyone. (They gave me a test with a page full of numbers and you had to circle the 6s…. I missed half of them and all of them in the lower left of the page… I am pretty sure that most people do better.)

Anyhow a few thoughts.

1) I often switch from oil to water. I find that the water based stuff does not spread out nearly as well if the lap has oil on it. Kind of like water beading on a waxed car. You mentioned hat you used oil to prepare the lap, and hat you were using firewater and 100k poly. Both of those are water based diamond. I think that if you clean your lap with something like 409 or any cleaner before you go to the water based stuff that it will spread out better for you.
2) I see that you are using the lap likle it is two separate laps. That is you prepolish an entire tier and them polish it. With a winged lap, you can prepolish and polish as you go. This will speed your cutting. I do it because it minimizes the number of times I have to go through the indexes. But I find that it is also faster.
3) Try the 13k on it. I think that you will like how it works.
4) I actually tried some 60k and found that on eh zinc plus it even moved meets and was fast enough for what I was doing.


Daughter just came out so I have to go....


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:19 pm 
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Oh, you're right. #-o I am a complete fool! #-o #-o

I have charged a lap with BlakStik with oil intentionally on previous occasions. I've also used it sans lubricant (Diamatrix) just fine, but on a copper lap in particular, I just got the sense it was holding more with oil than without. I don't know whether that's the case. :smt102 In any event, I did not charge this lap with oil to any meaningful end - just wasn't thinking :smt015, as is the often the case when mistakes like this happen. I wonder, does water help with a quicker polish with the super-fine PCD? I'm not worried too much about super-fine scratching when it comes to clumping 100k, after all. I just want whatever gives the quickest polish that looks at least as good as a 50k finish or so. I'll wait for your thoughts and/or Jon's before scrubbing the Dia-Z+'s matrix surface down to start over.

As for Firewater, I only just started using it within the past month and quickly forgot that it's poly-crystalline like the BlakStik and therefore hydrophyllic (or some-such along those lines). So I've only ever used it with some oil. Guess I'll be starting over on both my Z+ band and BATT, on which Firewater has also been used. But I must say, I'm very glad you thought to test fine diamond on the Zinc Plus - a brilliant experiment considering how aggressive it is. I now plan to start over with some finer diamond.

I don't have any 13k PCD, sadly...except not really because it's not too sad to have an excuse to buy something new! If the old lady yells at me, I can just show her your posts explaining that I need it, yeah? :wink: But before I make a mad dash for it, I want to make sure I wouldn't be better off with something slightly coarser like the 8k WaterStik (...yeah, it's not the actual name, I know, but it's catchier than "water-soluble 8k DiaStik", IMHO - free for the taking if you like!). Do you have experience with the 8k stuff by any chance? Or do you think the 13k PCD is plenty aggressive? In other words, can it take a sapphire from 1200 to pre-polish in a few seconds? I'd get both, but then Christina would be all :evil:, and I'd be all :shock:. and then :smt075 ... :smt119. It's happened before.

Also, I do, indeed run through pre-polish on all facets before proceeding to polish. I've never had a banded lap, as I've said, so it's possible I'm doing it wrong. But I worry about contaminating the Diamatrix with pre-polish diamond, especially considering there would be as many chances to contaminate as there are facets on a given stone. I don't know if I trust myself to clean each facet thoroughly enough as I go along. Plus, it seems time-consuming to do that cleaning. (Prolly, not too bad without oil, though.) Then again, perhaps with finer pre-polish grit, it wouldn't have to be so much of a pitfall. I'll give it a go.

Finally, I thought your multiple review installations were very thorough, highly informative, and served as the basis for mine, as well. I just spent a lot more time formatting, really. I appreciate your compliment, nonetheless. Anyway, thanks for your advice! I am going to gladly run with it.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 3:12 am 
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You asked a few questions, I will try to be sure I get them. If I miss one, just let me know…. I take no offense to any comments and appreciate all of them.



fancyfoxgems wrote:
Oh, you're right. #-o I am a complete fool! #-o #-o

I have charged a lap with BlakStik with oil intentionally on previous occasions. I've also used it sans lubricant (Diamatrix) just fine, but on a copper lap in particular, I just got the sense it was holding more with oil than without. I don't know whether that's the case. :smt102 In any event, I did not charge this lap with oil to any meaningful end - just wasn't thinking :smt015, as is the often the case when mistakes like this happen. I wonder, does water help with a quicker polish with the super-fine PCD? I'm not worried too much about super-fine scratching when it comes to clumping 100k, after all. I just want whatever gives the quickest polish that looks at least as good as a 50k finish or so. I'll wait for your thoughts and/or Jon's before scrubbing the Dia-Z+'s matrix surface down to start over.
quote]
When I first tested one of the new formula polishes, I kept wondering what was wrong. It was an oil product and I was using water. It sure started behaving itself once I got oil on it.
I have actually had success with two modes with the 100,00.
One is the “ADAMAS” mode. He is the person who developed the matrix and some of the oxides. This involves a slow speed with actual slurry of the diamond. When I do it this way I use straight diamond powder. I bought some from his site. I also tend to use a batt. I have done it on a matrix, BT if I put that much diamond on a wheel, I like to try and get some of it to stay. Speed 3-4 on my Ultrate3ch.
I also use the slurry sometimes with oxides.
The second mode is a very light charge on a faster lap. I usually seed 8-9 on my us, but I have maxed it out before. (It gets loud when I max it out, which is the only reason I do not do it more often.)
In this mode I either keep the surface just damp with a mister, or a slow water drip. At high speed it dries out faster, so the slow drip is because I get lazy. I have a mister that we use in the summer when it is hot outside. I have seriously thought of taking a misting head and using it to keep things just damp.
I usually start with the damp fast mode. I only go to the slurry when it is not working.

By the way, I consider myself a newbe to this. If you search on my name and polish, you will see the number of times I have been here looking for help getting a polish…..

On the clumping. I find that this is a problem if the stuff gets to dry. When it is damp I think it has the ability to spread out and flow better.
On cleaning it to start over. I would just clean it with a spray cleaner and go. I often use alcohol, just because I have it sitting there. I am not that worried about switching grits within the pre-polish range. One will eventually take over.

Same on polishing. I have often added an oxide to the lap when it is charged with 100, or the other way around.

fancyfoxgems wrote:
I don't have any 13k PCD, sadly...except not really because it's not too sad to have an excuse to buy something new! If the old lady yells at me, I can just show her your posts explaining that I need it, yeah? :wink: But before I make a mad dash for it, I want to make sure I wouldn't be better off with something slightly coarser like the 8k WaterStik (...yeah, it's not the actual name, I know, but it's catchier than "water-soluble 8k DiaStik", IMHO - free for the taking if you like!). Do you have experience with the 8k stuff by any chance? Or do you think the 13k PCD is plenty aggressive? In other words, can it take a sapphire from 1200 to pre-polish in a few seconds? I'd get both, but then Christina would be all :evil:, and I'd be all :shock:. and then :smt075 ... :smt119. It's happened before.



When I first used the 13k I cold hot figure out how it was cutting faster than the 3000. Jon said it was because the diamond was a different type and sharper. I think that if you try it, you will not go back.

It is strange, I have most of Jon’s diamonds but I never got the 8000. I have a few zinc laps. I got them when I first started and was going for price. I quickly ended up with a dominatrix and other batt based laps. I rarely use the zinc ones s never got the 8000. When the firewater came out I used it on all of the laps…. Then he came out with the 13k and it was all over…. I use 13k now for most stuff. But as a hobby cutter I do not cur a wide range of things, and tend to stay with the cheaper synthetics.
fancyfoxgems wrote:

Also, I do, indeed run through pre-polish on all facets before proceeding to polish. I've never had a banded lap, as I've said, so it's possible I'm doing it wrong. But I worry about contaminating the Diamatrix with pre-polish diamond, especially considering there would be as many chances to contaminate as there are facets on a given stone. I don't know if I trust myself to clean each facet thoroughly enough as I go along. Plus, it seems time-consuming to do that cleaning. (Polly, not too bad without oil, though.) Then again, perhaps with finer pre-polish grit, it wouldn't have to be so much of a pitfall. I'll give it a go.



You have to clean it to be able to inspect it to see if you are ready for polish anyhow. (At least I do….) I tend to leave the meets just a bit shy when I am cutting. Then when I am doing prepolish with the 13k, I move the meets until they are good. This takes several inspections. I always try to take it slower as it is approaches the mark. If I he=it it the first time out, I say !@#!@#$.... Because I was this close to overcutting it.
I have found three towels that work for cleaning.
1) Bounty works just fine
2) The blue paper towels often found in auto parts stores. A little tougher.
3) I bought 20 micro cloth towels. These are my favorite. They will very quickly get rid of anything on the stone. They are plush enough to get to all sides and around corners. I am puttinvg them in a pile as they get dirty and will rinse them out a few times before I wash them and reuse them. Not sure how I feel about diamond going through the pump on the washer.


fancyfoxgems wrote:
Finally, I thought your multiple review installations were very thorough, highly informative, and served as the basis for mine, as well. I just spent a lot more time formatting, really. I appreciate your compliment, nonetheless. Anyway, thanks for your advice! I am going to gladly run with it.


Thank you for that. BUT it is also skill. Your writing skill stands out. For example, this post has taken me 2.5 hours. It is not that I do not put in the time. I do not have the same skills as I use to, and they were never close to what I see in your post.

I think I got most of the questions. If not…. Pop in a reply.

I know I messed up the formatting, but am to tired to work it....


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 7:57 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:06 pm
Posts: 238
Location: Michigan
Fancyfoxgems,...WOW !! What a comprehensive review of this lap.

I had a few stones preformed for future cutting, so I dopped them up to try a few facets on each.
--Synthetic Spinel
--Natural Spinel
--Synthetic Sapphire
--Natural Sapphire
--Chrysoberyl
--Topaz
I picked some harder stones because I'm thinking that Zinc works a bit better on these ?? I cut everything with 600 to start. I experimented with Firewater and 13k PCD on a a few facets of each stone, and polished with Blakstik 100k PCD.
Without getting into a facet by facet comparison,....ALL Stones and ALL facets prepolished very quickly, with just a few sweeps. After getting the feel for the right amount of water to use, the "feel" was great. I got in a good routine to know just how much "grab" was needed to ensure a perfect prepolish. Finally, I polished all facets with Blakstik 100k. I found the polish came up quickly to extremely quickly, with just a few sweeps.
I really like this lap, and I found it is superb on harder stones. Also found Firewater and 13k to work very well on the Zinc+.


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 Post subject: Re: A new little test series: Banded Zinc+/Diamatrix
PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:13 pm 
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Posts: 52
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Thanks, Tsavy. I have found your results helpful, too. :smt002 I take it, you're finding the lap effective on the same stones as me... I haven't tried any softer stones on Dia-Z+ as you have, though. From previous experience with Diamatrix, I simply extrapolated and presumed to know where it would likely be most advantageous. And yet, I don't know much about Zinc Plus - a bit of a wild card. If it's like a BATT, it can't be too bad on my material. I'm sure the Z+ followed by PCD on Diamatrix can put an acceptable polish on just about anything, but it seems best on harder materials such as those where a ceramic lap might be used.


Mr. Wilson, you've sold me on the 13k PCD. If it cuts faster than 3k, that's all I need to know.
It's not going to be slower than 8k if it's quicker than 3k, and that's some math you can take to the bank! :smt066 [Knowledge is power, and knowing is half the battle!]

I've never tried polishing with a slurry remaining on the wheel. Do you find that a better setup in certain cases? I tend to just light to moderate charges of diamond at low to medium speeds - a smidge faster with oxides. I definitely like to run my Skyway at a good clip. I don't know if the chemo-mechanical phenomenon (through which, I believe, is how I read it works) requires a bit of heat energy input, but it seems to do the trick to run a bit fast.

Funny that we both discovered the microfiber towels for intermediate cleaning. I use those, as well, although cheap napkins from take-out with a bit of alcohol don't work half bad, either. I do clean facets for inspection but only the first one or two in a row to get a handle on time required per facet and then the entire series after they're all done to see whether I have to touch up any. If I'm careful on the last grinding step to leave all meetpoints just short but equally so, any meet moving during pre-polish will have a good chance of occurring symmetrically equal. So I'm mostly checking for scratches during inspection. But in going from pre-polish to polish on a per-facet basis, I'm worried I wouldn't clean well enough every time. I always spend a decent deal of time cleaning the entire half stone (and wax and quill and hands, too!) before putting the stone to the final polish wheel. Maybe that's just paranoia, more than likely with a bit compulsion in the mix, but I'm terrified of contamination.

Again, you are generous with your flattery. I probably invested the better part of an afternoon into putting together that review if I include photo edits. Oh, and I was not putting down your formatting, lest you get the wrong idea; I only meant to point out that I wasted an inordinate amount of time on it.


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