October 3-7—JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA: Annual show; Sportsmans Club of Joshua Tree
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 Post subject: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:01 pm 
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Hi all, long-time lurker here with several (a.k.a. many) questions related to machine, laps, and technique. Thank you all in advance for all the information already here on the forums, I’ve spent a lot of time reading and have been learning a tremendous amount and I apologize for the essay below. Please forgive me if any of this has already been answered elsewhere.

I have had a Stone-Tes for a bit over a year and a bit of experience cabbing on an old flat lap, but recently acquired a used Graves Mark 5XL and have been having a blast. I’ve cut a couple of the Faceting 101 designs from the gemology project database and am working on the first round brilliant in Intro to Meetpoint Faceting.

So far…knock on wood…I have not encountered any significant issues with the machine itself, for which I am very thankful based on the other thread here - although today the website appears to be back up so I’m not sure how to take that.

In terms of the machine itself:
-The knob that locks the white coarse adjustment collar into place on the mast does not seem to actually lock with any sort of certainty. While the knob gets tighter, it never actually tightens down to a stop - since this does seems to keep the faceting head in place under gentle pressure but not if one actually were to pull on it, I’m wondering if this is how things should be?
-Does anyone know the approximate indexing of the speed control as related to the machine’s RPMs? I’ve seen mention of numbers for a UT but don’t think I’ve seen them anywhere for the Mark 5XL.
-Is there a way to lock the quill in an upright position? I thought that I had read something about the Mark IV having this feature, but don’t seen how one would do this on the Mark 5
-Finally, just wondering about the general fit/finish of these out of the factory - the top half is not cut very accurately at all and I was just curious if they were all like this?

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More Photos


I was fortunate enough to receive some of Gearloose’s laps and polishing media in addition to a master lap and set of toppers in 60 through 3000 grit (I’ll use the 60-360 on the old flat lap). My questions here relate to the condition of these laps and how best to use them based on their prior life.

BATT:
-First off, even as a newbie I can tell this thing is awesome. I’m still trying to figure out the balance of WD40/diamond/pressure, but the times I get it right are great.
-The top side of this lap is charged with the 8K Pandemonium Universal Base Diastick, and as far as I can tell the bottom has not been charged with anything. I have some questions about whether or not this needs to be resurfaced though based on some dings/marks on both sides or whether there is anything I can do to improve it’s condition?

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Darkside:
-This has 60k Diastick on it right now and again, is awesome. This was supposedly unused, but the inner area of this lap is a lighter color than the outer part and I don’t think I’ve seen this mentioned or pictured anywhere. Just wondering why this would be and if there’s a difference between the two areas as I didn’t think the Darkside was dual-zoned like that?

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Zinc Plus:
-This lap had “325 grit” written in Sharpie on its case and has some major swarf stuck on to it along with a few light dents. I don’t have any 325 grit diamond to re-charge it with, and am a little leery of the shape that it is in. I had been hoping to charge this with 600 grit to try as a cutting lap, but don’t think that is going to happen. Can this lap be resurfaced/should it be based on the pictures?

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In terms of technique, right now I’ve been using a 600 grit topper, then the 8K BATT followed by the Darkside. I’m just not sure how best to employ the Zinc Plus or if this workflow could be improved based upon the materials I have available here. I also have one tube each of Crystalite 600, 1200 & 3000 grit diamond paste, a set of oxide Battsticks, and some 14k diamond paste. The 600 grit topper is not terribly impressive, so I’d like a better solution there - but ideally one that doesn’t involve acquiring any additional laps yet.

Apologies once more for the wall of text & photos, but I very much appreciate and look forward to anyone and everyone's input!!

My first attempts:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 7:43 pm 
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earthandhammer wrote:
In terms of the machine itself:
-The knob that locks the white coarse adjustment collar into place on the mast does not seem to actually lock with any sort of certainty. While the knob gets tighter, it never actually tightens down to a stop - since this does seems to keep the faceting head in place under gentle pressure but not if one actually were to pull on it, I’m wondering if this is how things should be?
I am a former dealer and can sell you a replacement collar.

earthandhammer wrote:
-Does anyone know the approximate indexing of the speed control as related to the machine’s RPMs? I’ve seen mention of numbers for a UT but don’t think I’ve seen them anywhere for the Mark 5XL.
Nope.

earthandhammer wrote:
-Is there a way to lock the quill in an upright position? I thought that I had read something about the Mark IV having this feature, but don’t seen how one would do this on the Mark 5
No you cannot.

earthandhammer wrote:
-Finally, just wondering about the general fit/finish of these out of the factory - the top half is not cut very accurately at all and I was just curious if they were all like this?
The fit and finish vary from machine to machine.

earthandhammer wrote:
BATT:
-First off, even as a newbie I can tell this thing is awesome. I’m still trying to figure out the balance of WD40/diamond/pressure, but the times I get it right are great.
-The top side of this lap is charged with the 8K Pandemonium Universal Base Diastick, and as far as I can tell the bottom has not been charged with anything. I have some questions about whether or not this needs to be resurfaced though based on some dings/marks on both sides or whether there is anything I can do to improve it’s condition?
You could send it to Gearloose for a resurfacing and it would return almost good as new.

earthandhammer wrote:
Zinc Plus:
-This lap had “325 grit” written in Sharpie on its case and has some major swarf stuck on to it along with a few light dents. I don’t have any 325 grit diamond to re-charge it with, and am a little leery of the shape that it is in. I had been hoping to charge this with 600 grit to try as a cutting lap, but don’t think that is going to happen. Can this lap be resurfaced/should it be based on the pictures?
Send to Gearloose for resurfacing.

earthandhammer wrote:
In terms of technique, right now I’ve been using a 600 grit topper, then the 8K BATT followed by the Darkside. I’m just not sure how best to employ the Zinc Plus or if this workflow could be improved based upon the materials I have available here. I also have one tube each of Crystalite 600, 1200 & 3000 grit diamond paste, a set of oxide Battsticks, and some 14k diamond paste. The 600 grit topper is not terribly impressive, so I’d like a better solution there - but ideally one that doesn’t involve acquiring any additional laps yet.
You could charge the Zinc+ with either any of the grits you mentioned. If you want to do roughing, then 600 mesh.

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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:07 pm 
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Thank you very much for the concise reply!!!

I don't believe that I can send/receive private messages until I've been more active here, so will send you an e-mail at the contact address from your website in regards to a replacement collar?

I appreciate the confirmation regarding the BATT and Zinc+ needing a resurfacing, I had a feeling this was the case even though I was hoping it was not.


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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:38 pm 
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"The knob that locks the white coarse adjustment collar into place on the mast does not seem to actually lock with any sort of certainty. While the knob gets tighter, it never actually tightens down to a stop - since this does seems to keep the faceting head in place under gentle pressure but not if one actually were to pull on it, I’m wondering if this is how things should be?"

The collar is Delrin, I think. In any case, it's plastic, and there won't be any "stop". However, it should not move in normal operation.

"-Is there a way to lock the quill in an upright position? I thought that I had read something about the Mark IV having this feature, but don’t seen how one would do this on the Mark 5"

Unlike the Mark4, the 5XL is actually stable in the upright position. If I want it to stay upright more than temporarily, I use an elastic hair band (dunno the proper name). A rubber band will work fine.

"as far as I can tell the bottom has not been charged with anything. I have some questions about whether or not this needs to be resurfaced though based on some dings/marks on both sides or whether there is anything I can do to improve it’s condition?"

Not unless you have the equipment. Send it to Gearloose for resurfacing, if you really need to use both sides. Otherwise, just avoid the dings.

"This was supposedly unused, but the inner area of this lap is a lighter color than the outer part and I don’t think I’ve seen this mentioned or pictured anywhere. Just wondering why this would be and if there’s a difference between the two areas as I didn’t think the Darkside was dual-zoned like that?"

Doesn't look unused to me. I wouldn't worry about the difference - It probably just means the inner part of the lap wasn't used as much.

"Zinc Plus:
-This lap had “325 grit” written in Sharpie on its case and has some major swarf stuck on to it along with a few light dents. I don’t have any 325 grit diamond to re-charge it with, and am a little leery of the shape that it is in. I had been hoping to charge this with 600 grit to try as a cutting lap, but don’t think that is going to happen. Can this lap be resurfaced/should it be based on the pictures? "

Lava soap will probably remove the swarf. Rinse thoroughly. Gearloose can resurface it. If you want a finer grit, you'll have to resurface it.


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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:30 am 
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Earthandhammer - With even cautious use metal laps do acquire accidental dings. Unless they are severe they don't affect performance. If the Batt is resurfaced you will lose the existing charge on it. If it is working well, leave well alone is my advice. The Darkside looks quite normal. The inner 'band' has just not seen much use. If you want to charge the zinc with 600 mesh it will need to be resurfaced to remove the coarser grit, or just turn it over. Happy faceting. Duncan


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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Sat Apr 28, 2018 2:45 pm 
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Duncan Miller wrote:
If you want to charge the zinc with 600 mesh it will need to be resurfaced to remove the coarser grit, or just turn it over. Happy faceting. Duncan


The lap is Zinc+, zinc alloy laminated to an aluminum alloy backing plate.

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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:47 pm 
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Sorry I missed this thread. If the BATT works, it works. The laps I use personally in my shop are cosmetic rejects, or laps that have been traded in as scrap. They are UGLY, with scratches and dings. Remember, at one time, people used to gouge and tear up their laps right out of the box, because everyone said to score them...So out came knives, broken hacksaw blades, etc.etc. Until the lap misbehaves, enjoy it. I am still getting laps back that were made twenty years ago for resurfacing. With proper care they will last decades, ugly or not.
The Zinc+ is a fairly recent product. Being a laminate, they can be resurfaced, but of course not as many times as the solid cast BATT.
That Darkside has seen little use toward the center. Also, the inner region moves at slower surface speeds than the edges, and wears more slowly.

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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 5:14 pm 
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Thank you all so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

AlBalmer wrote:
The collar is Delrin, I think. In any case, it's plastic, and there won't be any "stop". However, it should not move in normal operation.


Just to make sure I understand - the knob should be able to continue to turn ad infinitum? The collar does not appear to move during normal operation with finger pressure on a stone - I was wondering since if one were to pull on the collar itself even when "tightened" it can still be moved.

Gearloose wrote:
Sorry I missed this thread. If the BATT works, it works. The laps I use personally in my shop are cosmetic rejects, or laps that have been traded in as scrap. They are UGLY, with scratches and dings.


This answers my question about the visual condition of the BATT for sure. I've been continuing to use it over the past few days and have been having many less problems as I get used to the appropriate technique. My guess is that the problems I have getting a good polish with the Darkside are most likely coming from those times when I don't do a good job with the prepolish on the BATT, and that the only solution is to keep practicing and cut more!


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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 6:03 am 
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In the case of an incomplete prepolish, the polishing steps then reveal scratches. Often people think their polishing lap is scratching.

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 Post subject: Re: A Few Newbie Questions
PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 11:26 am 
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earthandhammer wrote:
Thank you all so much for your feedback, I really appreciate it!

AlBalmer wrote:
The collar is Delrin, I think. In any case, it's plastic, and there won't be any "stop". However, it should not move in normal operation.


Just to make sure I understand - the knob should be able to continue to turn ad infinitum? The collar does not appear to move during normal operation with finger pressure on a stone - I was wondering since if one were to pull on the collar itself even when "tightened" it can still be moved.


How hard is it to move? While there's no hard stop, there's definitely a point where it should be hard to tighten it any more, and it should require significant effort to move it. Sounds like the threads are stripped and you may need a new collar. Graves sells the collar assembly for $33.55, http://www.gravescompany.com/Mark-5XL-D ... Parts.html

Tom has them, as well - see his post above.


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