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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:39 am 
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Why Jet Dry? Does it really help? I understand that it is a surfactant etc but does it really make a difference? I like to keep things as simple as possible and still work well.


Jet dry, Kodak photo-flo, Tween 20, all help wet out the quartz dust and prevent them from attaching to metal laps, and to help keep the quartz particles suspended.
The use of "hard water" presents other problems, and can be helped a little by these. It forms calcium silicate on the lap.

The reaction of dissolved silica with metal compounds is seen with those "Crystal Gardens", where a solution of sodium silicate, when metal salt crystals are dropped into it, grows pretty dendrites of jelly-like silicates resembling an underwater seaweed garden. Cobalt makes pink or blue ones, nickel makes green ones, etc.
These compounds are insoluble, so removing them is difficult. The lap loads up and slows.
HF will remove silicates from metal quickly, but anyone who handles the stuff is out of their mind. Ask me why I have no fingertips: The rubber gloves leaked.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 11:28 am 
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Hmm -- why jetdry? -- I guess it's just a habit from way back when I started using distilled water because of the sand in my well water. Jon had made the suggestion of using photoflo with my water to make it wetter and it just became automatic. I now use jetdri because it's much, much cheaper, seems to work as well and is much easier to find -- also works wonders on helping clean the laps. I spread a thin coat on the surface and let it sit for 15 minutes or so before I clean the lap with the pressure washer.

I used the 1200 dyna lap as my pre polish on the quartz. My old 1200 plated lap is just about worn out and none of the new one's (1200 or 3000) I've got work worth a darn. A new 1200 sintered is on my wish list and I'll have to take a look around this Feb.

Keith


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:00 pm 
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OK, found another amethyst crystal tip. DARK, lovely color, but hard to photograph, in addition to the Kleenex lint.
3.5 Cts, 9.5mm. #600 Plated to Darkside CeO.
Lap Timer:
Rough cone, C&P girdles and pavilion... :32 minutes
Crown: :22 Minutes.
Total lap runtime: 54 minutes.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 3:34 pm 
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Approx 50X:

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 Post subject: Scratching, gouging, and cleaning the Darkside
PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 10:18 pm 
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I am never at a loss to know how I can always find a way to ruin a good polishing lap. I'm the guy who had the contamination problem a few months back; got that solved; now have similar but different problems. So for Jon and the rest, I will present my latest problems and ask yet again for answers. First, my initial experience with the Darkside was good. I've been cutting Lasergem as test cuts for different designs, and for future competitions, and my first stone came out good. I use 50,000K (i go directly from 1200 to polish with the softer stones). Of course the second would have problems. Several chunks separated, and gouged the the inner part of the lap (I mean REALLY gouged it). I cleaned off the lap extensively with WD-40 and recharged. While the scratching was cut down, I found there are still pieces imbedded in parts of the lap. Due to the nature of the Darkside it is a bit harder to find and remove the pieces.
So here are my questions:
1) From what I've read, can you clean and wash the Darkside with soap and water, and what are the best ways to remove imbedded pieces?
2) Can I smooth or resurface the area I gouged myself, or do I have to send it back to you Jon?
3) It seems the Darkside is a bit harsh for softer stones (such as Lasergem or Jewel-lite). Is it better to go with CeO2 instead of diamond, or maybe use a finer grit, such as 100,000K?

I really hate to have to ask questions again about gouging and scratching, but Since I'm using the new lap, perhaps there are different answers. Thanks all. :?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:28 am 
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I cleaned off the lap extensively with WD-40 and recharged. While the scratching was cut down, I found there are still pieces imbedded in parts of the lap. Due to the nature of the Darkside it is a bit harder to find and remove the pieces.
So here are my questions:

1) From what I've read, can you clean and wash the Darkside with soap and water, and what are the best ways to remove imbedded pieces?


Yes, you can clean them with 409 or Fantastic, etc. Rinse well before using. As to the embedded pieces, Try using a piece of very sticky tape, like Duck tape to pluck them out. If that fails, see below on resurfacing.

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2) Can I smooth or resurface the area I gouged myself, or do I have to send it back to you Jon?


If your machine will run in reverse, this works best. Use a Brillo or SOS pad with water, then rinse well. You can "Kinda" resurface it that way..the flatness will depend on your technique. Rinse it well and try it.

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3) It seems the Darkside is a bit harsh for softer stones (such as Lasergem or Jewel-lite). Is it better to go with CeO2 instead of diamond, or maybe use a finer grit, such as 100,000K?


You should be using CeO on those glasses or quartz, anyway.

If these tricks do not work, at this early stage in a product it is more important for me to study field failures and crashes than anything else.
Send it back and I'll swap you a new one. This will give me the opportunity to develop shard removal and field dressing techniques so the next disaster someone else has can have a happier outcome.

Do not feel badly about it. I could tell you BATT stories all day from the last 11 years about bizarre accidents. ("Ran over it with my chair", "Tried to dress it with a rusty file I found", "Cat knocked it off the bench onto cement floor", etc.etc.)

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:05 pm 
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Hello Jon and others,

Although I haven't very much experience yet I must say I am very impressed with my initial tries with the Darkside and AlOx (Linde A) on a couple of tourmalines that I had for repair.

What made this especially delightful was one of the tourmalines was giving me trouble as it was quite large and the repair was being executed without removing it from the ring. I have a trick dop stick that allows me to do this but the added height of the ring makes it prone to chatter if the facet is of any size and this is usually accompanied with chipping or pitting, at the very least furrowing.

This particular ring was in white gold and the tourmaline was bezel set and pave'ed with diamonds which made unsetting and resetting an expensive challenge. I had set this particular job aside until I could finish building yet another trick dop that would allow me to hold the ring in a more stable fashion.

Within minutes of it's arrival I dopped up a tourmaline that needed a crown recut to try out my new Darkside. The polish was instantaneous following 1200 cutting and the lap showed no evidence of needing a break-in period. This success inspired me to put the troublesome tourmaline in the quill and to my delight I had no sign of any chatter and a new table in moments.

By instantaneous I mean less than 5 seconds of contact for most facets which is what is expected of any polishing lap. For my BATT with 200k to achieve a similar quality and speed I would need a much finer pre-polish I need to cut a few more stones before I am thoroughly convinced the lap is performing better than my enthusiasm for it.

Despite the assurance that the Darkside is happy with oxide or diamond I am very hesitant to try a diamond polish on mine. It is probably not justified, but I have a niggling fear that I may not get my AlOx lap back the way it is if I did that. The obvious answer is to get another Darkside... hmm and one for CeOx too? haha. I got some thinking to do.

Looking through my lap collection I realise that although I have a fairly large and varied collection I have been using laps specifically engineered for lapidary use, almost exclusively. It seems to me that a newcomer can save themselves an awful lot of frustration, time and money by avoiding almost all of the 'traditional' polishing methods that us old farts had no choice but to use.

All of my laps that were made from things laying around or built for some other purpose and adapted, have for the most part been stored away, plastic, tin, counter-top, type-metal, polycarbonate, etc. If it wasn't for those awful glass filled rubies I would probably abandon my ceramic too.

Tony.

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 5:56 pm 
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Despite the assurance that the Darkside is happy with oxide or diamond I am very hesitant to try a diamond polish on mine. It is probably not justified, but I have a niggling fear that I may not get my AlOx lap back the way it is if I did that. The obvious answer is to get another Darkside... hmm and one for CeOx too? haha. I got some thinking to do.


If I had an MBA or half a brain for Business, the right thing to do is to chime right in and say "Of COURSE you need a different lap for every polish".
However, the truth is I use my first prototype Darkside on whatever I need at the time. Now since any rejects are not salable, just as with the BATTs, I use them myself, more or less for free because these go through my hands on the way to the dumpster or the melting pot. And ripping off customers is not the best way to grow a business.

Here is why you can use the Darksides for either:
First some examples of oil and water based things not mixing:
1) Offset printing. An image on an offset plate has a polymer photoresist coating that prints and aluminum regions that do not. Aqueous fountain solution keeps the aluminum areas wet with water and repels the (nonpolar oil-based) ink. But the ink roller deposits ink ONLY on the (nonpolar) polymer part. (I used to run an offset press after school when I was a kid. See how there is no useless information? It gave me a clue for the new lap after all these years of running that ATF for $1.15 an hour.)

2) Diamonds from gravel. Diamond bearing gravel can be run down a sluice in water, over a grease-covered rubber belt. Carbon is crazy for oils, (which is why an eraser works). The greased belt goes over a scraper and the small diamonds are removed.

The polar oxides stick to the hydroxyl-terminated polymer, OR the diamonds stick to the carbon domains. A detergent removes the diamond AND OILS, and clears the polar sections of the lap to now accept an oxide. The oxides we use for polishing are hydrated oxides as it is.
When the Darkside is then washed with a detergent and rinsed, the oxides are cleared, and after drying an application of oil (WD40, etc.) then depolarizes the lap so the nonpolar domains once again accept diamond.

That said... :smt046 Of COURSE you need more of them!

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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:28 pm 
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TheGemDr wrote:
What made this especially delightful was one of the tourmalines was giving me trouble as it was quite large and the repair was being executed without removing it from the ring. I have a trick dop stick that allows me to do this but the added height of the ring makes it prone to chatter if the facet is of any size and this is usually accompanied with chipping or pitting, at the very least furrowing.

Tony, I would love to spend a day watching you work! Fixing other people's problems takes more skill and patience than faceting a stone from scratch.

I would expect that it's satisfying work. I spent a good part of my programming career doing maintenance, which is often looked down on by developers. I actually enjoyed fixing things that weren't quite right.


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:45 pm 
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Fixing other people's problems takes more skill and patience than faceting a stone from scratch.


There is also the Fright Factor. I have done repairs. I don't enjoy it. It's about as restful as disarming land mines.*

The customer knows exactly the stone you are working on. If you mess it up, the World knows.

If you mess up one of your own, you feel badly, but it is between you and the wastebasket..
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*in a former life long ago, I did actually do that. Repairng an expensive stone does kind of feel like it. Of course I was young and crazy then, not old and timid.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 10:30 am 
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Folks,

Thought I'd post my experience with a NEW Darkside lap.

Yesterday, I got around to polishing an epidote that I was cutting. I've had some problems in the past with softer stones like epidote, apitite and enstatite, so I thought it would be a good test of the Darkside.

I used 3000 on a BATT for the final cut and went to cerium on the Darkside.

The first facet was okay, but nothing to write home about. It polished, somewhat slowly, but evenly. I got some of those darn darn facets that you get just as the facet hits good polish. This has been a common occurrence for me with these types of stones.

I emailed Jon, and he told me what was happening and that I had too much cerium on the lap.

Now, I wasn't using very much, just what I used with other types of laps (tin, LL, Ultralap, etc.), but I wiped the lap clean with a paper towel and went to dinner. (By the way, I had noticed that the Darkside had held onto the cerium WAY better than any other laps I use. At 200-250 RPM, the cerium just stayed there, whereas it was flung off a bit on the other lap types, It was quite noticeable.)

Back from dinner, the lap was dry and covered with a light dusting of cerium. Went to a second facet. It polished about the same,with fewer final scratches. Wiped the lap with paper towel.

Third facet, did four swipes and looked at the facet with a loupe. Fantastic polish, with no scratches. Next facet I did two swipes and looked -- the facet was polished with sharp edges and a perfect meet to the girdle, sharply pointed at 10x.

I found that some of the smaller facets polished with a single swipe and even the bigger ones with two or three.

Went back to the first two facets and polished those scratches out of them in no time flat! Finished the rest of the stone in record time, with extremely bright polish and everything, edges and meets, sharp. Never added any more cerium and used an occasional spritz of water to wet the lap. I stopped the lap in mid stone to look at it and found that there were damp and dry areas.

Rereading Jon's instructions on the lap container, I figure that it took the first two facets (and removal of the excess cerium) to break the lap in. The difference and subsequent speed of polishing was amazing.

I got this lap because I goofed up my BATT by adding 3000 to my 50,000 and planned on using it with 50,000. I may change my plans and keep it with the cerium.

When the lap is dry, it has a light haze of cerium. I think my 1/2 lb. of cerium is going to last a lot longer than I thought.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 1:27 pm 
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Facetor wrote:
Folks,
Never added any more cerium and used an occasional spritz of water to wet the lap. I stopped the lap in mid stone to look at it and found that there were damp and dry areas.

Exactly my experience. I'm still surprised at how long the cerium lasts.

Quote:
When the lap is dry, it has a light haze of cerium. I think my 1/2 lb. of cerium is going to last a lot longer than I thought.

Same here. The last pavilion I did yesterday without adding any polish, just the sort of speckled gray left from the last stone.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:21 pm 
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When the lap is dry, it has a light haze of cerium. I think my 1/2 lb. of cerium is going to last a lot longer than I thought.

Quote:
Same here. The last pavilion I did yesterday without adding any polish, just the sort of speckled gray left from the last stone.


People are always surprised at the amount of polish retained by the laps that come out of here. It's all about surface complexity. All laps have some, even ceramics, at microscopic scales.
I design for it.

(Anyone who has seen my shop knows I love Chaos.) :smt105

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BATT™: Fractal Dimension: 1.862

BA5T™: Fractal Dimension: 1.5247

DARKSIDE: Fractal Dimension:
Nonpolar regions mapped: 1.849
Polar regions mapped: 1.299


(BENOIT Information Dimension Method.)

The program is $250.00 but if one is serious about quantifying structural complexity of surfaces it is a valuable tool. http://www.trusoft.netmegs.com/

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 Post subject: DARKSIDE
PostPosted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:20 pm 
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I posted on Nov 2 about my using the Darkside, not much has changed except the more I use the lap the better it gets. The Darkside is a great asset to a polishing arsenal. I wont to thank Jon Rolf for inventing an I do mean inventing a great lap for all of use to use. It is such a straight forward product, simple to use , polish comes up very fast with no scratches, simple to charge and moderetly priced.There is not much more to say or post about the Darkside except get one an make your life a little easier. Does any one want to buy some used laps? Dave


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 Post subject: DARKSIDE
PostPosted: Tue Dec 09, 2008 6:08 pm 
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You can add my name to the list of fans for the "Darkside".

It is a very valuable tool in my arsenal of polishing tools. It is easy to charge, easy to use, and quickly produces a great polish. I used it as the pre-polish lap ( 3000 grit ) in a sequence of 1200, then 3000, then final with the A5. After the 3000 on the Darkside I was convinced I had missed a step and was already done polishing!

-Terry

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