October 3-7—JOSHUA TREE, CALIFORNIA: Annual show; Sportsmans Club of Joshua Tree
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:23 pm 
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Hi John,Tony,Jon,Al,Dave,Peter,

I keep reading that we all are trying to achieve a similar final result. Flat polished facets, with minimal to "zero" rounding, as fast as possible. We each probably have a slightly different eye/view on what is "acceptable" for our finished work as far as polish. Yes I am sure we all strive for perfection but that seems to be hashed out by a Judge/Judges at 10x or with a microscope if the situation warrants it!
My brief experience with the Darkside lap and polishing Quartz, has been great. The results on my Quartz gems are better than any other polish to date from any other laps I have tried. So I am Happy to present my finished gems to my clients, actually Proud. :D
I also use the Batt for polishing other Gem materials with diamond. This combo also results with a polished finish I am proud to present as my finished Work.
My Tin, Copper, Zinc, cast Iron "Mehanite" (Spelling Jarvi Tool), and Ceramic laps all sit gathering dust at this point. (not quite true, I use my Ceramic as a backing plate for my Darkside). Just can,t let go.....Yet. Why I do not know? I sold the Fast, Last, Phenolic, Lucite, and others I could definitely do without a while back.
In time I hope to hear others voices with their comparisons and thoughts.


Regards,

John


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:05 pm 
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Thanks for that time breakdown John!

I somehow missed it before.

Anyway, what are the charging or usage methods for quartz on the Darkside?

I assume you are using the "French white" cerium?

Speeds, amount of powder, what lubricant, etc and whatever else you think of are all very interesting!

:D

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Sheesh -- will you guys stop coming out with new laps & raving about the advantages? It gets my tool-lust up and I keep spending money that should go toward rough and/or Tucson expenses. :lol:

...speaking of Tucson, I know Terry H. is going have a booth and have the Turbo-Fan laps available. Maybe we can find a machine, get a Turbo-Fan, Darkside, & a LL to do a side-by-side comparison. It would be interesting and likely very educational.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:49 pm 
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Hi John,

Thank You for your time and chat!

Quote:
Anyway, what are the charging or usage methods for quartz on the Darkside?

I assume you are using the "French white" cerium?

Speeds, amount of powder, what lubricant, etc and whatever else you think of are all very interesting!


I will attempt to respond now in written words for others who may be interested?

I usually use "cave man" charging method, dip finger in jar of powder and smear on damp/wet spinning lap.
Pretty much same for all powders weather oxide or diamond.
I do not mind getting "dirty" and wash my hands allot. :D

Cerium is "Super Cerium" says so on 1lbs. bag I have, got it in Tuscon many years ago, It is white.

The speeds I use are arbitrary I suppose, speeds between 3 & 6 on knob I have no clue as to actual RPMs sorry. "Comfortable feeling with desired results". is best way I can explain.
Lube is H2O out of the tap, with a bit of "Jet Dry" added seems to help H2O drip better out of the tank nozzle?

About the only helpful? "interesting"? remark I can share is that I could move a Facet in to a pretty nice meet with the Darkside lap using cerium, even from the 600 grit topper lap. ( I am not talking Huge distance but enough with careful pressure to get where I wanted to be.) BTW the scratches/furrows from the 600 polished out very well. As I tried to state this was for Fun and a "test" so it was more of an anomaly rather than the usual process I would approach to polishing a Quartz.

Kindest Regards,

John


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 7:17 pm 
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Keep in mind that I've only polished a couple of stones with it. I glop on some medium (99.9% CeO) slurry, spread it around, and start polishing. Pretty soon, the slow drip has washed everything off the surface, but oxide remains in the pores and keeps on polishing. I'm amazed that I don't have to recharge. It's almost the same as diamond on a well-charged BATT. I have little experience with oxide on a chargable lap, so maybe that isn't unusual.

This last pavilion, I didn't use the water drip, just a mist from a cosmetic sprayer when it got dry. I've been running the lap fairly slow, 2-300 rpm, but haven't experimented with higher speeds.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:05 pm 
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Maybe we can find a machine, get a Turbo-Fan, Darkside, & a LL to do a side-by-side comparison. It would be interesting and likely very educational.

And hugely entertaining, but I am not certain what conclusions someone could arrive at, unless a given operator polished the same material on all three.
These three products are based on different principles entirely. The LL is a universal lap based on a hard material, the Turbofan is a polish-preloaded polymer, and the Darkside is based on surface chemistry and complexity-But they all do the same thing.

An airplane, a helicopter, and a blimp all fly, but in different ways.

I am a good fixed-wing pilot. But I would not expect many volunteers to be my guest in a blimp or a helicopter.
Some are going to prefer one, some another, based on how they cut, how long they have cut, what they cut, and why they cut. :smt102

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:03 am 
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And hugely entertaining, but I am not certain what conclusions someone could arrive at, unless a given operator polished the same material on all three.


I wasn't thinking in terms of putting one lap or another on a pedestal as "THE LAP ABOVE ALL LAPS". But much more of what you hint at -- the opportunity to polish a couple facets on each lap and actually feel the differences.

I have a high regard for the recommendations of the group members here and have purchased laps based on such recommendations alone, but inevitably there comes a point when the recommended lap isn't working as expected. This usually isn't a problem with the lap, but a technique issue.

Thus, there is simply no substitute for hands on, in-person experience. In a question of how a variety of laps are used, the immediate input of a group of skilled craftspeople would be invaluable. I would hope to the theme of the day would be, "here, try it this way" or maybe "Aha!"

Of course, it would be great to put faces with some of the names here & enjoy the inevitable laughs that always seem to happen in such gatherings.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:31 am 
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I wasn't thinking in terms of putting one lap or another on a pedestal as "THE LAP ABOVE ALL LAPS". But much more of what you hint at -- the opportunity to polish a couple facets on each lap and actually feel the differences.


I think you have really hit it with the word "FEEL". I expect that most of us at one time or another had one of our "AHA!" moments from the FEEL of the lap against the stone...those little clues like the feeling of drag, or slip-stick sounds, or the smoothness, or just the "feeling" that everything is going well.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 12:41 am 
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"Darkside Dowunder"

Hi all,
We took on the dealership for the Darkside and Batt Laps a few weeks back with our first stock arriving only a week ago and hey they do work.
Its a great description,the "Feel" of the Lap is so important,"Sound comes in to you just no when its working and when your in trouble.
So far the Guys and Gals that have bought the Darkside have been really happy with sales to both ends of the experiance level the beginner battling to get a finish to one of our contract cutters that is really set in his ways. I only lent one to our guy to try but he wont give it back :roll:
If they last and keep working as well as they do out of the box these are going to help a lot of cutters out there who just cant get a metal Lap going right. I think the Batt will still have its place though :wink:
Cheers
Andrew

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:09 am 
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hi Gearloose:
will the darkside fit an INLAND SWAPTOP 8" ALL IN WONDER - COMPLETE LAPIDARY WORK SHOP?

Ok I do realize the inland is not the ultimate piece of equipment ... but sometimes when quality meets price ... necessity trumps :roll:

anyway I suppose if it will the Batt will also.

Thanks

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:14 am 
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Hi Wolf,
Sure Gearloose will answer but yes they will fit any standard machine including the inland.
Cheers Andrew

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:16 am 
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:) long time no see Andrew ... ty :D

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 1:25 am 
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Yes Wolf to long :wink:
had the head down tail up probably going in circles :roll: but hopefully not.
Cheers
Andrew

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 7:53 am 
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Sure Gearloose will answer but yes they will fit any standard machine including the inland.


Thanks. I had to go look one up. This is where being someone who builds their own equipment works to my disadvantage, because if someone mentions a commercial machine I may have a blank stare for a minute.

If it has a 1/2" shaft and can take a lap about 1/4" thick it will fit. I started making the Darksides thicker so they would run quieter, and am also making them with a finer texture. There is little improvement in performance..they just look better and are smoother to use- A Marketing Thing from listening to my Customers (All Praise).

As to service life, I suppose it depends on how they are treated. A serious lap jam will gouge them just as it would a tin or BATT lap, I suppose.

As of two weeks ago, that poster "stoneman", Dave, one of the commercial testers, had completed 36 stones on his first Darkside, so he is likely over fifty now. He got another that he uses for the 3K prepolish.

So, if the average user cuts a stone a week, that's a year accounted for.
The only change in performance over this time is improvement. They do take up polish, but probably not to the extent of the BATTs. I was polishing on my first ugly prototype since July, but only got to a dozen stones because ..well..I had to make BATTs and Darksides. Mostly Darksides. 115 of them as of today.
What makes me happiest is the reception by newer faceters, many of whom had trouble with chargable laps. The Pros know what to do by instinct I guess. Either way, the first group turns hours into stones, the second group turns hours into Dollars, everyone wins.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 18, 2008 8:00 am 
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If they last and keep working as well as they do out of the box these are going to help a lot of cutters out there who just cant get a metal Lap going right.


Note: The Darkside is a resurfacable lap. You do get second chances. :)

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