Hi everyone, I just made up four quartz-capped ammolite doublets;
three from rough material I sawed and lapped flat with water and 400
grit on a sheet of plate glass, the fourth from a store-bought piece
of rough already slabbed but with saw marks still on, which I
therefore lapped in the same way and at the same time.
As adhesive I used Araldite 2-part epoxy, bought not retail but
directly from a distributor and hence presumably fresh.
After 24 hours curing time for all, I laid them (face down) on the
dop stove to warm them for dopping prior to cutting them into cabs.
In the process of dopping I noticed that all three of the pieces cut
from rough had detached from the quartz cap in large areas; the
fourth piece, from the store-bought slab, was fine and uniformly
This distresses me. I don’t like having something I make fall apart.
If any lapidarists on the list have first hand experience working
with ammolite, I’d welcome hearing their diagnostic opinion. Is
there, perhaps, a pre-epoxy conditioning treatment? Is there a better
adhesive? An adhesive of choice? What puzzles me is that the
store-bought one stuck, and yet all four were treated equally -
lapped in a water & grit slurry etc etc.
Cheers & thanks