Before I get started, please let us know what you want to use the
laps for. There is at least one professional faceter (Wayne Emery)
and one amateur (me) on the list regularly. There are probably others
who don’t talk so much.
There are several basic types of lap. I’m guessing that you bought
what is called a “master lap”, which isn’t intended to cut or polish
by itself, but only to provide a smooth flat surface to hold other
materials, such as the peel-off diamond you mentioned.
One very popular kind for cutting and even pre-polish is the metal
bonded lap. Diamond is bonded to the surface by a metal coating.
These work well in grits from 100 - 1200, and last quite a long time.
Crystallite Solid Steel laps are a popular choice.
There are also laps that are bonded by other materials, like the
Nubond (which may be an epoxy, I don’t know for sure.) These tend to
produce a finer finish for a given grit. A 1200 grit Nubond will
produce a very good prepolish on quartz or beryl, for example.
Sintered laps are the ultimate in cutting laps. The diamond is
actually mixed into a deep layer of metal. They are expensive, but
last a very long time, produce a good finish, yet cut quite
Then, there is a large class of laps which are used with loose
cutting or polishing compounds. If diamond is used, it’s spread on
the surface and pressed in, usually with a tool of some kind. The
cutting or polishing compound needs to be renewed periodically, but a
few carats of diamond powder will last a long time, and it’s
Laps in this category can be made of various materials - copper,
tin, phenolic, alloys. One which has acquired a large following and
is very versatile is the BATT lap, www.battlap.com. I use it for both
cutting, with large grits (325 mesh is good) and polishing grits
It’s a big subject. Let us know what your intended use is, and we
can probably be more specific and point you to more
Sun City, AZ