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Diamond powder binder


#1

I have never used diamond paste nor diamond powder for my lapidary
work. Recently a friend gave me 10cts each of 0.5 micron, 1 micron
and 2 micron diamond powder and neither of us have been able to find
informtion as to what would be the appropriate binder for using this
on a felt pad on a flatlap or suede leather polishing head. Any help
would be appreciated.

John Barton


#2

See: Henry Hunt “Lapidary Carving for Creative Jewelers”. I think Rio
Grande has it.

KPK


#3

Any number of “binders” are appropriate for diamond powder on felt
or the synthetic polishing pads. Traditionally, a small amount of
olive oil is used, but a better one is made form 1/2 distilled water
and 1/2 propylene glycol. Pre-mixed RV anti-freeze is fine, the
active ingredient being propylene (NOT ethylene) glycol.

Do NOT use ethylene glycol (auto anti-freeze).

As a polish, diamond should be used VERY sparingly.

For polishing cabs or precious metal on pads (felt, synthetic, etc.)
I use a small 2 oz plastic spray bottle like they sell at Walgreen’s
(cheap).

I put RV anti-freeze in the bottle along with a couple BB’s or small
chunks of metal, which will act as stirrers when I shake the bottle.
Then add diamond powder…a lump about the size of a large pea. Shake
well and that’s it. You can also use denatured alcohol (not rubbing,
or isopropyl alcohol) with about 15-20 drops of WD-40 added instead
of the RV antifreeze or propylene glycol/distiilled water.

2 micron polish followed by 1/2 micron willgive you one of the
finest and fastest polishes possible.

Be aware that until more recent times, the common "polishing"
afgents for precious metal were called “colorong” agents, because
each could impart a slight coloration to the metal. This useful fact
seems to have often been forgotten today, but, in anyase, the
diamond polish will be neutral on all metals and works on everything
from silver to gold to platinum to stainless steel. And a little
goes a long way.

BTW, cerium oxide with water on felt produces an incredible luster
on many metals, you might want to give it a try.

Wayne Emery
The Gemcutter
www.thelittlecameras.com


#4
what would be the appropriate binder for using this on a felt pad
on a flatlap or suede leather polishing head. 

The old standby is Vaseline petroleum jelly. Heat it up so it thins
then mix in your diamond powder. I haven’t done this with diamond but
have mixed up paste polishes using cerium oxide and tin oxide when I
had a stubborn to polish stone.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#5

my friend who owns lapcraft says white lithium high temperature
grease like distrubuter grease

goo


#6

Pardon these remarks from someone who is not a lapidary, but
wouldn’t using felt, leather, or other resilient material round the
facet edges? I’ve talked with some who press their diamond material
into non-ferrous metal. Wouldn’t something like that help ensure
crisp facet edges?

The same problems are encountered when using abrasive material to
create a finish on any material, be it gem, metal, wood, etc.

Mike DeBurgh, GJG
Henderson, NV


#7

Diamonds have a strong affinity for oils, so for metal or resin
laps, WD-40 works well, and I have heard that at least one cutter
uses Vaseline. I would not use diamonds with felt, but that may just
be me. For leather, Vaseline or saddle soap would work nicely.

Steve
http://store.gemsevermore.com


#8
Pardon these remarks from someone who is not a lapidary, but
wouldn't using felt, leather, or other resilient material round
the facet edges? 

I only use felt, leather, and other resilient material for polishing
cabs. I don’t get into faceted stones so I’ll leave that up to the
experts. But from what I understand faceted stones are polished on
the faceting machine lap using thin pads that are not resilient or
copper laps charged with diamond dust.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
rockymountainwonders.com


#9
wouldn't using felt, leather, or other resilient material round
the facet edges? 

In a word, yes. Felt, leather, and other very soft bases are often
used to polish cabochons, some carvings, and other projects that are
supposed to have rounded contours.

For faceting, metal laps are used for all facet cutting operations.
Metal, plastic or composite flat disks are used for polishing. Since
the polish can be achieved with very little pressure, a relatively
soft but rigid lap can still deliver an acceptably flat facet with
fairly sharp edges. Softer polish laps, especially plastics, still
tend to result in more rounded facet edges, though.

Steve
Gems Evermore
http://www.gemsevermore.com


#10
But from what I understand faceted stones are polished on the
faceting machine lap using thin pads that are not resilient or
copper laps charged with diamond dust. 

Facet cutting has lots of options for polishing, depending on the
type of stone and the skill and preference of the cutter, just as
does cabochon cutting and polishing. Facet polishing laps include
plexiglass, which works nicely with oxide polishes (cerium, tin,
etc), phenolic for both oxide and diamond compound polishing
compounds; tin, which is the classic lap for oxide polishes as well
as others, various compounded laps or other metals as well. Most of
these are not any thinner than the usual diamond laps, ie, maybe a
quarter inch to 3/8 inch or so. Enough to be rigid and stay flat in
use. Copper is classically charged with diamond compound, but other
types of lap can also use diamond compounds. The thin “pads” you
refer to might be the thin plastic film oxide coated laps (sold under
the brand Ultralaps, last I checked, which was a while ago). Other
laps that might be called “pads” are more unusual, but not unknown
for extremely soft stones. Even wax coated laps have been used for
some unusual cases. Copper with diamond is traditional, but kind of
"old school", and perhaps less often used than the somewhat easier
phenolic or compounded laps made nowadays. Another more modern
favorite is a white hard ceramic lap used with diamond compound.

Peter Rowe


#11
wouldn't using felt, leather, or other resilient material round
the facet edges? I only use felt, leather, and other resilient
material for polishing cabs. I don't get into faceted stones so
I'll leave that up to the experts. 

You are correct and that is why we do not use such wheels for
faceting. There are many unusual wheels that are used to polish
faceted stones such as: wax, lead, sometimes hard wood, acetate, but
never leather or felt.

Faceted stones are NORMALLY polished with metal, ceramic or composite
materials that are reasonably hard. Exceptions are lead, tin/lead, or
acetate. Copper is common as is tin or tin/lead. These days there are
very special plates to polish such as ‘The Dark Side’ or 'Batt lap’
plates made by Gearloose. The Ultralap is another commonly used
material. It is a very thin polyester film with diamond (or powders)
permanently adhered. They are fine for the quartz stones and some
others but are not commonly used for the harder stones; i.e.
corrundum, etc.

Hope that helps. Cheers, Don


#12

I’m a diamond cutter and stone polisher and deal with diamond powder
regularly. We use a slurry of powder and olive oil and I use this on
leather also. Olive oil acts a a lubricant and gets more viscous with
time allowed to air. My wheel spins at a high rate of speed and the
diamond slurry applied with finger or small piece of leather stays
put but movable. So there might be times when you want powder slurry
to move a lot like with mineral oil or get stickier with olive oil. I
don’t use much oil to powder mix…just thick like thin peanut butter.

Hope this help your situation.
Ron


#13

As mentioned any flexible or soft material will result in rounded
facets if used with diamond on a faceted gem.

Faceting is done with solid metal laps and polishing is achieved
with either a metal lap or some hard material such as ceramic or
sometimes a harder plastic of some kind.

This subject can go on forever and is much debated among faceters
but I just wanted to confirm that a soft material will indeed round
facets when used with diamond or anything else harder than the gem
that it touches.

That is why pumice wheels are sold, they are softer than most gems
but harder than most metals. You cannot just assume that because the
WHEEL feels soft it won’t scratch a stone, it all depends what it is
impregnated with. (This may be obvious but I did have to explain this
to a goldsmith once at least.) Aluminum Oxide, diamond and many other
abrasives used in some of the abrasive wheels WILL scratch gems.

Regards,
John Dyer
www.johndyergems.com