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Foredom to Repair Stones


#1

Does anyone on a regular basis touch up stones (meaning very small
scratches primarily) with a Foredom using a high-mesh diamond paste ?
If so, what sort of wheel or other attachment do you use ?

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


#2

Brian this is like polishing a small section of a beat up '79 Pacer.
Once you start, the rest looks like junk.

The problem with the flexshaft is you cannot get the same angles,
etc so you are basically just acting like a dentist. Polishing
requires a metal or ceramic lap. You can have mylar sheets such as
spectralaps etc on a master lap but you’re going to have a lot of
trouble if you try to use a buff or something with diamond on it
since it is so soft (not to mention diamond paste flying everywhere)
it will be hard to put any pressure to remove scratches.

What kind of stone are you trying to clean up? How deep are the
scratches? I recently looked at some stones from a major
jewelery/gem mfg and they looked like they were final ‘polished’ on
a 3000 mesh lap. Not a polish in my book but it must be acceptable
somewhere since people are buying the stones. You’re not going to be
able to do much with a stone like that with a flexshaft without
messing it up.

Just my.02, good luck!

Craig
www.creativecutgems.com


#3

I sold my lapidary equipment, but I kept my carving box for this very
reason. You might find a few diamonds burs helpful for if you need
something really aggressive now and then. The Chinese carved all that
jade with bamboo tools. I use wood instead, but it works perfectly.
It has a just-hard-enough-just-soft-enough surface, and the pores
hold
the compound. I use dowels or toothpicks for long tools, and make
wheels out of thin wood or masonite - wood is better than masonite,
though masonite does work. Much, much more so than metal polishing,
you MUST have a wheel for each grit. I usually go 600, 1200, and then
Linde A or 10,000 - it’s not a whole stone, just a scratch…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#4

John,

The Chinese carved all that jade with bamboo tools. I use wood
instead, but it works perfectly.

Can you describe the diameter and species of wood you would use ?
Thanks

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


#5
The problem with the flexshaft is you cannot get the same angles,
etc so you are basically just acting like a dentist. Polishing 

Craig, you have had much good to say here, but this time you miss the
point. All you say is true - to get a truly good polish requires good
lapidary equipment. But this scenario is something else. Let us
suppose that I have bezel set a big ol’ sapphire in a big ol’ men’s
ring. So I have pounded this massive bezel down around the stone,
finished it off, and then when I look I see there’s a small scratch
on one of the bezel facets, where using a big wheel is not possible
because the bezel is there. I can do one of two things: I can touch
up the stone pretty well with a small wooden wheel (and yes, I can do
it pretty well), or I can destroy the bezel and possibly damage the
stone in order to remove it to get “perfection”. So, 20 minutes and
out the door, or 5 days and $250 in reworking? There are times when
99% IS good enough…

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#6

Brian,

Does anyone on a regular basis touch up stones (meaning very small
scratches primarily) with a Foredom using a high-mesh diamond paste
? If so, what sort of wheel or other attachment do you use ? 

Yes, I have done this but I try not to make it a regular practice.
It’s good for removing a scratch on the table or crown facets
without having to unseat the gemstone. Works best on cabochons. Under
the guidance of a lapidary I was advised to use a small compressed
felt buff. Dedicate each buff to a grit of diamond paste and avoid
facet junctures, as this technique will round them a bit.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#7
There are times when 99% IS good enough...

John, I have to agree with you. There comes a point where its wise
for one to detach his/her ego from the work. Ego says, “perfection or
failure”. Absolute perfection is probably impossible, in human terms
at least.

I’ve had the oppertunity to examine alot of jewelry made by some of
the finest houses. Quite often, if you look close enough you will
find some small irregularity. Admittedly these are so minor that they
are meaningless. Yet there they are.

If jewelry making is a business the end goal should be kept in mind.
To sell the piece at a quality level consistent with customer
expectations. Oh, and make a profit.

Its like the old Hotrodding adage…“Speed costs money, how fast do
you wanna go?”


#8

Nanz,

Yes ! That’s exactly what I was looking for. I bought a few
different meshes of diamond paste and want to use it with hard felt
wheels when necessary.

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


#9
Can you describe the diameter and species of wood you would use ? 

Brian, it’s been so long since I made my wheels I don’t remember
what I used. It seems like I had a piece of wood about 1/8" thick, at
the time. It’s really not critical, though. You could use oak, ash,
poplar, hickory, probably even fir - pine is a little soft, but you
could use that. It’s just that the wood has a certain give to it,
and the pores hold the diamond compound. I wouldn’t use teak or
cocobolo or the like because of the oils. Masonite comes in the right
thickness automatically, and I have used that, too - it is full of
glue, though, so it works but not as well as wood - and it erodes
much faster. Just draw a circle of any size - Cratex and Shofu wheels
are 7/8" for the large size - much bigger will chatter on the flex
shaft - punch a hole in the center, put it on a mandrel and turn it
round on the flex shaft - this is where cheap Chinese files come in
handy, or we have an abrasive stick/wheel dresser. Then just put a
dot of diamond on it and you’re good to go. Also, for carving and
other things: toothpicks, wooden matches, and dowels.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#10

Brian,

Another source for wood wheels are cabinet door knobs. You might
have to look around a bit but you can find oak, ash, and many others.
Some of them have really neat shapes and are already drilled part way
on center for an arbor. You might have to tune them up a bit but that
is easy on a file or dressing stone. Even some of the softer pine
knobs are useful as they hold the compound very well and can be
easily shaped to the work.

Google knobs and you will get thousands. Or check out local hardware
stores.

Cheers from Don in SOFL.