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Graves Diamond Spool Polisher


#1

Greetings folks!

I just took delivery of my new Graves Diamond Spool Polisher
this evening. Have any of you worked with one? I would
appreciate hearing your praise, criticism, tips on proper use,
advice about, and reviews of this product.

I like what I see so far. The spindle holds six phenolic spools
horizontally, each of which can be charged with a different
diamond grit. The six grits run from 325 to 50,000 mesh. All of
this is powered by a whisper-quiet Dayton motor. I’m going to
start playing tomorrow. :slight_smile:

I hope to hear sage advice from the old-time rockhounds on the
list!

Thanks,

Peter


#2

Hi Peter,

Haven’t used a Graves - just homemade wooden spools with grit -
two things I can think of - watch heat build up - things can get
toasty quickly, and make sure you clean the stone well between
stages - the diamond paste can get on the stone and it is fairly
tenacious. Get some sunglasses ready for some really nice
polishes - especially on tough material like jade.

Cameron Speedie
Island Gem and Rock


#3

Peter:

Good Luck with your new Graves polisher!! I have something very
similar, but not by Graves, older, same range of grits.

Advantages: portable, fairly quiet, can use while watching TV,
conversing. Not real messy like belts with water spray — use
one of those in the house and you’ll have dust everywhere. A
great polish on items that require or allow diamond, and really
good for materials which undercut. Got the best polish ever on
Lapis Lazuli this way! Great also for touching up scratched
cabs, maybe while still in the settings.

Disadvantages: some things polish better with oxides. Running
thru all those grits and making sure you hit every spot (have to
keep the stone twirling and go every which way with it) is
tiring, especially with large stones. Easy to end up with a good
polish but flat spots or a poor outline. The curves are much
easier on rubber drums or pads with some give (the drums are
better than the pads, I think). If you preform on grinding
wheels only (e.g., silicon carbide 100 and 220), no belts, you
will be spending a lot of time on your 325 grit to get the
grinding scratches out. I hate to be a party pooper, but for a
lot of cabbing, grinding wheels and belts, 6" or 8", or diamond
wheels if you have the cash, make the whole process much easier.

I would have thought that it was easy to contaminate the spools,
but never had that problem, just make sure you put the right grit
on the right wheel, might mark below them, I had a lot of
different grits and could never remember whether to use 8000 or
14000, etc. Once it’s on there (too coarse a grit for the wheel)
you won’t get it off. You can buy the loose grits and mix them
up, put them in syringes. You can use lipstick as a medium, it
sticks better than oil. With small stones and a lot of patience,
this rig makes nice small cabs, will do corundum nicely, I would
think, also jade, and all those composites which undercut on
other cutting surfaces, like rubber. Enjoy, and if you go on to
a more elaborate machine, E-mail me, I’ve built one and hav
plans for others. Also check Hale Sweeney’s Lapidary sight, I’ve
never been there, but my faceting buddies say it’s great.

HTH,
Roy (Jess)


#4

A friend of mine who is a professional lapidary shared with me
his secret for eliminating flat spots- take a piece of 600 grit
sandpaper ( a piece of used belt is fine for this,) put it in the
palm of your hand and sand over the flat spot with it after you
have sanded the stone on a 600 grit belt. The palm, being cupped
in shape and yielding enough to conform to the stone, does a
pretty good job of eliminating flat spots.

Lee


#5
  A friend of mine who is a professional lapidary shared with
me his secret for eliminating flat spots- take a piece of 600
grit sandpaper ( a piece of used belt is fine for this,) put it
in the palm of your hand and sand over the flat spot with it
after you have sanded the stone on a 600 grit belt. The palm,
being cupped in shape and yielding enough to conform to the
stone, does a pretty good job of eliminating flat spots. 

The method you describe works well but you need to use a brand
new piece of 600 grit silicon carbide paper. The silicon carbide
on a used piece of belt will be worn down to the point that it
will cut like a 1000 grit paper which is far too fine to be hand
sanding rocks with. My favorite source for sandpaper is the local
Auto Zone store where packets of silicon carbide papers of
various grits from 220 to 1500 are available for about
$1.89…these are also great for finishing your jewelry.

@DMorton567