Homemade Diamond laps

Hello all, I have a question that someone might be able to answer
that I have been mulling over in my head for some time. I have
been trying to come up with a way to make my own Diamond
Faceting. laps for quite some time. I can’t figure out how they
plate the lap with the Diamond compound. If they electroplate a
metal (nickel)? Over the lap (Copper, Aluminum, etc.) then the
maker would have to sandwich the Diamond powder, paste, etc.,
between the two. But then you run into the problem of the plating
metal not sticking to the Diamond, just to the areas where there
is no Diamond (metal to metal) just like when you drop a piece of
jewelry in a plating solution and the plate does not stick to
the stone. Then you have the other problem of keeping the Diamond
on the surface of the lap while submersing it into the
electroplating solution. Maybe the answer is having the Diamond
in solution and it being attached to the lap along with the
plating metal? I really have no idea how this is done, but paying
$100.00+ for a good Diamond lap is ridiculous to me, especially
when you add up the price of the materials separately and find
such a huge difference. Any help in this area would be greatly
appreciated, and my apologies to you if the answer is obvious and
I’m just having a major brain fart. Larry-Durnings Rings & Things

All, A long time ago I made diamond laps out of scrap copper
sheeting from the surplus house. This sheeting is used to make
circuit boards. Cut to size and charge it with diamond paste.
Works very well., even in coarse grits.

Larry, I too have been mulling over as to how to do this as I
would like to be able to make core drills to sizes I need and
also would like to make a large (4-5’) slab saw. I think one
way diamonds could be applied in a metal matrix is by powder
metal/diamond spray (used in industry to spray on hardfacing and
the like). for laps, how about a powdered metal/diamond mix
"layed" on the lap, then the whole thing heated to melt the
metal? If the lap base is steel the heat for many hard solders
would not hurt the steel or the diamonds??? My problem to date
is where to get the diamond grit. Had some suggestions but ran
into walls on all of them. Would be interested in hearing from
you or others about their thoughts or experiences.

John Dach

Larry: Regarding homemade diamond faceting laps, my reading of
the various literature and the Faceter’s Digest over the last
two years suggests that the process of making your own plated
faceting laps is too complicated to pay for the
do-it-yourselfer. Many of the expert faceters use the
Dynadisks, which aren’t that expensive, esp. in the 6" size, and
which last pretty well if used carefully. They are also reputed
to be extremely flat (made from CD blanks). I think you would
spend so much of your time trying to make a plated lap that the
$150 or so spent on three Dynas would be more economical.

If this idea doesn’t suit you, I would suggest charging your own
copper laps. You could lay hold of some sheet copper used for
roof flashing (I got some free from a roofing firm by being
polite and asking to buy some scrap, just as I got enough 1/8"
thick aluminum to make three 3" laps last Friday for free). The
copper sheet could be run on top of any flat “master lap” to
keep it from buckling. Charging is covered in most of the
faceting texts. Basically you need a roller of sorts (such as
an old roller bearing) or a piece of flat agate to burnish the
coarser grits in, but the finer ones (about 600 and up?) can be
rubbed into the lap surface and embedded by the cutting.

Lest you think of this form of lap as somehow lesser than the
plated ones, remember that many of the Australians, the World’s
top faceters, still swear by copper laps. They do need to be
charged again after a time (the diamond sinks into the copper, I
guess), but the time and expense is minimal compared to plating
your own laps.

If you do find out how to plate diamond onto laps, I would
appreciate hearing about it, but I don’t think you will find the
idea cost-effective. As the man said, “you can’t get there from


Hi Larry & John, We need to find a plating specialist willing to
talk. I’ve been looking into this off & on for several years
without finding usable answers. The steel core is first copper
plated. Then the diamonds adhered in an even layer. This is my
missing infomation. By electrical charge or binder with
graphite or copper coating on the diamonds? The final plating
is hard nickle to lock the diamonds to the surface.

The melting of powered solder and diamond would be of limited
use. The extemely rough surface created would need machining
for fine work. It may work for large area work, polished flats
etc. Though poorly at best: lack of contact with the cutting

Sintered diamond tools are created in a mold. Each shape is
machined into graphite(?) plates with the ability to hold the
core or tool shaft for burs. Then loaded with diamond and
powered metal and placed in heated pressure plates or a oven.
Then heat to the bonding point of the metal; not fully melted
and fluid.

A good source of loose graded diamond is Bombay Bazar. Box
770727, Lakewood OH 44107 Ph 800-678-8450. Great prices for
diamond and not always freindly service(sometimes he’s a great
grump). In 5,10 and 100ct lots, about $70-90/100cts depending
on grit.

Anyone familiar with the brazed diamond technogy??? I find
these vastly superior to plated diamond tools for both metal and
stone. I would greatly appreciate any info on this. Marcus