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