Australian Facetors' Guild Limited

Lightning laps- advice please

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  • 15 Mar 2024 12:50 PM
    Reply # 13329832 on 13321806

    Hi Carol.

     Look at Facet Talk 246 page 11 on polishing quartz. I have been using this method for years with cerium oxide on a lucite lap at around 300rpm. This method uses an artists brush to apply the polish/water. I don’t like using a drip, because I don’t know what contaminants are in the cup or tube.


  • 16 Mar 2024 12:22 PM
    Reply # 13330331 on 13321806

    Hi Frank, thanks for the information, agreed Gemcuts has great products and I will look at the lapping film. 
      Sadly, as I am a new member as well as a newbie faceter I do not have access to FT issue 246.

    kind regards Carol

  • 16 Mar 2024 7:27 PM
    Reply # 13330374 on 13321806

    Hi Carol.

    Ok. Well, his method is quit simple really and I will explain how it goes. It’s a lucite lap sanded in a circular motion in running water, I use 240 grit and make sure the lap is well washed at the finish. You need two small jars, one for water and one with a 10% cerium water mix. An artist soft flat paint brush about 12mm wide. Run the lap at 250-300rpm and keep the lap wet with the brush, adding more cerium as you think is needed. I polish quartz after a 3000 grit pre-polish on a BATT lap, but you can polish directly from a 1200 grit diamond bonded lap. This method will produce a perfect polish and from my experience only two things can go wrong. Cerium is allowed to dry on the lap and ball up causing scratches, or contamination like 3000 grit diamond. You can tell them apart because 3000 grit will produce a perfectly straight even scratch.

    I know all the other advice you have been given will produce great results, It’s just a matter of personal choice and experience in perfecting those methods.


  • 17 Mar 2024 8:19 AM
    Reply # 13330547 on 13321806

    Thank you Frank, another technique to try. I realise all the advice is well-founded from each person’s experience which will produce good results. It is a matter of finding what will work best for me, I have a few great ideas to try now.

    kind regards,


  • 17 Mar 2024 8:22 AM
    Reply # 13330548 on 13321806


    The sequence is detailed enough to follow, thank you.

  • 18 Mar 2024 10:02 AM
    Reply # 13330846 on 13321806
    Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I was lucky enough to not have anyone tell me that there were problems with polishing quartz, when I started faceting, so I just polished it with 50k diamond on a tin lap, the same as other materials that I was cutting. After I had won my first Novice competition with an amethyst that scored full marks for polish, I was informed about these "polishing problems" - needless to say, I ignored the advice and believed my own eyes. I am a chemistry graduate and know that when you use a tin, or tin alloy lap the surface "burnish" that develops is tin oxide, so you have a surface of tin oxide impregnated with 50k diamond - to me that sounds like a great formula for polish. The only change that I have made in all my years of cutting is to go from a 50k emulsion to the "Frank Dickson" mix (5ml Teflon oil, 5ml Teflon grease, 5ct diamond). I polish all the normal materials on tin alloy, except sapphire - I do that on a ceramic lap, simply because it is so fast. The whole process uses three laps, cut on 220 sintered lap, smooth on 1200 sintered lap, then polish. Keep it simple and do not overthink the process.

  • 21 Mar 2024 3:12 PM
    Reply # 13332579 on 13321806

    Hi Bruce, thanks for your advice, so the tin Oxide and 50,000 diamond grit can work together on the all metal type lap as well?
    Lots to think about.

    thanks kind regards, 


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