in this issue
-- REVIEWS AND ANALYSIS OF THE DAD.
-- See You at Tucson? We'll be There!
-- POLISHING LAPS - TWO NEW "OLDIES"
-- ZINC LAPS
-- CORIAN LAPS
-- VISITS TO ULTRA TEC
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
To all of you in the Ultra Tec family - we wish you health,
happiness, and (particularly these days) peace and prosperity.
REVIEWS AND ANALYSIS OF THE DAD.
know that the DAD represents a significant purchase, and if you are
still thinking about it, you'll likely want to see several thorough
reviews, from respected sources. So, we're pleased to offer you two such
reviews-a new one from John Dyer, and the earlier published review from
Dyer is a prize-winning professional faceter- someone whose review, we
knew, would be straight forward and thorough. If you've seen his
writings before on the Web you know he is intelligent and practical-and,
willing to share expertise with other faceters. John's specific
interests in DAD? Installation, Speed, Accuracy, Ease of Use (those are
the section headings in his report). Rather than our telling you what he
said--read John's DAD review for yourself- click on it in the Library.
John Dyer's thorough review joins an earlier one written by Brad Amos
Amos is a Cambridge scientist - an expert in optical instrumentation,
his hobby of gem faceting is a sort of natural extension of his
professional interests. Scientist that he is, he"s done a thorough
analysis of DAD, from the standpoint of "What is the best engineering
solution for determining faceting endpoint?". We told you about his
report early in 2009, and it has been in the Library since.
So--a professional and a scientist reporting, but how about a hobbyist?
Well, a day after I wrote the paragraphs above, a short, very much "to
the point" comment was published on the USFG website. It said:
I just purchased and installed the Digital Angle Dial for my Ultra Tec
faceting machine. It was very easy to install and calibrate. Now I don't
have the best eyes so it has been pretty time consuming to set the
standard angle dial and if I was off by a bit it made polishing very
grueling. I just cut and polished a synthetic sapphire in 1/3 the time
it has been taking me. I really like how easy it is to set the angle and
then when I come back to polish I know for a fact it is exactly at the
same angle that I cut it at. This new add-on has really made a huge
difference in my faceting already. Expensive, but I quit thinking about
the money about halfway through polishing this stone. I think it is
worth the money.
You've still got questions? Sure-ask them.
See You at Tucson? We'll be There!
Tec will have a booth at the TGMS - the "main" show in the Tucson
Convention Center - the dates: February 11-14. Joe Rubin and Robert
Mendoza will be there- happy to meet you (perhaps, meet you again),
answer any questions-swap stories.
We expect that the "stars" at our booth will be the new Fantasy Machine
and the now year-old DAD (discussed in the preceding section of this
We look forward to it. All of you folks around the USA who have been
suffering from this winter's frigid weather will have a chance to warm
up (recent temperatures have been 70ºF)-and, of course comfortably warm
in the Convention center.
In Tucson, you can also see the Fantasy Machine in at Tucson Electric
Park, in Elayne Luer's ABOUT LAPIDARY booth - the dates there: Jan
POLISHING LAPS - TWO NEW "OLDIES"
In 1997, at Tucson, I watched as guest demonstrator Gary Brown of St.cut
a big 75 ct. aquamarine - polishing it with a Zinc Lap. That was new to
me-and it was impressive demonstration of the Zinc Lap's speed and
effectiveness. He prepared a new Zinc lap by scoring the surface with
radiating scratches - using a 260 grit Silicon Carbide paper (of course,
later well cleaned with water). Then, he applied a film of light mineral
oil to the surface, and used a spray of 14000 diamond. Contrary to the
polish-slowly rule, the lap was run fast, about 700 RPM. Results-super.
There were several pro faceters who watched, and from their conversation
I realized that for them it was no surprise -the Zinc Lap was an
"oldie"-known to be indeed excellent and fast, particularly on hard
The Zinc Lap sort of vanished-said to be because of
spiking material prices-but it has always had its adherents. For
example, Jeff Graham, in his excellent website instruction on cutting
sapphire, describes his use of Zinc laps-with an 8000 diamond step
followed by 50,000-all at relatively high speed.
Zinc is back-and available-8" Diameter. It is item number 6546.7, price
Corian joined the list of non-metallic polishing laps some years
ago, and has proven to be a very good lap, particularly for softer
materials-quartz on down. It has a non-porous highly durable surface
(the very same properties that have made it a good kitchen counter
material), so, polishing compounds do not imbed, and the lap can be
washed (dishwasher OK) for use with alternate polishing compounds. The
non-porosity dictates that a relatively light pressure should be used,
keeping the polishing compound or paste riding the lap surface-where it
Corian laps have proven to be very popular with
commercial gem cutting operations, where speed and versatility are
Available now in 8" Diameter-it is item number 6550.7, price $45.
VISITS TO ULTRA TEC
The Holiday Season is always a busy time for vistors to Ultra Tec
before New Years Day, we had a visitor from half-a-world away -- Hamed
Ettehadi, from Sanaa, Yemen. Hamed has been Ultra Tec's Rep there for
just about a year now -selling and teaching in Yemen and neighboring
countries-a region that has been turned, through Hamed's efforts, into a
major area of faceting interest. Hamed is an enthusiastic Ultra Tec
supporter-having tried other machines, he chose Ultra Tec as the one he
wanted for his own use and for setting up his school. He was obviously
happy and excited to meet with us and see the factory-and we all were
delighted to meet him and discuss future plans. He'll be in the USA
through the Tucson Show.
Flynn, from northern Montana was in Southern California, in a town near
Santa Ana, where he was visiting his son, recently moved to California.
Charles is a beet farmer during the growing season and is a research
chemist with Montana State University-and a hobbyist gem cutter all year
round (when the cold weather hits, what else can you do?). While Charles
was in California, the weather was sunny and in the high 70's-(we've
been planting our winter vegetable garden-lettuce, celery, etc.) and
when he returned home, he emailed that the temperature was minus 35! We
Charles has been actively pursuing his interest in fantasy cutting as an
extension of his ongoing interest in faceting. Over the past months, in
telephone conversations, he has contributed ideas and experience to
Ultra Tec's development of the Fantasy machine. During his visit, he
watched Robert Mendoza completing the assembly of his new machine -one
of the first ones -- headed his way. Charles and Robert are shown
together in the photo-Charles on the left. Charles brought samples of
his work, and we gathered the crew around for a viewing-something we
Well-a longer SomeTimes than normal-we'll be in touch again soon.
The Ultra Tec Team
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