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Steel vs copper laps

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Author Topic: Steel vs copper laps  (Read 267 times)
« on: May 12, 2015, 01:43:11 am »


I'm new to this-fancied getting into faceting since I was a teenager. Finally at the age of 50 I have bought an old Graves faceting machine and am looking for a little advice.

It came with three laps - copper, steel and plastic. I have cleaned the metal ones well using a precision flat grinding stone. I am intending to charge them with diamond, one rough and one fine for prepolish.

My question is, should I use the steel for rough  and copper for fine or visa-versa?

Any advice gratefully received.


ian Robinson
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Debbie K
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 10:32:23 am »


Hoping a faceting person will answer as they may know something that I don't, but I think the solid steel lap is a backing plate which is used with the diamond film or thin laps on top. The copper can be charged with diamond and oil with a agate burnisher, but I don't think you'll be able to use really coarse diamond on it; I would think that 400 or 600 will be about as coarse as you can go and have it work well.

Lopacki and Highland Park Lapidary both sell laps for reasonable prices. I've used both (but not extensively) so cannot answer to the respective durability of either, but most of the faceters that I know use the Lopacki laps.

Hope the faceters will see this and give you a more intelligent response.

Debbie K
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« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2015, 09:27:39 am »

Life is too short to mess around with old laps impregnated with unknown grit.

Buy new laps.

I know people that have now accumulated over a dozen old laps, because they were on a fixed income, and the laps were cheap. They have done nothing with them, it's too much of a hassle. Their decision not to spend money on proper gear literally paralyzed them. Years later and they're still trying to figure it out.

Go to to decide which laps to buy.

Better yet, find a club in your area and see if anybody is cutting near you, and willing to give you a lesson and let you cut a stone. Faceting is extremely time consuming, and deeply tedious, it's not for everybody. Don't spend any more money until you've sat in front of a machine for ten or twenty hours.
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