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Leather vs Felt?

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kjsspot
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« on: May 13, 2015, 08:58:41 am »

Probably the most two common backing materials for polishing are leather & felt.  Felt seems to have a higher heat build up but it seems like opal lovers choose felt.  I'd love to know what your preference is.  And is it stone specific?  If so, which do you prefer for what stone?
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trigon
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2015, 09:05:50 am »

I polish on Elk Hide. Even for Opals. Heat's not a problem. Just use a light touch.
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2015, 09:10:15 am »

Felt if you're using Cerium Oxide. Elk hide for most other polishes.

You used to be able to get cork belts for expanding drums. I loved the stuff for polishing, but it's nearly impossible to find now.
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2015, 09:12:13 am »

Felt if you're using Cerium Oxide. Elk hide for most other polishes.

Any idea why Cerium needs felt?

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You used to be able to get cork belts for expanding drums. I loved the stuff for polishing, but it's nearly impossible to find now.

Interesting.  Never heard of using cork.
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light house jack
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2015, 09:24:20 am »

I use a Genie so I use the canvas pads on the end EXCEPT I install a sheet of moleskin on the canvas. That material is very smooth and if there is ever an issue of contamination,  I just peel it off and stick a new sheet on. I use diamond sprays up to 100,000 for a fantastic polish. HOWEVER, when polishing some forms of obsidian, I use a rough leather pad with super cerium oxide for a fantastic shine which I could never obtain using diamond.
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 10:02:00 am »

Felt if you're using Cerium Oxide. Elk hide for most other polishes.

Any idea why Cerium needs felt?

Quote
You used to be able to get cork belts for expanding drums. I loved the stuff for polishing, but it's nearly impossible to find now.

Interesting.  Never heard of using cork.


Cerium absorbs into the felt. Recharging with fresh polish isn't needed as often as with leather or other polishing discs or belts. Felt also absorbs water. One can spend more time polishing, and less time recharging .

Cork was fairly common for polishing up until the early 90's. With the beginning of diamond pastes for polishing, cork sort of died out.

Another thing that seems to have died out are certain types of aluminum polishing discs. You used to be able to find concave & convex faced discs. Even discs with no center support for your leather or canvas polishing pad. I still have a few that I use from time to time. I especially liked the discs with no center support. You tightly stretched elk hide over the disc. When wet & charged with polish, the leather would form itself to the dome of a cab.
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« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 10:58:33 am »

I picked up a convex spin on wheel for the end of my arbor.  It's rubber padded and has leather stretched over it.  I also have felt to use as well.  So it looks like I should save the leather for the rocks that do better with diamond.
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kjsspot
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« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 11:06:17 am »

Hey look, cork belts.

http://www.gemcuts.com.au/cork-polishing-belts-crystal-belts
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 11:18:35 am »



LOL, only problem is, that company is in Australia. Shipping would cost more than the belt. There is still one place in the U.S. that sells the cork belts, but I'll have to hunt for it. They also sell leather belts for expando drums.
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« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 11:22:22 am »

Darn it. 
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« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2015, 01:30:15 pm »

Kerry,
Way back in 1981 or so when Sugilite first hit the market I purchased a few pieces at the Tucson show I was with a friend out on the patio of the hotel admiring my purchase when someone commented nice stone good luck polishing it. After playing around with the stone for awhile I decided to try making a soft wood wheel about three inches in diameter to see what it would do. This wheel ended up giving me the best shine I had ever seen.

Here it is 34 years later and I exclusively use wood wheels for all of my polishing. I have three wheels that each have their own arbor which I use on my Foredom bench lathe. Each wheel is charged with an oil diamond mix that once it soaks in a bit only needs recharging once in awhile.
Mesh sizes I use 1200, 14,000 and 50,000

I have attached an image of my first wood wheel set up to give an idea of what I am talking about. Since I first came up with this set up I have never found a stone that I could not get a water wet shine on with no “orange peel”.

As I am not a cab cutter this method works great for my applications don’t know if I would use if I cut only cabs. I have also attached an image of a recently made bead, all of the stone on this bead was polished with wood this should give you an idea of the quality of polish my technique gives.

All my best ............ Danny


* 7.jpg (24.21 KB, 656x450 - viewed 17 times.)

* 22.jpg (144.73 KB, 1000x1233 - viewed 18 times.)
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bobby1
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« Reply #11 on: May 13, 2015, 02:47:45 pm »

I have been using a 12" diameter slow turning carpet covered wheel with cerium oxide for about 35 years and for me it is terrific. The carpet holds polish and water very well, so much so that I only have to rewet it about every  7 to 10 minutes of use. I polish about 95% of my cabs on it. Lapis and nephrite don't work on it, though.
Bob
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johnjsgems
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« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2015, 09:29:12 am »

Covington still sells cork belts.  I think they are mostly used by glass artists now.  Covington also has a somewhat outdated polish chart with best choices for buffs and polish for different stones.  Substitute .3 micron aluminum oxide for Linde A.  Back when their chart was made Linde A was expensive last ditch choice when all other choices failed.  With the less expensive aluminums now available you can get a great polish on most stones at an affordable price with sub micron aluminums.
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jakesrocks
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« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2015, 09:34:03 am »

LOL John, I still have a little bottle of Linde A stored away. Had it since the late 80's. Because of the high cost I've only used a couple pinches of it.
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« Reply #14 on: May 18, 2015, 07:42:03 pm »

Danny / lopacki, is that motor you're using from a PDQ Gem Drill ? How does the Dremel speed control work with it ?  I have both the PDQ drill, and their little 3" saw. I need a good speed control for them. The old sewing machine foot control that came with them gets hot on the foot after a few minutes of use.
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