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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
March 26, 2019, 01:55:48 am
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LagunaLace...why so fractury

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Author Topic: LagunaLace...why so fractury  (Read 410 times)
Former sealdaddy
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« on: January 24, 2016, 09:29:17 am »

I've noticed that it is weak along certain color band changes...and fractures occur there.

Why?
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Amethyst Rose
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« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2016, 06:12:32 pm »

The parting is, unfortunately, typical of Laguna Lace.  Exactly why, I don't know but most the pieces I have problems with break in the junction between red and white but I have had problems with just white banded material as well.  Real pain when you have spent time preforming for earrings and then have every pair break apart when splitting them into matched pairs.

Bob Johannes
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« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2016, 10:21:11 pm »

I guess I was looking for the geologic reason.  I know there must be one.
Maybe Frank, or another geologist trained member will answer this.

I really like the material and have had separation between bands of grey of different widths.
I know it is frowned upon, but I'm tempted to stabilize those fracture prone areas before working the material.
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GregHiller
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2016, 11:38:20 am »

I don't know much about Laguna Lace, so I don't know if it's translucent or not, but if not I've used a simple technique to increase the strength of stones that doesn't really involve stabilization.  Simply backing the slab with a thin slab of another strong stone often works.  I usually use 330 Epoxy to bond the two slabs together.  After you've cut the cab completely and are finished with all work you may be able to separate the stones by soaking in acteone, or you can just leave the backing stone in place, or grind some of it off if you like (Carefully!). 
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'Relax it's just a freakin' rock (insert name of interest) forum' - immortal words of a 'sage' from the fish forum I used to run

Always interested in trading slabs or rough
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2016, 12:15:50 pm »

Interesting...thank you, friend.
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Amethyst Rose
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2016, 06:06:28 pm »

Sealdaddy,

I am a geologist, Colorado School of Mines 1985.  The best geologic explanation that I can come up with is that as the lace was forming, the solutions laid down layers of agate and occasionally, a very thin layer of something, probably calcite or an iron oxide that the next layer of agate could not bond to, leaving a weak zone that exactly follows the banding pattern.

Good luck with the cutting

Bob Johannes
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« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2016, 01:31:56 pm »

Thanks Bob,
I instinctively thought it was something like that.
You have confirmed it, friend.
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Amethyst Rose
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« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2016, 06:46:10 pm »

I wish it would hold together better because some of the pieces have very colorful tiny pattern and it does wonderfully for earring pair, when it holds together.  If I get a chance, I'll post some pictures of some of the pairs I have cut from it.
Bob Johannes
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Michael S Hoover - Redrummd
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« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2016, 10:05:41 pm »

One word - Hxtal.....
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« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2016, 08:36:49 am »

Ditto on the HXTAL. It is a magic cure if done properly. It is the standard for museums all over the world for restorations. It never yellows and is the most archival product out there.  I use it on my better material and when a cab is finished, it is virtually impossible to know that it has been treated.  I have treated material years old and absolutely no yellowing. A bit pricey, but worth it for your better materials.
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