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 Post subject: Whaddya Think? Zinc! (Laps)
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:00 pm 
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Proving once again the "Customer Is Always Right", an old customer got ahold of me today and talked me into running some zinc laps.

I personally do not care for the "Feel" of them myself, but as with anything in a long-established field, they do have their fans.
They are particularly useful for aggressive prepolishing and polishing, as they readily move facets.

For whatever reason, the Big Guys seem to have lost interest in making them, so once again, a tiny, insignificant little company rides in for the rescue. I quickly searched my dealers looking for them and they seem to have faded away.

I have no idea how much, if any interest there is in these things, so would appreciate feedback so I can make plans for costing, etc.

I guess they are still around out there in the field, as I do get them in for resurfacing once in a while. *Shrug*

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:50 pm 
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A few years ago I was looking for a zinc lap. I read or heard somewhere that it was no longer manufactured because of the toxicity issue or EPA issue...very vague memory, I may be wrong. So I started using BATT instead. :smt102

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:27 pm 
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Hi Mr. Gearloose,

I have 2 Raytech 8" Zinc Laps from years past. One I used with 50,000 to polish Corundum, the other still sleeps in its sealed box (backup I guess).

Since the birth of your Batt laps, I have not used them.

Perhaps others may like to have a try with a Zinc?, but for me,.......No Thank YOU! :D

Regards,

John

p.s. I just polished a Tourmaline with the Darkside/ALOX BattStik combo, (first time), that was a NICE experience! 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 7:31 pm 
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Would it be harder? Flatter? more diamondphilic?
Some other superior quality?


Martin


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:36 pm 
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Quote:
A few years ago I was looking for a zinc lap. I read or heard somewhere that it was no longer manufactured because of the toxicity issue or EPA issue...


The hazards are encountered in casting. The vapor and oxides from melting and casting can cause '"Zinc fume Fever", and when heated it can burn. It's autoignition temperature is only 116°F above its melting point.

I am not going to cast it, I am fabricating them out of plate. The actual MSDS contains no surprises.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:43 pm 
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Would it be harder? Flatter? more diamondphilic?
Some other superior quality?

Harder, possibly flatter, and a higher coefficient of friction. It puts more horsepower into the stone. The commmercial cutter who likes them uses a zinc prepolisher to actually cut and move stars. They are not as forgiving to new users as the tin alloys, nor are they as chemically inert, but this presents no problems when used with oil/diamond systems. Using them with an oxide and vinegar in the drip tank would be pretty silly, I suspect..
Zinc articles are no more hazardous to handle than everyday galvanized utensils.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2009 8:47 pm 
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Quote:
"If I had known I was going to last this long, I would have taken better care of myself."
[ascribed to George Burns]


"If I had known I was going to end up making zinc laps, I would not have tried to make them obsolete years ago."*
[ascribed to Gearloose]


*RE: Lead and Lead Alloys. NO. No Way. Go Away.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:59 am 
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Many years ago in an internet chat room I was discussing zinc polishing laps which I particularly favoured because they didn't distort the way tin does, were much more predictable than a ceramic and were useful over a wider variety of stones.

At that time I was told that the recently developed BATT would probably show no advantage over a Zinc lap. The ease of use being a major advantage of the BATT so a cutter that could get consistent predictable results using Zinc is going to get little benefit.

Sadly nothing could have been further from the truth. The harder surface is not enough to make a difference to the sharpness of facet edges. Everything a Zinc can do a BATT can do better and much much quicker too. I would definitely agree the BATT made the Zinc lap obsolete for polishing. Mine is now a 3K pre-polisher.

A recent post to the USFG list was from a member who had purchased 2 Zinc laps apparently made in China. I have a hard time believing Iggy would OK a Gearloose stamp of approval on a lap that performs this badly.

Tony.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 4:32 am 
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A dealer on ebay has been carrying zinc laps recently.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:38 am 
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Quote:
A dealer on ebay has been carrying zinc laps recently.


Yes, someone emailed me a link last night to Sierra Gems..they sell them.
Well, I may as well run a dozen and put them on the store, just to have the variety.

It is not much different making them here. My shop uses slave labor, and my state is essentially Communist also... :smt105

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:40 am 
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Headed by chairman Meow......


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:45 am 
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I have a hard time believing Iggy would OK a Gearloose stamp of approval on a lap that performs this badly.


He can be bribed. I was thinking last night that my current Shop Manager is no different than the managers and VPs I had when I worked for the Fortune 500's. He watches me work, I feed him, and sometimes he gets in my way. At least he tries to steal things from my plate when I am watching, and is therefore more honest.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:47 am 
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Headed by chairman Meow......


You are chillingly right.

"Mao" MEANS "Cat" in Mandarin.

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 Post subject: zinc laps
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:33 pm 
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I agree that the batt laps have pushed the zinc lap aside. I started using a zinc lap ten years ago when I couldn't get the hang of a ceramic for sapphire. For use with 50K diamond Zincs have the advanage of running cooler than iron or ceramic. Batt laps have the same quality and are less touchy to use as far as the diamond balling up. I now use my zinc only as a last resort for hard to polish stones.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2009 3:26 pm 
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Image

It appears to be somecat other than Lord Iggy. Must be his Uncle.

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