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Author Topic: Removing matrix??  (Read 1509 times)
GemstoneJEFF
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« on: October 19, 2010, 10:24:12 AM »

Whats the best way to remove some matrix from opal rough ? or is it to risky this is just one peice some other have spots that would be much nicer if removed

Ethiopian Opal rough by gemstoneJEFF, on Flickr
« Last Edit: October 19, 2010, 10:28:19 AM by GemstoneJEFF » Logged

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Jim A.
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2010, 12:05:32 PM »

If you want it as a freeform get a bowl of water, and a dremel with a diamond cone bit. Dip it in the water to keep it wet, and gently remove the potch while keeping it wet.
 If you want to have it cut into a cab, or even faceted - then leave it as a cushion for shipping. If you loupe it you should be able to see any cracks that might be in there. Stay away from them.
 If no cracks - I'd facet it.
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Jim
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2010, 12:12:02 PM »

Thanks the other peice is alittle bigger i only photo'ed this one. Its just in some spots i thought it would look really cool opened up some im still wait for the larger peice (25ct) to come thats the one i might have cut if it looks good
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2010, 12:20:22 PM »

Will that polish it also?
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Jim A.
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2010, 01:13:50 PM »

Only if all the diamonds fall out. I use CeO to polish opal - it's basically a glass Jeff. If you get it hot while removing the potch, or allow the bit to jump - it will crack. So be gentle but firm, and keep it wet.
 I guess we could do a thread on opals, if anyone would want to hear it.
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2010, 02:49:01 PM »

Jim gave great advice.  Definitely be gentle since it appears to be the hydrophane material from welo. Put in water for a bit, the little bit of white haze should go totally clear until it dries back out then. Fun to play with. If cut it, keep it plenty cool with good water flow and let the grinding method of choice do the work and don't push trying to speed up the cutting or you will get cracks. The welo stuff is very stable in comparison to other Ethiopian opal, but it will still crack during cutting if don't take time. Use your darkfield loupe to check for internal fractures first, as Jim suggested. It will make them pop out easily for you. Beautiful poc in that baby either way!
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GemstoneJEFF
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2010, 09:10:45 AM »

Thanks guys i thought it would be fun to play with a peice see if i can make it look better if i only had one i wouldnt touch it . Im not sure whats going on with the large peice i know it when out a few days later but i havnt been able to contact my guy to see when so it a waiting game
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2010, 09:11:35 AM »

Iv never had it happen but can a packege get stopped by customs?? if its fed-x??
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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2010, 10:01:36 AM »

Yes Jeff....and it's usually not a problem, your pkg just happened to be selected to inspect...OR if the correct code wasn't used for the item, they may have to redo paperwork.
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2010, 11:36:48 AM »

Ok good to know. The packege is coming from russia
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« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2010, 11:47:45 AM »

I just recently removed some matrix from some welo I have.Most of mine is facetable but I'll probably freeform a few pieces.I used a worn 1200 grit lap and lots of water followed up with a spectra ultra lap so I could keep it wet, since water won't wash off the coating on the ultra lap.Worked great.
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« Reply #11 on: October 20, 2010, 05:35:20 PM »

Just found out the other fed-x should be here friday Grin im not worried now that i heard
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« Reply #12 on: October 20, 2010, 05:47:50 PM »

Good Beans - glad you didn't get tagged with duty.
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« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 09:05:36 AM »

has a link to the video
http://www.flickr.com/photos/zircons/5115395245/
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« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2010, 01:25:49 PM »

glad they didn't sock it to you when they shipped the welos, jeff.  i remember amguy having a problem with customs from some goodies that came from afghanistan or it could have been pakistan. 

I guess we could do a thread on opals, if anyone would want to hear it.

all ears hear, jim!! Grin

probably a stupid question, but, i'll give it a shot, when y'all speak of using the dremel--are these found in your local hard ware store, like home depot?? the smaller sets??  Embarrassed i have a salon nail kit that a friend sent to me to polish some welos that is similar, but the salon nail kit head pieces are a bit smaller than the set i saw in home depot.  lol.
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