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Posted in response to Vibratory lapping help from Mark on March 26, 2011 at 07:42:21:

Re: Vibratory lapping help

Mark, I have a 16" Covington lap, and I have found several tricks that work and a lot of stuff that doesn't. I have tried bending lengths of 14-2 Romex around each stone. Doesn't work, because if the slab has a tapered edge it works under the wire in short order. Ditto with rope, ditto with plastic tubing.

I have found two systems that work well. The first is to take a length of PVC drain pipe like Home Depot or Lowes sells, and cut it into 2-3" wide slices. I use 3", 4" and 6" diameter pipe. If your cut is true, even slabs with a taper to a fine edge will not work under the rings. The Covington will take three 6" rings.

The second system is more practical. I rip pieces of 1/4" plywood into 2" wide strips, then notch the pieces so that they interlock, and assemble a grid, like a Tic-Tac-Toe matrix. I have different patterns that accomodate 4,9, or 16 stones.

Something else that helps to keep the system from drying out when you can't be around to babysit it is an IV bag. My wife got one from her hospital, and I adjust the drip rate so the unit runs all night without drying out.

I am far from having this figured out, as there are so many variables and I am relatively new to vibrating laps. How often to refresh, types of polish to use, is there an optimum size for a given size lap, why big slabs don't seem to polish well, how long to run it, etc.

By the way, my lap is only used for polishing. I take the pieces through 600 grit on a Bull Wheel. The reason I have sporadic success is because I sand erraticly on the Bull Wheel. I need to put the stones on a grinding lap after they come off the saw.

From Mike H - May 28, 2012 at 23:52:29

Message: 70340

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