With the coming of the colder months, the water supply to our cabbing machines gets so cold, dopwax becomes a very poor method of securing stones to dipsticks. I have been driven crazy by stones crashing to the bottom of the machine within seconds of grinding! Two alternative dopwax substitutes are suggested here. The first is suggested by Lee Aaron. He uses wood glue such as Elmer’s to fasten the stone and stick together. Removal of the stone after cutting and polishing is accomplished by soaking the workpiece in warm water to dissolve the glue. The second method, which I use, is to substitute hot melt glue for dopwax. The stick of glue can be used in the same way as dopwax, melting it with an alcohol lamp or as I do, a heat gun. I do not use a dopwax pot but I am sure that it could also be used only after thoroughly cleaning out any traces of dopwax. Leave a cushion of 1/8th inch of glue between the stone and the stick. It allows a little flexing to take place and results in a more reliable bond. Caution: hot melt glue is slightly combustible, but is no great hazard. Hot melt glue is worse than dopwax! Be sure that your fingers are very wet before molding the glue around the stick to prevent sticking and burning your fingers. The stone can be separated from the stick by either cutting it away with a sharp pocket knife or by re-melting the glue by applying gentle heat to the stone. Traces of glue adhering to the stone can be removed easily with a pocket knife. Via BEMS, 06, et. al
Canvas : Canvas is useful when polishing heat sensitive stones because it develops little friction.
Muslin : Muslin buffs are recommended for soft stones and gems that are heat sensitive.
Leather : Leather is a versatile buffing material that at is both efficient and economical. Leather generates heat, but not as much as felt.
Felt is useful for polishing glass and stones of even texture. It is not recommended for gems stones that under cut. Friction on felt generates heat rapidly.
Phenolic : Phenolic tools or phenolic lap disc (cab laps) are useful when impregnated with diamond grit. 14,000 M (pre-polish) or 50,000M (polish) diamond compound can be applied to the surface of the gemstone and worked with a phenolic carving tool. It can also be applied to the surface of the phenolic lap disc and worked with the gemstone mounted at the end of a dop stick. The diamond will charge the phenolic, making smoothing and polishing easy. Source unknown
"There's Gold in Them There Mountains"
Submitted by John Thompson of the Copper King Mansion
Butte's mineral wealth yielded and still reveals treasured reserves of riches in mineral, historical and human wealth. In 1989, (that’s right nineteen eighty-nine, we spelled it out so you wouldn’t think it was a mistake) the Highland nugget was discovered just south of Butte. You can see the ten thousand foot Highland mountains from any vantage point in town. This eye opening nugget contains 27.5 ounces of gold (this number is also correct). The Highland nugget is on permanent display at the Mineral Museum located on the Montana Tech University campus, and it’s free to go look at when you are tromping around the hills on your own. The Mineral Museum has over 1,500 mineral specimens on display at any time. That is all the room they have available. This collection started with the purchase of about 130 specimens back in 1900, and today they have over 15,000 specimens from just about every spot on the earth. Much of this astounding display has been donated by Montana Tech alumni and Museum admirers from around the world. The staff at the Mineral Museum will be more than willing to give you ideas and directions to one of the many sites around Butte for discovering and rockhounding, along with the strong recommendation to bring your camera. Their experience has taught them that you are more likely to be sidetracked by the abundant wildlife, fishing, and most of all the magnificent Montana landscape features. The name "Montana" comes from an Indian word meaning "Land of shining Mountains". Butte started out about the same as any other western gold strike town in the mid 1800's. First it was gold, then it was silver, but copper is what put Butte on the stamped map for about every ethnic group from around the world. Not just a few, they came by the thousands. Not just miners from here or there, but whole families from around the world. The Italians, Serbians, Croatians, French Canadians, Finns, Scandinavians, Lebanese, Chinese, Mexicans, Austrians, Germans, African- Americans and many others came. By 1917 Butte’s population was just about 100,000 people, and it all got started because, first the available minerals were here, and second because of three men, each with the Midas touch. William Andrews Clark came to Butte in 1873, Marcus Daly arrived in 1876 and then Augustus F. Heinze arrived in 1889. Without a doubt, these three men made, molded, promoted and profited from the copper mining industry. In their association with each other, at times they worked together, at times they tried to destroy each other. This relationship went down in Montana history as "The War of the Copper Kings". Photos compliments of World Museum of Mining and The Butte-Silver Bow Archives
Several times over the last 125 years of copper production, Butte, Montana was the leading copper producer in the world. It is estimated that there is more copper, gold and other minerals still in the Butte hill ground than all that has already been taken from the ground. All of those treasures are still in the ground, but the real treasures are those above the ground. There are treasures like Our Lady of the Rockies, the World Museum of mining, the Copper King Mansion, The Berkeley Pit, the Gallows frames, the Anselmo mineyard, the Granite Mountain Memorial, the Mother Lode Theater, the Mai Wah building, and many more. We also have some treasures below ground, for you to discover.