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Flat lapping slabs

Flat lapping slabs can produce beautiful results! Flat lapping machines are great! You can walk away from the unit and let the machine do the work for you. When we initially only had one 24" Rociprolap machine, we would flat lap a number of items on lap plate, and instead of immediately cleaning the material and lap plate, going to the next grit step, we would remove these items and place more material in this same grit sequence. Then after cleaning the items they were placed in a cabinet, and labeled as to their grit completion until later. This saved a lot of cleaning of the plates resulting in a speedier processing. Large polished slabs are always a treat to see, and flat lapping thin slabs can also be accomplished. Instructions for the Rociprolap lapping machine called for a weight ratio for lapping and polishing to be 1/2 pound per inch in diameter, and to add weight to the piece if needed. D.D. Moore of Brookings, OR was kind enough to give us some tips when we first got started which we appreciated and worked great! Doug wrote the following: "As for lapping your slabs, I suggest trying the following for attaching slabs, etc. to the round, etc. wood slabs.  Mix up one half paraffin and one half bees wax.  I used a small tin cup and heated over a small "canned heat" can  using a homemade rack (heavy chicken wire) to hold the upper cup (holding the mixture) - when melted, pour the melted mix on the wood slab and press the stone on top (not too hard) and let cool.  I never had anything come loose - and when finished, put the entire stone/wood slab combo in the work sink with hot water (for thin slabs do not use hot water or the slab may fracture), and let sit until the stone comes loose.  Later - the wax mix can be scrapped off with a putty knife and saved to use over and over. If you are working thin slabs, then you can put another mix on top of the wood to hold the "second weight".  We made our own lead weights or you can use a heel left from slabbing and place this on top for that extra weight, (1/2 pound per inch in diameter).

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