Stone Age Industries
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Flat lapping slabs

Flat lapping slabs can produce beautiful results and the use of 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 the lap plate, and instead of immediately cleaning the material and lap plate, and 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 lap 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 of the rock or slab, 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 to a flat slab of wood.  Warm up a mixture of one half paraffin wax and one half beeswax.  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 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 with the complete lapping process, 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 of the waxes on top of the slab to hold the "second weight" needed for weight." Thanks again to D.D. Moore for his tips on flat lapping slabs.  We made our own lead weights or you can use a heel left from slabbing and place the wax mix on top of the slab & add the weight needed for the best grinding process, (1/2 pound per inch in diameter of the slab). Paraffin candles are usually sold in grocery stores and look for beeswax in craft stores. (We do have a small amount of beeswax available.)