More from the Darkside™:
Good reviews keep arriving-Here are more.
"Tried the new darkside lap. I give it a grade of super. Have polished cz, tourmaline and a demantoid garnet with a great and fast polish."
(Faceting Instructor, US.)
"I let my partner try it, and he will not give it back. Can I have another?"
(Commerical Cutter, US.)
" I haven't had time this week to try the Darkside myself so gave it to my best cutter yesterday to try.
He isnt going to give it back, NO WAY !
Its a real good test as he is a bit old fashioned and set in his ways, he didnt even really want to try it but he is really pleased he did. He was cutting sapphire and used #60,000 Diamond- no problems getting it going, I think you are on a winner."
(Commercial Dealer, AU.)
So..if I keep hearing more of these, we are all set with an AFFORDABLE Lap!
Direct cutting from a #600 plated Lap to a DARKSIDE™ with Cerium Oxide slurry:
Total Lap runtime by the Hobbs Meter: 54 Minutes.
Grind cone preform, Cut and Polish pavilion and girdles: 32 Minutes.
Cut and polish crown: 22 Minutes.
Emails (with permissions):
This one from a user was in response to someone who had a scratching problem:
"Mine started scratching too. I had applied too much cerium oxide. I took it off and washed it with 409 and all is well again. The Darkside seems to take much less oxide slurry than a tin lap. I am also letting my cerium oxide mix settle and just taking a little off the top with a brush. I am using what is suppose to be the best cerium oxide you can buy. I have tried between 200 and 500 RPM. 200RPM works best for me.One more note: I turned off the water drip. I am just using a spray bottle like you use for diamond spray and spritzing ever now an then." An earlier one: "It is FLAT. This has to be the flattest polishing lap I own. The best part: I am cutting a very nice amethyst now. I actually do not cut much quartz because of the low RI but this is a nice one. I prepolished on my BATT with 3K and it pitted. I don't know why this happens sometimes but it does. I would usually polish on a cerium Pol-A-Gem I have but it is very slow so I got out the Darkside. I cleaned it because I noticed when you first get it there is some black dust on it. I then applied a very thin slurry of cerium oxide. It must have a black hole in it because it just seemed to suck the pits out and I am left with the flattest sharpest facets I have ever had on any stone. I am probably not saying this right but you cannot see the edges of the facets. There was absolutely no edge tearout and there is no grooving because the Darkside does not have grooves. I am still experimenting with speed and dampness but it seems to be very forgiving."
"We took on the dealership for the Darkside and Batt Laps a few weeks back with our first stock arriving only a week ago and hey they do work.
So far the Guys and Gals that have bought the Darkside have been really happy with sales to both ends of the experiance level the beginner battling to get a finish to one of our contract cutters that is really set in his ways. I only lent one to our guy to try but he wont give it back.
If they last and keep working as well as they do out of the box these are going to help a lot of cutters out there who just cant get a metal Lap going right. I think the Batt will still have its place though.
"You have a Home Run!"
" just got the Dark Side from the Facet Shoppe & John Franke. He had it at the local show so I had to have some. Have not used it with diamond yet since I had some quartz started.
The CeO is amazing. Sharp edges and much faster than anything else I have used in the past. A brush dipped in slurry and bingo a polished facet in about 5 seconds. A lot of "tooth", you can really feel the drag.
Polish is done in about 1/3d the time it used to take. Why weren't you around 25 years ago when I got started and it would have saved me much frustration."
Since the above, I have had many, many similar emails, and many of them volunteered reprint permissions.
Rather than fill these pages up, you can get the drift by now that a concensus has emerged.
Read the online forums. Or just try one. It is what it is- Something actually new, engineered from different assumptions.
"DARKSIDE™ is a Trademark used to describe a proprietary advanced composite polymer that has been engineered to produce low coefficients of Friction and thereby run cooler than other polymeric laps. It has domains which are lyophilic and hydrophilic, allowing use of any polish medium.