Friday, July 18, 2008

From Slab to Cab

Ladies and gentlemen,
In my quest to become further acquainted with gemstones, (which I love, oh so much) I took a workshop on how to cut and polish my own cabochon.

It was lots of fun and much easier than I ever imagined. It was almost like being let in on a little secret. I didn't get to take pictures throughout the entire process, but I do have a very exciting before and after...

This is the slab of striped Agate that I started with. I didn't really know what to expect, but just decided to go along for the ride. Basically, (to give you a VERY abridged version) I used an oval template and drew on the shape of the cabochon I liked.

From there, I used a band saw to cut around the line I drew - cutting as close as possible. The closer you cut, the less you have to grind off. Once the slab is cut, I used a succession of grinders that begin very course (to grind the most) all the way down to very fine (which polishes).

The entire process took about 2 1/2 hours, which I hope will decrease as my skill improves. So here is my very first, cut and polished cabochon!

And, just so you can really get the full impact of the before and after...

Tada!!! Okay, had enough already? :)

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