Monday, 26 of June of 2017

Cabbing Rough


Kambaba Jasper slab 5 1 4 x 4 3 8 rough cabbing display
Kambaba Jasper slab 5 1 4  x 4 3 8  rough cabbing display $14.55
Time Remaining: 30m
Buy It Now for only: $14.55

18270 Gram Blocky Piece Sonoran Chrysocolla Cabochon Cab Gem Gemstone Rough
18270 Gram Blocky Piece Sonoran Chrysocolla Cabochon Cab Gem Gemstone Rough $49.99
Time Remaining: 30m
Buy It Now for only: $49.99

117cts natural good quality green chrysoprase cabbing rough RF07 61
117cts natural good quality green chrysoprase cabbing rough RF07 61 $15.99
Time Remaining: 30m
Buy It Now for only: $15.99

12255CtsMulti Imperial Jasper lapidary cabbing knapping SLAB ROUGH from Mexico
12255CtsMulti Imperial Jasper lapidary cabbing knapping SLAB ROUGH from Mexico $9.99
Time Remaining: 31m

3460CtsMulti Imperial Jasper lapidary cabbing knapping SLAB ROUGH from Mexico
3460CtsMulti Imperial Jasper lapidary cabbing knapping SLAB ROUGH from Mexico $4.99
Time Remaining: 32m

3535Cts 100 NATURAL DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SKY BLUE LARIMAR SLAB ROUGH CAB
3535Cts 100 NATURAL DOMINICAN REPUBLIC SKY BLUE LARIMAR SLAB ROUGH CAB $4.99
Time Remaining: 35m
Buy It Now for only: $4.99

Kambaba Jasper slab 5 1 2 x 4 5 8 rough cabbing display
Kambaba Jasper slab 5 1 2 x 4 5 8 rough cabbing display $14.70
Time Remaining: 35m
Buy It Now for only: $14.70

3880 Ct 100 Natural Imperial Jasper Rough Specimen Cab Cabochon Gemstone
3880 Ct 100 Natural Imperial Jasper Rough Specimen Cab Cabochon Gemstone $4.99
Time Remaining: 37m

Imperial Jasper slab 3 3 4 x 3 1 8 cabbing rough display
Imperial Jasper slab 3 3 4  x 3 1 8 cabbing rough display $5.60
Time Remaining: 37m
Buy It Now for only: $5.60

Kambaba Jasper slab 5 1 4 x 4 3 4 rough cabbing display
Kambaba Jasper slab 5 1 4 x 4 3 4 rough cabbing display $14.60
Time Remaining: 37m
Buy It Now for only: $14.60

126cts NATURAL GREEN UNHEATED CHRYSOPRASE CABBING ROUGH RF07 68
126cts NATURAL GREEN UNHEATED CHRYSOPRASE CABBING ROUGH RF07 68 $16.99
Time Remaining: 40m
Buy It Now for only: $16.99

4170CtsMulti Imperial Jasper lapidary cabbing knapping SLAB ROUGH from Mexico
4170CtsMulti Imperial Jasper lapidary cabbing knapping SLAB ROUGH from Mexico $4.99
Time Remaining: 40m

Fluorite Slab Stone Rough Rock Cabbing Lapidary Crystal Healing 3
Fluorite Slab Stone Rough Rock Cabbing Lapidary Crystal Healing 3 $6.00
Time Remaining: 44m
Buy It Now for only: $6.00

1105Cts 100 GENUINE LAVENDER BLUE TANZANITE RARE ROUGH SUITABLE CAB GEMSTONES
1105Cts 100 GENUINE LAVENDER BLUE TANZANITE RARE ROUGH SUITABLE CAB GEMSTONES $3.99
Time Remaining: 46m
Buy It Now for only: $3.99



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cabbing rough

cabbing rough

Give a lapidary an interesting piece of rough and they will probably sit right down at their grinding/polishing machine and start cutting it. Even so, many lapidaries have materials that they prefer to cut over others. Within certain limitations, just about any rock can be cut into a cabochon.

My husband and I love to take hikes in the high desert of Arizona, where we live. Just try to stop me from picking up rocks along the way. As we walk, my belt bag gets heavier and heavier. It's a good thing that as I drink my water, it gets lighter. Everything balances out.

We have a lot of milky quartz, jaspers, and epidote close to where we live. I have cut all of these. They are not as spectacular as, say, a crazy lace agate or Bruno Jasper, but I love cutting them because I found them. Epidote is usually a very pretty green color. The jaspers we find are red and there is one that looks like Impression Jasper (green with pale cream banding), which is on the market right now. The milky quartzes are white and massive with black inclusions. Some have been stained pink or pale orange from the iron in the soil.

When you decide to Cut A Cabochon, some consideration must be given to its final use. If you are cutting them for display in your own collection, for example, size, shape, durability, etc. are not so much of a concern. But if their ultimate destination is to be put into jewelry, then you must think about these things.

There is a lot of good information already out there about all the various types of cutting rough. Much of it can be found right here on the Web. It is my intent to discuss two of my favorites. As you begin cutting your own cabochons, you will develop your own favorites.

I absolutely adore agates and jaspers. And that is really good because they are among the most common materials you will find. They belong to the Chalcedony (kal'-said-knee) Family. These are all called cryptocrystalline quartz and are composed of silicon dioxide. Silicon is the most abundant mineral in the earth's crust.

You will find the most interesting colors and patterns in agates and jaspers. Whole books have been written about agate. I have an excellent book titled, "Agates: Treasures of the Earth" by Roger Pabian. It is a gift from my husband. The photographs are beautiful. Even if you do not care for the technical information, the book is wonderful just for the photos.

The nice thing about most agates and many jaspers is that they are quite hard and they take a very nice polish. Agates can vary somewhat in their hardness, but a good safe bet is that they will be right around a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. The Mohs scale runs from 1, which is talc, to 10, which is diamond. Quartz is considered a 7, and that is why 7 is a safe bet for agate.

Many jaspers are about as hard as agates, but there are some fairly soft jaspers. As a rule of thumb, consider your jasper to fall between about 6 and 7 on the Mohs scale. This makes agate and jasper suitable for rings and bracelets. The stones in rings and bracelets generally suffer more abuse than stones that are made into necklaces or earrings. Even so, many jewelers set turquoise into rings. Turquoise has a hardness of 5 to 6. Turquoise is another one of my favorites. But that is a very long topic and I will not be covering it today.

Another nice thing about agates and some jaspers, is that they are hard enough that you do not just grind them away to nothing before you know it. Some materials, like onyx, can be so soft that you must begin with a really fat slab. Montana agate is a dendritic agate that can form very interesting pictures that are frequently best seen in thinner slices. A thick slab would not let enough light come through. Jasper is never transparent. So that is not a concern with jasper.

When you decide to cut a piece of agate with wonderful banding and colors, do one of two things. Draw the final shape on the slab with an aluminum pencil or first cut a hole in a piece of paper in the shape you think you want and move it around on the slab to see what the best cut might be. Then trace the cutout shape onto your slab with the aluminum pencil. Any aluminum rod sharpened to a point on a Grinding Wheel will do. Use aluminum because water will not wash it away. Cabbing rough, as it is called, may be purchased in slab form. However, you can invest in a Trim Saw and/or slab saw and produce your own slabs.

Often, a trim saw will be an essential part of The Lapidary's equipment, even if a slab saw is never needed. It can be tedious and produce unnecessary wear on you grinding wheels if you rely on them alone to remove excess material from the slab. Some slabs will be so close to the final size and shape that it will not matter. For those that are larger, use the trim saw to take away as much excess material as possible.

Always, always, always go for the best display of color and pattern no matter what material you are cutting. Do not be afraid to waste material. After all, nothing is wasted if the result is gorgeous instead of just okay. You are putting a lot of your time and effort into this and to end with a mediocre result can be disappointing.

The most important thing of all is to have fun. Choose materials you love to look at and you will most likely love cutting them.

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