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Beginning and Advanced Lapidary

Updated on June 16, 2016

Rock Saw

Rock saws are made to cut rocks. They use a blade that is dipped in oil and diamond dust. Diamonds are the hardest and they can cut any other rock there is.

Hobby Lobby used to carry a small rock drill with diamond bits for drilling holes in small rocks. It was interesting. You put the rock inside. You pushed the drill down and the drill bit pushed its way through the rock and made a hole.

I did not purchase the rock driller, but purchased a bunch of the drill bits. I felt that eventually I would be getting into drilling holes into rocks. I haven't done it yet, but am very, very close to starting to do so.

Lapidary Work Stations

It's very inspiring to google Lapidary work stations and even more inspiring to click on images once you are getting more and more involved in the art.

It is an art, isn't it? I know that when I was a child, we had a rock tumbler. I actually purchased one on a garage sale recently and it is setting on a table in my garage waiting for me to put some rocks and polishing sand and perhaps water inside. It's fairly simply. The sand and water keep rubbing on the rock and the rock becomes polished and smooth.

Agates

Agates are my favorite cut and polished stone. They are interesting with their bands and discolorations. Sometimes you even see fossils in the agates. Petrified wood is also very interesting. Isn't amber some sort of fossilized pitch from an ancient pine tree?

I'm assuming that agates were a sedimentary rock or like a petrified wood perhaps?

Thompsonite

Thompsonites were my mother's favorite rock when I was a child. We lived near the shores of Lake Superior on the North Shore Drive and would wander for hours picking up various rocks that had gotten polished by the tumbling action of the lake.

Driftwood was something else that was everywhere. Wood roots polish up very nicely in this lake and people use the driftwood for crafts.

The thompsonites were an odd looking rock that looked like a cone shaped eyeball. I have many that I found when I was a child. Nice thing is, they've declared them a gemstone, so I suppose at some point I should sell them to someone.

Right?

Slab Saws

So how does a slab saw work? Is it like a chop saw, except enclosed in a box so the rock chips won't fly up and put out an eye while you work?

Expert Advice

You need to wear eye protection, goggles and gloves. The rock saw needs to be submerged partially in water. Make sure the water level doesn't fall too low. Do not get the water in your eyes. Rock dust is sharp.

After watching a few videos on YouTube, I find it hard to believe there aren't action videos of people getting their fingers cut off. I almost couldn't watch. There needs to be a safer approach. I suppose that years of cutting rock leads to over confidence.

Comments

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    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma

      Interesting process analysis.

    • profile image

      Linda Robinson 

      2 years ago

      Wow Char and good morning. What an absolutely fascinating hub, you covered so much interesting content with such exceptional detailed and informative information. Any person intrigued with this topic, reading this hub can without a doubt get started and learn so much about lapidary. Truly an awesome hub. Linda :)

    • firstcookbooklady profile imageAUTHOR

      Char Milbrett 

      2 years ago from Minnesota

      Diamonds, formed in volcanic situations? I'm sure that you, as a geologist, have seen many varieties of rock formations. My husband, although not a geologist, but a mining engineer concentrates on crushing quartzite for use in roadways. Their company concentrates on aggregates found all over the world. Minnesota has a large concentration of sedimentary quarries and gravel Thank you for your comment!

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