How to Cut a Rock

 I did this post last year on a jewelry making forum,I figured I would post it here on my blog for anyone interested.

 I start with a big chunk of rock, usually between 2 and 10 pounds. This is a five pound chunk of Landscape Jasper.

 Then Karl runs it through the saw, cutting slices. This is our small saw, we use it for smaller rocks or trimming out a stone. For bigger rocks we have a bigger saw that holds the rock in a vice.
 Once the slices, or slabs are cut, they come up to the kitchen table. At the table we'll sit and draw shapes on the rock on how we might like to cut it. Sometimes the slabs may sit for a month while I decide, (don't worry, we eat dinner in the dining room!) or other times I know right away exactly how I want to cut it.
 Here's a slab of Jafar Jasper with lots of shapes drawn on it. I actually cut only one of the shapes drawn here.

 After the shape is drawn, the slab goes back down to the saw to be trimmed out. The closer it can be trimmed, the less grinding there will be to shape it. This is a piece of Ocean Jasper.
 Now it's time to grind! I start by shaping and doming the stone with a 100 grit diamond wheel. Here I am holding the stone with my hand. After finally getting sick of sanding off my fingers,I have finally learned to dop my stones! Dopping means to stick a dowel rod to the stone with hot wax, giving you a handle to hold while you work the stone.
 Here is a Laguna Lace Agate after being shaped. Next I will dome it.
 After the shape and dome are done with the 100 wheel, the stone will be sanded 5 more times with finer grits, then polished with three different polish pads. This shows the stone getting a final polish.
 And now we're done with a finished Coyamito Agate!