SHAPING and FINISHING
Jack's Cabbing Technique
I use a " flat lap" machine with variable speed.
Some people use the vertical wheels like the " Genie " or " Pixie ".
Some don't want to spend the money and, therefore, purchase a " Spool Polisher." Flat lap machines and vertical wheel machines having a range of at least 180 to 600 mesh grits plus final polish are best, in My opinion, for grinding and shaping the stone and quickly getting rid of the unwanted material. I like flat lap machines that have speed controls so that I can contol the speed which is very important when grinding softer stones like opals. Whereas, the Spool Polisher is mainly utilized for the latter stages of finishing a stone. One cannot grind quickly with a Spool Polisher like one does with 60 to 180 mesh wheel or flat lap. But if one does not have the money for the other machines, by all means, buy the Spool polisher.
When one uses the phrase "cut and polish" or "cut opal", it does not mean literaly "cut", like with a saw. The term "cut" refers to the grinding process to shape a stone.
You don't have to use or stick with Jack's method. Develop your own and enjoy being creative, clever, and resourceful. If you have a better way, we want to hear about it.
Any machine will do the work.
Some come with some supplies.
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