provides information on . . .


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.


  1. Use a trim saw with a thin blade to cut out the opal area desired on large pieces if:
    1. It cannot be used as one whole piece, or
    2. To obtain a certain size.
    Use the trim saw also to trim off large areas of waste or excess material. Some of the cutoff remnant pieces can also be shaped and finished. Always apply water to cool down the stone and blade and to wash away the debris.

  2. Get rid of all remaining unwanted material on the stone by the grinding process using diamond laps or wheels. Always apply water to cool down the stone and to wash away the debris. Start with 180, 220, 240, or 260 mesh grit for quick removal and shaping into a preform.

  3. If you are going to use dops, prepare the dopping surface of the opal so that the dop will fit securely in place. Most preparation consists of developing an almost flat area and working it with 600 mesh grit. If you are planning on polishing the backside or underside of the stone, be sure it has some curvature to make it easier to polish.

  4. I usually set up about 30 stones to do at one time. Nails set loosly in drilled holes in wood block

  5. Some of the smaller ones are put on top of nails (shape the nail heads for best fit) Opal glued to nail with GOOP and attach by using a minimal amount of "Goop"and let set over night. The opal can be removed later by applying a candle flame to the nail shaft nearest the nail head but be sure flame does not touch the opal. Heat until opal can be easily removed.
    "Goop" can be obtained from a hardware store.

  6. When using a flat lap machine, use a 5" Dish Lap (600 or 1200 mesh) for final shaping before the sanding process. Use lower speed on machine. Again, always apply water to cool down the stone and to wash away the debris. Use certain parts of the dish that best fits the curved surface desired. Learn to twirl, swirl, and rotate the stone at different angles on the dish's surface. This technique will give a better uniform curved surface.

  7. I make my own sanding disks for My flat lap machine.
    1. Use any round disk (metal, wood, or plastic or whatever) with a 1/2" hole in the center.
    2. Attach a 1/8" to 1/4" thick medium soft rubber backing material ("closed-cell" preferred and cut to match disk) to the disk using water resistant glue or " 3M Feathering Adhesive". Or, you can purchase Foam Pads PSA backed Those labeled "PSA" already have a Pressure Sensitive Adhesive to hold the foam in place...all you have to do is peel off the paper backing and apply to a clean surface.
    3. Attach 600 or 1200 mesh grit wet/dry sandpaper (cut, to match disk) to the rubber backing material after applying "3M Feathering Adhesive" to the top surface of the rubber backing material. Wait till the adhesive has dried and is slightly tacky (about 20 minutes) before applying the sandpaper.

  8. The sand paper is initially too rough at first, so use something you are not afraid to grind down on. Eventually the grit on the sandpaper wears out and this is where it really comes into play. Stop applying water. Apply dabs of 1200 mesh "diamond compound" in various spots on the used, pliable sandpaper. Apply your stone to the surface where the compound has been placed pressing lightly and gently allowing the compound to spread over and across the lap while rounding off and finalizing all of the stone's surfaces. Get rid of all flats and scratches. I never go to the final polishing stage until I am satisfied with all of the surfaces of the stone. Apply more compound if need be. If it gets too dry or starts to grab the stone, apply a little clean water while working the stone. Too much water will wash away the compound. Use this sandpaper until it starts to come apart. Then make another one.

  9. For polishing, I again make my own disks the same way as the sanding type but instead of sandpaper, I attach a "SPECTRA" ULTRALAP to the rubber backing material in the same manner the foam or rubber backing material was attached. Use very clean water and allow it to slightly drip during this process just to dampen the material but not flood it. It is good to have some friction during this process which aids in the polishing of the surfaces. Bear down on this process to some degree, but not enough to touch the hard disk below the rubber or too much force that causes the stone to come off the dop. Always keep the stone moving at all times in any process so as not to get any part of the stone hot. Heat will destroy opals when not careful. Polish until you are satisfied that there are no scratches or unpolished areas. Improve your techniques with experience. ENJOY!!

Jack Slevkoff

Not all opals can be shaped into rounds or ovals, so use your imagination and good eye for shaping them into interesting objects of beauty at the same time considering maximum yield.

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.

Flat Lap
Spool Polisher

For Cabbing on Flat-Lap Machines
"The Standard" 260 Mesh
(other Laps available)
(6" diameter)
5" Dish Lap
(600 mesh)
Two 6" Flexodisk Lap
(other sizes available)
Two 6" Foam (Sponge) Pads
(other sizes available)
600 grit
Wet/Dry Sand Paper
(6" diameter, pkg. of 4)
1200 mesh
Diamond Compound
(1 gram)
"Spectra" Ultralap
(6" diameter, pkg. of 5)
3M Feathering Adhesive
Supply and Accessory Value $248.04
Opal Jack TM Kit* . . . $228.95
*includes all of the above listed items

"Opal Jack" Complete* TM
This Complete Opal Finishing System Includes the Machine
A $537.04 value for only . . . $499.50
*includes Crystalite's "CrystalMaster 6"
basic lap machine unit, no accessories ($289.00 value)
plus all items included in "Opal Jack" ($248.04 value)

All items are subject to availability.
Prices may change at any time.

To Order

Minimum Order is $50
Orders Less than $50 will be charged an additional $8.50

Currency Calculator

Specify how you want shipped

(UPS, USPS, FedEx, ground, air, 2-day, 3-day, Priority, etc.)
Calculate your costs
United States Postal Service (USPS)
or United Parcel Service (UPS)
$9.50 minimum
Add 75 cents per 5 pounds of weight for handling.
$2.00 minimum.
(UPS cannot ship to P.O. Boxes.)
Apply the following rates

for shipping and handling costs
anywhere in USA by carrier and service of our choice:

under 3 pounds, add $9.50,
3 pounds to 4.9 pounds, add $11.50,
5 pounds to 9.9 pounds, add $16.50,
10 pounds to 14.9 pounds, add $23.50,
15 pounds to 24.9 pounds, add $35.50,
25 pounds to 49.9 pounds, add $47.50,
50 pounds to 69.9 pounds, add $63.50,
70 pounds to 99.9 pounds, add $83.50,
100 pounds to 149.9 pounds, add $139.50,
over 150 pounds, FOB plus $15.00 for handling.
Ask for costs for shipping outside of USA.

Payment Information
We accept
Cashier's check, Postal money orders.
We also accept
personal checks ,
but allow 15 working days to clear bank processing.

Make checks and money orders
payable to "Jack Slevkoff"
We no longer accept credit cards due to credit card fraud and identity theft.
No Western Union.

We now accept payment via PayPal.
PayPal charges a fee for this service.
Be sure to
add 4% to total to defray PayPal fees
so it does not come out of the amount We are to receive.

If you have a PayPal account,
go ahead and make the payment.
to Our account which is

If you do not have a PayPal account,
please let Us know via email so that We can set up an invoice on PayPal
and have PayPal send it to you via your email address.
When you receive the invoice, just follow PayPal's instructions
and make payment accordingly for the amount We indicate.
You do not have to be a PayPal member to make payment.

Let Us know via email that payment has been made.
Be sure to indicate what you are requesting,
the amount and costs, provide destination information,
name, and phone number.

We do not have any packages sent out until payment is received in full.

We are in The California state republic
venue not the corporate venue "CA"

Info on California Sales Tax

Insurance is an additional $1.50
for each increment of $100 being insured.
If you want insurance, add these charges to your order.

Make checks payable to
Jack Slevkoff
Personal and Business Checks must clear
before items are sent out.
Money Orders or Cashiers Checks are preferred.

Wires are a quick way to make payment
especially for those who are outside the US.
Our Routing and Account information
will be provided upon request.

When ordering, please indicate
any specials or discounts that apply.

Thank you.

Email us at:

Our mailing location is:

Jack Slevkoff's Prized Possessions Division
c/o 4460 West Shaw Avenue, Suite 140
Fresno, Non-Domestic
California [Zip Exempt]

To Order

For those who come in the back door
such as through a search engine,
our web-site (URL) address is


to our other webpages

Gemstones | Gemstones | Birthstones | Wedding Aniverseries | FamousPeople Settings

Faceted Stones | Beryls | Chrysoberyls | Fire Opals | Garnets | Quartz | Peridot | Rubies and Sapphires | Spodumenes | Spinels | Tanzanites | Topaz | Tourmalines | Zircons

Opals | Black | Black Crystal | Boulder | Contra Luz | Crystal | Crystal with Matrix | Doublets | Fire Gray | Gray Crystal | Matrix | Hydrophane | Regular | Semi-black | Semi-crystal | Triplet Opals

Cabbed Stones | Carved Stones | Collector Stones | Phenominal Stones | Synthetics

Beryl Rough | Chrysoberyls | Collector Stones | Emeralds | Fire Opals | Garnets | Information | Spinels | Tanzanites | Tourmalines

Diamond Ring Diamond Ring Pendants Personalized Wedding Bands


Custom and Foreign

Polished Rock | Tumbling Rough

Faceting | Gemstones | Tumbling | Carving


Bead Mill | Diamond Testers | Info & Index | Flat Laps | Flexible Shaft | Faceting Machines | The Facetron | Facetron Parts | The Titan | The Genie | The Pixie | Slab Saws | Sphere Machines | Sphere Preformer | Spool Polisher | Trim Saws | Single Barrel Tumblers | Ultraviolet Lights | Vibrating Laps

Double Barrel Rotary | Drill-type | Lot-O | Single Barrel Rotary | Triple Barrel Rotary | Vibratory

Dia. Discs(Crystalite) | Dia. Discs(Lapcraft) | Dia. Discs(China) | Dia. Drills | Dia. Saw Blades(China) | Dia. Grind Wheels | Dia. Sand/Polish Wheels | Displays and Gem Tray Cases | Dyna Disks | Faceting Accessories | Faceting Kits | Gem Powders | Glue | Grit & Polishing Materials | Information | Lubricants Coolants | Polishing Laps | Tumbling Media | Tumbling Rough | Ultralaps

Cabbing | Faceting | Geology | Jewelry | Rockhound Kit | Gold Panning Kit

Gem Cutting & Polishing | Appraisals | Consignment

Prepare Cast Iron Lap | Prepare Ceramic Lap | Dop | Cut Opals | Treat Opal | Tumble

Don't Go Here!
Been deceived | Status

Tucson Show Guide | Tucson Show Guide 2 | Tucson 2001 | Blythe 1998 | Congress Street Expo 1998 | Quartzite 1998 | Tucson 1998

Banners | Business Cards | Specials | Discounts | Comments | Comments 1998 | Comments 1997 | Comments 1996 | Collecting and Investing | Sponsor | Home

Antique Gas Signs | California Lottery Collection | Chandelier | Giant Wrenches | Greeting Bags | Links | Loquats | Loquat Trees | Resort Timeshare-Oregon Coast | Resort Timeshare-Tahoe | "Six Queens" Gold Coin | Skull-Water Buffalo | Silver Coins | Search Engines

Condo 4-Sale
On Oregon Coast
Condo 4-Sale
or rent

at Lake Tahoe

Common Law Copy Right 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 Jack Slevkoff. All Rights Reserved.
We welcome your comments and suggestions! Email them to