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Daily Wire Tip: Lapidary Saw Tips
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
I have some Amazonite nuggets about the size of a quarter, and I want to cut them in half to make cabochons. I can’t seem to find a lapidary around here, so what is the proper way, tools, and blades to use to accomplish this? I don’t want to ruin them!
-Ellen in Fayetteville, West Virginia
Ellen, the best way to perform your requested task would be to use a trim saw. They come in both 6" and 8" sizes (which is the diameter of the blade) and work using either water or specialty oil as a lubricant. Some folks will tell you to just use a tile saw, however the width of the blade on those is very thick and will cut away too much of your small nuggets.
When deciding to purchase a trim saw, keep in mind any future uses you may have for one. The thickness of the diamond saw blades vary; of course the finer the blade, the less kerf (material wasted with the cut). An 8" blade will cut an item that is about 3 ½" wide, and a 6" will cut only a 2 ½" item. This is true when using the saw properly, however with experience one can cut wider items, but they have to be done very carefully as they can be cut across the top of the blade, and you do not want to bend it!
To find trim saws, do an Internet search using the phrase “lapidary trim saw”. As this can be a major purchase, please read all of the information before buying, because as with anything, you will get what you pay for.
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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