Tips & Tricks for Your Lapidary and Jewelry Studio
TIPS AND HACKS FOR YOUR LAPIDARY AND JEWELRY STUDIO
Let's start with our favorite one! A simple hack with a yoga mat means you will never lose a stone again to chipping, cracking or breaking. How many times have you watched your stone fly, either out of your hand or off the dop stick, and crash into the bottom or side of your cab machine or polisher or even just on to your work counter? Its an uh-oh moment where you hope your stone did not chip or crack. Here’s a way you will never have to worry about that again. Simply cut up a yoga mat to line your work station table, and the walls and bottom of your machines. Problem solved. It's the best way to accident proof your valuable stones. It's also easy to do and inexpensive.
To line the cab machine make sure you allow enough room for the drain. So far, this hack has stood the test of time, put in place here over 4 years ago, and the mat is still durable and looks great. Even though it gets wet and full of rock sludge we have had no mold or disintegration issues. It has worked perfectly and saved countless pieces of our precious stones.
Speaking of stones flying around, here’s a great way to flat lap smaller stones or the back of finished cabs without the stone going airborne or sanding your fingertips off. Just take a small piece of tape (scotch tape works as well as more heavy duty tapes). Fold the middle together so the tape sticks up as a handle, leaving both sides sticky to be attached to the top of the stone. Now you have a better way to hold on to the stone while flat lapping. See photo below.
Here’s another cab machine tip that works great and is also a safe way to keep towels from the spinning wheels. Take a bath sized towel and hang it horizontally at the base of your machine. Now it will always be there when you need it (not the frustrating fall on the floor towel or misplaced traveling towel!). At the same time, it can lay over your lap and keep you dry while cabbing. Duct tape works best, applied at both ends and the middle to hold it firmly in place.
Some stones may need to be strengthened before cutting and cabbing if they are a bit fragile or crumbly. There are various CA glues on the market, such as Satellite City. We recommend using thin, as the glue soaks easily through the whole stone. Its a good process with the exception of the stone actually adhering to your work surface. Here’s the simple fix. Use a plastic freezer zip lock bag as your surface. Make sure you don’t move the stones around until they are completely dry. They usually are easier to remove with this method.
Now let’s discuss a couple of tips for the jewelry studio.
When you place your pieces of jewelry in your ultrasonic for cleaning sometimes its hard to fish out the smaller pieces, especially when the water gets dirty. A great way to easily avoid that is to use a separate container to hold the jewelry in. A small plastic container works well as it floats on top. The ultrasonic still does the cleaning without you having to dig around at the bottom of the machine for your piece.
Last one for now, sometimes when you think your piece is finished you notice it can use a bit more polishing here and there. To avoid the black from silver polishing on your stone all you need to do is cover your cab with scotch tape. After your piece is polished, the scotch tape peels off easily and cleanly.
We hope you enjoyed these. Stay tuned for future tips and hacks!!.
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