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Learn to slice a rough opal

Learn from master craftsman Justin from Black Opal Direct how to slice rough opal.

Justin will show you the techniques to safe cutting whilst using a slicer.

What are the advantages of learning to slice?

When you are cutting opal from the rough state you will wear your diamond wheels out very quickly if you use the diamond wheels to remove the rough from your opal. The easiest way to remove the rough excess is by slicing it off your opal thus saving you money on having to replace diamond wheels.

This video will show you in the safest manner possible how to slice rough opal.

Dangers of slicers

These machines are dangerous! If you slip you can cut your finger very easily.

In the interest of  safety Justin suggests the following:

  1. You must have your hands or your arms firmly attached to something so that you are not moving around and wobbling. You must keep your hands steady.
  2. If your hands aren’t steady the piece of opal can become wobbly and the piece can buckle the wheel then catch on the wheel = broken piece of rough. Steady hands are the key!
  3. Ensure it has all the safety guards. A broken or missing guard can mean water or debris can fly off the wheel and hit you in the face or eye.
  4. When slicing make sure you are leaning on the edge so you can get a really nice straight cut.
  5. Have a lot of water running on the wheel so it doesn’t burn out or break.
  6. Line up the slicer right to the edge of where the sand and color is on the rough …viola!

Watch Justin slice the piece of rough and reveal two pieces of opal.. Justin shows you how he will cut two stones from the sand and reveals where the colour bar is in the rough.

At the end of the video in his own words Justin states ‘I still don’t get it perfect 100% of the time…it does take practice that’s for sure” .  Happy and safe cutting!