How to handle small opals when cutting

Small opals can yield amazing colours and patterns. Watch the instructional video on how to handle small opals when cutting.

The cutting process remains the same, but the set up used is slightly different.

Reasons why you do not use a ‘big dop’ stick

  • You can not polish the sides of the stone as you will find that wax goes around the side of the stone.
  • You waste a lot of wax on the wheel.

Quite simply with the use of a smaller stick makes the process easier. In this video, I use a skewer.

Handy hints on using a smaller stick – a ‘skewer.’

  • Push wax above the stick.
  • Do not push the stone down, so it hits the stick as it will make the stone too rigid. ( The wax will then break, and the stone will pop off the stick).
  • Apply some heat to the wax and make sure the wax is underneath the stone.
  •  You will find that the stone is strong enough on the skewer to polish & cut.
  • Polish around the bottom setting edge.

You always need to make sure that the bottom setting edge is polished.

An unpolished edge can be unsightly when set. Let me know how you go!

The dopstick used is sometimes as simple as a bamboo skewer. The secret to making it work is how much wax to use. In this video, Justin shows you how.

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