In The Shop

Posted by Steven Speer on

Welcome to the Sticks-in-Stones Lapidary Rock shop! Here we'll give you a glimpse at how we do our craft!

This is a "rough" Friend's Ranch thunderegg. At this point - what you have inside could be glorious, or it could be junk. The only way to find out is to cut it!
We're in luck! It's a gorgeous thunderegg with a beautiful, richly colored agate lens. The way the stone looks bathed in cutting oil is a close approximation of how it will look when polished. The saw shown here is a self feeding, oil lubricated diamond 24" diameter blade saw. It took about 1/2 an hour to make the cut shown. We'll get the oil cleaned up so we can inspect the stone for fractures and seal any that might chip out during lapping.
After cutting, the rocks are ground flat on a specially built lap that produces a perfectly flat surface.
One of the things that sets our work apart from that of other lapidaries is the quality of our finish. These big laps are part of the secret. You can't get a perfect polish on an imperfectly prepared surface. These laps insure we get a mirror flat face ready for final sanding and polishing. We built these monster sized flat laps to provide collector grade, mirror flat finishes at affordable prices.
Once flat, they are sanded smooth as glass on another lap built just for this purpose. This combination of laps produces an optically flat surface that isn't distorted or wavy when polished.
Finally, the stones are polished on yet another lap to bring out a mirror perfect, liquid shine - the Sticks-in-Stones trademark polish is complete!