Some sample episodes:
- Cutting Koroit Boulder Opal To Expose Flash
- Cutting Koroit Boulder Opal To Expose Pattern
- Cutting Koroit Boulder Opal To Expose Small Veins
- Carving Koroit Boulder Opal 1
- Carving Koroit Boulder Opal 2
- Cutting Spencer Opal To Expose Flash
- Rubbing Spencer Opal To Expose Flash
- Stabilizing Bacon Opal With Butvar
- Backing Opal With Epoxy 330
- Suggestions? Send me a message
Recommended Tools for Opal Work
When working with the precious opals like Spencer Opal and Koroit Boulder Opal, it is often better to use a dremel to carefully carve down to the opal you want exposed. Here are some recommended tools to use for working with these opals.
300 Grit Titanium Diamond Grinding Bits – for most work with opals, you do not want to use too coarse of a tool. These 300 grit diamond bits will allow you to carefully work down the matrix and opal to expose the flash without destroying the opal.
120 Grit Titanium Grinding Bits – If you have a lot of matrix you want to remove quickly, these 120 grit diamond bits will work faster. But use caution with these so you don’t destroy your opal.
Hi-Tech Dremel Polishing Discs – These discs have a soft polishing pad with grits of 325, 600, 1200 and a final polishing pad.
Stabilizing or Backing Your Opals
Some opals require stabilization or backing to make successful cabs. Bacon opal is particularly brittle and should be stabilized before cutting. Spencer opal can be very brittle and could be stabilized or backed if it is thin. I talk about stabilizing and backing material here.
This article has some resources for cutting opal.
Butvar is a polyvinyl acetate that is mixed with acetone to penetrate fractured or porous rocks to stabilize them. This is what we use in the museum. It has the advantage that it can be mixed to any consistency.
Opticon is the industry standard in lapidary work for stabilizing fragile rocks
This water clear epoxy is thick and useful for gluing a backing on a thin piece of opal.
The links provided above are recommendations based on experience. As an affiliate, Heather Canyon will receive a small compensation for these recommendations. Your price is not affected by the use of these links.