About Stamford Lapidary

Who are we, well we are Dave & Shalini Austin, and we took up Lapidary after Shalini started to make her own jewellery a few years ago.

It wasn’t long before we felt the desire to create our own stones for her jewellery, the first step was taken when we invested in a couple of beach tumblers along with grits. Boy they were noisy machines, they had the plastic barrels and every time you walked out into the workshop it sounded like there was real heavy rain falling on the roof.

Here are the four rock tumblers doing their stuff
Here are the four rock tumblers doing their stuff

The results were, well ok, if you know what I mean but with practice and a lot of experimentation we started to see good results. It was at about this point that we realized that we needed to be able to drill small holes in these stones so that they could be threaded on wire or headpins for use in the jewellery. So, after much research we bought a lapidary drill and discovered just how long it takes to make a hole in rock.

This is our rock drilling area, we use a Foredom drill imported from the USA
This is our rock drilling area, we use a Foredom drill imported from the USA

We had been regularly visiting eBay, on the lookout for a rock saw and eventually one came up and we won the auction, so now we are able to make holes, tumble rocks and make slabs too, but we were still far short or what we wanted to be able to do.

This is the rock saw and grinder combo machine
This is the rock saw and grinder combo machine

A cabbing machine of some description was needed, now this isn’t an item that appears very often on EBay and buying a new one and importing it from the US was out of the question, so we did the next best thing built one and it’s still going strong to this day, in fact every cabochon you see on this blog was made on that very machine.

Cabachon machine and polishing area
Cabachon machine and polishing area

We also got Shalini a few more tumbling machines, these have a larger capacity and are made by Evans Lapidary, what’s more they are nice and quiet because they have rubber barrels, and we also got a few extra rubber barrels for the Evans tumblers as well. Yes Shalini is head of tumbling in our workshop!

So that’s us in a nutshell, we are not experts but have learnt a lot over these last few years and are still learning but that’s the fun of Lapidary.

At the moment most of cabochons are wire wrapped using either sterling silver wire or Gold filled wire, but we soon hope to learn how to make simple sterling silver bezel mounts which should be fun.

Golden Labradorite Pendant In Sterling Silver Wire
Golden Labradorite Pendant In Sterling Silver Wire

Have fun

Dave & Shalini


  1. Hi Dave,

    Would it be possible for you to email me the supplier of the parts you used to build the cab machine please.

    • Dave
    • March 17, 2018

    Hi Nuno,
    thanks for dropping by and yes I agree it’s far too expensive to import machines into the UK! Sadly I don’t build machines for other people because there are many rules and regulations and certifications I would have to get and it would be cost effective fort me or the customer.
    However, can I suggest you have a look at these links, you might find something that will help you and its all in the UK!
    Rock tumblers: http://www.ukge.com/en-gb/Lapidary/Stone-Tumblers/Polishers__c-p-0-0-14-252.aspx?af=69
    Just had a quick look on Ebay to and at the time of writing this is available, you might be able to set up a courier top collect and deliver it for you: https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LAPIDARY-STONE-GRINDER-CUTTER-POLISHER-MACHINE/253488507552?hash=item3b0517aaa0:g:EqAAAOSwWbRaqDxj
    Good luck

    • Nuno Pereira
    • March 17, 2018

    Hi, i have some rough gemstones from Africa and i would like to know if you are selling grinder, cutting and polishing equipment? I need to grind the Stones to see how they look like, im on wheelchair i would like to do something, because i have this Stones with diffent color and shape i dont have idea what their are, i like to buy 1 machine and i cant find a suppliers in UK, only in America, the postage its expensive, many thanks

    • Dave
    • June 13, 2017

    Hi Sam,
    thanks for dropping by, yes I can drill holes for you but it all depends on what diameter and how deep the holes are.

    • Samantha Salmons
    • June 13, 2017

    Hello, Sounds like you are very passionate about lapidary, well done.
    I am a one woman band, Goldsmith, I was just wondering if you could drill holes for other craftspeople?
    Have a few pebbles, I’d like to make into jewellery.
    With kind regards,

  2. We are pleased to state you that we got your Company reference through search-engines.

    We are Manufacturer & Exporters of Semi-Precious Stones & Jewellery Items. We are exporting Tumbled Stone (Dyed & Natural), Stone Chips, Chips Necklaces, Rough Stones, Pendants, Carving Items, Candle Holders, Lamps, Pendulums, Minerals-Specimens, Spheres (Balls), Eggs, Massage Wands, Trees, Shape Beads and all Other Items of Semi-precious stones. We can also prepare New Items as per your design.

    In Glass Beads Jewellery we are Exporting Pendants, Key chains, Necklaces, Bracelets & also many other gift articles. We are also exporting Sterling Silver Jewellery, Undercut & Plain Soap Stone Animals and Inlaid & Carved Soap Stone Boxes & other products also.

    At present our Export Running Items are Tumbled stone, Chips Trees, Chips Necklaces & Bracelets, Glass Beads Jewellery Necklaces & Bracelets, Healing Items, Cotton Cord, Cage Pendants & Key chains, Different Design Pendulums, Wooden Sticks & Jewellery Boxes.

    Please visit our Website http://www.decentgemstone.com you will find many products of your interest.

    If you are interested in our any products then please do not hesitate to write us your valuable enquiry. On the receipt of your enquiry we will quote you most competitive and reasonable rates for your required items.

    Hope to receive your favourable reply.

    Thanks with best regards.

    Hadil Mansuri (Partner)

    • Dave
    • January 25, 2010

    Hello Mr Han,

    thank you posting on my blog, I am sure our readers will find it useful to have another resource for lapidary equipment.

    Best regards


  3. Dear Sir,
    We Hans Diamond Lapidary Equipments and Tool CO.,LTD,a reliable supplier Of Electroplated and Sintered Diamond Lapidary Tool for Polishing and Grinding Glass,Gemstone,Mineral materials.For examples:Diamond Smoothing disc,Diamond Grinding Wheel,Diamond Nova Wheel, Diamond Facet Laps,Diamond Disc,Diamond Convex Carver Wheels,Diamond Belts For Wet Belt Sander and Expanding Drums,Diamond handpads,Diamond Grinder Bits,DuoSharp Diamond Stone etc.
    PDF Price sheet and Catalogues in MSN Groups is http://cid-90042263ccc3c862.profile.live.com/
    For more information please contact us or visit our website http://www.lapidarytec.com . price and catalogues will be quote and send to you immediately
    Best Regards
    TEL/FAX:0086 546 6287280

    • Dave
    • January 8, 2010

    Hi William,

    I agree with everything you are saying here especially with regards to orientating it for cutting, if you don’t do that the chances are you won’t get any labradorecence on display in the finished cab.

    All the best


    • William Patterson
    • January 8, 2010

    Labradorite is a fun stone to cab, but there are a few tricks to cutting it so that you can get a great cab out of it. The slabs need to be cut thicker than normal, you need to know what you are cutting it for, ( ring or pendent ) so you can orent your cut. You have to cut by the way the light enters and exits stone. Enjoy your cutting.


  4. Hi,

    personally I don’t know or have any experience of this ebay seller you mentioned. Are you looking for rough rock, if so which?

    Best regards


    • Ready to Rock
    • June 2, 2009

    Has anyone ever bought any rough rocks off this ebay seller? odd_jobs_john He seems to have quite a large range of rocks. What are they like does anyone know?

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