Flint Cabochons

Flint really does come up lovely with such a deep lustre using cerium oxide polish on a felt wheel.

Well I finally got some flint cut and polished into Cabachons.

Flint really does come up lovely with such a deep lustre using cerium oxide polish on a felt wheel.

Drilled Flint Free Form Cab

However, there are pitfalls when working Flint which I wasn’t fully aware of and the time of writing I still don’t know how to identify the problem areas so it’s still a matter of trial and error until the “penny drops” in my grey matter!

The biggest problem I have found is that Flint is so fragile, even though it’s very hard it fractures very easily. I have added plenty of fractured material to Shalini’s tumbling rough stock while working it.

During the drilling process a couple of pieces fractured on me, even though I started with a very find diamond triple ripple drill bit for the pilot hole, when I came to put a larger drill bit through to open up the hole sufficient for a leather thong, I got some fractures. This didn’t happen on all the pieces I drilled, but there has to be a way of identifying where these fractures will occur before you start.

Flint Free Form For Wire Wrapping

I also lost a few pieces while slabbing, I found I would get so far through a slab and the piece of rough would just fracture and a piece would fall away, it also happened a few times while shaping on the 80 grit diamond wheel.

Once you see a fracture forming while you are working the material you can really only discard it or break the fracture and regrind what you have left if it’s large enough.

Shalini has been tumbling a barrel of Flint for the last 2 weeks on 80 grit and it’s due to be opened this afternoon, so we look forward to looking at that.

But we did get 3 nice finished items, two of them drilled and one for wire wrapping which I can show you in the pictures.

Another Flint Free Form

The beauty about this Flint is that it doesn’t cost anything to buy, I just find it in the fields and bring it home, so I can afford breakages as I learn!

Enjoy

Labradorite Cabs – Cabochon – First Attempt

My first attempt at cutting and polishing Labradorite was an experiment

My first attempt at cutting and polishing Labradorite was an experiment, on inspection of the initial slabs I honestly though I have messed up as I could see little or none of the effect known as Labradorensence.

Because these are intended for use in pendants, only being able to see the Labradorensence in the horizontal plane wasn’t going to serve the purpose at all if the effect couldn’t be seen in the vertical.

However, I decided that I should press on with these slabs and take them through the stages on the cab machine simply so I could learn how this material works and finally polishes.

The material works easily on silicon carbide belts which need to be kept very wet to keep the heat down, I also noticed a very strong aroma when working the slabs on the 100 grit belt, but on the later less aggressive stages there was no aroma at all.

After shaping and going through the various stages of sanding it was time to try the polishing, I used cerium oxide on a felt wheel which brought up a nice lustre.

I am glad that I went all the way through with this material because at the end of the process, what I thought were going to be useless slabs have in fact, produced some really nice usable cabs.

So I guess the moral of this story is don’t give up at the start, persevere to the end and you will be rewarded!

What have I learnt so far from the initial experience and the kind comments offered by various other Lapidaries, well first of all wet your rough, then hold it up to the light, rotate the lump of rough until you find the best Labradorensence, keeping in mind that if you want to use the finished pieces for pendants you will want be able to observe the effect in the vertical plane, once you have found the correct angle, mark it because this is the way you will need to cut it.

The other thing I have learnt is that you can observe the effect in a slab, and then turn it through 180 degrees and you won’t see the effect at all, so there is a lot preparation and understanding involved before slabbing which |I guess will come with experience.

I am no expert on Labradorite but with time and practice I hope to become reasonably well accomplished with this fascinating material.

Here are the pictures of the attempt – enjoy.

Labradorite Cabochon
Labradorite Cab
Cabachon Labradorite
Labradorite Cab Isolated Labradoresence
Labradorite Triangle Cabochon
Labradorite End Piece Cabochon

I have selected the next lump Labradorite rough to go through the process, it has truly wonderful colour and Labradoresence:

Labradorite Rough – First View
Labradorite Rough

Just Posted Some More Sodalite Rough

Our aim is to offer affordable rough rocks for those interested in Lapidary, mineral collecting and crystal healing, all of our rocks are in the UK so you won’t experience any delays with customs or import duties when you buy from us.

I have just posted some more Sodalite rough in our rough rock shop

Prices have been reviewed today and they have all decreased significantly, the price you see is the price you pay, no hidden extras like VAT or postage, it’s all included and we post out Royal Mail 1st Class.

Our aim is to offer affordable rough rocks for those interested in Lapidary, mineral collecting and crystal healing, all of our rocks are in the UK so you won’t experience any delays with customs or import duties when you buy from us.

Our primary market is the UK although we will post abroad if required but you would need to get in touch before purchasing to ascertain shipping costs to your part of the world.

The current weakness of the pound makes buying from abroad, especially the USA, through sites like Ebay is becoming increasingly more expensive, not forgetting the high shipping charges.

We will be adding more rough rocks of many varieties over the next few weeks.

The First Of Our Eco Range Of Jewellery

We call this our Eco range because there has been no mining activity involved to find this material, also no one has been exploited or put in danger to extract this material and finally we are making use of the waste that has been produced as a result of building projects.

Introducing our first pendant in our new Eco range of jewellery which will be made of rough flint and other interesting stones that we find during our travels around the UK.

We call this our Eco range because there has been no mining activity involved to find this material, also no one has been exploited or put in danger to extract this material and finally we are making use of the waste that has been produced as a result of building projects.

Anyway here is our first piece, it was an experiment and turned out quite well even though it’s a little lopsided at the top I think this adds character to the piece.

In producing this pendant I had a clear idea that I wanted to use no metal for a jump ring and I also wanted to have the hole for the hemp to run side to side rather than from front to back.

This piece was made out of the find I made a while back in Hertfordshire, anyway here a few photo’s. The first is of the finished piece standing in front of the rough it was cut from, and the second is of the pendant hanging so that you can see the colours in it.

flint pendant
the first of of our eco pendants

Another Rough Flint Haul

Noticing all this vast amount of spoil my interest got aroused, what might be amongst this lot I though, so like all good rock hounds I started to look closer and to my joy I realised I had found another good source of rough flint.

Recently on my way home after a courier job into central London I stopped at Stansted services on the M11 for a cuppa and sandwich. I stood by the bike to have this refreshment and while I was there I noticed that a lot of soil and spoil had been spread around the perimeter of the car park which resulted form the recent building activity going on at this site.

Noticing all this vast amount of spoil my interest got aroused, what might be amongst this lot I though, so like all good rock hounds I started to look closer and to my joy I realised I had found another good source of rough flint. I guess I collected about 15kgs of the stuff of different sizes and shapes, to say I was rather chuffed with myself is an understatement.

Here is a photo of the largest lump of rough flint I have found so far:

rough flint from stansted

We do have plans to do an “eco” range of jewellery with all of this flint that we now have, why do we call it “eco”, well it hasn’t been mined as such and no one has been exploited in the process of bringing it to the surface and also we are recycling the waste from a project, now you can’t get much more eco friendly than that can you! See the next post for an example of what we mean by our eco range.

Here is another photo of a lump of rough alongside a lump with a polished face to give an idea of just how well this flint scrubs up:

rough flint polished

Update: I though the lump of Flint above was a good haul, but I stopped in the same place again last week and just look at the size of this lump:

The largest lump of Flint I have found to date

Happy hunting