Flint Cabochons

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!


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  1. Hi Malcolm,

    first of all I am so sorry for the extrmely late reply to you, life just get’s in the way of what you want to do! Right basic equipment, well you really do need to be looking at the very least silicone carbide equipment, maybe some grinding wheels staring at 80 grit for initial shapeing then you can move through the grades to maybe 4000 or 600 grit and then use a cerium oxide polish.

    Now you don’t need really elaborate kit for this, you could keep an eye on Ebay for a spindle to mount a wheel on, which you could swap ecah time you want to change a step in your process, on the other end, if you can find one with a chuck on it that would be great becuse you could fit small diamond cut off wheels and burs and use that for your carving. But remember you will slao need a water supply to keep everything cool, again nothing elborate, a gravity feed for the water and way of directing it onto your work.

    In addition you would need an electric motor to power the whole thing and a V belt, but this should give you a basic set up to get started with.

    Here is the sort of thing to look for on Ebay and use the search term “picador”, that should throw up some relevant results for you.

    Small Picador shaft with chuck

    Again aplologies for the very late reply and please don’t hestitate to get in touch again



    • Malcolm
    • February 21, 2011

    Dear Dave, I live in West Sussex and I can’t take a walk without stopping to pick up fabulous pieces of flint. I love the colours, shapes and sheer diversity and I have a yearning to create sculptures, objects, faces and who knows what. The jewellery you and your wife make is gorgeous but I have no machinery to create such refinement. Any tips on what the most basic tools I would need to make a piece of flint see things my way? Thanks and all power to you both.

    • Dave
    • October 6, 2009

    Greetings Richard,

    thanks for stopping by, I just had a visit to your site and I must say you have created some lovely items there. My wife Shalini has had good results with flint in the tumblers too using cerium oxide for the polish. So far I have only looked at your pictures, but once I can get the translator working I will have a proper read up on all you do.

    Best regards


  2. Hi take a look to my french site to see my flint pictures. I’m using Tin oxide polish and tumbling for the final results. Try Google to translate my website.
    Best regards, Richard from Québec

    • Seth
    • June 26, 2009

    Hi I live in central Texas and there is native flint all around here. I would be more than happy to send you some. Seth

    • Dave
    • June 26, 2009

    Hi Sharon,
    if you give me an idea of what size and wieght you want I can look at postage costs for you. In the meantime I will try a few of the rock forums that I am a member of to see if there anyone in Texas who has some rough flint they can sell you. Otherwise I think it will cost a fortune to ship over to you, but you let me know and I will do some research in the meantime.
    Best regards

    • Sharon sherwood
    • June 26, 2009

    Hi Dave,
    I’m in Texas…lol. Pearland (a little town at the south edge of Houston). If you will give me some prices and postage cost..I can get an idea of what to do next.
    Thank you for responding so fast..

    • Dave
    • June 26, 2009

    Hi Sharon,

    I have pleanty of flint of all shapes and sizes and I would be happy to sell you some, however, we do need to consider postage, I am in the UK are you?

    Best regards


    • Sharon sherwood
    • June 26, 2009

    I know this is an unusual request, but i have been trying to find some rough Flint rocks to show my grandson. My grandfather had a large one that he would give me chips off of when I was 10 and it facinated me…I would like to share this with my grandson, but haven’t been able to find any. Is there any way I could buy some rough flint rocks from you? Big ones would be wonderful.
    Thank you,
    Sharon Sherwood

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