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.
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.
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.
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!