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Cutting Pearls


#1

Hi there. I’m making this necklace and I need about 20 4mm. pearl
cabs for one part. My usual source is back ordered who knows how
long. I see so many nice pearls drilled for necklaces. Can’t I just
take my saw and slice down one for a cab? It’s organic, will I
destroy it or will it crumble up after a while? Should I laquer it
or just leave it alone and set it? Should I just wait for the back
order? Even eBay doesn’t have what I want…

Voices of reason?

Sincerely yours, A-


#2

Fire Mountain Gems has some 4mm buttons. 800.355.8737

Reba


#3

Hi Angela,

I’ve used my jeweler’s saw to slice pearls in half. It takes awhile
to do just one but I liked the results - even edges and no crumbling.

Good luck,
Cyndy


#4

Dear Angela

Try to google or froogle for “mabe pearls”, which probably is what
you are looking for. The cutting of a normal pearl is not worth the
efford, IMHO.

Kind regards

Niels Lovschal
Contemporary and Viking Age Jewellery
Classes in Jewellery Techniques
Bornholm, Denmark


#5

They are often grown around a MOP bead, If you cut in half they
delaminate and you are left with a thin pearl skin.

Yoy could grind off nearly up to half way and set that. I have
sanded down to get a size. Half pearls are often cut from bumps on
the shell or are natural, if you are cutting for stock an approximate
dome is not hard to find if you are not worried about the size.

regards Tim.


#6

For cutting drilled pearls in half to use as cabs, push one down in
bees wax and use your flex shaft and a separating disc. Protect for
inhaling dust.

To drill small metal beads, try a pin vise, some have two collets
with four different hole sizes, one might be the right size.

For keeping your flexshaft key handy, knock the t bar out of the
suppied key, drill out a file handle slightly smaller than the
diameter of the key, pound it into the file handle. Drill a hole in
the opposite end, and attach a piece of chain to the key handle,
attach the other end to your bench right below the flexshaft
handpiece. Always right where you do business. With the chuck key
now in the file handle, it is faster to change arbors as you can
rotate the file handle 360 degrees without changing the position of
your hand.

Richard Hart


#7

I cut pearls in half all the time. Holding them firmly is the key. A
fine Jewelers saw is just right for the task.

Al Sleeper


#8
For keeping your flexshaft key handy, knock the t bar out of the
suppied key, drill out a file handle slightly smaller than the
diameter of the key, pound it into the file handle. Drill a hole in
the opposite end, and attach a piece of chain to the key handle,
attach the other end to your bench right below the flexshaft
handpiece. Always right where you do business. With the chuck key
now in the file handle, it is faster to change arbors as you can
rotate the file handle 360 degrees without changing the position of
your hand. 

No matter how many times I read this, it still sounds just like the
standard key/handle I use already, but without the T-bar. What am I
missing?

Allan Mason
silvermason.com


#9
No matter how many times I read this, it still sounds just like the
standard key/handle I use already, but without the T-bar. What am I
missing? 

I do not know what you have, I use a wood file handle. I had a chuck
key, I had a file handle, there was no shipping charge from ordering
it from a tool company. I made it myself which provided momentary
satisfaction, but long time satisfaction for its function You put the
chuck where the tang of the file goes.