Help on cabs

Hey all you really good cabers (this sort of lets me out). My
son has designed a bracelet (special order) in which he needs 7
different trapezoidal cabs (2 of each size) in 7 different
stones. The cabs are all 5mm wide. They will decrease in
length by 1 mm each time, with the first stone being 14 mm top x
13 mm bottom, down to seventh stone being 7mm top x 6mm bottom.
The top side of the cabs will need the normal curve with the cabs
being approx. 3-4mm thick.

If I had one of those wonderful little “All you’ll ever need”
machines, I could do this, but with my “Little Cab” I cannot hold
onto this small a stone. The stones need to be:

Amethyst, Charite or Sugilite
Lapis or Sodalite
Carnelian or any orange stone
Red Onyx or any red stone.

I know there are some wonderful cabers on this line because some
of you do intarsia and I know what is involved in that process.
Feel free to contact me off list. Thanks. jb

J. Byers

Hello J. Byers! I’ll bite! What is intarsia? I’m sure you’ll get
plenty of responses; if not I could certainly give you a couple
references who could do the work for you. Intrigued,

Intarsia is very intricate cutting of different stones in a
pattern that when put together they form a picture, a design or a
beautiful cab. Usually opal is incorporated into the design, but
not necessarily. It can also be done in wood or many other
modalities. It is featured in Lapidary Journal quite often.

What I need is not really Intarsia, but the precision of it.
The cabs are very small and must have straight edges (as if cut
on a lap). I have the Cab Mate and I cannot hold the little
pieces close enough and steady enough against a moving wheel to
make the correctly. I am sure a good cab cutter or one the has a
lap system could cut them, even if they do not do Intarsia. jb

J. Byers

When I want to flatten a rounded stone for the bottom of a cab
on my curved 8" diamond grinding wheel, I hold the dopped stone
at 90 degrees to the wheel and rotate the stone around the axis
of the dop stick. While it’s probably not as accurately flat as
using a lap, it’s close and you can’t notice any wobble when
you put it on a flat surface. Try it with a few scrap stones.
You’ll get better with just a little practice. If you use
carbide wheels (shudder), dress the wheels before you try.


Hello J.B.

Before you give up on this cutting job, have you considered
making your stones much bigger and easier to cut and still having
them fit the design…huh?

Assuming you have a saw? cut 5 mm thick slabs. Glue them
together. cut 2 x 3 to 4 mm thick slabs from the 7 plystone. Dop
these slabs to a custom stick that supports the complete slab
e.g. 35 x 14 x 6 mm trapezoid plywood nailed to a dowel, then cut
and polish. Seperate stones and finish by hand the mm or so of
the edges that sticks out of the bezel.

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