Recently I have been making cabochons from nephrite jade of various
sources with varying issues coming up. It would be great of hear the
experience of others.
I’ve cut Wyoming jade but don’t like the stuff.
I have gotten what I have come to understand as ‘utility grade’,
(stone used for sculpture rather than gemstones), Siberian slabs
that work up pretty well but have inconsistent inclusions and is
often milky and clouded.
Recently I acquired both Alaskan gem quality rough and Siberian gem
quality slab and rough from two different sources. The Alaskan works
up pretty well but is somewhat pale with low transparency.
As an ascetic choice I prefer the dark green color of Siberian gem
grade jade. But the slab and rough that I have gotten from two
sources flakes and fractures easily. It runs softer through the slab
saw than the Alaskan stone. And fractures appear in sawing with a
thin diamond blade under water. Rough shaping on the dopping stick
causes edge fracturing, both top to bottom chipping and fissures
into the stone appearing. Even starting with a 600-git Ameritool
Today I intend trying less pressure on the saw.
On the wheel I am wondering if the hard Ameritool disc could be the
problem. Do I need to work with something on a softer backing?
Any ideas or perspectives would be welcome.
I am reluctant to do much more work if it means destroying any more
rough stone rather than making some finished cabochons.