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Lapis Table Top Manufacture Procedure [Long]


#1

Greetings!

Following is a detail report with pictures on our
Project of making Lapis Inlayed Table Tops. You can go to the web
site for full detail with pictures of different stages by clicking
links in the news letter. Few memebers had problems viewing
pictures last time I hope that problem is resolved now.

3 years ago, one my European friend/ client asked me to make one
Lapis table top in our Pakistan Lapidary. He was Looking for a
present for some dear one at that time. This is how, I for the first
time, got involved in this project. Since it requires lot of Labor
and time so that was the only table top I made in our Pakistan
lapidary. This time when I came to Pakistan I thought why not make
few more and see if it develops some interest. So I assigned few
carvers on job and they started working on it. Last week they
finished 9 table tops of inlayed Lapis over Marble. During the
process of manufacturing I did keep you in mind and took pictures
of different stages. This is how I am able to share with you
manufacturing process of this unique item. There are several hundred
custom facetors and Lapidary experts on my email list. I will very
much appreciate if they can send me some suggestions to help my
workers.

Also, there are several dealers and other ventures loving people on
the list and if some one is intrigue with this unique item feel free
to write me and I am very open to innovative ideas to work together.
I have not put any price tag on them yet and am hopping to first
find some one who can get involved with us both in Manufacturing and
Marketing of this item on long term bases. lets see if i find some
one soon. If not I will then with pleasure offer it for sale to you
all. Please also note my list of items in finish/ rough gemstones
will be out in few days as soon as my staff finish up details and
pictures.

Manufacture Procedure

Step 1:Lapis Table Top Design Drawing on Marble. First the desired
design is being drawn on Marble Plate by the artist with pencil. The
marble Plate is 1/2 inch to 1 Inch thick depending upon Length and
breadth of the Table Top. . Design can be divided in to two distinct
portions. That is, the out Line stones and Inlayed Portion. For the
Out Line, different color stones are used such as for white simple
Marble is used , for green Jade type materials are used and so on.
Rest of Table Top as you will see in later steps is being over-laid
/ Inlayed with lapis Lazuli.The drawing is done keeping in view the
width of stones being used for out Lining Purpose.

Step 2:Lapis Table Top Cutting / Carving Pieces. Once the design is
drawn on Marble Plate, then first, the stones making out line are
cut and carved into desired shapes. In the following picture White
Marble is being shaped with the help of saw. This shaping of stone
requires very good skill. The Marble and all other stones being cut
are hardly 3-4 Millimeters in thickness. Therefore for soft stones
extra care is needed during cutting so as to save it from breaking
in this stage.

Step 3: Lapis Table Top Cutting / Carving Outline. In the following
picture you can see the cutter has cut one out line piece out of
stone. After overlaying this piece on Marble plate, the Inside hollow
areas will then be inlayed with some color full material. This Inlay
stone is cut and shaped similarly as the out line object you see.

Step 4: Lapis Table Top Overlaying Outline Objects. Once the cutter
has cut out line object, he then glues that object on Marble Plate at
its designated Place. There are dozens of such objects which are cut
and shaped and being glued to the Marble Plate. After overlaying
this piece on Marble plate, the Inside hollow areas are inlayed with
some color full material. In the following case it is some yellowish
material coming out of Afghanistan. This yellowish material is more
similar in color to what you see in yellow Tanzanian Opal. The out
side of the object is filled with Lapis pieces.

Step 5: Lapis Table Top Lapis Inlay. After the cutter glues all out
line objects on Marble table top, he then cut several dozen ( some
time hundreds if table top is big ) of Lapis pieces according to the
shape of objects so as to fill the empty spaces around and inside
the design. These several dozen Lapis pieces are cut and shaped in a
way so as they inlay perfectly in and around the design . In
following picture if you see carefully Lapis pieces are cut and
Placed in a way so as they surround the white marble border line
which was cut and placed during step 1-4. Placing Lapis Pieces
around straight border line might not be that difficult though when
cutting and shaping lapis around curved objects it does then require
lot of skills. The Lapis slabs/ Pieces are 2-4 Millimeters thick.

Step 6: Lapis Table Top Lapis Slabs Pasting operation. In the
following picture you can see several dozen Lapis Slabs being cut
and glued around a flower design . At this stage the surface of the
table top is very uneven. Glue used in here is locally made from
some herbs etc.

Step 7:Lapis Table Top Grinding Operation. After all the pieces are
glued together over Marble Plate the surface is being grind to make
it even and smooth. This procedure is not much different than what
is usually done on our Marble Floors etc. During this grinding
operation the uneven surface become even. As you see the grinding
Machine being used for leveling is operated manually. This means
finish surface may not be as leveled as we wished it to be or as we
see the Marble and Granite Plate which are cut in Marble factories.
In any case Finishing is usually not too bad and overall surface is
reasonably flat after this operation.

Step 8: Lapis Table Top Grinding Operation. This is another detail
view of grinding operation where you can see the grinding Machine
being used for leveling is operated manually. To be noted here is
the pressure exerted by left hand on tope of machine which should be
uniform through out the operation. As mentioned earlier, Finishing
is usually not too bad and overall surface is reasonably flat after
this operation.

Step 9: Lapis Table Top Post Grinding Operation. Picture In front is
the Table Top after grinding operation. It is not yet finished.
Actual finishing work starts after grinding operation. There are
some tiny holes being created during grinding. They are filled
again. Tiny one with glue and Lapis paste and bigger one if any are
with glue and Lapis pieces.

Step 10: Lapis Table Top Sanding Operation. After grinding and
refilling operation the Sand Papers are used to make the surface
smooth and shiny. Sand Paper being used are NOT the one used for
woods. They are special sand papers of different grit sizes for
stones and Iron sanding. As you see in the Picture Sand papers are
applied with hands. One reason is if there is any unnoticeable minor
unleveled surface the hand application makes it easy for sand paper
to be applied on such places as well. The sand Paper grits start
from coarser one ( we here have one classified as 120P ) then
gradually to bit less coarser and that is 320P to finally the fine
one and that the maximum we have here in Peshawar is 1000P. Step 11:
Lapis Table Top Sanding Operation. Another close up of sanding
Operation in following Picture. As mentioned earlier Sand papers are
applied with hands. One reason is if there is any unnoticeable minor
unleveled surface the hand application makes it easy for sand paper
to be applied on each portion of the table top. This operation since
done with hand takes lot of time. Step 12: Lapis Table Top Polish
Operation. This is the final step. After sanding Operation Lapis and
other stone surfaces are completely smoothed. Polishing is thus done
by a buff in some cases which is mounted on the grinding machine and
with special type of soap type material the surface is being
polished as is shown in the following picture. For little harder
Lapis instead of buff another buffed shaped wheel is used that one
is much stiffer than " buff " and diamond polish is used in that
case.

I hope you enjoyed the report. Please feel very free to write me for
comments or Questions

email: @Fazalur_Qazi
voice: 3232567806
web: http://www.sfgems.com