Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Stone Bead Making

I have been looking for techniques and equiptment used to make stone
beads. I have read the Lapidary Journal how-tos by Daniel Lopacki
(and visited his website) and have checked out Covington’s bead mill
and mini-sphere makers. I also found some info on Kreigh’s homemade
lapidary equipment page on sphere making that can be used with any
flat lap setup. I’m not ready to invest the $300-600 for a beadmill
or small sphere maker so, I’ve decided to try the other methods
first. I am a self-taught lapidary (been at it for about a year)
and have a DP Genie and a Raytilt flat lap. With all this being
said, before I dive in with both feet, I thought I’d throw this out
to the learned masses here. What techniques have you all tried?
What worked, what didn’t? Any suggestions, tips, or warnings? I
appreciate any help. Thanks!

Chris Hanson
Abo Originals
Ketchikan, AK

Chris or a low tech method of making a few beads:-

1 cut your cubes on any saw as accurately as possible.

2 If big enough grind off the eight corners hand held on the Genie
or dop with superglue onto a nail head if too small.

3 Take a 4 inch piece of preferably hardwood dowel and grind a
hemispherical hollow in one end, sand smooth. Dowl should be about
twice diameter of bead.

4 place rough bead in hollow on end of dowel and offer up to Genie
wheel - carefully! With practice the bead will spin in the hollow
and rapidly take shape.

Warning - when they grab on the wheel they come out like bullets -
wear eye protection and on anything else you value! Have fun!

Andy Parker, Agate House Lapidary
Ulverston, Cumbria, England
Tel: 01229 584023

If you’ve checked out Daniel Lopacki’s website you have everything
you need to know. There is no machine that will make it simple.
There is no finer bead maker than Danny Lopacki. Just do it. You
may make some mistakes, but that’s when one learns. Begin with
inexpensive material until you’re satisfied with your technique.

I don’t know is this will help, but something like the pearl
drilling stand in the Rio Grande Gems and Findings catalogue may be
what you are looking for. If that doesn’t work, what about making a
tool such as the pearl drilling stand for use in making stone

Rank Amateur who has been lurking about for some time.