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Author Topic: Can you cab silicon?  (Read 413 times)

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bilquest

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Can you cab silicon?
« on: June 18, 2017, 06:03:34 PM »

I was browsing eBay and stumbled across pieces of silicon ingot for sale. You know, the stuff they cut wafers for computer chips from. When I did a search for silicon cabochons I came up with nothing. Has anyone here ever tried to cab silicon? Seems like it might take a chrome-like polish. Will it kill your saw? Will it kill you? I have so many questions.
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SATXCabs

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 07:08:44 PM »

I haven't cabbed any myself, but the instagram user stone.bender has. If you search #siliconcab on instagram, you should be able to find it.

Sent from my LG-LS993 using Tapatalk

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-John

rocks2dust

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 07:32:22 PM »

I've also not tried it, but have seen multiple examples in both cabs and faceted. Most were very reflective, almost metallic looking. Shouldn't be any more problem to cab than agate. I've also seen silicon carbide cabbed, but that's quite a bit harder.

bobby1

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 10:53:37 PM »

Back before my dad passed away in 1995 he did a lot of cabbing on silicon. It is very messy like working on malachite or hematite. I looks a lot like hematite when it is finished only a lighter color and it weighs somewhat less. It is hard to get rough to cut because for the last few years the silicon makers are refining and recycling the scrap material. Used to be you could get the rough for about $5 a pound. A friend of mine who owned a rock shop in Mountain View, Ca sold a lot of the material mostly for tumbling. He also sent some to China for making beads. I have a few bolas, earrings and rings my dad made from the material.
Bob
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finegemdesigns

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 10:49:32 AM »

Back before my dad passed away in 1995 he did a lot of cabbing on silicon. It is very messy like working on malachite or hematite. I looks a lot like hematite when it is finished only a lighter color and it weighs somewhat less. It is hard to get rough to cut because for the last few years the silicon makers are refining and recycling the scrap material. Used to be you could get the rough for about $5 a pound. A friend of mine who owned a rock shop in Mountain View, Ca sold a lot of the material mostly for tumbling. He also sent some to China for making beads. I have a few bolas, earrings and rings my dad made from the material.
Bob

As I recall Gems Galore on Castro St.

I have also cut this material back in the 80's when I lived in Mountain View, CA. Messy but produces shiny metallic pieces. I don't remember what I used for final polish but probably either pure cerium or tin oxide.
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bobby1

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 09:08:15 PM »

Yup, Gems Galore. He still sells synthetic quartz bars.
Bob
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edgarscale

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2017, 09:20:36 PM »

went to a rock show in april this year and bought a 2"x2" piece of rough silicon for $5.00.  was so very thrilled.  thought to use it as a cap for my (opal) doublets and triplets.  is this possible?  or just cab them....i woudn't know how to even start that.  also, does any one have gem galores web address?  seems i'm full of questios today   :laughing3:
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bobby1

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2017, 07:00:31 AM »

Gems Galore went out of business about 10 years ago; however, the owner Bob Lewis continues to sell the quartz. PM me and I will give you his contact information. I will also contact him about sharing his cell number on this forum.
Bob
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bobby1

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2017, 07:15:35 AM »

For anyone that is interested in getting synthetic quartz for making caps for doublets and triplets here is the contact number for Bob Lewis. 408 749 8307. He has various sizes of bars up to one that is about 2" thick by 4" wide by 6" long. It is crystal clear with no flaws or fractures, unlike natural quartz. I have been using it for many years when I make doublets and triplets. I believe these crystals are being made for the electronics industry.
I used to teach classes in jewelry making and lapidary when his business - Gems Galore - was still in business.

There is another type of quartz that is made for the electronics industry and it is fused quartz. It is used to make the very large crucibles that are used to in melting and forming silicon crystals for the electronics industry. It is melted into ingots that are up to 8 feet across and sliced into 34" high wafers. These wafers are cut into 4 wedge shapes so they can fit onto a pallet to be moved by a forklift. A friend of mine got a piece of this material and had Richardson's Ranch make an 18" sphere. The sphere is flawless and very attractive. He gave me some pieces from the cut offs from the fabrication process. I tried using it for the doublet and triplet caps and I found it to be too soft for my purposes.
Bob
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hummingbirdstones

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2017, 08:46:31 AM »

Thanks for the info, Bob!
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Robin

edgarscale

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Re: Can you cab silicon?
« Reply #10 on: June 22, 2017, 12:33:02 PM »

thank you booby1 for bob's number.  i'll call him when i get back from holidays.   :hello2:
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