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Author Topic: Cutting flat top cabs  (Read 350 times)

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55fossil

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Cutting flat top cabs
« on: February 11, 2022, 04:48:47 PM »

Here are some pictures of cabochons in the works with flat tops. I am cutting them with flat tops because I fear losing such a great picture. In the case of the Sonora Dendritic cab I like both sides of the cabochon. Maybe someone will want to do a double sided pendant???
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2022, 08:43:10 PM »

Off to a great start.

I cut high domes on everything when I first started, but then learned that sometimes that's not the best way to go.

irockhound

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2022, 10:31:04 PM »

I started cutting flat top and domed, flat top more on Bola cabs.  My feeling is simple it seems now you cut to make the most of the stone.  If that is a high dome or a flat top.  If you are only cutting by someone's rules and not to make the best stone you are in the wrong hobby.  Remember when we first started cutting and if you didn't cut a std shape like a 30 x 40 they almost didn't want to call it a cab.  In Competition you had to bend to those rules or you were relegated to the oddities and HEAVEN forbid if you included a druzy pocket in the cab.  I was down graded in competition with them calling the druzy pockets "pits in the cab".  Back then my wife said I should make an entire display of them and label it "This case is the pits"   I do negative shapes, flats, a dome on one half of the top and a flat on the other if that is what the stone calls for.  Cabbing is an art, there are no rules.
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2022, 08:28:03 AM »

Absolutely true! I do remember how it used to be.

That's why I cut a higher dome on things back then. It was the "definition" of a cabochon!

I still really like the old high-domes (no girdle) for translucent stones and solid color opaque ones. If there's a pattern or plumes or whatever, the way it faces absolutely determines the shape and dome height.

nrcamo

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2022, 09:19:29 AM »

I don’t reply much on this site, but this is exactly the way I do all of my cabs. Most of my work is in plume agate form Graveyard Point area and I feel I loose too much of the “picture” the stone shows by grinding domes. I do both but mainly flat tops. Thanks for showing. I have looked through the menu but am not having any luck finding info on how to attach pictures to posts. Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks.
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Phishisgroovin

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2022, 06:23:44 PM »

Gives me ideas on future cabs and pendants, just need a bezel around the sides slightly taller than the cab and only have to roll the top edge around the crown to set them NICE!
I have an 8 inch flat lap machine i can do something with now lol!
 :LOLOL: :LOLOL: :LOLOL: :LOLOL: :LOLOL:
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vitzitziltecpatl

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2022, 05:58:26 AM »

Glad to hear you got the 8-inch flat lap, Phish. They are so much easier to use.

We still use 6" laps we had from before, or newer 8" toppers for larger rocks. The extra working room around a 6" is great sometimes for getting the end of a dop stick parallel to the lap - without grinding fingertips at the same time.

Will look forward to seeing some more of your work someday.

Phishisgroovin

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2022, 06:14:57 AM »

Glad to hear you got the 8-inch flat lap, Phish. They are so much easier to use.

We still use 6" laps we had from before, or newer 8" toppers for larger rocks. The extra working room around a 6" is great sometimes for getting the end of a dop stick parallel to the lap - without grinding fingertips at the same time.

Will look forward to seeing some more of your work someday.
i really want to make something. just no inspiration to do so.
Having a comfortable work station (which i will never have here with my daughter in the back house) would be key in me getting my interest back.
When she moves out, i will have me a lapidary studio in my back house.
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irockhound

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2022, 06:45:57 PM »

Sorry to hear that Phish, it's rough sometimes to get going and easy to put off.  I find at times I forget how happy I get when I am finishing an amazing cab.  I live in CA and temps here are better than many places but still with the current house shop being the garage and no climate control it can make me want to put it off.  I was cutting some great apple green jade cabs from fantastic material the other day and I could only go so long my hands got so cold.  I came in the house and decided to just place a meat thermometer between my fingers and it was 59 degrees.  Hands get so stiff hard to enjoy the cutting.
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gemfeller

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2022, 10:13:37 PM »

I do negative shapes, flats, a dome on one half of the top and a flat on the other if that is what the stone calls for.  Cabbing is an art, there are no rules.
Could not agree more Steve!  It drives me nuts when people decide to make up arbitrary "rules" about how a cab should be cut.  It is "the art of the curve."  Or flat top.  Or whatever floats your creative boat.
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irockhound

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2022, 05:47:27 PM »

Great to see you on Rick!  Hope AZ is treating you well my friend!
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victor1941

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2022, 07:30:38 AM »

I like the observation by 55fossil on a flat cut.  I like plume and have found in many cases that a flat cab is the only way to capture what you see especially if the plume is between layers. The example shown by 55fossil is a perfect example in opaque matrix. Sometimes a very low dome works well when the plume is in a mostly transparent chalcedony and the stone can be thicker for greater depth and plume display. Other times a very thin slice is needed to showcase the plume because of dense material. My experiences are based mostly on Alpine and Marfa, Texas material and Carey Plume.
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gemfeller

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Re: Cutting flat top cabs
« Reply #12 on: March 09, 2022, 01:56:37 PM »

Great to see you on Rick!  Hope AZ is treating you well my friend!
Hi Steve, doing great in AZ.  Beautiful country, great people.  Hope all is well with you.
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